Theater Around The Bay: Cowan Palace Goes Portal

Ashley may be 3000 miles away but it’s like she’s right next to you, singing in your ear about her interview with Kirk Shimano and Sang Kim, who prepare to rock San Francisco Theater Pub with Portal: The Musical!

Hello there, my San Francisco friends! Wow, what a few weeks it’s been, huh? Lots going on all over the world but I have to say getting the chance to interview writer Kirk Shimano and director Sang Kim was a real treat. This dynamic duo is currently working on San Francisco Theater Pub’s latest show, Portal: The Musical.

The cast features Alan Coyne, Jamie Lee Currier, Dan Kurtz, Courtney Merrell, and Karen Offereins with musical direction by Liz Baker, voice direction and production design by Renee LeVesque, and Paul Anderson and Spencer Bainbridge rounding out this rockin’ team as the band. The show is set to the music of Jonathan Coulton and this theatrical piece is sure to be unlike any other production you’ve seen this millennium.

Kirk Laughing!

AC: So firstly, what are audiences in store for when they sit down for Portal: The Musical?

KS: I think the experience will be pretty different based on what the audience member is bringing in. Fans of the video game are going to get to see the story they love brought to life in a totally different way. Jonathan Coulton fans will get to hear their favorite songs for the first time again when they’re sung by our characters. And people who don’t know anything about either are going to discover a whole new world that they never knew they were missing.

SK: A lot more feeling and earnestness than you’d expect for a video game based on dimensional rifts and psychotic artificial intelligence. Also – this show passed the Bechdel Test with extra credit! Good Job sticker for us!

AC: So, how did this project come to be?

KS: I played through the original Portal in one sitting and it’s been a favorite ever since. And when I found out the guy who wrote “Still Alive” had a whole repertoire of other work, I got my hands on all the Jonathan Coulton music I could find. But this all really gelled for me when I heard the song “Code Monkey” on the Best. Concert. Ever. album. As soon as I heard that, I immediately knew there was a character behind this song and wanted to bring it to life in a full musical.

SK: Kirk emailed me back in June 2013 after he punched out a first draft during his stay-cation. I replied back and said yes to working on this. I wish it was more dramatic and suspenseful, but there it is. How about we just pretend Kirk threw the script into a Thunderdome death pit and I emerged the victor and claimed the musical as my prize.

Sang Directing!

AC: What’s been the biggest surprise you’ve experienced while rehearsing a musical about a video game?

KS: I’d say it’s just seeing all the passion that people have for this source material. There’s always a great level of support among other members of the theater community, but it’s been wonderful to also see friends who wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves “theater people” get really excited about this project because of their connection to the source material.

SK: Agree with Kirk. It’s gotten to the point where rehearsals are going long because there’s too many ideas and too much fun being had. And, oh Lord, the spontaneous singing. Always with the spontaneous singing. People singing and making up lyrics and breaking into song. It’s like witnessing a karaoke playlist for ADHD show choir students on meth.

AC: What’s been your favorite moment so far while working on the show?

KS: I’d have to say it’s those moments in rehearsal where we’ve had everyone sing along together. Our cast and creative team has been wonderful to work with in general, but that’s the moment when I just feel we’re all the most connected.

SK: Yes. This.

I played viola in the orchestra so the power of group singing has never made an impact on me until this show. I finally understand why the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.

AC: What drink do you think would pair best with the production?

KS: Maybe one of those novelty drinks that comes in a beaker and has some dry ice to make fog spill out over the sides? Because something that is fun and a little creepy with a chance of killing you is basically the character of GLaDOS.

SK: Anything garnished with olives – just one olive so your drink is looking back at you which reminds me of all our little robot friends from the game.

The Creative Portal  Team

AC: What’s been the hardest challenge you and the cast/crew have faced while bringing this story to life (and song!)?

KS: I feel very fortunate in that Sang has been taking on the HUGE task of all the scheduling and coordination of bringing together all of the talent need to bring this together, and I just get to watch. But one challenge that comes to mind was having to cut a couple songs from the script that I really like but that weren’t serving the story (sorry “I Crush Everything”).

SK: Kirk is gracious but having this specific group of talent has been worth all the wrangling. The hardest thing is to pull the show back for a staged musical setting at Theater Pub. I think a lot of past contributors have excelled in presenting fantastic shows in such an unconventional setting. But the scope and creativity of Kirk’s musical, the Portal universe, Coulton’s songs,along with the talent involved have actually been an embarrassment of riches. Having limited time and resources means picking and discarding your darlings.

AC: Tell us more about what you’re up to after this show! Any fun new projects on deck?

KS: Next up for me will be the San Francisco Olympians Festival, which I’m happy to be returning to for the sixth year in a row. I’m looking forward to sharing a night with three other playwrights (Barbara Jwanouskos, Julianne Jigour, and Alan Coyne) as we present three very stylistically different approaches to the gods of sleep and dreams.

SK: After some rest, I’ll be helping co-write Thunderbird Theatre’s next original play. It’ll be a creative collaboration with The Mess sketch comedy, which also has a show up this November.

AC: What Bay Area show (other than this) are you most excited to see this summer?

KS: I’m a big fan of musicals in general, so I can’t wait to see City of Angels at the San Francisco Playhouse and Chess at the Custom Made Theatre Company. I’ve been a big fan of the cast albums of both and neither is a show that you see performed all the time.

SK: I was glad to see The Rules and the Loud and Unladylike Festival, but they both closed this past weekend. After that, probably my usual summer and fall diet of Pint Sized Plays and the Olympians Festival before I hibernate for the winter.

AC: Using only emoticons, how would you describe Portal?

KIRK: — 0 0– >

SANG: 🍰🤔

AC: If your directing/writing style was a song, what would it be?

SK: For this show? “Bizarre Love Triangle.” You’ll see.

KS: Want to be: “Everything is AWESOME!!!” But, actually: “Still Alive.”

See Portal: The Musical only at PIANOFIGHT (144 Taylor Street):, July 18, 19, 25, and 26 @ 8 PM.

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Cowan Palace: Embracing The Mirror, Part One: Ashley, Plain and Tall

In part one of this two-part blog (featuring Marissa and Ashley’s tall tales) Ashley considers the height hype.

“You’re like that book. Sarah, Plain and Tall? But, like, it’s you. Ashley, Plain and Tall!”

I let his words linger in the air like they were bubbles about to pop. I forced the look on my face to go from “shocked and hurt” to “playfully shocked and hurt.” This was not exactly the sentiment I was looking for from the guy I kind of had a crush on after a performance.

I had just finished playing my first “romantic lead.” Sure. It was a ten minute play directed by my classmates for a student run production. But it was the first time I got to do a stage kiss! And wear something that didn’t resemble a bag! Plus, I didn’t have to cover my face in old age makeup (fun fact: old age makeup is still pretty much the only makeup style I feel like I can “do” well) or cover my hair with baby powder and gray hairspray. Ah, college. The actor I was paired with was slightly shorter than I was so I had been costumed in a modest heel but since I barely noticed, I didn’t think anyone in the audience would care.

And, duh, I knew I was tall. By that point (at age 18), I had already been told that I couldn’t convincingly play a high school student and that I was really more of a Nurse and/or Mrs. Capulet than a Juliet. At 5’9’’ I also knew I was ineligible to ever become a Disney princess (as they do not allow their ladies to be over 5’8’’) so my dreams of playing Belle fell short (ohhh, punny, huh?).

But let’s get back to my crush! Why was “tall” now synonymous with “plain”?! That hardly seemed fair. I went home and listened to a Coldplay mix CD trying to make sense of it all.

I continued college scoring great roles meant for older actresses and when I graduated, I moved to New York and began auditioning. I’ll never forget getting a callback for a role in a short play and being the tallest person in the room. The scene I was reading for was for the role of “daughter” and the actors playing my mother, father, and brother were all several inches smaller than I was. I was the only actor that managed to get a laugh out of the audition panel but sadly, I never heard from them again.

After that, I packed flats to every audition. And tried to practice hairstyles that could maybe make me appear a little shorter (yuck, I hate admitting that). When I reached out to my tall theatre friends, I loved hearing the stories they encountered in their theatrical pursuits because it meant I was not alone. Colleen Egan told me, “I had to wear flats once while my male counterpart was put in lifts because the director was so distracted by our height difference.” Which I find so fascinating! Why are we so uncomfortable with a woman being taller than the guy she’s with?

Tall%20SomeCard copy

Luckily for me, when I found myself in San Francisco with a role in “Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding”, my perception of height and my relation to it completely changed. Suddenly, I was in a show surrounded by beautiful Amazons. I was no longer the tallest one in the play! Yes, for the most part, our male counterparts were shorter. Sometimes, much shorter. But we learned to embrace it and play it up. We wore ridiculously tall high heels and made our hair as big as possible. When we had to kiss our fictional boyfriends, we thought it was hilarious and usually, the audience did, too.

I reached out to some of my past castmates in TNT regarding being tall in the theatre and they had these gems to share:

Mariah Castle (who was our original Tina) said, “I do remember being worried that audiences wouldn’t believe the casting when I was paired with a Tony who was significantly shorter than me. But it always seemed to turn out fine. I actually loved being paired with one short Tony in particular because he was such a strong performer. He owned his role and the room, so I felt proud to perform opposite him and pretend to be his “wife” for a night.”

Mariah%20and%20Ashley

Sarah Rose Kistner added, “There were also some pretty ridiculous pairings (in terms of height) in TNT that I definitely worried about looking legit. I would have to tell myself little stories like “Okay, maybe Dom is just seriously into tall chicks!” or “Maybe Dom is just seriously into chicks… any chicks.” In the end, I don’t know if any of those relationships appeared authentic, but they at least appeared funny. I will say that my height probably helped me get cast as Amazon Hippolyta in Impact’s 80’s version of Midsummer Night’s Dream, where I was paired with a tragically, tiny Theseus. I think the dramatic height difference added a certain amount of inherent physical comedy. I did always have a sense that, if I were to continue with my acting career, I’d probably have an easier time being tall on film than on stage.”

Lastly, the lovely Stephanie Renee Wozniak left us with this wonderful wisdom:

“Okay, Tall Girl Theatre problems:

1. ALWAYS being in the back row in musical theatre productions. No matter how well you know the steps, you’re gonna have to be in the back because you’re a giant. And forget about partner dancing! If it’s a show where there’s a bunch of partner work, well, then congratulations! You’ll be playing a dude!
2. Playing dudes! I’ve literally played more male roles than female roles. Which it totally cool because some of the best roles out there are for men. I mean I got to play Hamlet so what am I complaining about?
3. NEVER playing the ingenue because the leading men are too short. Which is okay because the sassy best friend has all the best lines anyway.
4. Playing ALL of the adult roles from the time you’re 12. I played M’Lynne in Steel Mags when I was 23. My roommate was Shelby. And we rocked it.

Yes, there are challenges with being an Amazon actress, but on the other had, these long legs have been solely responsible for getting me cast in several productions. Incidentally, come see me in Sweet Charity this Spring at Hillbarn!”

Mariah%20and%20Ashley

Sarah%20and%20Stephanie

Obviously, I’m quite proud to have shared a stage with those women. Being around other tall actresses and performing the show for years made my height feel “normal”, sometimes humorous, and something I should absolutely stop apologizing for.

Now when I get to an audition, I still pack flats if I’m wearing heels and I still consider my hair (I have no problem cutting bangs into my look hours before if I think it’ll help get a part) but I’ve stopped thinking so much about being taller than many of the actors around me – I’ve convinced myself that I just have more height to store talent.

Things never went anywhere with that college crush. But I did get cast in a romantic lead with my now husband who is also taller than me! So things worked out okay there! No Coldplay mixes were needed. And lastly, “tall” is not synonymous with “plain” so I’d greatly appreciate it if you could all call me, “Ashley, Tall and Excited By Froyo” from here on out. Until tomorrow, my friends! I look forward to continuing this discussion with Marissa!

Cowan Palace: Eating More Feelings

This week Ashley picks up from an earlier blog about eating her feelings and writing about it.

By the time you read this, I’ll be off on my honeymoon getting sunburn and probably eating too much at a complimentary buffet. But hey, that could be appropriate given I’m here writing about food again!

Ashley

A few weeks ago, I shared some of the difficulty I was facing while working on my Olympians piece, Charybdis (or: Charlene’s Hungry). Don’t remember? Well you can reread it here: https://sftheaterpub.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/cowan-palace-lets-eat-our-feelings-and-write-about-it/

Oh, and I lied about the food poisoning part. Well, kinda. It was really “morning sickness” but I certainly felt (and still feel) that many foods have been poisoned for me throughout this pregnancy and that my entire relationship with food has changed.

But let’s get back to my play for now. In my previous blog, I mentioned that in order to finish my draft, I would force myself to attend an Overeaters Anonymous Meeting as it’s the setting to my piece. And boy, did I!

I should mention that I’ve had a pretty rough time with feeling nauseated throughout the past several weeks. And one of the things that helps balance it is snacking. Constantly. Even when eating is the last thing I want to do, if I can get myself to consume something, it’ll often help. Well, on this particular day, a few Saturdays back, I was suffering through some sickness. But knowing my time was running out to attend a meeting, I couldn’t back out. So I hopped on two buses and commuted an hour to the Sunset.

When I got there, I stood outside the building too nervous to go in; why hadn’t I thought about this earlier? What was I going to say if they wanted me to talk? Would I be honest? Should I try to be a character and put on an act? I let the minutes pass by while I attempted to get my story straight.

Since I’m a terrible liar (as Ashley Cowan; give me a character to play and I will confidently lie my face off!) I decided to just be as honest as possible without having to give too much of true self away.

I walked in and through a bigger meeting space to get to a smaller room. There, I saw five other women waiting patiently. The mood was quiet and thoughtful. Which immediately made me tense. We opened with the Serenity Prayer and then all the new people were asked to introduce themselves. I quickly decided against a fake name and went with my own when asked.

Next, we were informed that this was a “literature meeting” which meant we’d spend the majority of the meeting reading from a book, each of us taking turns to read a paragraph at a time. We were also told that the material we would be reading from was actually from Alcoholics Anonymous and that when we saw AA written, we should say “OA” so we could adapt it for our purposes.

Already, OA was starting to seem like a forgotten stepchild in an anonymous world. And I have to admit, I didn’t get a lot out of the readings. A lot of the material did not translate well for our needs and it just made the meeting feel sad.

Afterwards though, came the segment on sharing your experiences. I waited silently and shyly for others to speak. Those that chose to open up all came from different perspectives, which as an observer, was fascinating. Their stories were varied and their relationship with food ranged as well. After one woman spoke about being pregnant and having a difficult time managing the snacking required to fight her nausea in a healthy manner, I was inspired to speak up, if only to tell her she wasn’t the alone.

And though my voice was shaking a bit, I told them the truth. That this whole year, I’ve been struggling with food. From planning my wedding and calculating every calorie to trying to find peace with feeling like all that work is being undone as you gain weight to support another growing body. Food has been both my hero and my monster.

Which is certainly lending itself to my writing. But, working on this play has also brought back a lot of feelings from my childhood, when I really struggled with my body image. And maybe part of me is already fearing that I’m bringing a daughter into a world that can be quite cruel and that there’s a chance she may have to fight her own demons.

Growing up, I had always been a strong swimmer and spent my evenings doing laps with the swim team. There was both a threat and a safety involved in that. On one hand, I had to be in a bathing suit in front of my peers. That made me incredibly self conscious. On the other hand, there’s this beautiful weightlessness you feel when you’re swimming and I was actually really good at it. Needless to say, I’ve always been drawn to water so this Greek myth was even more of a personal pull.

After completing another draft of my script, I recently fell asleep and had a dream I was at a pool with beautiful people in attendance when a kid came up to me and said, “I bet you wish you were surrounded by people that look more like… you.” He was very judgmental and cruel in tone. I desperately started trying to defend myself to this small child saying, “I’m doing the best I can! And I’m pregnant!” but he just laughed.

Ashley Child

The water, the critical feelings, the anger, the pain of it all just came rushing back. And I realized that this subject really may have been a bigger bite than I could chew. What that means for the piece is that while I have a completed draft of it, I’m realizing the story that came out ended up being bigger than a short. There’s more I want to say there, more I think I have to say at some point if I allow myself to keep swimming in it, but that time isn’t now.

This is not to suggest that I hope you skip the reading of it on November 22! The play is a beginning, a piece of more to come, but I’m happy to have a start and something to share. Heavily influenced by the meeting I attended and my own food demons, I hope you’ll be there in the audience to hear this take on Charybdis along with two other Greek monster tales.

Until then, see as many Olympians plays as you can! And be kind to yourselves. Because the truth is, if that insecure kid you may have been years ago could see you now, I’m sure they’d be pretty happy and proud of who you’ve become.

Carybdis

The 2014 Olympians festival will play 12 nights, November 5-22, Wednesday through Saturday, at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco (156 Eddy Street). Tickets are $10.00 at the door, and can be purchased starting at 7:30 the night of the show.

Theatre Around The Bay: Our Story Was Epic

Our guest blogger series continues with a piece by Sunil Patel, a Bay Area writer and actor, who recounts a recent night of inspiration.

Veronica Mars changed my life. I don’t mean that as hyperbole: I can trace my recent commitment to becoming a published writer to Veronica Mars. While that decision was directly inspired by attending the World Science Fiction Convention, I only became aware of that convention because of a friend I met through Veronica Mars fandom. Everything awesome that has ever happened to me at Comic-Con can also be attributed to Veronica Mars, including the opportunity to tell Joss Whedon that Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed my life—which was partly because it was a precursor to Veronica Mars.

I love the show. I have written thousands of words about why I love the show. It’s a fantastic neo-noir teen drama with a compelling protagonist and supporting characters, a strong father-daughter relationship, and, yes, a smoldering romance. I love the story, but it wasn’t the story alone that changed my life. It was the community that formed around that story.

Television fandom is a curious but beautiful thing: thousands of people absorbed in a story, collectively experiencing joy and heartbreak from week to week. And this story leads them to generate their own stories, claiming characters and imagining new narratives for them. I helped orchestrate HelpMeVeronica.com, a mini-ARG, which taught me a lot about storytelling and managing audience expectations. As a writer, I had to balance what I wanted to create with what our audience needed. A subcommunity had formed around our story-within-a-story. But the larger community plays a role in the metanarrative of the show.

The tale of Veronica Mars is this: on May 22, 2007, the story ended. The community, however, remained. And on March 13, 2013, by the power of Kickstarter, that community enabled the creation of more story. We hungered for more, and we made it happen. Stories matter because they connect people and through the power of fictional narrative influence the real-world narrative. Stories have power, and we bestow it upon them.

At a recent Borderlands event, fantasy author Brandon Sanderson said that writing the book was only 80% of the job of creating the story. The reader supplied the final 20% by imagining it in their heads. He used this analogy as a way to distinguish books from television and movies, which show you the images and sounds, but the concept extends to all forms of storytelling. The audience is an essential part of the story, and 20% of the experience is how they respond to it. A hundred people can see a production of play and come away with a hundred different interpretations, a hundred different emotional responses. The story fractures into a hundred versions of itself and finds new life in the lives it touches. The audience carries their own personal version of it with them always.

Stories have always needed an audience to come alive, but now an audience’s need for stories matters a significant amount. We live in a world where a passionate audience can show their appreciation for the types of stories they want to see by willing them into existence. San Francisco Theater Pub’s The Odes of March ended with “Ode to the Audience,” acknowledging their importance, but I see untapped potential.

Everything I’ve described above regarding the passion for stories and sense of community that I experienced in television fandom applies to my experience in theater as well, but as a creator. The Bay Area theater community is incredibly supportive of new work, and many times I have seen people put up a play on sheer pluck and gumption alone. Several times, I’ve seen them turn to crowdfunding as well. Maybe it’s because I mainly associate with people in theater, but I have not personally encountered theater fandom to the same degree. Theater is as collaborative a medium as television or film, and I think it has the ability to foster a similar, vibrant community centered on stories. The audience is physically present, already together, when they see a play. The San Francisco Olympians Festival does a wonderful job bridging the gap between creators and audience members, encouraging the intermingling of the two and discussion of the works. Talking about stories is an essential part of the storytelling process. It’s that 20% that truly cements their place in the collective consciousness.

I look at the success of the Veronica Mars movie and realize that a story is far more than what’s contained within it. It’s a message, a force of nature, a reality-warping behemoth of narrative power. As a writer, you cannot forget that. You must understand that it’s bigger than you.

Because you never know when what you write will change someone’s life.

Sunil Patel is a Bay Area writer and actor. See his work at http://ghostwritingcow.com or follow him on Twitter @ghostwritingcow.

Cowan Palace: Audience Observations, Dedications, and Goodbyes

Ashley Cowan observes, dedicates, and offers a quiet goodbye.

Hi friends. I’ll be honest; this hasn’t been my easiest week. Saying goodbye to a show you’ve invested a lot of heart into has never been a simple process for me but on top of closing Book of Liz, I found out on Monday that my grandmother had passed away at the strong and sassy age of 90 years and 2 days old.

Years ago, when I showed her an article I wrote for my college newspaper about an upcoming university theatrical production had made its way to the front page feature, she smiled quietly and said how much she loved seeing the name “Cowan” in print. So I like to think, wherever she is, she may be enjoying another Cowan Palace installment.

My cast kindly allowed me to dedicate our closing show to her on Sunday after hearing she wasn’t doing very well, and while I sadly couldn’t be by her side in Connecticut, I carried her with me while doing the thing I love most here in San Francisco.

Reflecting upon our last six weeks of performing in front of various crowds and dedicating our shows to different people, I couldn’t help but wonder how many audiences followed similar trends to those we met while being a part of this production. Our run included Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings and Saturday matinees. My personal observations include the following:

Thursday: As the first audience of the week, this group tended to laugh quickly and help push the show along. Their laughter patterns were often loud and fast as if to suggest, “hey, it’s Thirsty Thursday, and we either need to get home soon or get a beer.”

Friday: After a long workweek, the Friday crowd entered with high expectations. They were tired from a stressful few days of bringing home the bacon and appeasing “the man”. They could be unforgiving and critical. And hey, how can you blame them? Once you eased them into it though; convinced them to leave their week behind and embrace the weekend; they would warm up to you until the theater was on fire. With their presence.

Saturday Morning: The coffee crowd rather than the wine lovers. We didn’t even have the hope of boozing them up real good before they entered the theater! This group was certainly one of the quieter audiences. Perhaps from partying too hard the night before, perhaps because they’re secretly vampires trying to hide from the sun. It’s hard to say. In any case, they tended to be a bit more controlled and contained.

Saturday Evening: Thank goodness this group knew how to have a drink. They often came in ready and wanting to get those tipsy giggles out. Sometimes it would take them a little longer to catch a joke but when they did, they enjoyed long and hearty laughs. Often, the shows could run just a hair longer because this was the crowd who could appreciate and encourage the idea of “milking it”.

Sunday Evening: This last audience was a real mixed bag and often surprised me. They’d catch the more obscure and random bits and then be silent at a joke that had received big laughs all week. Personally, they were one of my favorite audiences though because they kept me on my toes and often offered more immediate vocal reactions.

Has anyone else noticed an audience pattern during certain nights of the week? Those were just a few of my experiences while working on a comedic piece. And do you think knowing what to expect is ultimately a good or bad thing when it comes to live theatre? I’d love to know your thoughts.

My grandma was often a matinee viewer; and while she may have been part of a quieter crowd, her presence was always known and appreciated. And it’s for her that I’ll continue trying to get the Cowan name out into the world in whatever way I can manage; for any audience who will grant me the chance. For now, this blog will do just the trick.

San Francisco Theater Pub Launches into the Blogosphere!

On January 18, 2010, the crowd inside the Café Royale on Post and Leavenworth extended out the door. Inside, a standing room listened as Skye Alexander sang “Wayfaring Stranger” from the upper balcony. As the song came to a close, an actor stepped in front of red curtain emblazoned with the Café Royale emblem, stood for a moment, then shouted “Dionysus! Dionysus my master, you son of a bitch!” The first lines of the first performance of the San Francisco Theater Pub.

The San Francisco Theater Pub was founded in late 2009 by Stuart Bousel, Victor Carrion, Bennett Fisher, and Brian Markley, with the support of Les and Dan Cowan and their bar, the Café Royale. For the inaugural event in January, co-founder Bennett Fisher directed a staged reading his new translation of the satyr play Cyclops by Euripides – a ribald retelling of the famous story from the Odyssey and the oldest, as far as we know, play about drinking – accompanied by live music and flowing drinks from two very overworked bartenders.

You can read an interview with Fisher about Cyclops on Tim Bauer’s blog here and watch video of the production from UnfocusedSF here.

Since the first night, the San Francisco Theater Pub has hosted two more events, also playing to standing room only crowds.

In February, the day after Valentine’s day, co-founder Stuart Bousel directed A Valentine’s Day Post Mortem – a collection of original writing and songs from local artists offering all manner of perspectives on the subject of love and what (if anything) it has to do with the holiday.

Last Monday, co-founder Brian Markley presented How To Ride a Bus in San Francisco – a series of short scenes, songs, poems, and meditations on the perils and pitfalls of that infamous San Francisco Transit System.

And more is coming…

In April, Fisher returns to direct the first full production for the San Francisco Theater Pub – Vacláv Havel’s comic one act Audience. The event runs for five performances on Mondays and Tuesdays – April 13, 19, 20 and May 3 and 4 – 8pm each night and (as always) free admission. Reserved seating is limited, so be sure to make a reservation early if you do not want to stand.

The local community has responded enthusiastically. Even in these first few events we, the founders, have found a considerable thirst for a different type of theatrical event performed on nights – Mondays and Tuesdays – when cultural events of all sorts are scarce. We hope that the San Francisco Theater Pub will continue to serve as an inviting and inclusive nexus for artists and audiences – offering pieces that are short, lively, and engaging and in a relaxed bar environment with plenty of good beer on tap.

We’ll keep this blog updated with the latest in all things San Francisco Theater Pub, upcoming projects, behind the scenes perspective into the process, and ways for all those to get involved. To learn more, become fans of us on Facebook, email theaterpub@atmostheatre.com, and swing by on performance nights to talk with the team.

We look forward to seeing you there.

-Stuart Bousel, Victor Carrion, Bennett Fisher, and Brian Markley.