Theater Around The Bay: An Interview With Rem Myers

Meghan Trowbridge interviews Rem Myers, director of t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus, currently playing at Theater Pub.

MT: Where do you hail from and what brought you to the Bay Area?

RM: I’m originally from the East Coast but I’ve been living in SF for almost four years now. My cousin used to act out here and she recommended I come check it out. I moved here site unseen and I’ve been here since!

MT: You obviously direct – any other sides of theater you dabble in?

RM: Not really? I’ll dramaturg and produce. I used to act in college, but I haven’t since then. Sometimes I miss performing, but I’m pretty content to work behind the scenes.

MT: Are there advantages or disadvantages to directing in a bar?

RM: I enjoy directing shows in non-traditional spaces. It’s fun to work in a bar and have the actors pop out of unexpected places. Of course, working in a bar also means difficultly in finding times to rehearse in the space!

MT: What attracted you to t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus?

RM: I’ve known Kat Sherman for a few years and love her plays. I was looking for a short play to direct for Theater Pub and she sent me lovesickness. I love Kat’s language and poetry and was psyched to do a 30 minute play of hers.

MT: What advice would you give to future directors of Theater Pub shows?

RM: Cast awesome actors like I did. A week is a short time to rehearse and Jeunee, Marlene, and Soren really stepped up their game to bring nuanced and clear performances in this short period of time. It’s really all on them.

MT: What’s the show you’re dying to direct?

RM: I have a few newer plays I’m interested in working on, but I won’t name the playwrights here 😉

MT: What’s next for you?

RM: A break!

MT: Any shout-outs to other Bay Area theater/performance stuff going on?

RM: Not yet!

t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus has two more shows, tonight and tomorrow. Don’t miss it!

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Theater Around The Bay: An Interview With Katharine Sherman

t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus opens tonight! If you’re not excited yet, we hope this interview with playwright Katharine Sherman does the trick!

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Who are you, in a 100 words or less?

KS: I am a writer dazzled by the musicality of language; I like my theater to make a mess. My work is blurry when it comes to genre, I write in verse but not one that makes sense, I’m interested in structure as story and art that calls into question the nature of reality. Right now I’m working on a first draft of a young adult novel and a play based on Ovid that may or may not have dancing. I’m part of a new company making multi-disciplinary performance work in the Twin Cities, check us out – http://www.collectiveunconsciousperformance.com.

Any influences or inspiration you find particularly impactful, in regards to your work as a whole and this piece specifically?

KS: I’m an avid reader of mythology, and I’m always interested in adaptation and reimagining – in new spins on old stories where the interpretation and the original are kind of sitting side by side at the same time – even though they’re not – as if, by adapting, you’re creating the tension between the adaptation and the original. This piece specifically was inspired by a natural phenomenon in the animal kingdom.

So… what is this play about? And what’s the meaning behind the intriguing title?

KS: The play is about a cat, a rat, and a parasite. But it’s also about connection and depression and drunkenness and despair. It’s tricky to describe! Go see it!

How did you and Rem Myers, the director, get connected, and how’d he convince you Theater Pub was a good place for this piece?

KS: I met Rem in 2014 at the Cutting Ball Theater! We’ve worked together on two readings for Risk is this…, a new play reading series at Cutting Ball, and one of those plays, ONDINE, was just there in January. We’ve got a good shorthand! And I thought Theater Pub sounded like a great venue! I feel like this play is actually perfect for a different kind of venue.

Is having a show done in a bar exciting for you? Terrifying? Mixed? Why?

KS: It’s exciting! I think being in a bar raises the stakes of the performance in a way but also gives it a sense of freedom, paradoxically? Honestly I have no idea! I’ve done shows in bars before though and it always seems like it’s a blast!

Did you have to do any revisions or retooling of the piece to fit these unusual circumstances?

KS: I didn’t, actually! But I feel like it can definitely work – it’s a casual, flippant weirdo of a show with a bunch of direct address and finger puppets.

How involved do you tend to be once a show goes into rehearsal? How involved do you plan to be in this process?

KS: I’m in Minneapolis, so my contributions so far have been changing a few words and getting texts of awesome actors in animal ears from Rem!

Any history around this play? Past productions or development?

KS: Nope, this is the first!

What are you top three pieces of advice to other playwrights looking to get work done in the Bay Area?

KS: Be nice, be yourself, have fun. Go see your friends’ shows. Be in awe of your collaborators and want to make your work better for them. Take walks.

Any shout-outs to other theater/performance stuff going on in the Bay Area?

KS: A Dreamplay opens at Cutting Ball on May 20th – directed by Rob Melrose, in a new translation by Paul Walsh. Don’t miss that one, it’s going to be amazing! Also, go see my friend Kenny in The Heir Apparent at the Aurora! And this is a posthumous plug but Rem and Andrew Saito just finished Stegosaurus (or) Three Cheers for Climate Change with the Faultline Theater, and I wanted to shout out that I love that show (so I hope you got to see it)!

Don’t miss Katharine Sherman’s t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus, opening tonight at Theater Pub!

Theater Around The Bay: April’s Theater Pub Cast Announced!

Theater Pub is very excited to announce the cast of this month’s show, t gondii presents the lovesickness circus, by Katharine Sherman.

Please welcome to the stage:

Soren Shane Santos in the role of Mick.

Soren Santos

Marlene Yarosh in the role of Snowball.

Marlene Yarosh

Jeunee Simon in the role of Toxo.

Jeunee Simon

You may be thinking, “that’s great SFTP, but what is this play about? I heard something about a cat and a rat?” You heard right! Mick, a street-wise rat, takes Snowball, an indoor cat, to a circus run by Toxo – a parasite! You will laugh. You will ponder. You will question everything you eat from here on out. You don’t want to miss it!

You can catch us on these dates at PianoFight:

April 18 @ 8:00pm
April 19 @ 8:00pm
April 25 @ 8:00pm
April 26 @ 8:00pm

As always, our show is free, though donations are lovingly accepted so we can pay our incredible cast!

Theater Around The Bay: Announcing Our Next Show!

San Francisco Theater Pub Presents
t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus

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A cat and a rat attend a circus hosted by a parasite.
A typical Monday night, am I right?

Come see this exciting new play by Bay Area playwright Katharine Sherman and directed by Rem Myers!

t. gondii presents the lovesickness circus plays four performances at PIANOFIGHT (144 Taylor Street):

Monday, April 18 @ 8:00pm
Tuesday, April 19 @ 8:00pm
Monday, April 25 @ 8:00pm
Tuesday, April 26 @ 8:00pm

As always, admission is FREE, with a $10 donation suggested at the door. No reservations required, but we suggest getting there early to get a good seat and remember to show your appreciation to our hosts at the bar!

See you at the Pub!

Get there early to enjoy PianoFight’s full bar and menu!

Theater Around The Bay: Tonya Narvaez Talks Rainbows

Our next show opens a week from tonight and it’s not secret that people are already a little obsessed with it. We sat down with author/director Tonya Narvaez to talk about just why people love Lisa Frank… and fear her… and why this show is another Theater Pub event that you can’t miss!

Tonya was told to submit a "fun" photo and here it is. Also it has two other cast members in it - Sam Bertken and Andrew Calabrese. Photo by Sam Bertken.

Tonya was told to submit a “fun” photo and here it is. Also it has two other cast members in it – Sam Bertken and Andrew Calabrese. Photo by Sam Bertken.

So, what’s this crazy show all about?

A young Lisa Frank finds a portal (in her bathroom) to The Wonderful World, where all her stuffed animals have come to life. She quickly discovers that everything is not as it seems. That the rules are different here. That even the cutest of characters can have a vicious streak.

Okay… and where did you get this idea?

Ashley Cowan and I were going to write a play together for the February show. It would be about love and dating and about how two people can have such different reads on the same experience. While developing the idea, I started talking about Lisa Frank with someone at PianoFight – I believe it was Megan Cohen. Suddenly the idea had morphed into a play about Lisa Frank on Tinder. This idea thrilled me, so I let myself fall into a Lisa Frank rabbit hole. I read everything I could find about her. She’s the most curious person. She’s guarded but outgoing, bubbly with a hint of sadness. Every article I read included quotes from former employees, who had terrible experiences working at the headquarters in Tucson. It seemed like there was a better story there. Better than imagining Lisa Frank on Tinder. So I decided to write a fictional origin story.

What does the cast think about this project? How are rehearsals going?

I am very fortunate to have this cast. Truly, they have been so game and so fantastic to work with thus far. Some amazing work has been done on these characters. They have taken every bit of information I’ve given them about Lisa Frank and about this strange, topsy-turvy world I’ve created and just ran with it.

When casting, did you ask people what their feelings on Lisa Frank are?

Yes! I asked for their “Favorite Lisa Frank image or character and why”. I received such a mixed bag of responses. Some people were genuinely interested in Lisa Frank characters and had childhood anecdotes to tell. Others were never really interested in Lisa Frank but sent their favorite Nihilisa Frank image. (http://nihilisa-frank.tumblr.com/)

What’s your own personal relationship/history with Lisa Frank? Do you have a favorite product?

I really liked some of the Lisa Frank imagery growing up but I thought I was too cool to admit it. I would make fun of it in passing, but secretly wanted a Trapper Keeper with dolphins and hearts and rainbows all over it.

What would you do if she showed up to the show?

I’m not entirely sure. My instinct says I would hide. My intellect says I would be really interested in what she thought of the show and would try to have a conversation with her about it.

When you write a play, what’s your process and how do you go about shaping a script?

I start with a really basic premise, like “Lisa Frank origin story a’la Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland”. Then I do more research than is needed. Then I develop the characters and the world/s. Once I have a really solid cast of characters to begin with, I’m able to write pretty freely. There are times when I get stuck. When I do, I usually realize it’s because I didn’t build a character out enough, or am trying too hard to stick to some sort of “rule”. Or clinging on to something that isn’t as important as I think it is.

You’re also directing this. Is directing your own work something you like to do? How is directing your own play different from directing something someone else wrote?

I do like to direct my own work, but for selfish reasons. I like to be able to change the script to suit the cast. Or if I see something I’ve done is terrible, I can still change it early on in the process. Often times right then and there at rehearsal. I find it much more challenging to direct another person’s work. There isn’t as much liberty to be taken, and there has to be more structure to the development process. I think as I continue to grow as a writer and as a director this answer will change.

Any shout outs to the rest of the community and what else is going on?

Yes! I want to give shout outs to all the shows I missed because of this show and because of the move I just completed this weekend: Mousetrap at Shotgun Players, Of Serpents and Sea Spray at Custom Made, and Peer Gynt at The EXIT Theatre. And two shows I hope to see soon:

1. Anything from the new Undiscovered Works Series, part of Custom Made’s New Play Development Program. Tomorrow is their second offering at 7pm, “Truest” by Megan Cohen, directed by Ellery Schaar. At the Gallery Cafe – 1200 Mason Street, San Francisco. Free and open to the public, with a $5.00 suggested donation in support of new play development at Custom Made. Food, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase!

2. Killing My Lobster’s most recent offering, Sex Battle written and directed and performed by many people more hilarious than me. Pay What You Can: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sex-battle-pay-what-you-can-night-tickets-20912564042 or other nights: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sex-battle-tickets-20912351406

3. Tinderella from Faultline, because February deserves a Tinder play! Book by Rose Oser, Music by Christian B. Schmidt, Lyrics by Weston Scott and Directed by Rose Oser. http://www.faultlinetheater.com/#!tickets/cmt5

Don’t miss OVER THE RAINBOW, opening next Monday, only at Theater Pub!

Theater Around The Bay: So, Good Craic?

Meg O’Connor Trowbridge is here to sell you some good craic.

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Yes. It’s pronounced like crack. We’re hosting an event in the Tenderloin advertising Good Craic. Who knows what mayhem may ensue?!

Well… I do. I put this thing together. Back in December, Stuart Bousel asked if I was interested in being an Artistic Director for Theater Pub. Considering I have loved everything about Theater Pub since it’s inception, I jumped at the opportunity. Perhaps naively. When I quickly became overwhelmed looking at four months of programing, Stuart calmed me while also stoking the flames, saying: “It’s a gift and a curse – you can do whatever you want, but you have to do something.”

Whatever I want? Well, hows about a night devoted to turn-of-the-20th-century Irish playwrights accompanied with an Irish sing-a-long? Hows about a title that needs a translation? GOOD IDEA MEG!

I was born Meghan Kathleen O’Connor. My father’s side of the family is PROUD of our Irish roots. My granddad was a Grand Marshal in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Minneapolis. I was programmed to be drawn to Ireland. And, I had the fortune of living in Dublin when I was 20. How many times I was asked “what’s the craic?” ( what’s up?) or told that a party was going to be “good craic” (hella fun), I can’t keep count of. After 6 months, I fell in love with Ireland. This evening is a selfish trip back there.

Granted, we don’t actually have any Irish folks in the piece, and we’re completely BUTCHERING the pronunciation of towns and Gaelic names, but having a night to tell stories, sing songs, and drink Guinness and Jameson… well, that’s getting pretty close to the 6 months I spent in Dublin.

Come hear lesser-known scripts by Yeats, Lady Gregory, Sean O’Casey and John Millington Synge. Come get a Guinness freshly poured behind the PianoFight bar. Come hear me sing with a band of misfits thrown together for this very event (including a Brit! Oh sweet Irony!) It will be good craic.

Good Craic starts tonight at Theater Pub, and plays Monday and Tuesday of this week and next week. Find out more information HERE.

Theater Around The Bay: Opening One Week From Tonight!

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Theater Pub Celebrates the Playwrights of the Irish Literary Revival!

This July, Theater Pub celebrates the playwrights who brought the voice of the common people and the Irish language onto the stage: William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, Sean O’Casey and John Millington Synge. Conceived and Directed by Meg Trowbridge, each performance of July’s Theater Pub will feature one of these playwrights’ shorter, lesser-know works, and will be accompanied by traditional Irish tunes we all know (right?) for a good old fashioned sing-a-long.

Join us. It will be Good Craic*.

The show plays four performances at PIANOFIGHT (144 Taylor Street):

Monday, July 20
Tuesday, July 21
Monday, July 27
Tuesday, July 28

All performances are at 8 PM. As always, admission is FREE, with a $5 donation suggested at the door. No reservations required, but we recommend getting there early to get a good seat and remember to show your appreciation to our hosts at the bar!

Come early to PIANOFIGHT and try out their great new dinner menu!

See you at the pub!

*”Craic” (/kræk/ KRAK), is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland.

Theatre Around The Bay: Announcing A Wake!

Our next show, A Wake, is already in rehearsals and we’re excited to bring another world premiere play to you this season! You can find out more about the show here, but in the meantime, we thought we’d let our playwright, Rory Strahan-Mauk tell you all about it in this very honest interview he gave us over the weekend.

Who are you, in 100 words or less.

Rory: Some kid from the Bay Area and Minneapolis, if that makes sense. Does that make sense? As in I was born here but spent a good amount of time in both places through my childhood. I like cheeseburgers and fruity drinks. Looking up at the moon. Watching airplanes take off and land. Progressive rock. Speeding. I also hate. I hate so, so much.

Rory Strahan-Mauk: Here to hate.

Rory Strahan-Mauk: Here to hate.

What is A Wake, and why did you want to bring this to Theater Pub?

Rory: A Wake is, for me, an experiment in audience mechanics. All my personal projects revolve around that study- researching how the audience fits into theater beyond observing. I see the theater scene reaching into this danger zone and not knowing what to do with it. Maybe by bringing it to Theater Pub, the right folks will learn from whatever the hell happens here, and use that knowledge in the future.

The cast is part of the creative process here- how so?

Rory: With a new work, I see the actors as having invaluable input into their characters, so much so that past a certain point they will understand their roles far better than I will. Because of this, the script develops with them- dialogue, cadence, certain actions. And with certain aspects of the show, there are scenes where what happens is determined entirely by the actor’s choices, far past my own suggestions or control.

Would you label this as devised work? Why or why not?

Rory: No, God no. This piece is a written play that provides room for the actors to have agency (or rather, more agency than a standard play). Devised work is when a bunch of folks create something from scratch together, leading to all sorts of problems, such as lifelong regret and poor art. It’s one of those things that works well as an exercise at say a college, but shouldn’t be performed as a final product. Like movement pieces, or Shakespeare.

What is the potential appeal of working in a bar? And what is the challenge?

Rory: It’s a real location. The stage either exists or doesn’t, depending on whatever theory you subscribe to. It allows a certain immersion that does not remove the self from the situation. The story is happening, and so are you, still watching, still aware of yourself. I don’t know if the bar provides any challenge other than dealing with logistics. Any obstacle I might imagine seems miniscule.

Do you see yourself creating something that can live beyond Theater Pub?

Rory: Not the story, but the structure. This style I can easily see utilizing and evolving over time. The play itself can either linger or not, I don’t care. The story’s important now, maybe. It’s made for now; if someone wants to reuse it in the future, whatever, but there’s no drive for that. Not with the story. The structure, the style, that’s the long game.

Commissions are hard to come by, even with smaller companies like this one. What advice do you have for other playwrights out there?

Rory: Don’t pitch what you think they want to hear, pitch what you want to do. Write about what fascinates you. Alternatively, schmooze the fuck out of everyone- that’s probably more important. Sure, work hard, don’t be a cunt about it, realize you can always be better and listen to people when they criticize you. But, shit, there’s no real specific advice here. The world doesn’t offer certainty, to try for it would be futile. Figure out what works for you and do it. Also, quitting is a completely viable option.

What else is going on in the local theater scene that interests or excites you?

Rory: Not much. There’s some cool site specific work going on, but the stories tend to be aristocratic in nature, thus inaccessible. There are interesting stories and new plays, yet they’re stuck in an awkward performative style meant for those already in love with it. For what would interest me, all the parts exist, they’re just scattered across a desolate scene that’s striving to remain relevant while refusing to acknowledge its fundamental issues. The parts will never come together as long as old ways of thinking control the future. There is some hope, perhaps, but not here. Not for me.

What’s next for you?

Rory: Chicago.

Theater Around The Bay: Colin Johnson Is Creative

Our next show, The Creative Process, opens tonight at Theater Pub! We took a moment to chat with Colin Johnson, the playwright, about the show, making theater, and looking like a chump.

Colin offered no comment, just this cheese ball photo.

Colin offered no comment, just this cheese ball photo.

No, but really, who are you? 100 words or less.

I am Colin. I make theatre and movies and write and produce and act and sell books. I enjoy hiking and chronicling human misfortune in both comedic and horrific ways. I’ve been around the Bay since 2008 and have dabbled in every form of art and storytelling i could possibly taint. I’m currently involved with SF Playground, SF Shotz and SF Olympians, along with co-running my own small production venture, Battle Stache Studios.

And what is this show about? Like really about?

The show is about all the internal and external bullshit that goes into creating anything. The insecurity, the masking of insecurity, the spontaneous inspiration, the yelling, the overwhelming compulsion to be the center of attention and to be validated, the willingness (or refusal) to sell out, the desperation, etc.
We, of course, will wrap these themes into a ridiculous and entertaining format of three short plays, all loosely tied together through character and content. We will also include a live band in our attempt to shove as much art as possible into the experience.

Yeah, but why should I come see it?

First of all, the environment. Pianofight. Where else will you be able to drink, eat, see outrageous comedy and listen to a live band all on the same cabaret stage? Also, anyone who has ever created or produced art will identify with the scenarios we’re exploiting, and will hopefully enjoy the absurd lengths we go to in sketching out the eternal struggle of the artist.

Tell me about your creative process- how do you come up with ideas?

I have trained myself to pull ideas out of any and everything, often to the detriment of my social and romantic life. After conception, my process usually revolves around slight reorganization of my environment, pre-production (I’m big on pen-and-paper prep), and ruthless, energetic optimism. As someone who does a lot of film and theatre production and who recognizes the differences the two formats require, I relish the fact that every project requires a different approach and a different style. Whatever works. Creation isn’t a set menu, it’s a buffet.

And then what?

And then the key is making sure everyone you bring on board is just that: on board. If you surround yourself with amazing people who have faith in the product, the finish line will appear out of even the darkest moments.

What’s your favorite part of the creative process?

Collaboration. I love getting friends and colleagues in the same room and jamming. Creating the perfect creative environment where everyone feels free to experiment and express themselves is the best workplace I could imagine.

What’s the part that makes you want to tear your eyes out?

That’s a multi-tiered answer with a nifty little twist. The final run-up. In independent production, you can be damn sure that Murphy’s Law will rear its ugly head sooner or later. And those obstacles usually show up at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME. Also the occasional bad attitude that sneaks into projects. There’s nothing worse than a morale vaccuum roaming free on set or in rehearsal. Thirdly, the maddening lack of funds and/or production assistance the average independent project has to deal with. These days, there are so many odds stacked against you when you launch a project or a show. The culture is saturated. However, I see this problem as an exciting challenge and an opportunity to forge ahead with new ideas and new presentations. If stress is a motivator for you, if you thrive under the gun, look nowhere else to get your kicks.

How do you know when something is a bust and just isn’t going to happen?

For me, as someone who is enticed by even the smallest projects and has a hard time saying “no”, the realization that something will bust comes early in the process. If the energy isn’t there, if the core idea takes more than 3 minutes to describe, if you find that people in creative roles aren’t condusive to your own process, or, as I’ve just begun to learn, if there’s nothing in it for me, ideally in terms of compensation but more realistically in networking, If I know I’ll not be able to give it all my energy and won’t take something new and valuable from the experience, I’ll move on.Once that perpetual snowball starts rolling, though, I will finish. Even if it becomes something it was never intended to become, even if cast members drop out or the venue catches on fire, once I have concrete work done and have decided to finish something, I will finish it.

How do you know when something is finished?

When I’m content enough to walk away with a modicum of satisfaction. Nothing will ever be perfect or exactly the way you envisioned. The trick is letting it go and moving on. There’s always another opportunity to screw everything up.

Who are the artists who you respect the most and what about their process do you identify with?

I have major respect for artists who can swing back and forth between multiple formats and styles. I’ve been waiting to see what lands on top, theatre or film, for 10 years now and it’s turned into a constant back and forth. My immediate interests at the moment are finding ways to combine the two in organic, innovative ways and enhance certain types of stories. People like Martin McDonaugh, Clive Barker, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Orson Welles, just to name a few, all move seamlessly between multiple forms of expression, from film to theatre to music to books to radio to painting to everything in between. I guess basically I’m trying to say that someday I hope to EGOT. A fella can dream.

Don’t miss The Creative Process, starting tonight at PianoFight at 8

Theater Around The Bay: A Blank Page?

A word of inspiration- and invitation- from one of our founding artistic directors, Stuart Bousel.

Yes, it’s true, for the first time in quite a while, we have nothing to run today.

This is partly my fault. I was supposed to have something written for today, but I’ve been interviewing for jobs, helping a company producing a play I wrote find a replacement director, prepping for the production of The Crucible I will be directing this year, promoting the DIVAfest at the EXIT Theatre, and diving into the pre-production process of RAT GIRL. I really wanted to write something about a recent experience I had at a “young theater professionals” night at a major Bay Area Theatre Company, but I kind of burnt out the subject talking about it on Facebook and amongst my friends and now I don’t care anymore either. Additionally, having done something like fifteen job interviews in the last three weeks, I’m reaching a point where my own voice is somewhat irritating to me. To those who find me an objectionable vocal presence- I am, for this exact moment, not entirely unsympathetic to your perspective.

Between the fatigue that comes from juggling many things and the mid-process place I find myself with most of my projects, I’m just not feeling very inspired to write anything, let alone a blog entry about how artistic directors of companies who hold “young theater professional nights” should make it a point to be there and shake each of our hands and introduce themselves- not just rely on the rather irritating but widely held belief that all “young professionals” need is artisanal appetizers and booze- as much as I like both of those things- to qualify an event as “an event.” Please, please, please, Theater Company, I respect your attempt to get with the new culture of engagement that permeates the youth these days but take a cue from other industries and recognize that it only works when the leadership of an organization is on the front line of that engagement endeavor. A room full of people who make theater companies are not showing up to an event to help you play restaurant for a night- they’re there to network and get involved, and your event should find a way to facilitate that if it wants to truly fill a need and not just be a cheap way to package dinner onto a play (which, granted, I appreciated).

Anyway, regarding the lack of inspiration: I’m not worried about it. One of the best things about being 35 is that I no longer worry that my well will run dry, that I won’t ever get around to writing everything I want to write, that my glory days as a writer are done. This is because I know there is no such thing as glory days, or rather that glory days happen all the time, but they definitely come and go. Having a more mature understanding of my own art and ability allows me to create less fear around the “go” and place more emphasis on the “come” (how is that for an art as spooj double entendre? Another great thing about 35 is embracing being 14 at heart!). Having long accepted that I will die with projects unfinished, no matter how many I knock out between now and then, has also relieved that pressure and guilt I used to feel whenever I wasn’t actively pushing forward or marking things off the list of ideas and titles I’ve carried with me for decades. That list is just too long and it keeps growing, because the well will never run dry so long as life continues to be interesting, and I keep being interested in life.

“White. A blank page of canvas. His favorite. So many possibilities,” is the last line of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday In The Park With George, one of my favorite shows ever, and it brings tears to my eyes whenever I hear it on the recording or in performance, and it resonates very deeply inside of me. In Craig Zadan’s book about Sondheim, Sondheim & Co, the final chapter ends with a quote from the man himself, “Probably one of the most frightening things in the world is staring at a blank sheet of paper wondering how you’re going to fill it… but somehow you do.” He’s exactly right, and the reason why you’re able to do it is because there is no such thing as writer’s block- the lack of inspiration- there is just the fear of getting started. True, that can be a daunting hurdle, but the truth is, anyone who knows how to scribble or babble (and we all know how to do both) will stumble their way into coherency someday, and “give us more to see” (that’s a quote from Sunday too). The moment you understand that, and truly understand it, is the moment you are done with writers block forever. It’s also the moment you learn it’s okay to walk away from the blank page for a bit. Not because you’re afraid of it, but because it’s just not all that interesting today. Outside is beckoning, with all its delicious things and experiences to write about… later.

The reason we took this blog to a new level with regular columnists and an on-going series of guest writers was because there was a recognition of how diverse and unique the community here is. Few other major cities can boast such a wealth of micro-theater, indy artists and theater makers, while also having and admirable number of larger houses and a bona-fide regional theater presence. But the diversity of practices and productions in the Bay Area only makes us great if it is putting itself out there and declaring its presence, and creating platforms for that voice and those people has been SF Theater Pub’s goal from the beginning- first with the stage, and now with the page (including, but not limited to, the Allison Page).

In light of that, and looking at our March calendar with the idea of sparing you more meandering entries like these, I once again invite folks to send in proposals for articles, either one shot, or short series (1-4 articles), detailing their experiences in our theater scene, sharing their advice, or profiling elements, places, people, companies, or work that is interesting to them, teaching them something new, or they feel has been ignored or misunderstood by the larger community.

Please submit your proposals to theaterpub@atmostheatre.com. Not all are approved, but all are read and considered.

Give us more to see.