Ben Randle

THEATRE DIRECTOR

Cast and Creative Team Announced for JC Lee's 'warplay' world premiere

Cast and Creative team have been announced for the New Conservatory Theatre Center's world premiere of warplay by JC Lee, directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle, playing June 2 - July 2, 2017.

warplay will star Ed Berkeley as A, a young version of the mythic character Achilles, and JD Scalzo as P, a version of a young Patroclus.

warplay will feature scenic design by Devin Kasper, costume design by Miriam Lewis, lighting design by Christian V. Mejia, sound design by Theodore J. H. Hulsker, prop design by Adeline Smith, fight direction by Will Springhorn, Jr., stage management by Kaitlin Rosen.

Inspired by The Iliad and the epic tale of Achilles and Patroclus, warplay is a "shockingly funny, poetic and radical re-imagining of one of the oldest love stories in all of Western literature," according to NCTC press materials. As they describe the story: "Two Young men. A battle rages in the distance. Game on."

warplay was developed as part of NCTC New Play Development Lab, under the direction of Randle. Lee and Randle previously collaborated on the world premiere of Lee's Into the Clear Blue Sky in 2011. Read reviews of Into the Clear Blue Sky here.

For tickets and more information, visit NCTC's website.

JD Scalzo, Ed Berkeley. Photo by Lois Tema.

JD Scalzo, Ed Berkeley. Photo by Lois Tema.

Karam's Pulitzer Finalist 'SONS OF THE PROPHET' Makes SF Regional Premiere This Fall

This November, New Conservatory Theatre Center presents the SF Bay Area regional premiere of Stephen Karam's Pulitzer Prize Finalist Sons of the Prophet to be directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle, as part of its 2016-2017 Season, which also marks the company's 35th Anniversary.

Karam, who recently won the Tony Award for his play The Humans, was named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Sons of the Prophet, his refreshingly honest take on how we cope with wounds that just won’t heal. If to live is to suffer, then Joseph Douaihy is more alive than most. With unexplained chronic pain and the fate of his reeling family on his shoulders, Joseph's health, sanity, and insurance premium are on the line. Sons of the Prophet is the funniest play about human suffering you'll ever see.

Karam’s award-winning play premiered to acclaim at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company in 2011, and later that year transferred Off-Broadway to Roundabout Theatre Company. In addition to its Pulitzer honors, it received Best Play awards from New York Drama Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel Awards, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, hailing the discovery of an “important playwright in Stephen Karam” (New York Magazine).

Sons of the Prophet runs November 11 – December 18, 2016. Tickets are $25–50 and available at nctcsf.org or by calling (415) 861-8972.

The cast of Sons of the Prophet features Donald Currie, Nancy French, Stephen Kanaski, Eric Kerr, Cheryl Smith, JD Scalzo, Marcus Drew Steele, and Loralee Windsor.
            
The creative team of Sons of the Prophet includes scenic design by Devin Kasper, costume design by Jorge R. Hernandez, lighting design by Virginia Herbert, sound design by Sara Witsch, prop design by Daniel Yelen, and stage management by Kaitlin Rosen.

Eric Kerr. Photo by Lois Tema.

Eric Kerr. Photo by Lois Tema.

New JC Lee Collaboration, 'warplay' Sets World Premiere

New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco will present the world premiere of warplay by JC Lee,  directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle, as part of its 2016-2017 Season, which also marks the company's 35th Anniversary.

Inspired by The Iliad and the epic tale of Achilles and Patroclus, warplay is a "shockingly funny, poetic and radical re-imagining of one of the oldest love stories in all of Western literature," according to NCTC press materials. As they describe the story: "Two Young men. A battle rages in the distance. Game on."

warplay was developed as part of NCTC New Play Development Lab, under the direction of Randle. Lee and Randle previously collaborated on the world premiere of Lee's Into the Clear Blue Sky in 2011. Read reviews of Into the Clear Blue Sky here.

Full cast and creative team to be announced.

For more information, visit NCTC's website.

Eric Kerr, Adrian Anchondo. Into the Clear Blue Sky. Photo by Claire Rice.

Eric Kerr, Adrian Anchondo. Into the Clear Blue Sky. Photo by Claire Rice.

'Sagittarius Ponderosa' Makes its World Premiere

New Conservatory Theatre Center presents the world premiere of the award-winning new play, Sagittarius Ponderosa, by MJ Kaufman, directed by Ben Randle. Opening January 30th, the play runs through February 28th.

Matthew Hannon, SK Kerastas. Photo by Lois Tema.

Matthew Hannon, SK Kerastas. Photo by Lois Tema.

Sagittarius Ponderosa won the 2013 Global Age Project at Aurora Theatre Company, and was featured on The Kilroys List 2015, a list made of the top most-recommended new plays by female and trans* authors. The premiere was named an Editor's Pick in Theatre Bay Area, calling the new play "Quietly magical ... An original, intelligent, refreshingly open-hearted winter wonderland."

Tickets on sale now HERE.

Press notes describe the play: "Shortly after Archer (still Angela to his family) makes the journey back home to the forests of Eastern Oregon, he meets a handsome stranger at night under the oldest Ponderosa Pine. What follows in this whimsical and powerful new play illuminates the transitions of life and death, the comings and goings of love, and the mysteries of the human heart."

The cast features SK Kerastas, Andy Collins, Janis DeLucia, Michaeala Greeley, and Matthew Hannon.

The production's design team includes Scenic Design by Christian Mejia, Costume Design by Miriam Lewis, Lighting Design by Anthony Powers, Sound Design by James Ard, Puppet Design by Dave Haaz-Baroque and Prop Design by Adeline Smith.

MJ Kaufman is a playwright whose work has been seen at the Huntington Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Yale School of Drama, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Aurora Theater, Crowded Fire, Fresh Ink Theatre, New Harmony Project and performed in Russian in Moscow.  They have received awards and commissions from the Program for Women in Theater, the Playwrights Foundation, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Young Playwrights Inc., and the Huntington Theatre, where they are also a playwriting fellow. MJ received the 2013 ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting, the 2013 Global Age Project Prize, and the 2010 Jane Chambers Prize in Feminist Theatre. MJ is currently a member of the Clubbed Thumb Emerging Writers Group, The Falcons, an Audrey Resident at New Georges and a Resident Artist at The Drama League. Originally from Portland, Oregon, MJ attended Wesleyan University and recently received an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Tickets on sale now HERE.

'Salome, Dance For Me' to Premiere this August

This summer, trixxie carr and Ben Randle premiere their newest collaboration, Salome, Dance For Me, a savagely beautiful new glam rock re-imagining of the infamous biblical tale. The world premiere runs August 5-29 at New Conservatory Theatre Center.

Photo by Lois Tema.

Photo by Lois Tema.

Adapted from Salome, the play by Oscar Wilde and opera by Richard Strauss, Salome, Dance For Me features an all-original score by trixxie carr and Robert Mollicone, a script by trixxie carr, and was conceived and directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Randle.

As the press release notes, "This summer, heads will roll. A lecherous king. A savage and sensual dance. A shockingly macabre reward. Rock chanteuse and faux queen trixxie carr stars in her fiercely-entertaining, glam rock, solo re-imagining of Oscar Wilde’s cult biblical tale and Richard Strauss’ controversial opera about obsession and desire, under the spotlight of the naked moon. Just hold on to your head."

Salome, Dance For Me features scenic design by Maya Linke, costume design by Miriam Lewis, lighting design by Christian Mejia, sound design by Anton Hedman, stage management by Stephanie Desnoyers, with music produced by Greg Robles. Monique Jenkinson served as Dance Dramaturg.

carr made a blog on the development of the score, script, and production, available on NCTC's website. 

Salome, Dance For Me was developed as part of NCTC's Emerging Artist Program, of which carr is the artist-in-residence and Randle is an alum.

Tickets available HERE

Photo by Lois Tema.

Photo by Lois Tema.

World Premiere of 'Sagittarius Ponderosa' by MJ Kaufman

As part of its 15/16 season, New Conservatory Theatre Center will present the world premiere of Sagittarius Ponderosa, the award-winning new play by MJ Kaufman, to be directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle.

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Sagittarius Ponderosa won the 2013 Global Age Project at Aurora Theatre Company, as well as The Kilroys The List 2015, a list made by a group of LA playwrights and producers marking the top most-recommended new plays by female and trans* authors.

Press notes describe the play: "Archer (still Angela to his family) returns home to the forests of eastern Oregon to care for his dying father. At night under the oldest Ponderosa Pine, he meets a stranger who knows the history of the forests. In this powerful and whimsical new play, what first appears expected expands to reveal the connections between the roots beneath our feet, the stars in the sky, and the mysteries of the human heart."

The production's design team includes Scenic & Lighting Design by Christian Mejia, Costume Design by Miriam Lewis, and Prop Design by Adeline Smith. Additional design team and casting yet to be announced.

MJ Kaufman is a playwright whose work has been seen at the Huntington Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Yale School of Drama, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Aurora Theater, Crowded Fire, Fresh Ink Theatre, New Harmony Project and performed in Russian in Moscow.  They have received awards and commissions from the Program for Women in Theater, the Playwrights Foundation, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Young Playwrights Inc., and the Huntington Theatre, where they are also a playwriting fellow. MJ received the 2013 ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting, the 2013 Global Age Project Prize, and the 2010 Jane Chambers Prize in Feminist Theatre. MJ is currently a member of the Clubbed Thumb Emerging Writers Group, The Falcons, an Audrey Resident at New Georges and a Resident Artist at The Drama League. Originally from Portland, Oregon, MJ attended Wesleyan University and recently received an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Tickets on sale now on NCTC's website.

2014/2015 Just Theater New Play Lab Series announced

This Spring, Just Theater kicks off the 2014/15 New Play Lab Series, featuring 5 readings of new plays developed from conception to first draft.

Good Better Bested, by Jonathan Spector, directed by Molly Gelb - APRIL 27th

Punk as Fuck, by Barbara Jwanouskos, directed by Logan Ellis - APRIL 28th

Badge, by Gamal Chasten, directed by Adam Sussman - MAY 4th

Blasted Plains, by Beth Hersh, directed by Ben Randle - MAY 5th

iPap and Cucaracha! Adventures in the Dead World, by Matthew Keuter, directed by Sydney Painter - MAY 11th

All 5 readings will take place at 7pm at the Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakland, CA. $7 suggested donation.

For more information, visit Just Theater's website.

Just Theater’s New Play Lab commissions four Bay Area playwrights to work with four directors to develop full-length plays from initial conception to a staged reading of the first draft. Initially modeled on the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the goal of the Lab is to create a distinctly collaborative artistic community to support playwrights in the critical early stage of the development of a new play.

Since 2006 the Lab has grown to become one of the Bay Area's leading springboards for new work. Some of the twenty-five plays commissioned and developed in the Lab include Aaron Loeb's Ideation, which premiered at SF Playhouse and won the 2013 Glickman Award, Lauren Gunderson's Toil and Trouble which premiered at Impact Theater in 2012, Erin Bregman's Before and After which was selected for the 2013 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Jonathan Spector's In From The Cold which was a winner of Aurora Theater's Global Age Prize and premiered with Just Theater in November, and Andrew Saito's Mt. Misery which will premiere at Cutting Ball in May, as well as plays by JC Lee, Julia Jarcho, Anthony Clarvoe, Michelle Carter, Christopher Chen, Geetha Reddy and others.

2014/15 New Play Lab is made possible with generous support from the William Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation

"I Saw the Light - 'Hank Williams: Lost Highway' Opens

Douglas Morrison Theatre presents a new production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway, the popular biomusical based on the life and music of Hank Williams, by Randal Myler & Mark Herelik, directed by Ben Randle, with musical direction by Olive Mitra.

Lost Highway plays through April 26th at DMT in Hayward, CA.

MORE INFO and TICKETS HERE

"What makes Lost Highway so unique, though, is that it is more than simply a musical revue," says Randle in Lost Highway's program Director's Note. "By turns a musical celebration, a radio play and musical biography, a poetic dramatization of his life’s influences and failings, Lost Highway searches for the elusive man behind the American myth. And in doing so, uncovers a lot about both the man and the country."

Lost Highway stars Kevin Singer (Assasins at Shotgun Players; Sweeney Todd, Yeast Nation at Ray of Light Theatre) as Hank Williams and Sarah Coykendall (Bread & Circuses, Troilus and Cressida at Impact Theatre) as his wife, Audrey. The cast also features Sarah Mitchell, Tom Reardon, Dwight Mahabir, Rebecca Faiola, as well as Kyle O'Brien on fiddle and mandolin, James Touzel on bass, Dylan Collins on electric guitar, and Paul Chianese on lap steel and steel guitar.

The Lost Highway creative team features Scenic Design by Liliana Duque Pineiro, Costume Design by Valera Coble, Lighting Design by Allen Willner, Sound Design by Lawton Lovely.

'Shakespeare's R&J' Travels to Egypt, in Daring New Production

This Fall, New Conservatory Theatre Center reimagines Shakespeare's R&J, Joe Calarco's award-winning adaptation of Shakespeare's timeless play, in an all-new production set in a directed by NCTC's first Artistic Associate Ben Randle.

Shakespeare's R&J begins previews November 7, opens November 14 through December 14.

"Dare to rediscover Romeo & Juliet in this gripping 'vibrant, hot-blooded adaptation' (The New York Times)," NCTC Press describe the play. "The stakes are raised as four young men in modern-day Egypt secretly reenact the dangerous and provocative tale. 'Prepare for a bracing and brilliant shock to the system' (The Independent) as they explore love, passion and violence, amidst living in a land where revealing who you are can still be a crime."

Shakespeare's R&J cast features Taj Campbell, James Arthur M., Adam Odsess-Rubin, and Mike Sagun.

The full creative team of Shakespeare’s R&J includes scenic design by Yusuke Soi, lighting desihn by Christian Mejia, costume design by Jorge R. Hernandez, sound design by Steven Abts, and prop design by Adeline Smith.

Playwright Joe Calarco’s work on Shakespeare’s R&J earned him a Lucille Lortel Award Off-Broadway, and he also directed the play's premieres in Chicago (5 Jeff Award nominations including Best Play and Best Director) and Washington, D.C. (Helen Hayes Award nominations for Best Play and Best Director). R&J completed a celebrated run on London's West End in late 2003. Other Off-Broadway credits include Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky at Playwrights Horizons; Boy and In Transit (Drama Desk Nomination) at Primary Stages; in the absence of spring (writer/director) at Second Stage; Sarah, Plain and Tall at The Lucille Lortel. As a writer his published works include Shakespeare’s R&J, In The Absence of Spring, and Walter Cronkite is Dead. He is a Drama League Directing Fellow and Co-Artistic Director of Breaking Bread Theatre.

For tickets, visit nctcsf.org

 

Workshops begin for 'Salome, Dance For Me'; Artist Blog to Document

Last month, Ben Randle and trixxie carr completed the second workshop for their new collaboration, Salome, Dance For Me.

Salome, Dance For Me is set to premiere August 2015 at New Conservatory Theatre Center, in a co-production with Randle and where carr is in residence in NCTC's Emerging Artist Program. Randle is an alumnus of The Program and also developed and premiere Evan Johnson's Pansy there in June 2013.

The development process will be documented in an Artist Blog on NCTC's website, and can be viewed HERE.

Randle and carr's previous collaboration was the original musical Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus: A Greek Comedy Rock Epic, which played a sold-out run at CounterPULSE in 2012.

Salome, Dance For Me, is an original one-woman, glam rock adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play and Richard Strauss' opera, Salome, featuring original music by trixxie carr and celebrated emerging classical conductor Bob Mollicone, built on themes from the Strauss score. The second workshop was a Movement and Design workshop working with award-winning choregrapher and drag performance artist  Monique Jenksinson as a Dance Dramaturg, allowing the team to explore possible stagings ideas for the piece, while continuing the composing and writing process begun in an earlier May workshop.

 

Return to Never Land: 'Pansy' Fllies Back To NCTC June 2014

New Conservatory Theatre Center will present the return engagement of Pansy, a solo play by Evan Johnson in collaboration with and directed by Ben Randle, June 19-29, 2014.

Pansy premiered at NCTC in a sold-out run in June, 2013, and was originally commissioned by NCTC, as part of their Emerging Artist Program, where Johnson was in residence and Randle returned as an alum.

The return engagement is also being billed as the first stop on a planned tour for the show.

Press materials describe the play: "Shadows stir in modern day San Francisco when Michael discovers a time capsule in his basement. As Michael looks through VHS tapes, audio cassettes and wrinkled party fliers, parallels begin to emerge between his life and that of 90's gay club kid Peter Pansy."

Building on the tradition of the Queer Solo Show, Pansy uses physical theatre, shadowplay and performance art night club esthetics to heighten this historical drama.

Pansy also features video design by Zack Kasten a sound design by Teddy Hulsker, and costume design by drag performance artist Eli Francis. Resident Lighting Designer Christian Mejia and Scenic Designer Devin Kasper complete the creative team.

Evan Johnson, is a Bay Area based actor and playwright. Evan’s previous queer solo work includes Don't Feel: The Death of Dahmer (produced by 11.11 Art Group) which played to sold out houses in 2010 at Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory. Don’t Feel was featured in the SF Bay Guardian's year end review as one of the best small theatre productions of 2010. Evan has also appeared onstage in the Bay Area with Inferno Theatre Company’s The Iliad, Velvet Rage Productions Roseanne LIVE!, Naked Empire Bouffon Company SHAME!, and in New Conservatory Theatre Centers Treefall (BATCC Nomination, Best Actor in a Drama) and Slipping. He’s a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and has a background in devised performance work, clowning and physical theatre. Evan’s drag persona, Martha T. Lipton, has also appeared regularly on stage in San Francisco night clubs.

Ticketing information to be announced soon.

Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project Announces 2014 Line-up

Aurora’s international forward-looking playwriting festival, Global Age Project (GAP), has announced the prize-winners for this year's festival.GAP culminates in a series of FREE play readings, including a reading of Pulitzer-Prize finalist Kristoffer Diaz's new play, #therevolution, directed by Ben Randle.

Each GAP reading will be followed by an audience discussion of the contemporary issues raised in the work.

Aurora Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Tom Ross states, “The ninth year of The Global Age Project has brought the diverse perspectives of many new playwrights to our attention. We received over 360 script submissions, more than double the submissions we received last year, with subject matters focused primarily on home front issues, including parent and child relationships, sexual faithfulness, sexual identities, and bullying; we also received a number of relevant yet surreal political allegories. Led by GAP co-producers M. Graham Smith and Deborah Taylor, this year’s GAP script reading committee and the GAP Director’s Council sessions were filled with strongly expressed opinions and no holds barred excitement; I believe that our GAP audiences will feel the same way.”

Kristoffer Diaz is a playwright and educator living and working in Brooklyn. Full length titles include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (produced at Aurora in 2012), Welcome to Arroyo’s, and #therevolution. Awards: 2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; winner, 2011 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play; winner, 2011 OBIE Award, Best New American Play; and the inaugural Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowship from The Public Theater (2011). His work has been produced, commissioned, and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among many others.

Open seating; doors open at 7pm. Make a $25 donation to the festival to reserve a seat for one performance. $100 reserves a seat for each play.

More infortmation HERE

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 7:30pm #therevolution by Kristoffer Diaz directed by Ben Randle    MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 7:30pm Technicolor Life by Jami Brandii Directed by Marissa Wolf   MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 7:30pm Saguttarius Ponderosa by MJ Kaufman Directed by M. Graham Smith   MONDAY, MARCH 3 FEBRUARY 10, 7:30pm Welcome Home by Stephen Brown Directed by Darryl V. Jones  

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 7:30pm

#therevolution

by Kristoffer Diaz

directed by Ben Randle 

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 7:30pm

Technicolor Life

by Jami Brandii

Directed by Marissa Wolf

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 7:30pm

Saguttarius Ponderosa

by MJ Kaufman

Directed by M. Graham Smith

 

MONDAY, MARCH 3 FEBRUARY 10, 7:30pm

Welcome Home

by Stephen Brown

Directed by Darryl V. Jones

 

One-Minute Play Festival Returns for 4th Year

Playwrights Foundation and The New York One-Minute Play Festival present the Fourth-Annual San Francisco One-Minute Play Festival December 14th and 15th at The Thick House Theater, in San Francisco.

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The 4th Annual SF OMPF features brand new 90 one-minute plays by 52 of the Bay Area's growing talent pool of exceptional contemporary writers, among them are some of the most important artistic voices in the nation.

Following sold-out performances in the past three seasons, this year’s festival will be the largest, most inclusive, and most ambitious collaboration between PF and OMPF to date. The Festival also serves as a benefit for both organizations.

Directors for this year's festival are Ben Randle, Marilee Talkington, Jill MacLean-Heavey, Andrea Day, Evren Odcikin, Katja Rivera, Jeffrey Lo, Hugo Carbajal, Rebecca Longworth, Adam Sussman, & Siobhan Doherty

The full 2013 roster of playwrights whose work will be featured in the festival are Trevor Allen, Tim Bauer, William Bivins, Erin M. Bregman, Eugenie Chan, Chris Chen, Victoria Chong Der, Anthony Clarvoe, Megan Cohen, Bennett Fisher, Elizabeth Gjelten, Garret Jon Groenveld, Lauren Gunderson, Daniel Heath, Robert Henry Johnson, Lynne Kaufman, Jeffrey Lo, Aaron Loeb, Jonathan Luskin, Katie May, Patricia Milton, Marisela Treviño Orta, David Perez, Evelyn Jean Pine, Kenn Rabin, Geetha Reddy+, Kate E. Ryan+, Steven M. Salzman, Marissa Skudlarek, Jonathan Spector, Aimee Suzara, Brian Thorstenson, Arisa White, Ignacio Zulueta, Andrew Saito+, Tom Swift, Alison Luterman, A-Lan Holt, Roberta D’Alois, Carol Lashof, E.H. Benedict, Britney Fraiser, Inbal Kashtan, Blake Aarens, Robin Lynn Rodriguez, Elizabeth Spreen, Madeline Mahrer, Amelia Bethel, Abi Basch, Nick Mwaluko, Dara Silverman & Braden Marks.

Press Notes about this year's festival note, "following sold-out performances in the past two seasons, this year’s festival will be the largest, most inclusive, and most ambitious collaboration between PF and OMPF to date." The Festival also serves as a benefit for both organizations.

The One-Minute Play Festival (OMPF) is an NYC-based theatre company, founded by director/dramaturg Dominic D’Andrea, working in partnership with institutional theatres and collectives across the country who share playwright or community-specific missions. OMPF creates local playwright-focused community events, using a specific playmaking process, with the goal of promoting the spirit of radical inclusion by representing the culture of playwrights of different age, gender, race culture, and points of career. OMPF attempts to reflect the theatrical landscape of local artistic communities by creating a dialogue between the collective conscious and the individual voice.

OMPF has partnered with theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Brunswick, Atlanta, South Florida, Boston, and New York, where it is now an annual tradition.

Since 2007, OMPF has commissioned and produced close to 1,000 new one-minute plays by close to 300 playwrights using a specific playmaking methodology and process developed for this work.*

Notable OMPF Alumni include: David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Tina Howe, Rajiv Joseph, Kristoffer Diaz, Lisa Loomer, Donald Margulies, Jason Grote, Mike Daisey, Erik Ehn, Michael John Garces, Rachel Axler, Elizabeth Meriwether, Migdalia Cruz, Philip Kan Gotanda,Qui Nguyen, Craig Lucas, Michael Hollinger, and others.

Performances are Saturday, December 14 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 15th at 3pm and 8pm. The Thick House Theater is located at 1695 18th Street, SF on Potrero Hill.

For more information, visit playwrightsfoundation.org

'Pansy' to fly at NCTC in June 2013

New Conservatory Theatre Center will present Pansy, a new solo play by Evan Johnson in collaboration with and directed by Ben Randle, June 14-29, 2013.

Press materials describe the play: "Shadows stir in modern day San Francisco when Michael discovers a time capsule in his basement. As Michael looks through VHS tapes, audio cassettes and wrinkled party fliers, parallels begin to emerge between his life and that of 90's gay club kid Peter Pansy."

Evan Johnson, along with collaborator and director Ben Randle, began researching and writing Pansy for New Conservatory Theatre in 2010, as part of the Emerging Artist Program. During the play's development, Johnson also appeared in Treefall by Henry Murray, directed by Ben Randle, also at NCTC.

Building on the tradition of the Queer Solo Show, Pansy uses physical theatre, shadowplay and performance art night club esthetics to heighten this historical drama.

Pansy also features video elements created with the help of video artist, Zack Kasten and a stunning soundscape designed by Teddy Hulsker. Resident Lighting Designer Christian Mejia and Scenic Designer Devin Kasper complete the creative team.

Following each performance of Pansy an informal discussion will take place with local queer luminaries, firmly placing this theatrical work into a historical context. Like Peter Pan’s lost shadow, these discussions will re- connect this make-believe story with a sense of real-life queer lineage. The current schedule of panels include:

June 14: Frozen Time: Documentation and the Queering of Memory, Special Guests Dan Nicoletta.

June 15: Pansy Division - Fems in Leather Jackets: Queercore Music and Culture, Special Guest Jon Ginoli                 

June 21: The Shanti Project - Grace Under Fire: Honoring a Queer Hero. Special Guest: Ed Wolf (We Were Here)

June 22: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - A Nun's Work is Never Done. Special Guest Sister Roma

June 28: Early 90's Nightlife Night: Remembering Diet Popstitute. Special Guest Alvin Orloff (Klubstitute)

June 29: Queer Solo Performance: A Living History, Special Guest Louie Jenkins (University of Chichester)

Artist in Residence Evan Johnson, is a Bay Area based actor and playwright. Evan’s previous queer solo work includes Don't Feel: The Death of Dahmer (produced by 11.11 Art Group) which played to sold out houses in 2010 at Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory. Don’t Feel was featured in the SF Bay Guardian's year end review as one of the best small theatre productions of 2010. Evan has also appeared onstage in the Bay Area with Inferno Theatre Company’s The Iliad, Velvet Rage Productions Roseanne LIVE!, Naked Empire Bouffon Company SHAME!, and in New Conservatory Theatre Centers Treefall (BATCC Nomination, Best Actor in a Drama) and Slipping. He’s a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and has a background in devised performance work, clowning and physical theatre. Evan’s drag persona, Martha T. Lipton, has also appeared regularly on stage in San Francisco night clubs.

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Ray of Light's 'Sweeney Todd' Nabs 6 BATCC Nods

UPDATE: Michelle Jasso won the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (100-300 seats) for her portrayal of Beggar Woman/Lucy in Ray of Light's production of Sweeney Todd

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The Bay Area Critics Circle released their nominations for "Outstanding Achievement in Bay Area Theatre during 2012" and Ray of Light Theatre's production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd, directed by Ben Randle, received 6 nominations.

In the Musical Category for theaters with 100-300 seats, Sweeney Todd received nods for Best Ensemble; Adam Campbell for Best Principal Actor in a Musical; Shelley Crowley for Best Principal Actress in a Musical; Michelle Jasso for Best Featured Actress in a Musical; Maya Linke for Best Set Design; Robbie Cowan for Best Musical Direction.

The awards will be given out at a reception Monday, May 6, 2012 at The California Ballroom, 1736 Franklin St., Oakland CA.

SFBATCC is a private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving theatres of all types and sizes in the greater region by recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in the field.

For more information, visit sfbatcc.org

'Show Me Yours', New Musical Revue, Debuts at Alcove Theater

Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience, an original music revue directed and choreographed by Ben Randle, with musical direction by Ben Prince, opens April 5th, at the Alcove Theater.

According to press materials, Show Me Yours is "a funny, poignant musical cabaret about sex and all that comes with it", and is written by Pen and Piano, the resident company of writers and composers of New Musical Theater of San Francisco.

The cast features Chloe Condon, Tim Homsley, Jacqueline DeMuro, Sheelagh Murphy, and Tom Reardon. 

The new Alcove Theater is located at 414 Mason Street, one block from Union Square, in San Francisco. Performances are April 5th through 27th, 2013.

The stated mission of NMTSF is to develop musical theater, using Bay Area talent.  The writers and composers of Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience are members of Pen and Piano, the thirteen member resident company of writers and composers handpicked by NMTSF’s artistic director Anne Nygren Doherty to create shows specifically for its venue, The Alcove Theater.

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The group includes Peter Alexander, Anne Nygren Doherty, Paul Frantz, Jerome Gentes, Richard Hefner, Richard Isen, Richard Jennings, Sandy Kasten, Andrew Klein, Ben Prince, Denise Wharmby and Pam Winfrey.

Randle joins creative team of West Edge Opera 'Poppea'

Ben Randle has joined the creative team as Assistant Director of West Edge Opera's new production of Claudio Monteverdi's L'incoronazi di Poppea directed by West Edge Opera Artistic Director Mark Streshinsky with Musical Direction by Gilbert Martinez.

The 2013 season opener will play February 1-3, at the new state-of-the-art Performaing Arts Center at El Cerrito High School located at 540 Ashbury Avenue in El Cerrito, CA.

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Press Notes cite Poppea as "one of the earliest operas", as it was writeen in 1642. "But even in 1642," it notes, "sensuality ruled the day. Emperor Nero can’t get his mind off the beautiful and sensual Poppea. He thinks about Poppea more than he thinks about his country and especially his empress Ottavia."

Nero is Christine Brandes, international recording artist famed for her baroque portrayals. Poppea is Emma McNairy, last seen on the WEO stage as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. Otone, Poppea’s spurned lover, is played by Ryan Belongie, our countertenor from Xerxes. Drusilla is noted baroque singer Tonia D’Amelio. Ottavia is played by Erin Neff, who was a passionate Myrtle in Ensemble Paralléle's recent production of The Great Gatsby

The design team includes Production Design by Lucas Krech, Costume Design by Shannon Maxham, Hair and Make-up Design by Jason Henricks. Others on the artistic team include Elena Servi Burgess (Diction Coach), Margo Leslie (Titles), Julie Chin (Stage Manager).

West Edge's production is a reduced and revised edition created by Streshinsky and Martinez from the 4-hour original version. The production will be sung in Italian with Engllish supertitles.

Pre-performance lecture in the library beginning 45 mins prior to curtain.

West Edge Opera artistic staff includes Artistic Director Mark Streshinky and Company Music Director Jonathan Khuner. Presented in collaboration with MusicSources.

Buy tickets here.

For more information, visit westesdgeopera.org

'Show Me Yours', New Music Revue, to Debut at Alcove

New Musical Theater of San Francisco will present Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience, an original music revue by Pen and Piano, the company’s resident company of writers and composers, directed by Ben Randle, with musical direction by Ben Prince.

According to press materials, Show Me Yours is "a funny, poignant musical cabaret about sex and all that comes with it", and will play the new Alcove Theater located at 414 Mason Street, one block from Union Square, in San Francisco. Performances are April 4 through 27, 2013.

The stated mission of NMTSF is to develop musical theater, using Bay Area talent.  The writers and composers of Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience are members of Pen and Piano, the thirteen member resident company of writers and composers handpicked by NMTSF’s artistic director Anne Nygren Doherty to create shows specifically for its venue, The Alcove Theater. The group includes Peter Alexander, Anne Nygren Doherty, Paul Frantz, Jerome Gentes, Richard Hefner, Richard Isen, Richard Jennings, Sandy Kasten, Andrew Klein, Ben Prince, Denise Wharmby and Pam Winfrey. 

Cast and design team yet to be announced.

 

One-Minute Play Festival Returns

Playwrights Foundation and The New York One-Minute Play Festival present the Third-Annual San Francisco One-Minute Play Festival December 15th and 16th at The Thick House Theater, in San Francisco.

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Press notes describe the festival as "70 plays, 70 minutes".

Directors for this year's festival are Ben Randle, Paul Cello, Desdemona Chiang, Jill MacLean, Susannah Martin, Amy Clare Tasker, and Dawn Monique Williams.

The full 2012 roster of Playwrights whose work will be featured in the festival are Joan Holden, Chris Chen, Anthony Clarvoe, Lauren Gunderson, Aaron Loeb, Chinaka Hodge, J.C. Lee, Eugenie Chan, Trevor Allen, Tim Bauer, William Bivins, Erin M. Bregman, Victoria Chong Der, Megan Cohen, Bennett Fisher, Elizabeth Gjelten, Garret Jon Groenveld, Daniel Heath, Robert Henry Johnson, Lynne Kaufman, Jeffrey Lo, Jonathan Luskin, Katie May, Patricia Milton, Marisela Treviño Orta, David Perez, Evelyn Jean Pine, Kenn Rabin, Geetha Reddy, Kate E. Ryan, Steven M. Salzman, Marissa Skudlarek, Jonathan Spector, Aimee Suzara, Brian Thorstenson, Arisa White, Kim Yaged, & Ignacio Zulueta.

Press Notes about this year's festival note, "following sold-out performances in the past two seasons, this year’s festival will be the largest, most inclusive, and most ambitious collaboration between PF and OMPF to date." The Festival also serves as a benefit for both organizations.

The One-Minute Play Festival (OMPF) is an NYC-based theatre company, founded by director/dramaturg Dominic D’Andrea, working in partnership with institutional theatres and collectives across the country who share playwright or community-specific missions. OMPF creates local playwright-focused community events, using a specific playmaking process, with the goal of promoting the spirit of radical inclusion by representing the culture of playwrights of different age, gender, race culture, and points of career. OMPF attempts to reflect the theatrical landscape of local artistic communities by creating a dialogue between the collective conscious and the individual voice.

OMPF has partnered with theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Brunswick, Atlanta, South Florida, Boston, and New York, where it is now an annual tradition.

Since 2007, OMPF has commissioned and produced close to 1,000 new one-minute plays by close to 300 playwrights using a specific playmaking methodology and process developed for this work.*

Notable OMPF Alumni include: David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Tina Howe, Rajiv Joseph, Kristoffer Diaz, Lisa Loomer, Donald Margulies, Jason Grote, Mike Daisey, Erik Ehn, Michael John Garces, Rachel Axler, Elizabeth Meriwether, Migdalia Cruz, Philip Kan Gotanda,Qui Nguyen, Craig Lucas, Michael Hollinger, and others.

Performances are Saturday, December 15 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 16th at 3pm and 8pm. The Thick House Theater is located at 1695 18th Street, SF on Potrero Hill.

For more information, visit playwrightsfoundation.org