21 Apr Newsletter — April 2015


Artistic Director’s Corner

Storm HS 1510 smallInevitably the question comes, “Why produce this play?” And I think the best answer I can offer is that for six years I have been the AD here at TheatreFIRST and I always pick plays that are best for the company. This year I thought, “why not do something you’ve really wanted to work on for a long time”. I didn’t think it would be Glengarry Glen Ross. I was just in another of my many phases where I was reading it for fun. But as people saw it sitting out and they told me how much they would like to see us do that one, I realized I should try and figure out if we could.

The first road block was that I always felt you needed 6 or 7 Equity caliber actors. And now that we are mostly finished with rehearsals and we enter opening week, I know I was right about that. The problem is, like so many small companies in the Bay Area we are faced with some serious restrictions and substantial costs associated with the hiring of Equity actors. Perhaps I will address that in a subsequent AD Corner, but suffice it to say that our choice of scripts can be limited at times. But with Glengarry Glen Ross I knew we would never be able to afford to do it with 6 union actors. So I wasn’t considering it until I realized that I do have 4 to 5 non-equity actor friends who were more than capable and that we only needed three of them to be available and interested. I made the calls, they were available, and we dialed Glengarry Glen Ross into the first slot and announced a season. Without this stellar cast we would not have produced this play. That is for sure.

Last year we did three very risky plays, two of which were brand new plays. This season we wanted to lead off strong and with no doubts. Don’t get me wrong Glengarry Glen Ross is an extremely difficult play to produce and very risky, but I didn’t want the script to be a question mark. And it is not. You may not like David Mamet, you may not care for these characters (and you are not really supposed to), but without question this is one of the best American plays ever written. That was a comfort to me and as good a reason as any to produce a play. It fits perfectly with our commitment to bring you great scripts, with awesome (local) actors, in an intimate setting at affordable prices. I mean, come on, this year you can get four great productions for $65. Shows that feature directors and actors who also work with companies like Aurora, SF Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company and The Magic, among others. That’s an average ticket price of $16.25. Ridiculousness people! If you are a senior or under the age of 30 years old it is an average ticket price of $10, which is the price for students. We hope you will bring people with you to the theatre and join us for this amazing night of theatre.


Opening Night of Glengarry Glen Ross Almost Sold Out


This Sunday night the 26th at 5pm is the opening performance of Glengarry Glen Ross and we are just about sold out. If you plan to join us please go on line now and purchase your tickets. Please note this is a special opening date for TheatreFIRST.

IndieGoGo Campaign Underway

Please consider a donation to our IndieGoGo campaign to help support the amazing artists working on Glengarry Glen Ross. If everyone who sees the video donates $25 we make our goal and close the gap in our budget. We would also like to ask that you circulate the campaign link to all of your friends, family members and co-workers as you can never be sure who will be interested in making a donation, but everyone who sees the video is likely to become interested in attending the production. And that is the greatest gift after all– butts in the seats!

Please click for Glengarry’s Indiegogo fundraising perks, including ticket offers.

As always, your support, whatever form it takes, is greatly appreciated.

Season Subscription Forms Available Online

Season subscription forms are available for download now at theatrefirst.com. We will not be mailing this form out this year, unfortunately. We hope you are able to download, fill out the form and send it back in to us via the mail. Subscribers get reserved seating at all events including the Free Shakespeare in the Park show AND The Hawkmoon Theatre Company bonus show (read more below). If you need further assistance or you would like to pick up a hard copy at the theatre, please call us at 510-981-8150.

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Bonus Show For Subscribers

Another of our “sister companies” is bringing a show to the Live Oak Theatre and they have offered free tickets to any and all of our subscribers. The play is The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, Ireland’s most recent superstar playwright. It is set on Christmas Eve in Baldoyle a coastal suburb north of Dublin City where James “Sharky” Harkin attempts to stay off the bottle during the holidays as he contends with his irascible brother Richard and his own haunted conscience. But Richard is committed to celebrating the season with a cast of quirky and endearing characters. One by one the party grows and the ensuing card game has life or death ramifications due to the addition of a mysterious stranger from Sharky’s past.

Nominated for multiple Tony Awards as well as the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play, The Seafarer promises to be the high point of your holiday season entertainment. It stars Kevin Karrick (Stones in his Pockets, Escanaba in da Moonlight and this season’s Glengarry Glen Ross, (R-Below)) and his partner in crime from Stones in his Pockets, TheatreFIRST Artistic Associate Clive Worsley (L-Below).


Subscribe to TheatreFIRST’s 2015/2016 today and get in on all of the fun!

Up Next At The Live Oak Theatre


Remember Reuben Soady from last season’s Escanaba in da Moonlight? Well, he has written a very funny play called Demetrius Unbound which is a sequel to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Those of you that go back with TheatreFIRST may remember a staged reading of this play which appeared as part of our FIRSTRead series a few years back at the Berkeley City Club. Soren Oliver (L-Above), the playwright, and his company Bare Flag bring this delightful tale to the Live Oak Theatre in July of this summer. More information to follow in the May newsletter.

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