25 Sep Newsletter – September 2011


Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormThose of you whom I have talked to in the lobby know that the first three years of my tenure at TheatreFIRST was going to be spent experimenting with different things. We might experiment with our production processes behind the scenes or we might experiment with the way we do things on stage. Hanging Georgia is part of that experimental chain and, perhaps, the crown jewel. For the first time we have hired a director with whom I was not familiar prior to this show. Jake Margolin directs predominantly abstract theatre, and he works for an experimental company in New York: the TEAM. Now, we have done plays with elements of abstract theatre, certainly; But none of our plays have lived exclusively in that world. I was drawn to the idea that a story about an abstract painter could be told using abstract theatre as the format for that story. Sounds like fun, and it is!

We had the designer run-through of Hanging Georgia last week and it went extremely well. The designer run-through occurs after the staging and blocking has been completed and the actors are mostly “off book”. The designers see the run-through to make the necessary adjustments to their work and provide support for the concepts they now see coming to fruition. It is an exciting evening, and we got some great feedback from the designers. The design team, which features T1 regulars Martin Flynn (Set), Devon LaBelle (Props) and Ryan Lee Short (Sound), along with newcomers Selina Young (Lighting) and Nick Vaughan (Costumes), have come up with some amazing ideas.

As most of you know, the schedule that TheatreFIRST works on provides about half the rehearsal hours that the larger houses have to put their shows together; And to be where we are now–halfway through the rehearsal period–is very, very impressive. The Artistic Director is very pleased–I have it on good authority. Now, we move ahead with the development of the piece and prepare the actors for tech week.

One of the other things we are experimenting with on this production is upping our marketing game. Hopefully everyone is familiar with our IndieGoGo campaign by now, and you will help send people to the site to check out our promotional video about the production. This will help us raise much-needed additional funding, and help promote ticket sales.


Thanks everyone! And now, go buy your tickets for Hanging Georgia!!!

IndieGoGo Video Campaign is Launched

Hey Kids, there is a great new way to turn people on to TheatreFIRST and one that helps us raise some much needed additional funding to pay for this amazing co-production. The website is called IndieGoGo and if you are familiar with Kickstarter it works pretty much the same way… go to the site, punch “Hanging Georgia” into the search line, and you can watch our promotional video about BootStrap and how the piece has been developed. This site also allows people to make contributions to the campaign to help us reach our goal. It’s fun and educational!

The important thing, however, is to send this link to your friends, family and co-workers, because this kind of campaign only works if we get the word out. But, of course, even if people do not make a donation, we are reaching them with information that may pique their interest and get them to the show, which is also important!

Opening night of Hanging Georgia is sold out!!!

Get Your Tickets Now For Hanging Georgia!!!
Our next production is a world premiere co-production with BootStrap Theatre Foundation and is not part of the 2011/2012 season, so be sure you go to BrownPaperTickets.com and get your tickets for Hanging Georgia, about the life and work of Georgia O’Keeffe. Hanging Georgia opens Saturday, October 8th, 2011–but we are all sold out on that night!!!

If you can, purchase your tickets for Sunday, October 9th at 5pm as we will have the San Francisco Chronicle’s theatre reviewer Robert Hurwitt in the house. We always like the press to be in attendance when the house is full!!!

An ensemble-based piece with movement and live music, Sharmon J. Hilfinger’s abstract theatrical work delves into the complex relationship between iconic American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz, 23 years her senior. Stieglitz and O’Keeffe’s passionate coupling in life and work put them at the center of the Modern American Art movement of the early Twentieth Century, where O’Keeffe both struggles and triumphs as one of the most successful female artists in history.

This TheatreFIRST and Bootstrap Theatre Foundation co-production features music by Joan McMillen, and the multicultural ensemble includes Paz Pardo as Georgia O’Keeffe and TheatreFIRST Artistic Director Michael Storm* as Alfred Stieglitz.

(*Member, AEA)

Season update

Just a reminder for you to check with your TheatreFIRST friends and make sure they are receiving the monthly newsletter; as you are. Subscribers need to know that this show, Hanging Georgia, is not part of a season subscription package and that they must go to brownpapertickets.com and purchase tickets.

Supporting the future of TheatreFIRST

Christina Chan has us rockin’ on Facebook and Twitter!!! And in fact a few weeks ago we received a notification from BrownPaperTickets that if you purchased your Hanging Georgia tickets before the end of August you would receive free tickets from BPT for other events!!! Super cool swag!!! We immediately sent that out across the FB and Twitter wires.

The newsletter is the ultimate place for information, but please help us spread the word about our Facebook and Twitter pages. Especially to the young folks!!!

Hanging Georgia casting is complete

Our world premiere co-production with BootStrap Theatre Foundation, the wonderful group who brought us Tell It Slant about the life and work of Emily Dickinson, is under way! This exciting new play about the life and work of Georgia O’Keeffe promises to be different than anything T1 has done to date.

Casting is complete and joining the Slanters Ensemble which includes Paz Pardo (as Georgia O’Keeffe), Nick Allen, Juliet Strong and Bear Capron are Roy Landaverde (from The Grapes of Wrath), Claire Slattery, Michael Storm* (as Alfred Stieglitz), and Maryssa Wanlass.

(*Member, AEA)

Post Show Discussions Added

There will be three post show discussions with writer, composer and cast immediately following the first three Sunday matinees (5pm curtain) on October 9th, 16th and 23rd.

More information, cast bios, and photographs are on the website now. Check it out!

Tickets are on sale now at www.BrownPaperTickets.com

Remember, the Thick House is an intimate venue and we have to accommodate the following of two successful theatre companies. You will want to purchase tickets now! We cannot stress this enough. There is no possibility of an extension at the Thick House.

Don’t Forget You Can Now Donate Your Car to TheatreFIRST!

Charitable Auto Resources is now accepting automobile donations on behalf of TheatreFIRST! And remember, 70% of the proceeds from the sale of your automobile go directly to T1. Donations can be made by phoning 877-537-5277 or by going to our website www.theatrefirst.com and submitting the online form located at the bottom of our “Donate” Page.

Town Hall Theatre presents Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapine Agile

One of our favorite theatre companies, Town Hall Theatre presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin, which opened last Saturday to big laughs! Directed by Lisa Anne Porter.
September 22 – October 15, 2011

“Why do all the nuts show up in one evening?”

In this intelligent and touching farce from one of America’s most loved comedians (Steve Martin), Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein meet in a Paris café and muse upon the nature of life, love and creativity.

This show features Clive Worsley (Stones in His Pockets) and Beth Deitchman (Anton in Show Business) and is directed by Lisa Anne Porter (Assistant Director on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)

Where are they now?

Ryan Tasker (Grapes of Wrath) is playing Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at Carmel Shakes this summer. http://www.pacrep.org/RomeoandJuliet

Martin Flynn (Set Designer) has been busy designing sets for Sweeney Todd at the Berkeley Playhouse (performing at Ashby Stage), directed by Jon Tracy. He also designed Of Dice and Men directed by Melissa Hillman at Impact opening August 27.

Jon Tracy (Grapes director, Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter actor) directed The Tempest at Marin Shakespeare, currently running. http://www.marinshakespeare.org/

Lisa Anne Porter (R&G Assistant Director) will be directing the Steve Martin classic, Picasso at the Lapin Agile for our good friends out at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. That show will include some familiar faces including Beth Deitchman from Anton in Show Business and Clive Worsley from Stones in His Pockets. http://www.thtc.org/

Phoebe Moyer (Anton) will be directing Broadway Bound in January for the Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond. http://www.masquers.org/

Michael Barrett Austin (Grapes) will be appearing in The Internationalist with Just Theatre at the Ashby Stage, November 4th through the 20th. http://www.justtheatre.org/

Mina Morita (Seven Staged Reading Director) will be directing The Nature Line, an original play written by emerging playwright J.C. Lee.

Alex Hersler (Grapes) is appearing as Ferdinand in The Tempest at Marin Shakespeare directed by Jon Tracy, running August 19th through September 25th. http://www.marinshakespeare.org/

Jerry Metzker (Marketing Volunteer) will be presenting his one man show, Mercy Buckets, at the SF Fringe Festival this year. Performances are Friday, September 9th at 7pm, Saturday, September 10th at 1pm, Monday, September 12th at 7pm, Saturday September 17th at 7:30 pm, Tickets are $12.99 and available at:

Danielle Levin (Grapes) is appearing at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in Man of Rock: http://www.nymf.org/module-ShowManager-display-sid-1759.html

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