04 Mar Newsletter – February 2013


Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormWow! It has been an amazing ride over the last few months. We are finally on site at the Live Oak Theatre. In fact, we have been cleaning for about three weeks now and it is looking terrific. All of our designers and directors that have toured the facility are excited and fired up about the space. It is an amazing turning point for several nomadic theatre companies, including Virago Theatre Company, Symmetry Theatre Company and Just Theatre; and, of course, for Bay Area theatre as a whole, it’s a theatre arts center where lots of cool stuff will be happening all the time. And because we have a home now, we can upgrade our concessions. We will have a rockin’ frittata, awesome cakes, cookies and brownies as well as a cheese plate from the Cheese Board. You will be able to arrive as early as 6pm for an 8pm show and grab yourself a nosh and something tasty to drink and enjoy it all in our newly renovated lobby area, which will include an outdoor patio overlooking the gorgeous Live Oak Park. All those years of café and restaurant experience as a young actor will be paying off again. And trust me, have the frittata! You will thank me.

But what about the plays you say. You may remember how amazing I thought it was that we were able to get the rights to Sarah Ruhl’s adaption of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Well, it has happened again. Just by chance I spent the summer months in Los Angeles and stumbled upon Jeff Goldblum at the gym. Yes, seriously. He was moving fast and very focused on his workout, so I did not accost him. But the next day I was driving along Santa Monica Boulevard and saw the signs for Seminar being presented by the Center Theatre Company…starring Jeff Goldblum. He had a kind of “cat that ate the canary” grin on his face and it looked intriguing. I looked it up on line and bought tickets. What a show! I had a blast. It is a smart, funny, contemporary comedy by a female writer and has great roles for four young actors, two of which are women. Slam dunk, right? So, late one night I said “what the heck” and went on line to inquire about the rights. Two days later we had been awarded the rights. Ridiculous! And we are still researching Escanaba in da Moonlight, by Jeff Daniels, but it looks like that has not been produced professionally in the Bay Area either. Three Bay Area premieres for our 20th Anniversary Season. How cool is that?!

It is going to be exciting. I hope you will consider buying a subscription AND become a Subscriber/Donor. We lost one of our major benefactors this year and it is going to be a bit of a blow. If you know anyone who may want to help us in a big way to get the ball rolling in the new space do not hesitate to tell them to call me. The new space is a big gamble for a small company, but with your help we can ensure that it is a giant leap to the next level for TheatreFIRST.


February Newsletter Goes Out in March?!!!

We know. We apologize. We’re busy with the new space and everything…

Clean Up at Live Oak Theatre

A very special thank you to everyone who came out to our Saturday clean up parties at the Live Oak Theatre. There was a LOT of work needed on the space, but we had a couple of really good turnouts and the “to do” list is just about done. We are almost ready for the painting! Concession items have been chosen, the refrigerator is on its way from Coca Cola, the lobby is undergoing a face lift right this moment and we are moving towards having a really wonderful theatre arts center in place very soon.

Announcing Our 20th Anniversary Season

The third show of our 2013/2014 has been locked in. We have received the rights to produce the professional Bay Area premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s, Seminar. That makes three Bay Area premieres for our 20th Anniversary Season. Pretty cool.


Sarah Ruhl
August 16 through September 17, 2013

(Preview on August 15th)

Directed by Domenique Lozano

Based on the Virginia Woolf novel, Orlando by Sarah Ruhl tells the story of a young nobleman who is drawn into a love affair with Queen Elizabeth I. For a time, life at court is interesting enough, but Orlando yearns for something more. As he strives to make his way as a poet and lover, his travels keep him at the heart of a dazzling tale where gender and gender preferences shift regularly, usually with hilarious results.

The New York Theatre Wire says, Orlando is a “subtle and satiric commentary on the status of men and women”. His swashbuckling journey to define himself (herself…?) is sure to entertain and enlighten.


Escanaba in da Moonlight
Jeff Daniels
February 7 through March 9, 2014
(Preview on February 6th)

Directed by Michael Storm

You asked for comedy! Well, many of you did. Jeff Daniels’ tale of the Soady Family Deer Camp and its kooky inhabitants makes for a truly hilarious evening.

The story follows Reuben Soady’s quest to “bag” his first buck. At 43, Rueben is on the verge of becoming a disgrace to himself and his Soady heritage, and is known around town as “the Buckless Yooper”. He is committed to changing his luck, though, with a little help from his Native American wife. But on the eve of the 1989 hunting season, these yoopers are in for a few strange surprises…for all is not well in the Upper U.P.


Theresa Rebeck
June 20 through July 20
(Preview on June 19th)

Director TBD

Hot off of a successful run on Broadway and in L.A., Seminar by Theresa Rebeck is a contemporary and intelligent comedy about four young writers who hire a hotshot copy editor, Leonard, to help them with their work. What follows is a satirical look at how our egos can both help and hinder us in our search for love, career and a meaningful life.

Leonard is all about the truth and — unfortunately for our young writers — he wields it like a scalpel. He is direct, merciless, and a HUGE pain in the ass. As classroom relationships develop and egos collide, Seminar races toward an unexpected and insightful conclusion that’s certain to keep you talking on the way home.

Look for more information about these shows, directors and casts on the website in the coming months. Tickets and subscriptions will be available online very soon.

Grant Writer Needed

With the new space we have to step up our game in the grant writing department. If you know anyone with grant writing experience who would like to contribute please send them our way. This will be a key component to maintaining the new space. As of now, as most of you know, TheatreFIRST is totally financed by box office receipts and private donations, we receive NO government or foundation funding.

Please Make a Donation Today

We are nearing the end of the year and it is a good time to remind you all that your donation to TheatreFirst is tax deductible. Headed into a new space which will need a lot of work, we need your help now more than ever.

Send a Check to PO Box 28302, Oakland, CA 94604

Click the donate button here

You can also Donate an Automobile to the cause. All you have to do is pick up the phone. See website for details or give us a call at 510.436.5085

Live Oak Theatre Wish List

There are several specific things that your donation can help us with:

Big ticket items…

New ticketing system by Vendini ($1,875)

Painting upgrades ($1,500)

Smaller ticket items…

Small refrigerator

Coffee Air Pots (quantity 3-4)

Small café style tables for lobby with chairs (quantity 3-4)

Narrow restaurant style recycling bins

Two five foot by 1.5-2.0 feet wide fold up tables

Tupperware sets for concessions storage

Sandwich boards (quantity 2-3)

Long, narrow “fake” flower boxes (quantity 3-4)

Where are They Now…?

Paz Pardo (Hanging Georgia) is back in Brooklyn, NY, directing her new work Duct Tape Girl and Fetish Chick Conquer The World, a play for a living room about superheroes and loneliness.

Karol Luque (Welcome Home Jenny Sutter) will appear in a production of Copenhagen in May.


Phoebe Moyer (Anton in Show Business) is directing a new piece by Martin Russell for Playlab in April.

Nancy Carlin (Welcome Home Jenny Sutter) is appearing in a wild production of Peer Gynt at UC Santa Cruz March 1-10. http://theatre.ucsc.edu/season/2012-13/peer-gynt

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