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Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival Mini-Reading Series (March 7 – May 30)

Every Monday Through May 30th.
Monday, May 30, 2022 - 7:00 pm | Cost: FREE*
*RSVP Required. Donations encouraged and accepted.

Brava Theater | 2781 24th St, San Francisco, CA

Event Details

Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival Mini-Reading Series (March 7 – May 30)

Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival (baWTF)
March 1 – May 30, 2022

Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival Presents:
2022 Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival Mini-Festival

Bay Area-wide: In preparation for a full festival in 2023, baWTF presents two play reading series taking place over every Monday in March, April, and May, 2022
BIWOC+ Reading Series (1st/3rd Mondays)
2 chances to see each of 3 brand new plays by exciting, local women+ playwrights of color
1st Mondays at Brava Theatre Center, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco
3rd Mondays at Aurora Theater, 2081 Addison Street, Berkeley

Classical Women Writers Reading Series (2nd/4th/5th Mondays)
7 plays from pivotal women writing soon after and/or in response to Shakespeare
2 plays online only + 1 each in Berkeley, Livermore, Orinda, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz
See following pages for Calendar, Locations, Playwrights & Plays

All readings start at 7pm
All readings are Free
Seating limited: reserve your free ticket through Eventbrite

BIWOC+ Reading Series
Our Black, Indigenous, Women+ of Color (BIWOC+) Reading Series introduces exciting, timely new work from BIWOC playwrights and directors whose work needs to be seen. Curated by longtime Bay Area director Kathryn Seabron, this series features one playwright each month: Ai Aida (March), Nirmala Nataraj (April), and Tracy Baxter (May).

Each play is read on the first Monday of a month at SF’s Brava Theater Center and returns the 3rd Monday of the same month at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre. Two chances to see a play evolve.

Classical Woman Writers Reading Series
Our Classical Women Writers (CW) Reading Series explores the foremothers of today’s writers to foster dialogue between generations of playwrights. Because Shakespeare Festivals remain the country’s most inequitably cast companies, this year we highlight women writing immediately after (or in response to) Shakespeare—plays that could fit seamlessly into any Shakespeare season nationwide.

This 7-play series includes presentations from Access Classics, Aurora Theatre Company, SPARC (Shakespeare & Performing Arts Regional Company, formerly known as Livermore Shakespeare Festival), Marin Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and the founder of the former all-female Shakespeare company Woman’s Will (at California Shakespeare Theater). Plays/locations on next page.

Why Readings?
In 2020, Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival recruited 40 theatre companies to create an intersectional festival showcasing the Bay’s wealth of women/trans/non-gender-conforming theatre artists. Large, enthusiastic audiences flocked to two events before COVID shut us down (but you can still hear 2020’s 15-episode podcast series at baWTF’s Soundcloud Channel or YouTube Channel). This larger Festival will return when COVID* has diminished further.

As we ease ourselves back into public gatherings, we know people crave smaller, gentler interactions with art, ones that offer more direct, active connections and conversations. Readings allow us to erase the boundaries between stage and seats to explore new texts together, sparking conversations about what matters to us all right here and right now, and building relationships that make the difference as these plays find their way to full productions. At a full production, audiences get to see magic made. At a reading, audiences get to make magic with us as we get a play made.

*COVID protocols, including masks & proof of vax, will be in place for all in-person programming.

**A Note on Intersectionality:
baWTF works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all.
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2 of 2

2022 baWTF MINI-FESTIVAL

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Every Monday, March through May, 2022

All readings begin at 7pm
All readings are FREE (donations accepted): RESERVE HERE

THE PLAYS:
Monday, March 7 (BIWOC+)
Nevermind
by Ai Aida
directed by Keiko Shimosato Carreiro

Stuck with a crazy monk. Haunted by grandpa’s ghost… This is not what she signed up for!

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

Monday, March 14 (CW)
Witchcraft (1836)
by Joanna Baillie
directed by Lesley Currier

Scotland appears to be replete with witches, but when a “good” woman ends up accused, her friends search their souls to understand what happened and figure out what can be done.
Presented by Marin Shakespeare Company
This reading is online only at the baWTF YouTube Channel

Monday, March 21 (BIWOC+)
Nevermind
by Ai Aida
directed by Keiko Shimosato Carreiro

Stuck with a crazy monk. Haunted by grandpa’s ghost… This is not what she signed up for!

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley
1 of 4
Monday, March 28 (CW)
The Innocent Mistress (1697)
by Mary Pix
directed by Heather Ondersma

Lovers who cannot touch must depend on adventurous friends who cannot keep their hands off each other in this lusty, cross dressing romp through 17th century London.

Presented by Access Classics
This reading is online only at the baWTF YouTube Channel

Monday, April 4 (BIWOC+)
Set, or People of the Shifting Sand
by Nirmala Nataraj

Tallulah Beltran is a clinical psychologist with an uncanny ability to gain the trust of notorious inmates and uncover valuable information about their crimes. Her world changes when she is asked to interrogate a genderless shapeshifter who is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of at least a dozen other inmates. Will Tallulah uncover the truth, or will she fall prey to a high-stakes game that will result in nothing less than her own erasure?

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

Monday, April 11 (CW)
The Busy Body (1709)
by Susanne Centlivre
directed by Kirsten Brandt

Young lovers, bent on outwitting their tyrannical fathers and guardians, find their plans repeatedly overturned by a well-intentioned young man who can not stay out of everyone’s business. One of the most popular comedies of the early 18th century, The Busy Body explores the legalities of what constitutes a marriage.

Presented by Santa Cruz Shakespeare
Santa Cruz LocationTBD

Monday, April 18 (BIWOC+)
Set, or People of the Shifting Sand
by Nirmala Nataraj

Tallulah Beltran is a clinical psychologist with an uncanny ability to gain the trust of notorious inmates to uncover valuable information about their crimes and victims. Her world changes when she is asked to interrogate a genderless shapeshifter who is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of at least a dozen other inmates. Will Tallulah uncover the truth, or will she fall prey to a high-stakes game that will result in nothing less than her own erasure?

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley
2 of 4
Monday, April 25 (CW)
Winter’s Passage
by Jennifer Le Blanc
directed by Jennifer Le Blanc

A companion piece to Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale (circa 1609 – 1611), Winter’s Passage imagines a history for the women characters before Shakespeare’s story began and explores what happens during the play’s lost 16 years. What is the nature of love, friendship, forgiveness, knowledge, and hope? What happens after death, in the undiscovered country—and what if some travelers could return?

Presented by SPARC (Shakespeare and Performing Arts Regional Company, formerly Livermore Shakespeare Festival)
SPARC Studio
2172 Railroad Avenue, Livermore

Monday, May 2 (BIWOC+)
Kudzu 2012
by Tracy Baxter

All the spades-playing, weed-smoking, fish-fry-having Warfield family wants is to live out their ordinary lives in the working-class community they’ve always called home. But an energy drink-chugging tech “visionary” is determined to reinvent their neighborhood using a people-curation app he built—and the powers that be are on his side. Who’ll be left standing? And just what the hell is in that smoothie?

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

Monday, May 9 (CW)
Woman-written response to Shakespeare TBA

Presented by San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
San Francisco Location TBD

Monday May 16 (BIWOC+)
Kudzu 2012
by Tracy Baxter

All the spades-playing, weed-smoking, fish-fry-having Warfield family wants is to live out their ordinary lives in the working-class community they’ve always called home. But an energy drink-chugging tech “visionary” is determined to reinvent their neighborhood using a people-curation app he built—and the powers that be are on his side. Who’ll be left standing? And just what the hell is in that smoothie?

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley
3 of 4

Monday, May 23 (CW)
The Emperor of the Moon (1687)
by Aphra Behn
presented/directed by Erin Merritt
(of the former all-female Shakespeare company Woman’s Will)

When a gullible father stands in the way of four thwarted lovers, they devise a visit from a magical moon delegation to change his mind, in this irresistible, commedia-inspired, sci-fi farce. How can a dad say no to an Emperor, especially one whose sex-life he’s been trying so hard to watch?

at California Shakespeare Theater
​​100 California Theater Way, Orinda

Bonus 5th week reading: Monday, May 30 (CW)
Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs (Valor, agravio y mujer) (circa 1630s)
by Ana Caro de Mallén
directed by Dawn Monique Williams

When Leonor’s womanizing lover Don Juan lets her down, she sets out to put him in his place. Dressed as the dashing “Leonardo,” our heroine tosses bon mots like bombs and manages more masterful maneuvers than a “real man” can handle, leaving “gender” and “honor” in the dust in this wild, witty, twist-filled comedy of intrigue.

Presented by Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley

4 of 4

2022 baWTF MINI-FESTIVAL

FEATURED PLAYWRIGHTS

BIWOC+ Reading Series
Ai Aida (Nevermind, March 7 and 21) is a Japanese-born playwright, poet, illustrator and multidisciplinary theater-maker who is a winner of the Austin International Poetry Festival and the Leonard Isaacson Award Browning Monologue Contest and a semifinalist of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Beverly Hills Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition. Ai’s plays have been produced or staged-read at the Shelton Theater, Exit Theater, San Francisco Olympians Festival, Z-Space, Piano Fight, Theatre of Yugen, Fringe Festival, Breach Once More, 9×9 Festival and GreenHouse Festival; and poetry, short stories and illustrations have appeared in various literary magazines as well as in National Geographic, which published Öyku Denizi/The Sea of Stories, a children’s book she wrote and illustrated. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.

Tracy Baxter (Kudzu 2012, May 2 and 16) is a writer based in Oakland. A 2021 Brady Playwrighting Fellow at 3Girls Theatre, her script Kudzu 2012 was a semifinalist selection in the 2018 Bay Area Playwright Foundations New Play Festival and a finalist selection in the 2020 Screencraft Stage Play contest. She has performed with The Ninjaz of Drama, Theater of Others, and the venerable Actors of Ensemble of Berkeley, where she also just made her directorial debut, helming a gripping and well-received online production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat.

Nirmala Nataraj (Set, or People of the Shifting Sand, April 4 and 18) is a New York–based writer, editor, book midwife, theater artist, and mythmaker. Her work lives at the crossroads of creativity, mythology, storytelling, and collective liberation. As a multi-genre collaborator and creative facilitator, she believes in generative solutions in the midst of chaos, the coexistence of messiness and magic, and breathtaking beauty as a natural consequence of this wild ride. She is trained in a variety of methods of narrative-based collective healing, including Family Constellations, Psychodrama, Playback Theatre, and Theatre of the Oppressed. Some of the passions she brings to facilitation include movement (especially 5 Rhythms), guided visualization, and creative writing from unexpected prompts.

1 of 3
Classical Women Reading Series
Joanna Baillie (1762 – 1851—Witchcraft, March 14) was a Scottish poet and dramatist who wrote mostly on topics of morality and centered women—often middle-aged women—and their issues in her plays. Encouraged by her brother, she published her first book of poetry in her late 20s and, despite waiting until her other male relatives had died to publish her first plays, she came to be called by fellow author/friend John Neal the “female Shakespeare of a later age.”

Aphra Behn (1640? – 1689—The Emperor of the Moon, May 23) was an English Restoration-era playwright, poet, prose writer and translator and spy for the restored King Charles II. After the death of her husband, she turned to writing to earn a living and, under the pastoral pseudonym Astrea, became one of the first English women to earn her living by the pen, scandalizing England with her feminist (for the time) and sex-positive themes. Her plays remained popular for decades, inspiring many women to write, including her most immediate literary heirs: Susanna Centlivre, Mary Pix, Delariviere Manley, and Catherine Trotter.

Ana Caro de Mallén (1600? – 1652?—Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs, May 30) Though little is certain of her origins, scholars believe Ana María Caro de Mallén y Torres was born a Moorish-Muslim slave and adopted into a Christian family. Growing up to become one of the first Spanish women to earn her living as a writer, her plays are easily recognizable by their nuanced portraits of people from all strata of society and their focus on the hopes, dreams, and challenges of her female characters. Her plays are unafraid to address the political matters or current events and often challenge Spain’s deeply ingrained patriarchal structures.

Susanna Centlivre (1669 – 1723—The Busy Body, April 11) was an actress, poet, and playwright who was known as The Second Woman of the Stage, after trailblazer Aphra Behn. One of the most influlential female playwrights of the 18th century, her plays (most of them written under the pseudonym R.M.) remained popular well into the 19th century. A successful Theatre Royal, Drury Lane actress known for breeches roles, she wrote her first produced play, The Perjur’d Husband, in 1700, and unafraid to tackle tough topics such as politics and women’s position in society, thenceforth wrote a play a year until her death.

Jennifer LeBlanc (Winter’s Passage, April 25) is an actor, director, playwright/adaptor, and teaching artist who received her MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory and is now an Associate Artist with SPARC (formerly the Livermore Shakespeare Festival) and Perspective Theatre Company (formerly Arabian Shakespeare Festival). Her adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion received its world-premiere at San Jose Stage Company and her adaptation of Defoe’s Moll Flanders received its world-premiere at Pacific Repertory Theatre. She also wrote We Made Bread, a one-woman show adapted from interviews, for the Arabian Shakespeare Festival. She is part of Playground’s Writers Pool and is a frequent contributor of short plays to Shotz SF.

2 of 3

Mary Pix (1666 – 1709—The Innocent Mistress, March 28) Pix’s well-regarded comedies and tragedies were known for featuring 7 – 8 roles for women as opposed to the 2 or 3 men wrote, and she and her colleagues Catherine Trotter and Delariviere Manley were popular enough in their era to have been parodied in an anonymous 1696 play The Female Wits. The following year, a company to which she had submitted a script plagiarized it, and she never again published a play with her own name on it, making attribution of her late work a challenge.

3 of 3

The Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival (baWTF) exists to model and promote gender parity, diversity and inclusion on- and off-stage in all 9 Bay Area counties. As a taste of what’s to come in 2023, this year’s mini-festival features two reading series, every Monday, March – May, 2022:
BIWOC+ Reading Series (1st/3rd Mondays: 2 chances to see each of 3 brand new plays by exciting, local women+ playwrights of color)
Classical Reading Series (2nd/4th/5th Mondays: 7 plays from pivotal 17th & 18th c writers)

Join us for our opening launch party and fundraiser on March 7th, 2022 at Brava Theater Center, featuring the reading of playwright Ai Aida’s Nevermind.

Our Black, Indigenous, Women+ of Color (BIWOC+) Reading Series introduces exciting, timely new work from Bay Area playwrights and directors of color who are ready for a larger audience. Thank you to site sponsors Brava Theater Center and Aurora Theatre Company.

Our Classical Women (CW) Reading Series explores the foremothers of today’s writers to foster dialogue between generations of playwrights. Because Shakespeare Festivals remain the country’s most inequitably cast companies, this year we highlight women writing immediately after (or in response to) Shakespeare—plays that could fit seamlessly into any Shakespeare season nationwide. This 7-play series includes presentations from Access Classics, Aurora Theatre Company, SPARC (Shakespeare & Performing Arts Regional Company, formerly known as Livermore Shakespeare Festival), Marin Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and the founder of the former all-female Shakespeare company Woman’s Will (at California Shakespeare Theater).

The festival spans International Women’s Day, International Transgender Day of Visibility and SWAN DAY (Support Women Artists Now). All events are written and directed by women+** (NB, NGC, trans) practitioners, with performers and designers at least 50% women+ and at least 50% BIIPOC. The festival’s producing team (called The Instigators) is led in 2022 by Michaela Goldhaber (Lead Instigator/Classical Reading Series Producer), Erin Merritt (Festival Producer), and Kathryn Seabron (BIWOC+ Reading Series Producer).

The Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival is supported by WomenArts, the RHE Charitable Foundation and hundreds of individual donors. We are a member of Intersection for the Arts, a historic arts nonprofit that provides people working in arts and culture with fiscal sponsorship and resources to grow.

“There is a power and urgency in our spirit right now as women, and what better way to celebrate that than through language, ritual, and song. Our voices matter!” —Margo Hall

**A Note on Inclusion:
Women: We recognize the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. baWTF welcomes anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also welcome those who identify as non-binary. We use the term “women+” to represent the expansive definition of women to include women+, womyn, womxn, wimmin, womin, woomin and trans persons.

Intersectionality: baWTF works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all.

2022 baWTF
MINI-FESTIVAL

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Every Monday, March through May, 2022!

All readings begin at 7pm
All readings are free (donations accepted)

Opening Launch Party & Fundraiser
Monday, March 7, 2022—6:30pm
Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco
Price: $15-30 (fundraiser only—entrance to the reading of Nevermind is free)

THE PLAYS:
Monday, March 7 (BIWOC+)
Nevermind
by Ai Aida
directed by Keiko Shimosato Carreiro

Stuck with a crazy monk. Haunted by grandpa’s ghost… This is not what she signed up for!

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

Monday, March 14 (CW)
Witchcraft (1836)
by Joanna Baillie
directed by Lesley Currier

Scotland appears to be replete with witches, but when a “good” woman ends up accused, her friends search their souls to understand what happened and figure out what can be done.

Presented by Marin Shakespeare Company
This reading is online only at the baWTF YouTube Channel

Monday, March 21 (BIWOC+)
Nevermind
by Ai Aida
directed by Keiko Shimosato Carreiro

Stuck with a crazy monk. Haunted by grandpa’s ghost… This is not what she signed up for!

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley

Monday, March 28 (CW)
The Innocent Mistress (1697)
by Mary Pix
directed by Heather Ondersma

Lovers who cannot touch must depend on adventurous friends who cannot keep their hands off each other in this lusty, cross dressing romp through 17th century London.

Presented by Access Classics
This reading is online only at the baWTF YouTube Channel

Monday, April 4 (BIWOC+)
Set, or People of the Shifting Sand
by Nirmala Nataraj

Tallulah Beltran is a clinical psychologist with an uncanny ability to gain the trust of notorious inmates and uncover valuable information about their crimes. Her world changes when she is asked to interrogate a genderless shapeshifter who is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of at least a dozen other inmates. Will Tallulah uncover the truth, or will she fall prey to a high-stakes game that will result in nothing less than her own erasure?

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

Monday, April 11 (CW)
The Busy Body (1709)
by Susanne Centlivre
directed by Kirsten Brandt

Young lovers, bent on outwitting their tyrannical fathers and guardians, find their plans repeatedly overturned by a well-intentioned young man who can not stay out of everyone’s business. One of the most popular comedies of the early 18th century, The Busy Body explores the legalities of what constitutes a marriage.

Presented by Santa Cruz Shakespeare Company
Venue TBD

Monday, April 18 (BIWOC+)
Set, or People of the Shifting Sand
by Nirmala Nataraj

Tallulah Beltran is a clinical psychologist with an uncanny ability to gain the trust of notorious inmates to uncover valuable information about their crimes and victims. Her world changes when she is asked to interrogate a genderless shapeshifter who is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of at least a dozen other inmates. Will Tallulah uncover the truth, or will she fall prey to a high-stakes game that will result in nothing less than her own erasure?

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley

Monday, April 25 (CW)
Winter’s Passage
by Jennifer Le Blanc
directed by Jennifer Le Blanc

A companion piece to Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale (circa 1609 – 1611), Winter’s Passage imagines a history before Shakespeare’s story began and explores what happens at Court in the play’s lost 16 years. What is the nature of love, friendship, forgiveness, knowledge, and hope? What happens after death, in the undiscovered country—and what if some travelers could return?

Presented by SPARC (Shakespeare and Performing Arts Regional Company, formerly Livermore Shakespeare Festival)
SPARC Studio
2172 Railroad Avenue, Livermore

Monday, May 2 (BIWOC+)
Kudzu 2012
by Tracy Baxter

All the spades-playing, weed-smoking, fish-fry-having Warfield family wants is to live out their ordinary lives in the working-class community they’ve always called home. But an energy drink-chugging tech “visionary” is determined to reinvent their neighborhood using a people-curation app he built—and the powers that be are on his side. Who’ll be left standing? And just what the hell is in that smoothie?

Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

Monday, May 9 (CW)
Querida Sor Juana/Dear Sor Juana: The Letters of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (lived 1648 – 1695)
adapted for the stage and directed by Carolina Morones

At last, a stage adaptation of her letters brings us the profound philosophy of “The Tenth Muse,” the groundbreaking Mexican nun who rose to the top of elite feminist intellectual society during the Spanish Empire’s Golden Age before being destroyed by an enemy in the church.

Presented by San Francisco Shakespeare Company
Venue TBD

Monday May 16 (BIWOC+)
Kudzu 2012
by Tracy Baxter

All the spades-playing, weed-smoking, fish-fry-having Warfield family wants is to live out their ordinary lives in the working-class community they’ve always called home. But an energy drink-chugging tech “visionary” is determined to reinvent their neighborhood using a people-curation app he built—and the powers that be are on his side. Who’ll be left standing? And just what the hell is in that smoothie?

Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley

Monday, May 23 (CW)
The Emperor of the Moon (1687)
by Aphra Behn
directed by Erin Merritt (formerly of Woman’s Will)

When a gullible father stands in the way of four thwarted lovers, they devise a visit from a magical moon delegation to change his mind, in this irresistible, commedia-inspired, sci-fi farce. How can a dad say no to an Emperor, especially one whose sex-life he’s been trying so hard to watch?

at California Shakespeare Theater
​​100 California Theater Way, Orinda

Bonus 5th week reading and closing party! Monday, May 30 (CW)
Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs (Valor, agravio y mujer) (circa 1630s)
by Ana Caro de Mallén
directed by Dawn Monique Williams

When Leonor’s womanizing lover Don Juan lets her down, she sets out to put him in his place. Dressed as the dashing “Leonardo,” our heroine tosses bon mots like bombs and manages more masterful maneuvers than a “real man” can handle, leaving “gender” and “honor” in the dust in this wild, witty, twist-filled comedy of intrigue.

Presented by Aurora Theater
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley

Playwright Bios:

Ai Aida (Nevermind, March 7 and 21) is a Japanese-born playwright, poet, illustrator and multidisciplinary theater-maker who is a winner of the Austin International Poetry Festival and the Leonard Isaacson Award Browning Monologue Contest and a semifinalist of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Beverly Hills Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition. Ai’s plays have been produced or staged-read at the Shelton Theater, Exit Theater, San Francisco Olympians Festival, Z-Space, Piano Fight, Theatre of Yugen, Fringe Festival, Breach Once More, 9×9 Festival and GreenHouse Festival; and poetry, short stories and illustrations have appeared in various literary magazines as well as in National Geographic, which published Öyku Denizi/The Sea of Stories, a children’s book she wrote and illustrated. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.

Joanna Baillie (1762 – 1851—Witchcraft, March 14) was a Scottish poet and dramatist who wrote mostly on topics of morality and centered women—often middle-aged women—and their issues in her plays. Encouraged by her brother, she published her first book of poetry in her late 20s and, despite waiting until her other male relatives had died to publish her first plays, she eventually came to be called by fellow author and friend John Neal the “female Shakespeare of a later age.”

Tracy Baxter (Kudzu 2012, May 2 and 16) is a writer based in Oakland. A 2021 Brady Playwrighting Fellow at 3Girls Theatre, her script Kudzu 2012 was a semifinalist selection in the 2018 Bay Area Playwright Foundations New Play Festival and a finalist selection in the 2020 Screencraft Stage Play contest. She has performed with The Ninjaz of Drama, Theater of Others, and the venerable Actors of Ensemble of Berkeley, where she also just made her directorial debut, helming a gripping and well-received online production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat.

Aphra Behn (1640? – 1689—The Emperor of the Moon, May 23) was an English Restoration-era playwright, poet, prose writer and translator and spy for the restored King Charles II. After the death of her husband, she turned to writing to earn a living and, under the pastoral pseudonym Astrea, became one of the first English women to earn her living by the pen, scandalizing England with her feminist (for the time) and sex-positive themes. Her plays remained popular for decades, and she inspired many, including her most immediate literary heirs, the Lady Scribblers (Mary Pix, Delarivier Manley, and Catherine Trotter).

Ana Caro de Mallén (1600? – 1652?—Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs, May 30) Though little is certain of her origins, scholars believe Ana María Caro de Mallén y Torres was born a Moorish-Muslim slave and adopted into a Christian family. Growing up to become one of the first Spanish women to earn her living as a writer, her plays are easily recognizable by their nuanced portraits of people from all strata of society and their focus on the hopes, dreams, and challenges of her female characters. Her plays are unafraid to address the political matters or current events and often challenge Spain’s deeply ingrained patriarchal structures.

Susanna Centlivre (1669 – 1723—The Busy Body, April 11) was an actress, poet, and playwright who was known as The Second Woman of the Stage, after trailblazer Aphra Behn. One of the most influlential female playwrights of the 18th century, her plays (most of them written under the pseudonym R.M.) remained popular well into the 19th century. A successful Theatre Royal, Drury Lane actress known for breeches roles, she wrote her first produced play, The Perjur’d Husband, in 1700, and unafraid to tackle tough topics such as politics and women’s position in society, thenceforth wrote a play a year until her death.

Jennifer LeBlanc (Winter’s Passage, April 25) is an actor, director, playwright/adaptor, and teaching artist who received her MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, Colorado and is now an Associate Artist with the Livermore Shakespeare Festival and the Perspective Theatre Company (formerly Arabian Shakespeare Festival). Her adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion received its world-premiere at San Jose Stage Company and her adaptation of Defoe’s Moll Flanders received its world-premiere at Pacific Repertory Theatre. She also wrote We Made Bread, a one-woman show adapted from interviews, for the Arabian Shakespeare Festival and is a frequent contributor of short plays to Shotz SF.

Nirmala Nataraj (Set, or People of the Shifting Sand, April 4 and 18) is a New York–based writer, editor, book midwife, theater artist, and mythmaker. Her work lives at the crossroads of creativity, mythology, storytelling, and collective liberation. As a multi-genre collaborator and creative facilitator, she believes in generative solutions in the midst of chaos, the coexistence of messiness and magic, and breathtaking beauty as a natural consequence of this wild ride. She is trained in a variety of methods of narrative-based collective healing, including Family Constellations, Psychodrama, Playback Theatre, and Theatre of the Oppressed. Some of the passions she brings to facilitation include movement (especially 5 Rhythms), guided visualization, and creative writing from unexpected prompts.

Mary Pix (1666 – 1709—The Innocent Mistress, March 28) An admirer of Aphra Behn and colleague of Susanna Centlivre, Mary Pix has been called “a link between women writers of the Restoration and Augustan periods.” Her well-regarded comedies and tragedies were known for featuring 7 – 8 roles for women as opposed to the 2 or 3 men wrote, and she and her playwright friends Catherine Trotter and Delariviere Manley were popular enough in their era to have been parodied in an anonymous 1696 play The Female Wits. The following year, a company to which she had submitted a script plagiarized it, and though the ensuing scandal did not damage her reputation, she never again published a play with her own name on it, making attribution of her late work a challenge.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.


Cost: FREE*
*RSVP Required. Donations encouraged and accepted.
Categories: *Top Pick*, Discount Tix / Promo Codes, Fairs & Festivals, In Person, LGBTQ+, Online, Political Activism, Protests / Causes, Theater & Performance
Address: 2781 24th St, San Francisco, CA

Monday, May 30, 2022

12:00 pm   SF’s Memorial Day Observance at the Presidio Chapel  FREE
1:00 pm   Outdoor Rooftop “Macbeth” on Memorial Day at Salesforce Park (May 28-30)  FREE*
*Free Event - just show up on time. No RSVP needed.
4:00 pm   SF Arcade Bar “Emporium” Free Game Token Night (Every Monday)  FREE*
*4 free game token if you show your California ID
5:30 pm   “Lost Landscapes” is Back: See Rare Historic Film of San Francisco + BBQ (SF)  $15*
*Drop by the BBQ for free, Lost Landscapes screening is $15.00
7:00 pm   “Quiz Me Bebe One More Time” Wurst Drag Trivia (The Castro)  FREE
7:00 pm   $1.50 Oysters + Monday Night HellaFunny Comedy Show (Oakland)  FREE*
*$1.50 oysters while supplies. Limited free tickets w/ code FUNCHEAP (otherwise $10). There is a two drink minimum
7:00 pm   FREE: Memorial Day Oakland Secret Comedy Night @ Hidden Speakeasy  FREE*
*Limited free tickets with code FUNCHEAP (donations appreciated). Otherwise use code FUNCHEAP5 for $5 off early bird and general admission tickets
7:00 pm   “Motown On Mondays” DJ Night (Madrone Art Bar)  FREE*
*Free before 8pm; $5 after
7:30 pm   FREE TIX: SF’s Dirty Joke Night at a Legendary Strip Club (North Beach)  FREE*
*Free with code FUNCHEAP (limited tickets)
7:30 pm   The Marsh’s Online Storytelling Night (Every Monday)  FREE*
*Everything is FREE. But feel FREE to make a donation through our tip jar to support and sustain The Marsh and MarshStream performers.
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