Jean Schiffman

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)

Touching relationship at heart of ‘Song of Summer’

Lighthearted SF Playhouse show ‘feels right for this moment’

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Annemarie MacLeod is the narrator in Pear Theatre’s production of “Late Wedding.” (Courtesy Squirrel Visuals)

‘Late Wedding’ a zany show about marriage and more

Pear Theatre stages, streams Christopher Chen’s puzzling play

Annemarie MacLeod is the narrator in Pear Theatre’s production of “Late Wedding.” (Courtesy Squirrel Visuals)
Jomar Tagatac is excellent as Gordon Hirabayashi in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of “Hold These Truths.” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)

‘Truths’ tells story of a Japanese-American resister

SF Playhouse returns inside with sensitive solo show about man who defied 1942 executive order

Jomar Tagatac is excellent as Gordon Hirabayashi in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of “Hold These Truths.” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Devin A. Cunningham plays Baby Boy in Theatre Rhinoceros’ world premiere of Kheven LaGrone’s “Pillow Talk.” (Courtesy Tanika Bapatiste)

‘Pillow Talk’: a real encounter between two Black gay men

Actors shine in Theatre Rhino’s 1995-set premiere

Devin A. Cunningham plays Baby Boy in Theatre Rhinoceros’ world premiere of Kheven LaGrone’s “Pillow Talk.” (Courtesy Tanika Bapatiste)
Tina D’Elia is excellent as shop owner Peggy Caserta in “OUT of Site: Haight-Ashbury.” (Courtesy Robbie Sweeny)

Haight history comes to life in theatrical walking tour

Show pays tribute to characters from the 1960s-70s

Tina D’Elia is excellent as shop owner Peggy Caserta in “OUT of Site: Haight-Ashbury.” (Courtesy Robbie Sweeny)
Stacy Ross appears in American Conservatory Theater’s virtual production “Communion.” (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)

ACT’s latest virtual theater performance strives to foster ‘Communion’

If there’s any one thing theater-goers have been missing during these past…

Stacy Ross appears in American Conservatory Theater’s virtual production “Communion.” (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)
Fred Pitts portrays Stephen of Blois in Exit Theatre’s online production of “The Arms and Armament of Stephen of Blois.”<ins> (Courtesy Fred Pitts)</ins>

Exit Theatre’s 12th century-set tale speaks to contemporary times

‘Arms and Armament’ a funny portrait of a forgotten ruler

Fred Pitts portrays Stephen of Blois in Exit Theatre’s online production of “The Arms and Armament of Stephen of Blois.”<ins> (Courtesy Fred Pitts)</ins>
Sean San José, new artistic director at the Magic Theatre, has plans to work collaboratively. (Courtesy Joan Osato)

Bold new direction at Magic Theatre, Golden Thread

Sean San José, Sahar Assaf lead troupes telling diverse stories

Sean San José, new artistic director at the Magic Theatre, has plans to work collaboratively. (Courtesy Joan Osato)
Pearl Marill takes flight as Hermes in “Psychopomp” in McLaren Park. (Courtesy We Players)

‘Psychopomp’ a magical, meditative walk through McLaren Park

We Players’ live show takes theatergoers on enchanting journey

Pearl Marill takes flight as Hermes in “Psychopomp” in McLaren Park. (Courtesy We Players)
From left, Melissa Ortiz, Lorri Holt, Dan Hiatt and Blythe de Oliveira Foster appear in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Ruben Grijalva’s “Shoot Me When… .” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli/San Francisco Playhouse)

‘Shoot Me When…’ a heartfelt look at dementia

SF Playhouse stages entertaining family dramedy by Ruben Grijalva

From left, Melissa Ortiz, Lorri Holt, Dan Hiatt and Blythe de Oliveira Foster appear in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Ruben Grijalva’s “Shoot Me When… .” (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli/San Francisco Playhouse)
Ghostie (Akaina Ghosh) and Ghosty (Maria Marquis) are called by Mugwumpin’s creatures in Cutting Ball Theater’s “Phantasmagoria.” (Courtesy Cutting Ball Theater)

Cutting Ball and collaborators stream wonderfully wacky ‘Phantasmagoria’

Clever 50-minute show amusingly explores notions of self-identity

Ghostie (Akaina Ghosh) and Ghosty (Maria Marquis) are called by Mugwumpin’s creatures in Cutting Ball Theater’s “Phantasmagoria.” (Courtesy Cutting Ball Theater)
American Conservatory Theater’s digital reading of “Arms and the Man” features, top (from left), Phillip James Brannon and Kimberly Hébert Gregory; Allie Marie Evans, center; and bottom (from left), Danny Scheie and Ariel Shafir.

ACT streams fun reading of Shaw’s ‘Arms and the Man’

Romantic comedy classic entertains, even in Zoom boxes

American Conservatory Theater’s digital reading of “Arms and the Man” features, top (from left), Phillip James Brannon and Kimberly Hébert Gregory; Allie Marie Evans, center; and bottom (from left), Danny Scheie and Ariel Shafir.
From left, Akaina Ghosh, Linda Girón and J Riley Jr. play Spirit Gods in Shotgun Players’ “Feel the Spirit.” (Courtesy Leannna Keyes)

‘Feel the Spirit’ explores challenges of faith during COVID

But Shotgun Players’ commission feels overlong and underdeveloped

From left, Akaina Ghosh, Linda Girón and J Riley Jr. play Spirit Gods in Shotgun Players’ “Feel the Spirit.” (Courtesy Leannna Keyes)
Julia Brothers gives a touching performance in “I Was Right Here.” (Courtesy San Francisco Playhouse)

Julia Brothers captivates in ‘I Was Right Here’

‘Trouble in Mind’ a timely study of racism in theater

Julia Brothers gives a touching performance in “I Was Right Here.” (Courtesy San Francisco Playhouse)
Lauren English-Clarke, left, and Susi Damilano appear in Remote Theater’s “The Art of Sacrifice,” streaming in encore performances from March 22-29. (Remote Theater screenshot)

Intriguing dramas explore parent-child relationships

Remote Theater presents ‘Art of Sacrifice,’ Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and SF Playhouse offer ‘Hieroglyph’

Lauren English-Clarke, left, and Susi Damilano appear in Remote Theater’s “The Art of Sacrifice,” streaming in encore performances from March 22-29. (Remote Theater screenshot)
Clockwise, from top left, Kacie Rogers, Romi Dias, Eden Malyn and Mary Beth Fisher appear in playwright Laurel Ollstein’s “Pandora,” presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and the Getty Villa Museum. (Screenshot)

Laurel Ollstein’s ‘Pandora’ a funny feminist take on a classic myth

TheatreWorks, Getty Museum stream amusing 90-minute show

Clockwise, from top left, Kacie Rogers, Romi Dias, Eden Malyn and Mary Beth Fisher appear in playwright Laurel Ollstein’s “Pandora,” presented by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and the Getty Villa Museum. (Screenshot)
The Drexler twins’ amusing new web series is called “The Simpleton’s Guide to Success.” (Courtesy photo)

Drexler twins debut ‘Simpleton’ mockumentary

Bay area siblings write, star in funny New York-set web series

The Drexler twins’ amusing new web series is called “The Simpleton’s Guide to Success.” (Courtesy photo)
William DeMeritt appears in Marin Theatre Co. and Round House Theatre’s timely production of “The Catastrophist.” (Courtesy Marin Theatre Co.)

Marin Theatre’s ‘Catastrophist’ couldn’t be more relevant

‘Review’ takes on New York art world, post 9/11

William DeMeritt appears in Marin Theatre Co. and Round House Theatre’s timely production of “The Catastrophist.” (Courtesy Marin Theatre Co.)
Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Outside Lands podcast delves into West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
From left, Diana Lauren Jones as Cordelia, Jessica Powell as King Lear, Ron Chapman as Duke of Burgundy and Yohana Ansari-Thomas as King of France appeared in San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 Free Shakespeare at Home production of “King Lear.” (Courtesy San Francisco Shakespeare Festival)

For Bay Area theaters, the show must go on

With stages shut, many troupes found new ways to tell stories in 2020

From left, Diana Lauren Jones as Cordelia, Jessica Powell as King Lear, Ron Chapman as Duke of Burgundy and Yohana Ansari-Thomas as King of France appeared in San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 Free Shakespeare at Home production of “King Lear.” (Courtesy San Francisco Shakespeare Festival)