Jean Schiffman

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)
The Curran and Pomegranate Arts present performance artist Taylor Mac in “Holiday Sauce…. Pandemic!” <ins>(Courtesy Little Fang)</ins>

Taylor Mac’s wacky as ever in ‘Holiday Sauce … Pandemic!’

Wild, anything goes show glitters and dazzles online

The Curran and Pomegranate Arts present performance artist Taylor Mac in “Holiday Sauce…. Pandemic!” <ins>(Courtesy Little Fang)</ins>
Leigh Rondon-Davis and Kenny Scott are excellent in Shotgun Players’ “The Light,” a visceral show offering a rush for the audience. (Courtesy Nailah Harper-Malveaux)

Shotgun Players’ ‘The Light’ an intense theatrical experience

Pear, Perspective theaters present a double-bill of solo shows

Leigh Rondon-Davis and Kenny Scott are excellent in Shotgun Players’ “The Light,” a visceral show offering a rush for the audience. (Courtesy Nailah Harper-Malveaux)
Mike McShane voices Scrooge in San Francisco Mime Troupe’s radio play “A Red Carol.” <ins>(Courtesy Karen Samski)</ins>

S.F. Mime Troupe tackles Dickens in ‘A Red Carol’

Radio play offers a new take on holiday classic

Mike McShane voices Scrooge in San Francisco Mime Troupe’s radio play “A Red Carol.” <ins>(Courtesy Karen Samski)</ins>
From left, Jens Rasmussen, Ali Andre Ali, Imran Sheikh, Andrew Aaron Valdez and Leila Buck appear in a virtual performance of “American Dreams.” (Courtesy Cherie B. Tay)

Game-show parody ‘American Dreams’ asks provocative questions

Aurora Theatre premieres clever audio play ‘The Flats’

From left, Jens Rasmussen, Ali Andre Ali, Imran Sheikh, Andrew Aaron Valdez and Leila Buck appear in a virtual performance of “American Dreams.” (Courtesy Cherie B. Tay)
From left, Johnny Moreno, Jomar Tagatac and Bobak Bakhtiari appear in San Francisco Playhouse’s riveting production of “Art.” (Courtesy SF Playhouse)

SF Playhouse streams lively version of Yasmina Reza’s ‘Art’

Manual Cinema enthralls with innovative ‘Frankenstein’ at Cal Performances

From left, Johnny Moreno, Jomar Tagatac and Bobak Bakhtiari appear in San Francisco Playhouse’s riveting production of “Art.” (Courtesy SF Playhouse)
Shotgun Players present Josh Kornbluth in the engaging “Citizen Brain.” (Screenshot)

Magic captivates with Churchill’s ‘Escaped Alone’

Kornbluth amuses again in ‘Citizen Brain’

Shotgun Players present Josh Kornbluth in the engaging “Citizen Brain.” (Screenshot)
Chloe Fong, center, with Michelle Talgarow and Don Wood, is delightful in Cutting Ball Theater’s masterful production of Charles Mee’s “Utopia.” (Courtesy photo)

Cutting Ball premieres fun, invigorating ‘Utopia’

Pearl Theatre streams ‘Lysistrata’

Chloe Fong, center, with Michelle Talgarow and Don Wood, is delightful in Cutting Ball Theater’s masterful production of Charles Mee’s “Utopia.” (Courtesy photo)
“Zohar’s Studio,” an undated print, is among the provocative, intriguing works by Stephen Berkman on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. (Courtesy Contemporary Jewish Museum)

Contemporary Jewish Museum reopens with sly, mysterious Zohar photos

Exhibition showcases witty 19th century-seeming images

“Zohar’s Studio,” an undated print, is among the provocative, intriguing works by Stephen Berkman on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. (Courtesy Contemporary Jewish Museum)
Bay Area theater veteran Margo Hall has taken the helm of San Francisco’s Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. (Courtesy Lisa Keating Photography)

Black theater matters

African Americans infuse Bay Area stages with renewed energy

Bay Area theater veteran Margo Hall has taken the helm of San Francisco’s Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. (Courtesy Lisa Keating Photography)