courtesy photoBon voyage: “Port Out

courtesy photoBon voyage: “Port Out

FoolsFury cruises with ‘Port Out, Starboard Home’

Celebrated playwright-screenwriter Sheila Callaghan is offering up what is sure to be a wild ride in “Port Out, Starboard Home.”

Callaghan, currently a writer on Showtime’s “Shameless,” is the brain behind a new voyage-themed show from FoolsFury, dubbed “Port Out, Starboard Home” (POSH), which opens at Z Space tonight before sailing off to New York audiences.

“I was trying to figure out how to do a piece about people with varying backgrounds and beliefs who would be in one place, and the first thing that popped into my mind was a cruise ship,” Callaghan says of the show, which features a diverse group of “seekers” looking for enlightenment in between food buffets and other lavishdecadences.

But even Callaghan, whose previous stage works — from “Dead City” to “Scab” — often have been called “gutsy” or “raunchy,” admits that it’s a bit challenging to sum up “POSH” so easily.

In the production, directed by Ben Yalom, an ensemble cast (Amy Prosser, Benjamin Stuber, Angela Santillo, Calder Shilling, Brian Livingston) weaves Callaghan’s dialogue with other artistic realms, including dance; Erika Chong Shuch’s choreography also is featured.

The play becomes less about just watching people embark on a luxury cruise and more about witnessing them unravel emotionally from “pampered society.”

If it sounds very “leave-your-baggage-at-the-dock,” that’s the point.

“As you’re watching people interact, slowly it becomes clear what the purpose is on the boat,” Callaghan says. “People are transformed in some way — whether they are unhappy with their lives, or they feel spiritually empty, a transformation happens.”

The rich topic is one that Callaghan already has addressed. She turned heads as a writer for Showtime’s Emmy-nominated “The United States of Tara” a few years ago, and in 2010 was named one of the “10 screenwriters to watch” by Variety.

“I don’t like to talk about it much because sometimes people judge TV writers,” she says. “I have gotten some not-so-polite responses [about that], but I am still so actively involved in theater and I find San Francisco audiences thoughtful and curious.”

IF YOU GO

Port Out, Starboard Home

Presented by FoolsFury

Where: Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F.

When: Opens at 8 p.m. today; 8 p.m. most Wednesdays-Saturdays; closes Sept. 22

Tickets:
$20 to $30

Contact: (800) 838-3006, www.Zspace.org

artsentertainmentOther ArtsPort OutStarboard Home

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that funding would be diverted from the police budget toward the black community in June 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City directs $60 million toward Black community services and housing support

San Francisco released new details Thursday for how it plans to spend… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

The California Supreme Court upheld a 2018 state law that bans most offenders under 16 from being tried as adults. (Bethany Mollenkof/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Most 14- and 15-year-olds cannot be tried as adults, California high court rules

Maura Dolan Los Angeles Times A law that barred most offenders under… Continue reading

A nurse draws up a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Mission neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF expands vaccine eligiblity, but appointments ‘limited’

San Francisco expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday but appointments remain limited… Continue reading

Most Read