Theater

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)
From left, Smuin performers Lauren Pschirrer, Brennan Wall and Tessa Barbour dance in Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet,” the contemporary ballet troupe’s popular holiday show presented in three different online programs through Dec. 24. (Courtesy Ricardo Dyer)

Holiday events: Have yourself a streaming little Christmas

Pandemic-era shows offer holiday spirit to be enjoyed from home

From left, Smuin performers Lauren Pschirrer, Brennan Wall and Tessa Barbour dance in Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet,” the contemporary ballet troupe’s popular holiday show presented in three different online programs through Dec. 24. (Courtesy Ricardo Dyer)
The Curran and Pomegranate Arts present performance artist Taylor Mac in “Holiday Sauce…. Pandemic!” <ins>(Courtesy Little Fang)</ins>
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)
Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s Robert Burns Lowman and Chloé Watson perform while incorporating COVID safety protocols at Mori Point in Pacifica. (Courtesy Vin Eiamvuthikom)

Performing arts groups surviving pandemic’s challenges

Local organizations weathering storm with diligent budgeting, creative programming

Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s Robert Burns Lowman and Chloé Watson perform while incorporating COVID safety protocols at Mori Point in Pacifica. (Courtesy Vin Eiamvuthikom)
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)
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)
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)
Entrepreneur and beloved Bay Area drag artist D’Arcy Drollinger hasn’t slowed down during the pandemic. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

High noon at the Oasis

D’Arcy Drollinger’s busy at the helm of the SoMa drag club and other ventures, too

Entrepreneur and beloved Bay Area drag artist D’Arcy Drollinger hasn’t slowed down during the pandemic. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The San Francisco International Arts Festival presents Nkechi Emeruwa in “Licensed to Drive While Black” at 1 p.m. Oct. 24. (Courtesy photo)

SF International Arts fest goes on with outdoor staging at Fort Mason

Social distanced dance, music and theater slated for Oct. 24-25

The San Francisco International Arts Festival presents Nkechi Emeruwa in “Licensed to Drive While Black” at 1 p.m. Oct. 24. (Courtesy photo)
Marga Gomez is great in “Spanking Machine,” presented by Brava. (Courtesy photo)
Marga Gomez is great in “Spanking Machine,” presented by Brava. (Courtesy photo)
American Conservatory Theater opened its season virtually with “In Love and Warcraft,” featuring, top, from left, James Mercer as Ryan and Cassandra Hunter as Evie, and, bottom, Evangeline Edwards as Kitty. (Courtesy ACT)

ACT opens virtually with ‘In Love and Warcraft’

Plentiful shorts in Our Digital Stories, up-close look at Euripides’ ‘Bacchae’

American Conservatory Theater opened its season virtually with “In Love and Warcraft,” featuring, top, from left, James Mercer as Ryan and Cassandra Hunter as Evie, and, bottom, Evangeline Edwards as Kitty. (Courtesy ACT)
Violinist Tessa Lark opens Cal Performances at Home in a concert from Merkin Hall in New York City. (Courtesy Ras Dia)

Cal Performances moves from stage to screen

Fall streaming series showcases classical, jazz, multimedia virtuosos

Violinist Tessa Lark opens Cal Performances at Home in a concert from Merkin Hall in New York City. (Courtesy Ras Dia)
We Players’ 2018 production of “Caesar Maximus” in Golden Gate Park is the basis of an effective new film the inventive troupe is streaming. (Courtesy Lauren Matley)
We Players’ 2018 production of “Caesar Maximus” in Golden Gate Park is the basis of an effective new film the inventive troupe is streaming. (Courtesy Lauren Matley)
Lisa Geduldig, left, and Arline Geduldig appear in “Lockdown Comedy” online on 
Aug. 20.                                Courtesy 
Wanda Altidor

Kung Pao Kosher creator introduces ‘Lockdown Comedy’

Lisa Geduldig and her mom stream standup, with guests, from Florida

Lisa Geduldig, left, and Arline Geduldig appear in “Lockdown Comedy” online on 
Aug. 20.                                Courtesy 
Wanda Altidor
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 Free Shakespeare at Home production of ”King Lear” features, from left, Yohana Ansari-Thomas, Phil Lowery and Jessica Powell in the title role. (Courtesy San Francisco Shakespeare Festival)

Streams go wild, from ‘King Lear’ to ‘Three’s Company’

‘Quack,’ ‘Paris Effect’ also worth checking out

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 Free Shakespeare at Home production of ”King Lear” features, from left, Yohana Ansari-Thomas, Phil Lowery and Jessica Powell in the title role. (Courtesy San Francisco Shakespeare Festival)
Regina Monique is excellent as a student who challenges her history professor in Shotgun Players’ timely “The Niceties” online in its final performances July 17-18. (Courtesy Jayme Catalano)

Shotgun Players’ ‘Niceties’ perfect for these times

SF Playhouse Zoomlets take audiences behind the scenes

Regina Monique is excellent as a student who challenges her history professor in Shotgun Players’ timely “The Niceties” online in its final performances July 17-18. (Courtesy Jayme Catalano)