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Shotgun Players

Village Bike in Berkeley Challenges Stereotypes While Delivering Laughs and Ideas

Leo Stutzin | Posted 06.08.2016 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Connecting over a damaged bicycle: Kevin Clarke as Oliver, Elissa Stebbins as Becky Photos by Pak Han Stereotypes take a thrashing in Penelope Ski...

Attention to Detail in Manners and Murder

George Heymont | Posted 02.07.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

In 20 minutes of coming attractions (not to mention a James Bond-style commercial for beer), I saw more money poured into glamorizing explosives, weaponry and commercialized violence than I'd witnessed in quite some time.

The Fickle Finger of Faith

George Heymont | Posted 01.14.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

From one-night stands to marriages that have lasted six or seven decades, romance has always been a curious ingredient in relationships. Primitive cultures that relied on agriculture for survival often practiced fertility rites designed to please the gods in the hope of being blessed with abundant crops.

Journey to the Center of Self Worth

George Heymont | Posted 11.12.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Does dissatisfaction lead to introspection? Does introspection lead to dissatisfaction? Neither one of these issues is guaranteed to trigger the other.

Doing What Comes Naturally

George Heymont | Posted 09.27.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

As part of their commitment to producing a season of works by female playwrights, the Shotgun Players recently unveiled a new production of Caryl Churchill's 1982 dramedy entitled Top Girls. The action takes place during the era of Margaret Thatcher's ascent to power in the United Kingdom.

Death Perversely Strengthens Some Relationships

George Heymont | Posted 07.16.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

Death has a strange way of resolving certain tensions. It can bring an end to an abusive relationship or relieve a person with a terminal illness of his suffering. It can quell any arguments and make long-held grudges seem ridiculously futile.

You've Got Me Under Your Spell

George Heymont | Posted 05.24.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

Two productions new to San Francisco had that special aura about them: a piece of dance theater that attempted to retell a drama written by Sophocles in approximately 441 BC, and a contemporary drama which brilliantly demonstrated what happens when superb writing, directing, and acting combine to elevate a script into a miraculously poignant and deeply fulfilling event.

Not the Usual Suspects

George Heymont | Posted 06.29.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

As one wades through the literature of theatre, it's easy to get used to characters who could be deemed "the usual suspects." Beginning in the 16th century, the commedia dell'arte created a group of stock characters that could be found in most of their comedies.

Theatre of the Seriously Disturbed

George Heymont | Posted 02.06.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Why are some theatres like salad bars? The answer is simpler than you might expect. If you attend a production whose set is in full view as the audience enters the theatre, all kinds of possibilities come to mind before the performance actually begins.

Center Stage: The TBA Awards

Emillio Mesa | Posted 01.14.2015 | San Francisco
Emillio Mesa

In San Francisco, the first ever, theatrical presentation on record was held on June 22, 1849. It took place at the police headquarters, the performance-by "Jeemes Pipes of Pipesville.

Expect the Unexpected

George Heymont | Posted 12.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Like many people, I look forward to certain consistencies in life. Since moving to San Francisco in 1972, certain culinary treats became such personal favorites that I inevitably ordered them whenever I visited the restaurant where they were served.

Give Them an 'E' For Effort

George Heymont | Posted 11.04.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Despite what some people think, storytelling is very much an acquired skill. Not everyone does a good job of it. Some folks are incapable of even launching a narrative.

Undeniable Labors of Love

George Heymont | Posted 08.27.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Politicians, warriors and self-important fools frequently fail to learn anything from the past. But for creative types, the past offers a wondrous portal which invites them to explore science and history (as well as the history of comparative religion, costume design, distant cultures and lots more).

Racing Against Time

George Heymont | Posted 06.05.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

It's not exactly a secret. Timing is everything -- and time waits for no man. Whether someone is a handsome young rock star battling an addiction or an angry alte kocker trying to provoke a fellow geezer into playing one more game of King of the Mountain, the clock keeps ticking.

The Edgy Thrills of Extreme Storytelling

George Heymont | Posted 04.03.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Although it's convenient to think of a ride on MUNI as a gift of free theatre, nothing compares to the wonders that transpire while you're asleep.

Those Damned Exasperating Women!

George Heymont | Posted 03.29.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Last year, two small Berkeley theatre companies presented riveting dramas whose protagonists were fiercely determined women with clearly defined goals.

Triumph of the Will

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

This year, two plays that received their world premieres from Bay Area theatre companies offered audiences remarkable performances built upon stories of distraction and disability.

Hit the Road, Jack

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Today's action adventure films are so full of explosions and special effects that there is little opportunity to imagine what might be going on in the hearts and minds of their major characters

Theatre of the Auto-Immune System

George Heymont | Posted 10.11.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

Diseases have often provided great plot twists for stage and screen.

The Fine Art of Pleasuring a Big Black Giant

George Heymont | Posted 07.07.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

Earlier this year, I attended the opening nights of two Bay area productions that could not have been more dissimilar. In each case, the audience's final response was telling.

Hearts of Darkness

George Heymont | Posted 03.08.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

The opportunity to experience works like Woyzeck, The Threepenny Opera, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and The Beggar's Opera in an extremely intimate theatre like the 100-seat Ashby Stage make them far more gritty and accessible.

The Care and Feeding of the Lovable Schlemiel

George Heymont | Posted 02.11.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

Most actors develop their versatility by training to perform in comic as well as tragic roles. But, as the old saying goes, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard."

11 Cultural Highs From San Francisco's 2011 Arts Calendar

George Heymont | Posted 02.25.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

The San Francisco Bay area has such a vibrant arts community that prioritizing events can become a mind-numbing exercise. Here is a slideshow of the 11 most thrilling events I attended in 2011.

The Shallow of Your Smile

George Heymont | Posted 11.29.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

Trailer trash may seem like the polar opposite of life in a gated community, but once you strip away the material trappings of either lifestyle, what's left are mere mortals.

The Fabulous Invalid Clings to Life

George Heymont | Posted 10.30.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

In the past 50 years, cultural exchange programs have allowed artists, athletes, and students to travel and work abroad as a means of fostering greater understanding. These exchanges have led to curious forms of cross-pollination.