YIA 2018: Healing Through Art

 
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What Is Yugen In Action?

Yugen In Action is a yearly two-night event that brings together artists from different disciplines to showcase short pieces around a central theme.

This year. we asked six local performers to explore the intersection of art and community. The resulting performance weaves together their poetry, dance, and dialogue, demonstrating that art is made with the intention of building and healing our communities. We invite audiences into this space not only to listen, but to be heard-- each night will be proceeded by a dialogue between audience and performers.

JULY 27th - 28th, 2018
$10 - $30
7pm

 

 

Featured Artists

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        The Angel Inside Us All

                    Sountru, a.k.a Angel
 

"An intro to an extraordinary and other-worldly being who has landed on earth and begins questioning what makes humans human [...] The probing questions of Angel have always concentrated on drawing on the deep humanity and intelligence of the ordinary SF resident he interviews. Subjects he has covered in the past are love, friendship, soul, and much more. It isn’t just the questions he asked, but his skilled improvisational interaction with his subjects that is revealing of a deep connection to the human heart. He questions, but he also inspires thought in these interactions. The subtle process that Angel guides is usually a surprise to his guests and audience."

Sountru aka Angel has been a performer & resident of San Francisco for 38 years.  Sountru has performed 2 shows previously at Yugen under the name: Multi Media Story Band.  Sountru honed his improv skills in the early days of Bay Area Theatre Sports (BATS).  He also performed in Solo Mio at Fort Mason (so long ago he can’t remember the date).  Besides performing, Sountru also enjoys teaching other writers/solo performers to bring their work to the stage.  Sountru has showcased his students work at Yugen.

“Through The Golden Gates”  (a YouTube series featuring Angel’s heavenly arrival in SF and following him in his transformation from innocent newbie to seasoned talk show host) has been in development for 9 years but has been on hiatus for the past 7 years as Sountru has taken responsibility for his sister’s two children because of her death.

 

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                 directed by: Pat Mayo

 


Pat Mayo, a retired organizational administrator, has always been drawn to the creative worlds of theater, dance, multi-media art, and film.   Consistent and intimate exposure to creativity was nurtured through her own family of artists and later in her circle of artistic friends.  This creative influence combined with her analytical mind developed a unique eye for artistic expression.   She has collaborated with friends in their productions of stand-up comedy, theater pieces, promotional videos, and documentaries.   In addition to her direction of Angel (aka Sountru) in this Yugen production and his upcoming TTGG talk show at Yugen, her current collaborative project includes filming, scripting, and production of a documentary of five Japanese-American Bay Area artists honoring their ancestors at Manzanar Internment Camp called  “Granddaughters’ Journey:   Ephemeral Glimpses From Behind Barbed Wire.”

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        Get Uncomfortable
                            Nicia De'Lovely

Nicia De'Lovely is an Oakland, CA Poetess, Creative, Survivor and Anti-Sexual Abuse Activist. She is the Founder and Director of Nicia De'Lovely Presents, an independent/ grass-root production that creates survivor-based performances for awareness, prevention and healing of sexual abuse. She's creator of the renowned roaming recital "Get Uncomfortable," a provocative survivor-based performance inciting dialogue to end sexual abuse, and "GOD'S: Guiding Our Daughters," a semi-annual concert luncheon for local women in transition. Nicia is the author of three self-published poetry books, has performed on stages nationwide as a soloist and as a leading poet of Oakland's acclaimed anti-sex trafficking/ anti-CSEC performing troupe, "CEREMONY" by Regina Evans, Abolitionist/ Entrepreneur/ Director/ Freedom Writer.

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         The Last Omiyage
                            
Judith Kajiwara

 

 

 

Judith Kajiwara is an independent Butoh solo performing artist, choreographer and teacher who lives in Oakland.  She began her Butoh career in 1997 with her first solo performance, The Ballad of Machiko, at NOHspace.  She is a life-long dancer who teaches Butoh and urban dance classes in the East Bay.  In 2013, she formed OnenessButoh, an ensemble of Butoh enthusiasts who regularly train and perform her stage productions.  She and OnenessButoh will premiere Ode to Minamata, performed with live taiko drumming, in Spring 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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         The Joyce Project
                                  
Nan Busse

 

 

"The Joyce Project": weaving experiences in heart and sound inspired by the city of Oakland, CA.

Visual artist, dancer, choreographer, sometime musician in the Bay Area for over 20 years, Nan Busse is passionate about the unity of movement and text, improvisation with New Music musicians and the performance/creation of movement scores. Her most recent work, “A sentence is inside itself....”  (Best of SFfringe) is a meeting of Gertrude Stein and Samuel Beckett illustrated in music, movement and text.  A dancer by trade, M.F.A. from UC-Irvine;  proudly based in Oakland, CA.

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                             Cindy Webster


An admirer of classical music and musical theater, Cindy Webster creates soundscapes using found objects, found sound and effects. She has appeared at San Francisco, Dublin, Zootown and Grass Valley Fringe Festivals, The Diasporas Festival, trees, film. She is happy to be part of “Yugen in Action”.

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         Dolores
                     Nicky Martinez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Dolores is about Vladimir Nobakov's "Lolita" and how I dissect and analyze the piece of literature and trying to address why it is still classified as a Romance Novel and how that is wrong. I am trying to deconstruct our societal tendencies of perpetuating bad behavior learned from media sources, like sexual abuse and misogyny. Beginning with this well known book of a 40 year old man who falls in love with a 12 year old girl, and how the lens of his perspective warps society to feel sorry for him and believe that he really was in love instead of in lust, and demonize a little girl for "using" him and "breaking his heart". The piece is named Dolores because many people don't know Lolita's real name because of this warped perception. We only hear and see the man's point of view and never the little girl's. So I'm providing a platform for Dolores to finally speak out."

Nicky Martinez is a Program Manager at CounterPulse and a 2016 University of San Francisco graduate of the Performing Arts and Social Justice program for Theater. They are a native Bay Area Latinx genderfluid queer theater arts maker that has experience with playwriting, acting, and directing. They have worked as an actor with these respected theaters: Magic Theater, Z-Space, Dragon Theater, The Imaginists, Bindlestiff, Pianofight, and others. Their playwriting work has been recognized by USF honoring them the Gender Justice award for their work. They enjoy presenting art that deals with difficult issues that usually become silenced in society and uses art to provide a platform and voice for the silenced. 

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          Bones                 
                          Khala Brannigan

"My newest work, Bones, reflects nature itself, accessing the innate wisdom and feminine intuition that lives within our bodies. As a series of solos and duets, this new work aims to identify the inner battles that prevent us from experiencing our wild selves. For me, bones are a symbol of death and rebirth - a research of the soul. Though we may not share the same personal histories in society, bones could symbolize the truth of equality - once we dig deeper, we find that we all share the same matter."

Khala Brannigan, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico began her training with Moving People Dance Theatre under the direction of Ronn Stewart and Layla Amis. Brannigan is a LINES Ballet Training Program alumna of 2011-2013 and  and since graduating, she founded Brannigan Dance Works. As a choreographer, Brannigan has formerly collaborated with local opera singers, musicians, visual artists, video designers and more. Her work has been included in West Wave Dance Festival, Summer Performance Festival, San Francisco Dance Film Festival and SF International Arts Festival. As a dancer, Brannigan is currently working with Robert Moses’ Kin. 

Are you ready to resist?

 
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Unity Through Community

May 4 - 13, 2018

Fridays and Saturdays at 7

Sundays at 4

Approx. 2 hours, with one intermission and one brief interlude.

Stand up and act out

May Mayhem returns this year with Power Plays.  Theatre of Yugen is deeply indebted to the history of civil rights, community, and social justice that the current President and his administration are so flagrantly disregarding.  So we’re fighting back with our favorite weapon: satire.

Kyōgen satirizes those in power, revealing them to be no better (or sometimes even worse!) than the common man.  Theatre of Yugen is excited to present two classic kyōgen plays, A Religious Dispute and Wrestling With a Mosquito, and premiere two contemporary kyōgen adaptations, Those Mushrooms and All Wrecked Up.


THE CLASSICS

A Religious Dispute features two traveling priests, both on their way home to the capital from sacred pilgrimages.  When they meet on the road, they decide to travel home together. But not all is as it seems! They soon discover that they are from rivaling Buddhist sects and end up engaged in a convoluted philosophical debate, each trying to prove their theology more profound and appealing that then other.

With Lluis Valls, Nick Ishimaru, Ryan Marchand, and Sara Matsui-Colby

Directed by Yuriko Doi

 

Wrestling With a Mosquito finds a samurai lord in want of new servants for his retinue.  His loyal retainer goes and brings back the spirit of a man-sized mosquito by mistake!  The samurai lord, eager to demonstrate his grandeur, unwittingly challenges the blood-thirsty mosquito to a wrestling match.  Who will win in this struggle of two ridiculous titans?

With Ryan Marchand, Nick Ishimaru, Sara Matsui-Colby, and Lluis Valls

Directed by Yuriko Doi


NEW ORIGINALS

Those Mushrooms, adapted by the cast, presents a story of unity and resistance in the face of a bafoonish leader.  A down-on-his-luck small town American goes to the White House to ask the President how he will live up to his campaign promises.  The President tells him that the root of his problem is really those strange and unusual “mushrooms” that no one seems to be able to get rid of, and promises to do something about it.

                                                                                 With Fenner, Nick Ishimaru, Virginia Blanco, Sara Matsui-Colby, Chris Petallano, Ryan Marchand, and Meryn MacDougall

Directed by Nick Ishimaru

Playing on the modern app-based “sharing economy” and delusions of Reefer Madness is All Wrecked Up, adapted by Sheila Berotti and the cast.  When a party hostess needs to hold a party to out party all parties, who can she turn to but her favorite delivery boy?  Offering a of under-the-table “green” compensation for an off-the-record job, the two quickly find that just because you have money, doesn’t mean you have a clue.

With Ryan Marchand and Meryn MacDougall

Directed by Nick Ishimaru

 

Akira Kurosawa Film Series

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, "Rashomon" is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice.

Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife.
 

Join us before the screening for an interview with Theatre of Yugen's founder, Yuriko Doi, on her experience directing Rashomon at TheatreWorks. It is a conversation not to be missed!


Doors at 6pm.

OTHER FILMS IN THIS SERIES

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PAST:
yojimbo (1961) - 4/21/18

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Prior to the film, our Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru presented a lecture on the conflict of giri and ninjo, "duty" and "human feelings," that form a central theme in Edo-period drama.

Past:
ran (1985) - 2/17/18

At the age of seventy, after years of consolidating his empire, the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) decides to abdicate and divide his domain amongst his three sons. Taro (Akira Terao), the eldest, will rule. Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu), his second son, and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu) will take command of the Second and Third Castles but are expected to obey and support their elder brother. Saburo defies the pledge of obedience and is banished.

Past:
Throne of blood (1957) - 10/28/17

Returning to their lord's castle, samurai warriors Washizu (Toshirô Mifune) and Miki (Minoru Chiaki) are waylaid by a spirit who predicts their futures. When the first part of the spirit's prophecy comes true, Washizu's scheming wife, Asaji (Isuzu Yamada), presses him to speed up the rest of the spirit's prophecy by murdering his lord and usurping his place. Director Akira Kurosawa's resetting of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in feudal Japan is one of his most acclaimed films.

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a communal experience in the round

December 30 @ 4 p

December 31 @ 2 p

 

The Fermentation Symposium is the culmination of the year-long NEA supported “The Fermentation Laboratory,” an exploratory process that seeks to combine the aesthetics of food with the aesthetics of live performance.  

Capitalizing on the opportunity to collaborate with top artistic, culinary, and scientific talents, we have develop a multi-sensual performance combining food and performing arts that brings to mind the aesthetic quality of yugen – an indescribable beauty that is perceived with our deepest senses.

The result is a unique performance collaboration between Theatre of Yugen Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru, U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network’s Kyoko Yoshida, AEDAN Fermented Foods chefs Mariko Grady and Eri Shimizu, Dr. Carol A. Ishimaru, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota St. Paul and an expert in microbial education and teaching science through performance, Bay Area-based contemporary dance artists Megan and Shannon Kurashige of Sharp & Fine dance company, and Shinichi Iova-Koga of inkBoat dance company.

The project is inspired by the many ways fermentation influences Japanese cuisine - sake, soy sauce, miso - and the mysterious ways the uniquely Japanese organism Koji is key to fermentation and to biological processes.

We asked each artist to find something about a dish for the evening that inspired them and create a performance that brought that inspiration to life.  In turn, disparate forms of performance have been brought together and served alongside the dishes that inspired them, creating a truly total theatrical experience using all five senses.  

With these distinguished talents from different disciplines, Theatre of Yugen will develop a new theatrical event where theater and food intertwine to evoke a deep inner fulfillment. The 2017 Fermentation Lab research and development have been taking place throughout the year for the chefs and artists to inspire each other and develop ideas.  The outcome will be shared with the public as a “Fermentation Symposium” on December 30th and 31st at NOHSpace.  We have devised material for an immersive dining experience that uses the intersections of food and taste with theatre, text, music and dance as the foundations for crafting a new kind of live performance and culinary event.

Mariko Grady (founder/chef) and Eri Shimizu (chef/culinary event manager) of AEDAN, renowned specialists of fermentation food in the Bay Area will lead the culinary direction of the 2017 Fermentation Lab and the public presentation event titled “Fermentation Lab Symposium”.

The company has also invited Dr. Carol Ishimaru to San Francisco to share her knowledge as an expert in plant biology and her experience bridging the divide between science and communication.

In September, we had a smaller work-in-progress showing of the Lab, titled “Fermentation: A Tasting & Performance” as part of the development process for the “Symposium” event.   Megan and Shannon Kurashige with three additional members of their dance company, Sharp & Fine, collaborated for the first time with local koto master Shoko Hikage, while Eri Shimizu served sample portion of delicacies using fermented food products.  The tasting event was extremely informative for the culmination event which will be joined by Shinichi Iova-Koga, renowned Bay Area performance artist, Nick Ishimaru of Theatre of Yugen, and by Mariko Grady as MC.

 

Ready to dine with us?


The Menu

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Tofu Datemaki

One of the traditional Japanese New Year food, made with egg and fish, but I arrange the recipe using Amazake and Shiokoji Tofu

 

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Kabura-sushi

Turnip and salmon Koji pickles. Traditional winter food in Ishikawa Prefecture, Middle Northern Part of Japan, using Koji and big turnip and ferment for days. The red and white color mean celebration

 

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Shiokoji-chicken with root vegetables

Another staple of New Year Dish in Japan, called "Yahata-maki, or Yawata-maki". Burdock and carrots rolled in fish and meat. Burdock represent long and healthy life and prosperity

 

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Miso Dengaku

Tofu or simmered daikon with miso sauce. Dengaku is name of a dish but also the name of dance which used to perform at rice planting time wishing good crops

 

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O-zouni

Mochi soup. There are various kind of Zouni in Japan depend on region. For Fermentation Lab, I'm planning to make Kyoto Style Zouni with Aedan's Kyoto Sweet Miso. It has a kind of milky, rich, sweet flavor

 

Kuromame and Amazake Dessert

Sweet Black beans is one of the three inevitable dish for Japanese New Year. I'm thinking to make 2 layer dessert with Kuromame and Amazake, black and white

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The People

 Photo by Lisa Keating

Photo by Lisa Keating

Nick Ishimaru

(Director/Performer) was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009). His work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare.  Ishimaru has trained in noh and kyōgen with Theatre of Yugen for over seven years, has studied kabuki and jingju (Beijing Opera), and nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at the University of Hawaii.  He has presented his work at the Association for Asian Performance international conference, and taught master classes on noh and kyōgen at both the high school and collegiate level.  

 

 

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Kyoko Yoshida

(Co-Director/Production Manager), director and founder of U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN), has served the performing arts field for over 30 years as a presenter, producer and consultant, with a focus on artistic and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan.  Since 2011, she has been working with National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network as a staff consultant for its Japan program. Based in San Francisco since 2007, she also designs and manages selected programs with Theatre of Yugen.

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Mariko grady

(Chef/Performer) performed as a lead actress and voice artist of Pappa TARAHUMARA, a performance company based in Tokyo, for 30 years. She moved to San Francisco in 2000. Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Mariko started to sell her home-made fermented foods to raise funds for the victims. Mariko joined the incubator kitchen program at La Cocina in May 2012 and founded AEDAN Fermented Foods. She frequently conducts various educational workshops about her products.

Eri Shimizu

(Chef) is Event & Catering Manager at AEDAN Fermented Foods. She also works with Delica at Ferry Building Market Place and Bon nene in Mission, developing their menu. Eri graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2016. She is a certified International Health Food Master in Traditional Chinese Medicinal Cuisine, a holistic cooking theory based on the Eastern Yin-Yan philosophy, and organizes educational workshops. She is also a food and travel writer for Japanese magazines. 

 Photo by Megumi Konishi

Photo by Megumi Konishi

 Photo by Benjamin Hersh

Photo by Benjamin Hersh

 MEGAN KURASHIGE

(Performer) co-founded SHARP & FINE (S&F) in 2011. She also performs with Liss Fain Dance, where she has been a company member since 2010. She has previously worked with choreographers Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert, and performed with Ballet Pacifica and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. She studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan and the Academy of Ballet under the direction of Richard Gibson. She is also a writer. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies and she is a 2008 graduate of the Clarion Writers' Workshop at UCSD.

SHANNON KURASHIGE

(Performer) co-founded S&F in 2011. She has also performed with Liss Fain Dance since joining the company in 2010, and previously worked with Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert. Shannon attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied under Melissa Hayden, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in biology. She also received extensive training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the tutelage of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Shannon is also an artist and freelance graphic designer.

 Photo by Benjamin Hersh

Photo by Benjamin Hersh

 Photo by  Surabhi Saraf

Photo by  Surabhi Saraf

SHINICHI IOVA-KOGA

(Performer) has co-directed works with Anna Halprin, Ko Murobushi, Sten Rudstrøm, Yuko Kaseki, Takuya Ishide and KT Nelson(ODC).  He has co-created performances with with music groups Rova Saxophone Quartet and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.  As a guest Director, he has worked with AXIS Dance Company.  As a dancer, he has worked as a member of the Russian Dance Theater company Do Theatre, Butoh/installation art based TEN PEN CHii in Germany with Yumiko Yoshioka, Hiroko and Koichi Tamano’s Harupin Ha, and Larry Reed’s Shadowlight Theater.  Shinichi has been teaching dance composition at Mills College since 2009. He was named one of the “25 to watch” in 2008 by Dance Magazine and awarded a “Goldie” award by the SF Bay Guardian in 2007.

 Photo by Dave Hansen

Photo by Dave Hansen

Carol A. Ishimaru

(Science Consultant) received her B.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is now a Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. She has been the Chair of the Department, President of the American Phytopathological Society, received an Emmy Award for her documentary work on the wheat rust pathogen, and has been awarded the title of Fellow of APS, the highest honor in her field in the nation.  Her plenary session “Communicating Science” at the APS Annual Meeting in 2013 demonstrated how simply describing plant pathology through performance can have a profound impact on understanding science in the public realm.

 

 

 

miwa kaneko

(Production Assistant) has worked in the arts and entertainment field in a variety of roles. As a tango dancer, she performed in the Off-Broadway show Let’s Speak Tango. At the John Gore Organization, she then facilitated Japan tours of Broadway musicals, including A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls. As a project manager at Gorgeous Entertainment, she most recently worked for Japan Day @ Central ParkKafka on the Shore at Lincoln Center Festival, and Prince of Broadway. She holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.


The Companies

AEDAN Fermentation Foods:               

Aedan brings Japanese fermented foods that are essential to flavor and health of every traditional Japanese meal to your table. We hand craft these foods in small batch, bringing you the foundation you need to craft fresh, healthful meals for you and your family.

Our cornerstone product is hand-crafted fresh koji (Aspergillus oryzae) Koji is a natural, enzyme rich ingredient that is the starter to make miso, soy sauce, sake, shochu, mirin and vinegar. Using Aeden’s fresh handmade Koji and Koji projects you can craft numerous nourishing meals loaded with Umami.

Our goal is help you create harmony in your family, body, taste and environment by sharing these Japanese traditional products to an American market. We hope to do this in the following way.

  • Harmony for the family table

Provide ingredients that are low maintenance, easy way to infuse flavor and healthy into every dish you feed your family.

  • Harmony for your body

Build strong immune system and prevent food allergies by helping the digestive system with probiotics in fermented foods. Using Koji also lowers your salt intake, as you can use 50% less salt to get the same flavor.

  • Harmony for Taste

Koji is a super effective natural marinade for tenderizing and enhancing meats, and the secret ingredient to bring out the umami taste in meats and fish.

  • Harmony for environment

The fermented nature of the products provide easy food preservation without refrigeration! The natural ingredients and simple production process of Koji is gentle to the environment.

 

Sharp & Fine's PETER AND THE WOLF Choreography & direction: Megan Kurashige & Shannon Kurashige New composition & musical direction: Theo Padouvas Created in collaboration with the cast and with inspiration from Sergei Prokofiev Premiere: October 2014, ODC Theater, San Francisco Cast: Marissa Brown, Katharine Hawthorne, Max Judelson, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Joshua Marshall, Theo Padouvas, Aram Shelton, Carson Stein

Sharp & Fine:     

Sharp & Fine is a San Francisco based contemporary dance company founded in 2011 by sisters Megan Kurashige and Shannon Kurashige. We create performance work that brings together physically exacting choreography, structured improvisation, emotionally nuanced text, and live music to explore the power of theatrical narrative within the context of dance. Our choreography is informed by both the technical rigor of ballet and the human intensity of contemporary forms.

Sharp & Fine has been a company in residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dancesince 2012. Both Megan and Shannon are alumnae of SFCD and continue to take regular classes there. SFCD provides extraordinary, multi-disciplinary training rooted in classical ballet and the development of contemporary movement for serious dancers through a year-round program and summer intensives. SFCD is directed by Summer Lee Rhatigan and engages a faculty of outstanding educators.

 

inkBoat:                       

inkBoat is a physical theatre and dance company founded by Shinichi Iova-Koga in 1998. The company performs in theaters and site specific locations. Repertory and research integrate the interplay of multiple artistic disciplines and viewpoints, both experimental and traditional, resulting in original performance compositions. Themes and subjects arise from meticulous examination of everyday life, with primary content arising from the body, resulting in both refined and raw expressions.

We derive inspiration from working in wild, natural settings and urban existence.

inkBoat has been awarded 5 Isadora Duncan Awards (Izzies): 2015’s “95 Rituals” received a Special Award; 2011’s “Line Between” received Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design;

"Crazy Cloud" and "Line Between" http://www.inkboat.com

2008’s “c(H)ord” received Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance;  2004’s “Ame to Ame” received Outstanding Achievement in Company Performance; and 2003’s “Heavens’ Radio” received Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.

inkBoat has been presented by numerous venues, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), ODC Theater (SF), Japan Society (NY), Red Cat (LA), Southern Theater (MN), University of California (Riverside) Painted Bride (Philadelphia), Vancouver Dance Festival, Dock 11(Berlin), Fabrik Potsdam(Germany), Schloss Bröllin(Germany), Kunsthaus Graz (Austria), Divadlo Disc (Prague), Plan B (Tokyo) and Die Pratze (Tokyo).

 

U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network:      

U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN) was founded as an international project of Arts Midwest, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN in 2001 with its mission to provide leadership, vision, information and support to enhance cultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. After its successful and productive operation of five years in the Midwest, CTN relocated to the Pacific-rim city of San Francisco in 2006 and became an independent nonprofit organization.

In the Bay Area, CTN presented a number of Japanese artists including Mansaku-no-Kai (2012), Ko Murobushi in collaboration with inkBoat (2012-13), Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project (2015), and SCARABE (2016) as part of San Francisco International Arts Festival (www.sfiaf.org). CTN also co-presented/collaborated with Theatre of Yugen on “Mystical Abyss” in 2012, “Crazy for Words” project in 2015, and “The Fermentation Lab” in 2015-2017.

Beside presentations and productions, CTN specializes in building knowledge in the professional community and creating long-lasting working relationships between and among field colleagues.  In this capacity, CTN has led more than a dozen delegation trips by American arts professionals to Japan and by their Japanese counterparts to the U.S. Over 120 performing and visual arts professionals have participated in and benefitted from the research and presentation trips organized by CTN to date.  CTN Director, Kyoko Yoshdia, has been working as Project Director/Consultant for the U.S.-Japan Connection, an international program of the National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network (npnweb.org), headquartered in New Orleans, LA since 2011.

The Fermentation Lab:
A Tasting And Performance

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"The Fermentation Lab: A Tasting And Performance" imagines a new kind of theatrical experience.

Once you share a meal with someone, you consume the same organisms and forever have something in common.

With generous support from the National Endowment of the Arts, Theatre of Yugen in cooperation with the U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network has spent the past year bringing together artists from a wide range of fields from microbiology to modern dance in a project titled "The Fermentation Lab." 

The Lab is inspired by the shared aesthetics between skilled performers and master chefs.  Is the beauty of food not an art in and of itself?  Like the process of fermentation, the Lab is powered by the esoteric and unseen microbial world of chemical transformation.  In that unseen, internal world, lingers the sublime.  Where there is the sublime, there is yugen.  

Participants initially gathered in December of 2016, in a small communal gathering with AEDAN Team Captain Mariko Grady to make and prepare miso, which has been fermenting all year long.  From that moment of shared inspiration, the artists branched off and grew in their own directions, ruminating on everything from the chemical processes involved in transforming one substance into another, to methods for imparting knowledge of science and nutrition to the community, to pondering how to express tastes through sound and movement.


September 16th, 2017, 7 PM

marks the first public exhibition of these combined efforts.

Our honored guests will be served visual and aural delights created by master performers Shoko Hikage and the sister duo Sharp and Fine. Paired with these are petite culinary delights created by Eri Shimizu of AEDAN Fermented Foods, which serve as the inspiration for each moment, creating a total sensory experience that combines the aesthetics of food and performance.  

$40 General Admission gets you a reservation.  $50 VIP tickets get you free drinks from Theatre of Yugen's well-stocked concessions all night.  $20 Student tickets are available as well with a photo ID.  And as a special treat, AEDAN Fermented Foods is selling their unique bento boxes for $15!  Reserve yours through the box office!

Moving beyond mere dinner theatre, The Lab will use the opportunity to sit and eat together to create a new understanding of community and shared experience for theatre-goers.


The Artists

Shannon Kurashige co-founded S&F in 2011. She has also performed with Liss Fain Dance since joining the company in 2010, and previously worked with Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert. Shannon attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied under Melissa Hayden, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in biology. She also received extensive training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the tutelage of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Shannon is also an artist and freelance graphic designer.

Megan Kurashige co-founded SHARP & FINE (S&F) in 2011. She also performs with Liss Fain Dance, where she has been a company member since 2010. She has previously worked with choreographers Christian Burns (burnsWORK), Alex Ketley (The Foundry), and Amy Seiwert, and performed with Ballet Pacifica and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. She studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan and the Academy of Ballet under the direction of Richard Gibson. She is also a writer. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies and she is a 2008 graduate of the Clarion Writers' Workshop at UCSD.

Shoko Hikage is a koto (Japanese zither) player who resides in the San Francisco, where she continues to pursue her music. Her first teacher was Chizuga Kimura of the Ikuta-ryu Sokyoku Seigen Kai in Akita Prefecture, Japan. From 1985, she received special training from the Iemoto (Grand Master) Seiga Adachi. In 1988, Hikage graduated from Takasaki College with a major in koto music. She was then accepted as a special research student at the Sawai Koto Institute under Tadao and Kazue Sawai.

Eri Shimizu is Event & Catering Manager at AEDAN Fermented Foods. She also works with Delica at Ferry Building Market Place and Bon nene in Mission, developing their menu. Eri graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2016. She is a certified International Health Food Master in Traditional Chinese Medicinal Cuisine, a holistic cooking theory based on the Eastern Yin-Yan philosophy, and organizes educational workshops. She is also a food and travel writer for Japanese magazines.

Mariko Grady performed as a lead actress and voice artist of Pappa TARAHUMARA, a performance company based in Tokyo, for 30 years. She moved to San Francisco in 2000. Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Mariko started to sell her home-made fermented foods to raise funds for the victims. Mariko joined the incubator kitchen program at La Cocina in May 2012 and founded AEDAN Fermented Foods. She frequently conducts various educational workshops about her products.

 

Production Team

Kyoko Yoshida (Production Manger), director and founder of U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN), has served the performing arts field for over 30 years as a presenter, producer and consultant, with a focus on artistic and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan.  Since 2011, she has been working with National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network as a staff consultant for its Japan program. Based in San Francisco since 2007, she also designs and manages selected programs with Theatre of Yugen.

Nick Ishimaru (Director) was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009). His work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare.  Ishimaru has trained in noh and kyōgen with Theatre of Yugen for over seven years, has studied kabuki and jingju (Beijing Opera), and nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) at the University of Hawaii.  He has presented his work at the Association for Asian Performance international conference, and taught master classes on noh and kyōgen at both the high school and collegiate level.

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Friday May 26th and Saturday May 27th

A night of comedy, fusion, and confusion!  

As part of our year-long Fermentation Laboratory, we're cooking up something special!

Theatre of Yugen is looking at what happens when you take something old and something new and mix 'em together

NUKEGARA

We begin the evening with the English-language premiere of the classic kyogen play Nukegara (The Demon’s Shell).

In this play, a cross between a buddy comedy and a comedy of manners, banquets have become all the rage.  So the Master of the House asks his best servant Taro to secure some fish for a feast.  But before Taro can leave the house, they have to share a toast or two. After all, only the best sake can go with the freshest fish!  Hi-jinks ensue as the Master teaches Taro the value of holding your liquor.

Director - Yuriko Doi

Taro-kaja - Lluis Valls

Master - Nick Ishimaru

TOMORROW'S SOUND

Closing out the evening will be a workshop excerpt from a brand new play, Tomorrow’s Sound, a meditation on the ephemeral nature of sound and time, written and composed by Zhoushu Herakleitos Ziporyn.

Utanojo is a traveler from far away who has settled in a remote village after finding the woman of his dreams, Mie.  The village has begun to suffer from some mysterious ailment that no one can find a cure to.  As Utanojo searches for a way to help his new-found home, the God of Sound decides to pay him a visit, offering the cure in a Faustian bargain.  Performance techniques from kyogen, noh, and kabuki infuse the piece, set against a completely original soundscape.

Directors - Nick Ishimaru and Zhoushu Herakleitos Ziporyn

Utanojo - Ryan Marchand

Mie - Meryn MacDougall

God of Sound - Lluis Valls

Utainin/Villagers - Ben Baker and Nick Ishimaru

Spring Celebration: Alchemy

 

Theatre of Yugen is pleased to host our celebrated donors and patrons for a night of transformative magic!  Join us for a night of food, drinks, and a silent auction.  The evening will include a kyōgen presentation by the newest students of Theatre of Yugen.

“Alchemy” is grounded in the five Daoist elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal, called “gogyō” (五行) in Japanese, reflecting the accretive and adaptive nature of Japanese culture.  Theatre of Yugen bares the hallmarks of this adaptive process and honors those origins through its work.

We will be presenting our newest artistic collaborators in a performance of The Owl and the Mountain Priest, celebrating Theatre of Yugen’s tradition of synthesizing kyōgen in English.  Further highlighting that synthesis, our artists will be presenting segments of their own work, demonstrating the wide variety of skills Theatre of Yugen enjoys working with.

The menu aligns with the five elemental flavors of sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy, created from a mix of traditional Japanese and contemporary Californian ingredients to create new fusion food.

Finally, the evening caps off with both a silent and a live auction. Items include tickets to other theatres, music from a range of thrilling musicians, and fabulous excursions with glamorous guests!

Given the current political climate, our grant funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and other critical sources is in peril. In order to continue to provide quality performances and educational outreach we are actively reaching out to broaden our donor base-- and hope we can welcome you and your friends into the Yugen family.

We've set a base goal that will help us succeed in this current year, and are setting up some exciting stretch goals that will allow us to provide more programming in 2017 and 2018.

Your financial support provides crucial funds to a small theater with a big mission that often operates on a shoestring budget (our current printer uses chopsticks because there is no paper tray). Thank you for your generosity as we enter our 38th season-- we look forward to seeing you at "Alchemy"!

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAWRENCE RICKFORD - ALL IMAGES PROPERTY OF THEATRE OF YUGEN

 

THE RED DEMON

written by Hideki Noda and translated by Roger Pulvers

directed by Nick Ishimaru

Hideki Noda's The Red Demon tells the story of a creature who washes up on the shore of a small beach town.  Reddened from long exposure to the elements and seemingly unable to speak a human language, the residents of the town immediately label him a demon, come from the sea to eat them.  The Demon's lone advocate is an outcast known only as That Woman, who sees in the Red Demon a mirror image of her own rejection.  Together with her simple-minded brother Tombi, and an amorous suitor, Mizukane, their journey of discovery illuminates humanity's behavior in moments of intercultural conflict, focusing on racist fears of immigration and society's struggle with intolerance. 

Through satire, wordplay, wit, and a shocking surprise ending, The Red Demon asks this central question:

How do we identify humanity, in both ourselves and others?

 

Show Information

at NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, 94110

OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 13, 2016

 

 

TICKET PRICES

$20 GENERAL ADMISSION; $18 STUDENT ADMISSION

$25 FOR "DEMON ENTHUSIASTS" - INCLUDES A FREE DRINK!

$15 ADMISSION FOR OCTOBER 27 PREVIEW

 

 

SHOW TIMES

Preview - Thursday, October 27 at 8pm

OPENING NIGHT!    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 AT 8PM

Saturday, October 29 at 8pm    |    Sunday, October 30 at 5pm

 

Thursday, November 3 at 8pm    |     Friday, November 4 at 8pm    |    Saturday, November 5 at 8pm

 

Friday, November 11 at 8pm    |    Saturday, November 12 at 8pm    |    Sunday, November 13 at 5pm

 


Creative Team

PRODUCTION TEAM

Liz Brent - Costume Designer

Allie Khori - Production Manager

Zach Kopciak - Dramaturg

Yusuke Soi - Scenic Designer & Properties Master

Kevin Sweetser - Sound Designer

Maximilian Urruzmendi - Lighting Designer

 

CAST

 

Ayelet Firstenberg - That Woman

Steven Ho - Tombi

Norman Muñoz - Mizukane

Lluís Valls - The Red Demon

 

Director Nick Ishimaru

Nick Ishimaru, Project Director and Theatre of Yugen’s current Interim Artistic Director Nick Ishimaru (San Francisco) was trained originally as a musical theatre performer and started exploring Japanese theatre while studying at Colorado State University (BA, 2005), where he directed a kabuki adaptation of MacBeth. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, (MA, 2009) and pursued additional graduate work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Ishimaru lives in San Francisco where he is a director and performer. His performances include works with AMP (2008 - 2009), San Francisco State University, Theatre of Yugen and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. Ishimaru's work explores a combination of Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for original creations, along with work in conventional musical theatre and Shakespeare. Previous directing work includes Assassins by Stephen Sondheim, It Ain’t Me by Claire Rice (original), Land of Infants by Meghan O’Patry (original), and Kaguya (original adaptation). Other recent production work includes A Minor Cycle by Greg Giovanni (original; actor and fight choreographer), This Lingering Life by Chiori Miyagawa (original; actor), and several traditional kyogen plays with the Theatre of Yugen (actor).

 

Cast Members

 

Ayelet Firstenberg "That WomaN"

Ayelet Firstenberg recently moved to Berkeley from NYC where she performed off-Broadway with Vital Theatre and worked with Manhattan Rep, NAAP, White Plains PAC, Write Act Rep, and Your Name Here. In Los Angeles she has worked with Performance Riverside and the Morgan-Wilson Theatre, winning a StageSceneLA award for her portrayal of Roxie in Chicago. Since moving to the Bay she has performed with SF Footlights, Musical Cafe, and most recently was seen as Dolores in Ray of Light’s The Wild Party. She is a recent graduate of A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress. More at www.AyeletFirstenberg.com

 

STEVEN HO "TOMBI"

Steven is excited to make his debut with Theatre of Yugen as Tombi in The Red Demon. He was last seen as Berowne in Silicon Valley Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. Past productions include Cymbeline (Foothill College & Theatre of Others), In the Heights (CSU East Bay), and West Side Story (Stage1 theatre). He is a recent graduate of the Foothill College Conservatory. When not performing on stage, he can be found working as an Emergency Room Technician at the Stanford ER.

 

ENormvs Muñoz "MIzukane"

Enormvs; actor, dancer, educator. Principal dancer at the Polynesian Cultural Center 1997-2005. Choreographer and dancer Te Vai Ura Nui Tahitian Dance Ensemble 1995-2005. Founding member of two all male burlesque troupes: SF Boylesque and The Bohemian Brethren. Founding member, writer, producer of the theatre company Five On A Match. Television Credits: North Shore, Even Stevens. Stage Credits: Seen / By Everyone (HERE Arts Center), This Lingering Life (Theatre of Yugen), Sidewinders (Cuttingball Theatre), The Fantasticks (SF Playhouse), Dog’s Body (Theatre of Yugen / Dah Teatar), Language of Their Own (Kumu Kahua Theatre)

 

 

LLUÍS VALLS "THE RED DEMON"

Lluís Valls acts, directs, and writes for the theatre. He has studied Noh with Richard Emmert, Akira Matsui, and Kinue Oshima (Kita school), Kyogen with Yukio Ishida (Izumi school) and Kotsuzumi Noh drum with Mitsuo Kama (Ko school), as well as training in butoh, suzuki method, and clowning. A graduate of SFSU, Mr. Valls has been a disciple of founder Yuriko Doi since 1993, performing in her direction of modern Noh play The Well of Ignorance by Dr. Tomio Tada, the Kabuki/Flamenco fusion Blood Wine, Blood Wedding, Moon of the Scarlet Plums (2003, Japan 2005), and Mystical Abyss (2012, Denver 2015). From Spring 2002 to Fall 2008, he worked collectively with Theatre of Yugen's Joint Artistic team, Jubilith Moore and Libby Zilber, to create the original experimental pieces The Clay Play (2002), Norton, I (2003), Frankenstein (2003, 2004), The Old Man and The Sea (2005), Don Q (2006), and the all-day The Cycle Plays (07/07/07). Under Jubilith Moore's direction Mr. Valls has performed in Erik Ehn’s Cordelia (2011, NY's La MAMA 2012), A Minor Cycle (2012, Philadelphia 2013), Emmett Till, a river (2013) and This Lingering Life (2014). Mr. Valls is also a Founding Member of Theatre Nohgaku (since 2001) which has performed to critical acclaim in London, Dublin, Oxford and Paris, and of Clowns on a Stick (since 2012). Mr. Valls was an Artist in Residence at San Francisco's School of the Arts from 2009-2014.

 

Production Team

 

COSTUME DESIGNER LIZ BRENT

Liz Brent is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in costume design and construction. She has worked for the ODC Dance Company and Teen Company the Dance Jam, and many Bay Area and national choreographers including Grisha Coleman, Sean Dorsey, Jenny Stulberg, Yayoi Kambara, Namita Kapoor, and Tanya Bello. She was involved in the video music production for Jim James’ A New Life, and art direction for the short film Interloping. Liz has a BFA and Honors Magna Cum Laude in Dance, a Bussie Award in Costume Technologies, and a Minor in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also a Phi Beta Kappa Member, a certified yoga instructor, a regular contributor of artwork and writing to the website Stance on Dance, and an editor of health and nutrition articles by Sebastian Grubb.

Dramaturg zach kopciak

Zach Kopciak is a deviser, producer, dramaturg, performer, and director specializing in non-traditional theatrical forms and contexts. Currently based in San Francisco, where he has worked with The Speakeasy, First Person Travel, The Circus Center, Bonfire Makers, and RAWdance, he is thrilled to be a part of this challenging piece of work. In the past, Zach has also worked with Guerilla Science in New York and D.C., Kid Cactus in Los Angeles, and with Secret Cinema, Shakespeare's Globe, The Box, and Enter Level5 in London, where he received his MA from the Central School of Speech and Drama.

SCENIC DESIGNER & PROPERTIES MASTER YUSUKE SOI

Yusuke Soi is a Japanese native, now a Theatrical Designer in the Bay Area. He’s been a Prop Master at Thrillpeddlers since 2013, and recently joined Bay Area Children's Theatre as a Technical Director after working for New Conservatory Theatre Center and Palo Alto Children. He studied Set Design at San Francisco State University and has been active since 2013. His work includes: recent prop design for Ferocious Lotus Company’s Crane, set designs for Los Altos Stage Company’s Bat Boy the Musical and Hillbarn Theatre’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His next designs will be for Marin Theatre Company’s summer camp shows, and Tri-School Production’s 2016-2017 season productions. Yusuke is happy to be back to Theatre Of Yugen where he performed at Shinsai, a fundraiser to benefit victims of the Fukushima disaster, directed by Nick Ishimaru.

SOUND DESIGNER KEVIN SWEETSER

Kevin Sweetser is a Bay Area Sound and Video designer. Based out of San Francisco he can usually be found working on new and creative projects at, Z Space, Stanford University, or pretty much any theatre that will let him in the door. His work as a sound designer extends to live concerts and venue installations.

LIGHTING DESIGNER MAXIMILIAN URRUZMENDI

Maximilian Urruzmendi was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Uruguayan immigrant parents and has been lucky enough to be living and working in the bay with amazing communities for the past five years.

 

Yugen in Action

Series Presentation #2 - June 3 & 4 at 7pm

In the 2015/16 SeasonTheatre of Yugen presents a two-part presentation series inviting Bay Area artists to create, revive or develop work for a two-night presentation and artists' engagement event at NOHspace. Yugen in Action is thematically linked to Theatre of Yugen’s Fall 2016 premiere of The Red Demon, and uses the same motifs of “Immigration & Alienation,” as the starting point for participating artists.

Proudly Featuring the Following Works:

They Came Like Fire  

Written by Roy Conboy, Directed by Ryan Marchand

Two women from different worlds share the same pains as they relive the terror of losing their homes to ravenous forces that consume everything in their path. 

 

The Cave of Slutzk

Written & Directed by Hanna Pesha

When a young Jewish girl living under Stalin befriends a Dragon, she finds a dangerous ally in her fight to maintain identity and survive.

 

Shoot a Civilized World

Created by Hiroko & Koichi Tamano

Urged to find our own time, to run away from the wheel of the Economic Rise of Japan. Then, an impostor whispered "an American big show..."

Mimi's Suitcase

Written & Performed by Ana Bayat

1 woman, 27 characters, 4 languages. True story of a European-educated young woman returning to her native Iran after the revolution.

 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL

Created by Christina Lewis 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL is an absurdist look at our very fragile and confused relationship with our home.

 

Algor Mortis

Directed by David Silpa

Algor Mortis is a dance-theater exploration of what happens when the steps we take to connect with the world don't work as we hope.

 

 

Scroll down for more Info about each piece! (In alphabetical order by Artist's last name)


Mimi's Suitcase  -  Written and performed by Ana Bayat

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ABOUT MIMI'S SUITCASE

Winner of Audience Choice Award for Best Play at 2016 Iranisches Theatre Festival in Heidelberg, Germany, Mimi's Suitcase is the true story of a teenage girl who returns to her native Iran from Spain in the midst of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. This involuntary uprooting and the adventures that follow awaken engaging questions about identity, language, culture, displacement and homeland in this entertaining and heart-warming universal coming-of-age journey of resilience, humanity and, above all, hope.   

Mimi’s Suitcase premiered in New York City on November 15, 2015 and will next be performed at Hollywood Fringe Festival on June 17, 18 and 19, 2016.

ABOUT ANA BAYAT

Ana is a seasoned, multilingual stage, on-camera and voice over actor-linguist with extensive experience in theatre, film and language consultation. She has traveled extensively and lived in Barcelona, Tehran and London before settling down in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ana is fluent in five languages including Spanish, Persian, French, German and English, and can get by in Catalan and Italian. Her natural aptitude for languages and accents make her casting variability richly universal.

 

They Came Like Fire - Written by Roy Conboy, Directed by Ryan Marchand

Sandra, a former San Francisco Mission district resident, and Sandy a former resident of Lake County California recount their harrowing escapes from the ravenous forces that displaced them both from their homes. The pain they experience in such loss makes them kindred spirits of sorts, however no matter how similar their agony in the aftermath They Came Like Fire touches upon where these women’s experiences diverge; and the differences between the destructive forces of nature and the darker forces of human nature.

Performed By

Alix Cuadra: Sandra    -    Sheila Berotti: Sandy    -    Ryan Marchand: Dancer    -    Golda Sargento: Guitarist

 

ROY CONBOY (Playwright)

Roy Conboy is a writer, director, and teacher of Latino/Mixed Blood descent.  For more than 20 years he has been the head of the Playwrighting Program at San Francisco State University.  His most recent play is In Hollow Time: A Blues Mystery on the Recession, which was developed and produced at San Francisco State in 2014.  Other recent work includes My Tia Loca’s Life of Crime at Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble in Santa Ana, and Bindlestiff Studios in San Francisco.  His children’s play, El Canto del Roble/The Song of the Oak, is presently being toured through Central California schools by PCPA Theaterfest of Santa Maria.   Other productions have been seen at Teatro Esperanza, the Mark Taper Forum/Taper Too, Teatro Vision of San Jose, East Los Angeles Repertory, Teatro Latino in Minneapolis, Teatro del Pueblo in St. Paul, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Teatro Milagro in Portland, and Cucucuevez in Santa Ana.

As an educator Roy has helped raise the SFSU Playwrighting Program to national prominence.   He has created numerous opportunities for student writers, including GreenHouse, and the SFSU Fringe.  His former playwriting students include, among many others: Marcus Gardley, Peter Nachtrieb, Karen Macklin, Brian Thorstenson, Prince Gomolvilas, Trevor Allen, Garret Groenveld, Rodrigo Duarte Clark, Evelyn Pine, Elizabeth Gjelten, Claire Rice, and Nick Pappas.

Ryan Marchand (director)

Ryan Marchand is an actor, director, and theatre educator who grew up in Los Angeles, but has made his home San Francisco since completing his BA in French, and his minor in Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University. It was there that Ryan studied extensively with Barbara Damashek; was first introduced to Roy Conboy as part of the Fringe Festival; was first introduced to Asian theatre styles studying the Suzuki Actors Training Method with Dr. Yukihiro Goto; and was first introduced to Theatre of Yugen and Noh & Kyogen training. Since then Ryan has appeared with Theatre of Yugen in a Kyogen style adaptation of Candide, as well as the world premiere of This Lingering Life by Chiori Miyagawa.  Ryan is also Artistic Director of Handful Players, now celebrating their tenth year of operation; providing free after school musical theatre training to the Western Addition.

 

 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL

Christina Lewis & the  Clown School of San Francisco 

PLANET CLOWN AND THE COSMIC SWIRL is an attempt to look at the dynamics that are leading humans to destroy our planet. Through the use of humor we aim to shed light on the absurdity of our compulsive and addictive relationship to to our planet and it's resources.

 

Christina Lewis

has been teaching and performing Clown and physical theatre for 30 years. She began her journey at Oberlin College as a member of the Oberlin Mime Troupe, and continued her exploration in San Francisco in the 80's , participating in Street theatre, and studying Clown with Arina Isaacson and Drama Therapy at CIIS. She now runs the Clown School of San Francisco which is dedicated to training people of all ages in the vulnerable and venerable art of Clowning.

 

 

The Cave of Slutzk - Written and Directed by HANNA PESHA

The Cave of Slutsk takes you back to 1920s Belarus. Stalin is in power. In this setting, a young Jewish girl fights to maintain her faith and identity, and to help her family's collective farm survive. When she befriends a Dragon named Pogrom she finds a dangerous ally. As hard land in the Belarusian countryside keeps her family below their Bolshevik production quota, she must rely on magic and choose between the faith of her birth and the collectivism of her new immigrant life. At once haunting and humorous, The Cave of Slutsk will stay with you.

Performed By

Christopher Weddle: Pogrom    -    LeighAnn Cannon: Raz    -    Gino Rose: Maxim

HANNA PESHA

 

Hanna Pesha grew up half in Oakland and half in rural Mendocino County. She is a writer, artist and first time director. She worked in film on the production end of Mother Story and the feature-length Paradise Cove. She has been published in Arcata Free Press, The Steelhead Special, Sparkle and Blink, Banana Pitch, and Bay Area Generations.  She has taught with California Poets in the Schools, been an artist in residence at the Mendocino Art Center, and has facilitated workshops for domestic violence survivors through Poets and Writers.

 

 

ChristopHer Weddle

Christopher Weddle is an actor, carpenter, and writer that was forged in the Piney Woods region of Texas. He bounced from state to state as a carpenter before landing in Berkeley seven years ago. A graduate of Waterfront Playhouse & Conservatory, he has appeared onstage in A Dreamer Examines His Pillow at Phoenix Theatre and as Mike Dillon in Body Electric Productions staging of Good People at Waterfront Playhouse. Later this year he will appear as Bob the Bartender in the West Coast premiere of Black River Falls. You can catch him on screen at the Castro Theatre in July as a the cold-blooded killer Scarface Jack in Scary Cow’s Ghost in the Gun written and directed by Andrew Chen and later in the summer as Jasper Higgins in An Unplanned Awakening. He makes his television premier as Darryl Norris in July in Episode 8 of I Almost Got Away With It on the Discover ID Channel.

 

 

LEIGHANN CANNON

has been performing in theatre and film around the Bay Area since she was a young girl. Most recently she was seen on the stage as Chava in Hillbarn Theatre's production of Fiddler on the Roof. Favorite productions include: Amadeus (Katherina Cavalieri) at Hillbarn Theatre, Jesus Christ Super Star (Featured Ensemble) at Coastal Rep., and Hello, From Bertha (Bertha) at Muhlenberg College.  She holds a BA in both acting and directing from Muhlenberg College. 

 

GINO ROSE

Gino has appeared in numerous local theatre productions, including the role of Nicolas in Pinter’s ONE FOR THE ROAD (Performers Under Stress); Baptista in TAMING OF THE SHREW (Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Co.), and Sorin in SEAGULL (College of Marin). He’s in the feature film: WHITE RABBIT, and has done other dramatic films as well as national corporate and commercial productions.   He is an accomplished writer and solo performer.  He performed his evening length, solo piece THE FORMER GENE THOMAS, A Work In Progress at the Meisner Technique Studio Theatre; and, he will be appearing again shortly as part of SOLO SUNDAYS at Stagewerx Theatre.  He is a graduate of the Meisner Technique Studio, where he is also a faculty member.  He is represented by Look Talent, and is a university professor and a published poet.

 

 

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Algor Mortis (Working Title)

Director: DAVID SILPA

We are presenting an excerpt of a piece tentatively titled "Algor Mortis", which will comprise the second act of an evening-length dance-theater experience to premier this October. "Algor Mortis" examines the mechanisms that allow us to form connections with the the world and people around us, with particular emphasis on what happens when those methods don't work. It seems like one of the most common denominators between people is that we all experience alienation from our shared experience, despite differences of magnitude and quality between different people. Can we find solidarity in the awareness of our mutual alienation, and can our understanding of our shared alienation open ways of overcoming the paradigms that entrench us in damaging thought patterns?

Performers / Ensemble

 Jenny McAllister & Kiplinn Sagmiller

 

David Silpa

is a dance and theater artist based out of Oakland. He is currently working with 13th Floor and Wei-Shan Lai & Co., as well as developing an evening length performance to premier this October. He is an alumnus of the University of San Francisco, where he is employed as a general chemistry lab TA.

Polyhedron Company

is a production company focused on experience design, founded in 2016. Polyhedron seeks to create immersive performances that ask fundamental questions about existence and consciousness, as well as how these relate to our shared reality. Our debut performance -- The Summoning -- will premier at Babe Lab in Oakland this October, as a magical investigation into the ties that bind the world together. Working across disciplines, we seek to combine scientific perspective with dynamic performativity to create a unique and expansive performance experience.

JENNY MCALLISTER

is Artistic Director of 13th Floor, and a member of Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Lizz Roman & Dancers and Twisted Oak. She’s previously performed in the work and companies of Chris Black, Keith Hennessey, Fellow Travelers and detour dance among others.  Her background is a mix of dance and theater; her early training included A.C.T. and Oakland Ballet, and she’s studied release and partnering extensively with Joe Goode, Lizz Roman and Scott Wells.

KIPLINN SAGMILLER

is a Bay Area transplant who graduated from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and went on to dance with various companies from Hawaii, San Diego, Seattle and now the Bay Area. She's trained in ballet, modern, jazz, aerial silks, acrobatics, parkour, belly dance and loves AcroYoga. You may have seen her recently in Constants & Variables, SFMAF, Levy Salon, Dance Monks: Nomad or at events around the Bay. Kiplinn currently teaches at the Athletic Playground in Emeryville, CA, and Flying Studios in Oakland.

 

 

Shoot a Civilized World

 

CREATED BY

HIROKO & KOICHI TAMANO

Sound by KITARO

Performed By

Hiroko & Koichi Tamano, Ronny Baker and Martha Matsuda

 

"Butoh based on Life" ... ( but, Oh ! )

We did not know how to stop floating weed & convenient Tokyo life style. We had to go to Nowhere Land.

From LA to SF bay area, we took Route 5 - of which people said "there is Nothing..."  Old Oak trees welcome us.  Super tall old black man said "Hi" when we pass each other. Dogs ignored us and rested in the shade of sidewalk trees. 

Butoh dance theater, every night in Punk Rock Houses.  ( but, Oh ! ) on the way back from Canada, we got "Cancel" stamped on our passports... Bor~der ~ ....

 

Koichi Tamano  

Born 1946, Shizuoka, Japan.
Butoh pupil under Tatsumi Hijikata since 1965.
In 1976, at SFMOMA, the first Butoh appearance in USA.

Hiroko Tamano

Born 1952, Fukuoka, Japan.

Butoh pupil under Tatsumi Hijikata since 1972.

West Berkeley neighbor since 1979.

 

 

 

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Yugen in Action

Series Presentations at NOHspace  - April 1 & 2, June 3 & 4 at 7pm

 

In the 2015/16 Season, Theatre of Yugen will present a two-part presentation series inviting Bay Area artists to create, revive or develop work for a two-night presentation and artists' engagement event at NOHspace. Yugen in Action is thematically linked to Theatre of Yugen’s Fall 2016 premiere of The Red Demon, and will use the same motifs of “Immigration & Alienation,” as the starting point for participating artists.


SERIES PRESENTATION #1

On April 1 & 2 we are proud to present a Staged Reading of A Glass of Water  

Written by Freddy Gutierrez, based on a novel by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Friday, April 1st & Saturday, April 2nd

Doors open: 6:30pm, Reading: 7pm

Tickets are available at the door on a sliding scale of $5 - $15


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Freddy Gutierrez

- vato de aquellos, MFA, Oakland based Writer, Teaching Artist, and Cultural Worker. Freddy inspires and nurtures writers to move from the page to the stage and the street. Freddy has taught with Youth Speaks, Chapter 510, the Oakland Public Library, the University of San Francisco, and Stanford University. He facilitates writing and performance arts spaces with men and youth who are policed, imprisoned, and marginalized by the prison-industrial complex. Freddy has read and performed at cultural centers, universities, jails, and juvenile halls throughout Northern California. Currently he is co-directing a performance project at San Quentin State Prison that is known as the Artistic Ensemble. Freddy’s work has been published by Arte Público Press/University of Houston, Nomadic Press, Econo Textual Objects, The Acentos Review, and POOR Magazine; and was featured as LoWriter of the Week selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

 

 

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry. 

During a fateful conflict with another inmate, Jimmy was shaken by the voices of Neruda and Lorca, and made a choice that would alter his destiny.  Instead of becoming a hardened criminal, he emerged from prison a writer. Baca sent three of his poems to Denise Levertov, the poetry editor of Mother Jones. 

The poems were published and became part of  IMMIGRANTS IN OUR OWN LAND,  published in 1979, the year he was released from prison. He earned his GED later that same year. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award and for his memoir "A Place to Stand" the prestigious International Award. In 2006 he won the Cornelius P. Turner Award. The national award recognizes one GED graduate a year who has made outstanding contributions to society in education, justice, health, public service and social welfare.

Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.

In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people of all walks of life the opportunity to become educated and improve their lives.

Baca is currently finishing a novel, a play and three poetry manuscripts to be published in 2007. He is also producing a two hour documentary about the power of literature and how it can change lives.

Please contact us at info@theatreofyugen.org or 415.621.0507 to reserve a ticket or for more information

 

Resonance | Answer July

 Dance Performance & Jazz Piano Concert

Featuring Miki Orihara and Senri Oe

Co-PRoduced by Theatre of Yugen 

In Association with BaySpo 

May 12 - 15, 2016

nohspace - 2840 Mariposa st, sf ca 94110

THURS, MAY 12: 8PM

Community Night - General Admission $20, Students and  Working Artists $15

FRI, MAY 13: DOORS AT 6PM, SHOW AT 7PM

Fundraiser for Theatre of Yugen $40, Includes Silent Auction, Preshow Appetizers, Show & Reception to Follow!

 SAT, MAY 14: 8PM

General Admission $25 & Student Prices $18

SUN, MAY 15: 5PM

General Admission $25 & Student Prices $18

 

Resonance, a combination dance performance and concert piece, pairs Orihara -- a principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company -- with renowned jazz pianist Senri Oe. Together, they'll share exciting new works inspired by the timeless stories and themes of dance masters like Graham, Isadora Duncan and Jose Limón, set to the sounds of Chopin, Mendelssohn and more. For the second act, Oe will present a solo jazz piano concert. Selections will include sneak peeks of tracks from his newest album entitled Answer Julya poetic whimsical jazz view of the world, which is slated to release in July of 2016.


About the Artists

 

 

MIKI ORIHARA

Dancer

Miki Orihara, a principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, began her training in Japan at an early age in traditional Fujima Japanese Dance. After graduating from Bunka Gakuin high school in Tokyo, she came to New York to study at the Joffrey Ballet School. Then received scholarships to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. In 2011, she earned BA in Dance from SUNY Empire State College.

In 1983 she became one of the original members of the Martha Graham Ensemble and thereafter shortly joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has performed with various other prominent companies and choreographers as well. These include Yuriko, Elisa Monte, Jean Erdman, Mariko Sanjo, Jun Kono(Japan), Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Twyla Tharp, Stephen Pier, Martha Clarke, Anne Bogart and SITI company, and Robert Wilson. In 2001, she was invited to dance at the New National Theater in Japan. In 2006, she was a guest artist with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater for their France Tour. On Broadway, Ms Orihara appeared in the role of “Eliza” and “Topsy” in “ The King & I” directed by Christopher Renshaw, Choreographed by Jerome Robbins and Lar Lubovitch.

As a choreographer, she premiered her solo work/performance “Searching Dimensions” (1995) in New York. Her recent works are “Passage”, “Serious Garden”  and “End of Summer” . These works were well received at their openings in Japan. In 2001, Ms Orihara presented an 8 women piece “VOICE” in Nagoya, Japan followed in 2008 by “Stage”.

Ms. Orihara assists master teacher and choreographer Yuriko in her Graham technique classes, reconstructions and choreography. She has also been a guest teacher at UCLA World Arts and Culture Department, Atlanta Ballet, State University of Florida, the Ailey School, Peridance, The Hartt School, Arts International in Moscow with Takako Asakawa, the New National Theater Ballet School in Tokyo, Les Etés de la Danse in Paris, Henny Jurriens Foundation in Amsterdam and numerous other workshops and schools throughout the world. She is currently on faculty at the Martha Graham School.  As a Regissuer on Martha Graham’s work, she has been setting works on world wide, include Diana Vashineva’s “Dialogue” and Wendy Whelan of New York City Ballet.

Ms. Orihara served as a Movement designer for Jen Silverman’s “Crane Story” directed by Katherine Kovner and a Casting Producer/Dance Director for mishmash*Miki Orihara’s music videos which will be released Spring/Summer 2014. Ms. Orihara is in process of making Martha Graham technique DVD, collaboration with Dance Spotlight and Martha Graham Center.

In 2010, She received a New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) Award for her contributions to dance.

SENRI OE

Jazz Pianist

A Bestselling SONY Music recording artist, Senri Oe’s international debut all-jazz album, “Boys Mature Slow,”(PND Records) released in July 2012, generated many rave reviews from top music magazines including “Jazziz” and “Down Beat” in NYC. After its release in Japan in September 2012 (SONY Records), “Boys Mature Slow” won the Album Of The Year: New Star Award from the Japan Jazz Awards presented by Nissan.

Oe has been active and influential in the Japanese music scene as a lyricist, composer and arranger since his debut in 1983. He extended his talent in the TV and film industry and went on to flourish as an actor and TV personality as well. His major awards include Japan Gold Disc Grand Prix: Best Male Pop Artist in 1988 and FNS Pop Music Award: Best Song of the Year in 1989.

In January 2008, Oe decided to pause his 25-year career in popular music in order to pursue jazz and moved to New York to study under Junior Mance and Aaron Goldberg. Oe graduated from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in May 2012.

Oe is now appearing at jazz clubs throughout NYC and surrounding East coast areas such as Tomi Jazz, Zinc Bar, SOB, Blue Note, NY City Winery, and Domain wine bar (Long Island City), along with a Japan tour at Tokyo Blue Note and Nagoya Blue Note.

In recent years, his 2nd jazz album “Spooky Hotel” topped Billboard Japan Jazz Charts and he performed again at Tokyo Jazz Festival in 2013 with his big band and special vocalists, Sheila Jordan and Matt Dusk.

 His latest achievement is the completion of his 4th album “Answer July” which includes collaborations with Sheila Jordan, Jon Hendricks, Lauren Kinhan (New York Voices), Theo Bleckmann and Becca Stevens. It will be released worldwide on July 5th, 2016, along with a world premiere show at Jazz Gallery (NYC) on the same day.

Currently, Oe is producing albums not only for his own jazz projects but also for other talented artists in NYC, as well as touring as the accompanist for Martha Graham Principal dancer Miki Orihara’s solo show, Resonance.


Photos from our NEW Kyogen Play ~ Three Times a Charm,

inspired by stories submitted by San Francisco 4th Grade Students.


Kyogen Double Feature

created in collaboration with the jbbp 4th grade at rosa parks elementary school

Theatre of Yugen is delighted to be working with the 4th grade students and teachers at Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program for our first ever Crazy for Words residency!  The culminating performance on May 22 will feature the talents of Sheila Berotti, A. Fenner, Nick Ishimaru, Allie Khori, and Ryan Marchand.  

May 22, 2 pm

NOHSPACE  

2840 MARIPOSA ST, SF CA 94110

Tickets available at the door.

$5-$15 - sliding scale General Admission

FREE admission for students under 12!

Call (415) 621-0507 or email info@theatreofyugen.org for tickets.

 

THE SHOW:

We are thrilled to be presenting a Kyogen double feature. The first play, the classic Fukurou Yamabushi, finds a mountain priest trying to exorcise the spirit of an owl from a young man. The second play is our brand new piece Three Times a Charm, which presents a young student trying to help a Head Master Wizard recover his once mighty strength!

 

THE RESIDENCY:

‘Crazy for Words’ is a literal translation of the word ‘Kyogen.’ This residency began with practical experience learning the basic form and feeling of Kyogen, and continued in the Spring with Theatre of Yugen collecting students’ own stories to create a contemporary comic play influenced by traditional Kyogen conventions.

 

The residency was conceived and developed in association with the U.S./ Japan Cultural Trade Network, which provides leadership, vision, information and support to enhance cultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. Funding was generously provided by the California Arts Council’s Local Impact program, fostering equity, access, and opportunity by providing project and partnership support for small arts organizations.

 

 

 

 

Mystical Abyss

Presented by Theatre of Yugen

in association with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance CompanY

Written by John O'Keefe

Directed by Yuriko Doi

Presented with generous support from: 

The National Endowment for the Arts & United Airlines

Part dance, part theatre, part computer generated animation, Mystical Abyss is a visually striking live performance piece infused with the potent elegance of Noh theatre and the raw athleticism of modern dance. Mystical Abyss features venerable performers from the traditional Noh theatre of Japan and the Native American performance traditions, set against a stellar backdrop of computer graphic animation projecting symbols of the ancient Japanese Jomon culture and other world-wide symbols of ancient power.  It evokes powerful images of unity across different generations, cultures and traditions focusing on the cyclical story of death and rebirth.

 

 


CREATIVE TEAM

Written by John O'Keefe

Directed by Yuriko Doi

Choreography by Jairo Heli Garcia

Music Composed by Narumi Takizawa and Kenny Perkins

Animation by Taketo Kobayashi and Koya Takahashi

Lighting Design by Stephen Siegel, Adapted by Allie Khori

Costume Design by Risa Lenore Dye

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Tasty Bites

November 6, 8, 13, 14 & 15

at NOHspace

These aren’t your grandmother's clowns. Heck, they aren’t even your mother’s clowns.

Your mother would have disowned them a long time ago!

* PLEASE NOTE: SUNDAY, NOV 15TH SHOW AT 5PM, NOT AS PRINTED ON POSTER OR POSTCARDS!


Showtimes at NOHspace

friday, Nov 6th at 8pm, sunday, nov 8th at 2pm

friday, nov 13th at 8pm, Saturday, nov 14th at 8pm

sunday, nov 15th at 5pm

 

Clowns On A Stick are three seasoned purveyors of the art of telling a story without words, creating cartoon vignettes that will tickle your funny bone and confirm your suspicions that goofing around is essential to living a good life.

Tasty Bites is Clowns On A Stick’s new show that is made up of several of their best short pieces from their thirteen years of performing together, along with new instances of unhinged frolicks created for this new show. As in any good clown show, despite their best efforts to put their best foot forward, feet get stepped on, death is always one pratfall away, true love is narrowly missed and improbably gained, and all is well that end’s well. From the bumbling waiter who inadvertently thwarts a marriage proposal in “Service, Please” to the desperations brought on by hunger in “The Grand Banquet,” the simple impulses of human nature are given a grand focus. And don’t worry if you recognize yourself in the humbling mistakes and stark embarrassment exhibited by Clowns On A Stick: clowns know better than anyone that we’re all in this together.

Clowns On A Stick has been creating original clown pieces for vaudeville shows since 2003. They have been part of the Chautauqua Revue at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center since 2003. In 2011, they premiered their first full length show, To Bury A Cat, that they performed over two years in the North Bay, San Francisco, and Oakland.

Tasty Bites is on Tour!

Check out their North Bay & East Bay shows 

Studio Quercus in Oakland - Wednesday, November 18th at 8pm

Occidental Center for the Arts - Saturday, November 21st at 2pm & 8pm

Cinnabar Theatre in Petaluma - Sunday, November 22nd at 2pm 

 

Tickets to Studio Quercus & Occidental through Theatre of Yugen - Just click on the Buy Tickets button above!

Tickets to Cinnabar Theatre - Please visit their website by Clicking Here 

 

 

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Theatre of Yugen has been creating theatre since 1978.  Information about many of our older shows can be found in our previous archive.