theater | KALW


Marcus L. Jackson

The pandemic has taken a toll on many people’s mental health. Brian Copeland wants to help those dealing with depression. His one-man show "The Waiting Period" he shares his personal story about contemplating suicide.

Jenee Darden

"Hamilton" has found new fans now that it’s streaming on Disney+. Before the pandemic, high school students attended a special matinee of the musical. They performed their own work on stage and told stories of some people left out of history books.

Courtesy of Seth Eisen

Seth Eisen’s OUT of Site, is a theater project where audiences follow actors around the streets of San Francisco and watch them perform at locations in LGBTQ+ history. Audiences will have fun on their next history lesson virtually in OUT of Site: SOMA

courtesy of Brendon Chan


Brendon Chan’s dancing talents have taken him to many countries. Now, he’s back home in San Francisco performing in the hit musical Hamilton. Brendon spoke to KALW’s Jenee Darden about what it took to reach this point of his career.

Peter Merts

Dameion Brown thought his theater career was over when he left prison. But three years later, he still performs with Marin Shakespeare Company, the group that first introduced him to acting at Solano State Prison. He also teaches with their programs in youth prisons.

Shakespeare Gives Actors Choices, Even in Prison

Jul 29, 2019

From the series Uncuffed:

I found acting in prison, and Steve Drown had acted most of his life through high school and college. One actor from the desert and the other from the city.

Peter Prato

For actor and playwright Dan Hoyle, theatre is part of his DNA. His father is veteran stage performer Geoff Hoyle, and Dan has had several acclaimed one-man shows that not only make audiences laugh but think. He’s back at the Marsh for his latest production "Border People."

Courtesy of Theatre of Yugen

More than forty years ago, San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen became one of the first American theater companies to feature classical Japanese theater arts.

David Allen / Utopia Theatre Project

Theatre artist Anne Yumi Kobori caught the acting bug at a young age. As a child, she would put on performances of classic tales like Cinderella and even design her own costumes. After college Anne started the Utopia Theatre Project as a way to produce theatre that inspires social change by taking old stories and making them accessible to modern audiences.

by Zboralski, used under CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Oakland resident Glenn Bailey is 85 years old. He spent 52 of those years in the penal system. Bailey was in an out of jail for most of his life, and he’s never denied the crime that got him in the longest — a double homicide.

Courtesy of The Marsh

Playwright Lisa Rothman is an East Oakland mom. One day she took her kids to a Winter Solstice Carnival in Marin, and things were never the same. She saw moms keeping very close tabs on their kids, a fire-breathing dragon, and an overall attitude that neither she nor her Oakland-raised kids understood.

Courtesty of Camp Santo

“Candlestick” is the latest production from San Francisco theatre company Campo Santo. The drama follows a group of longtime Bayview residents and 49ers fans tailgating during the team’s final season at Candlestick Park, and explores the changing face of the Bay Area before the niners move to Santa Clara.

Peaches Christ on producing cult classic films as drag goes mainstream

Jan 22, 2019
David Ayllon

Peaches Christ has been a force in the San Francisco drag scene for more than twenty years as audiences around the world have enjoyed the legendary diva. The performer, playwright, and filmmaker is known for putting her own hilarious spin on cult films by producing parodies.

Teresa Castracane (cropped) / Courtesty of Berkeley Rep

Actress Nilaja Sun has returned to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre with the West Coast debut of her one-woman show Pike St.

Courtesy of

Ever since high school, people have pronounced Irma Herrera’s name wrong. When she'd correct their pronunciation, they'd ask where she was from, as if it was a foreign name. “I’m a fifth generation South Texan,” she’d say.

Marga Gomez on playing her father on stage

Oct 22, 2018
Fabian Echevarria

For writer, performer, and comedian Marga Gomez, becoming an entertainer was somewhat of a rite of passage. 

Fauxnique and Marc Kate combine horror, sound, dance, and drag

Oct 17, 2018

Under her drag queen alter ego Fauxnique, performing artist Monique Jenkinson has connected art and entertainment for over a decade as a fixture on the San Francisco experimental performance scene.

Rocking the stage in more than “Wonway”

Sep 13, 2018
Courtesy of Juan Amador

Whether it’s on the turntables setting the mood at his Makossa Cookout parties or on the stage rocking a microphone, Grammy-nominated songwriter, emcee, and DJ Juan Amador — also known as Wonway Posibul — has been a fixture in the Bay Area music scene.

Courtesy of The Marsh

Actor Don Reed has been gracing Bay Area stages with stories about his family and life growing up in East Oakland. Now he’s back with the latest installment of his autobiographical one-man show, “Can You Dig It: The '60s.”

David Wilson


Actress, writer, and educator Rhodessa Jones got the idea for The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women almost 30 years ago, after teaching classes at the San Francisco County Jail.

A dark family secret comes to light in new play

Apr 25, 2018

 Playwright Kelli Kerslake Colaco’s new play, "You Are My Sunshine," is based on a dark story from her own family history. Growing up, Kelli had heard rumors from different family members, and pieced together that one night in 1931, her great-grandfather killed his wife, mother-in-law, and then himself. The show searches for the truth  behind the dark family legend, and is narrated through Woody Guthrie-style folk songs. 

Playwright Kelli Kerslake Colaco: Sights & Sounds

Apr 19, 2018

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Playwright Kelli Kerslake Colaco told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.

Prateek Sarkar

When India became independent in 1947, Britain’s last act as the colonial power was to split the country in two based on religion. Hindus were forced to move to India and Muslims were forced to move to Pakistan.

Courtesy of Sarita Ocón

When theater artist Sarita Ocón started working as an actor in the Bay Area, she felt like something was missing, especially for a new generation of female, queer, and gender-expansive artists of color in the Bay Area.

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

San Francisco-based writer and performer Paul S. Flores began his artistic life as a spoken word artist and teacher. He was one of the founding staff members of nationally recognized youth poetry organization Youth Speaks.

But over the years his career has taken a turn toward theater, especially a kind of theater that draws its stories from real life and the words of real people.

Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries via AP, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license

Since 2013, San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle partners with local schools to create and perform an original opera.

Fog City Blues: Blues Is a Woman

Jul 26, 2017

Blues Is a Woman celebrates women in the blues from Ma Rainey to Bonnie Raitt and beyond. 

David Wilson


When it came time to choose a musical to put on this summer, the team at San Francisco’s Theatre Rhinoceros knew they wanted to pull out all the stops for their 40th anniversary. And that’s how this queer theatrical institution decided on Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Monsoon Wedding by Mira Nair was an unlikely hit in 2001.

Kehinde Koyejo


When Oakland theater company Ragged Wing Ensemble first started making work in 2004, they were renting space show-by-show.  Eventually, they made themselves a permanent home in downtown Oakland, creating a shared arts space they called the Flight Deck. It’s now home to four resident theater companies, and hosts performances, classes, workshops, and a gallery.