No!! Chad Jones Is Moving To Sacramento!

One of San Francisco’s best theater critics is moving, depending on how you look at it, either up (from writer to editor) or over (from San Francisco to Sacramento).

Yes, Chad Jones is going to be a features editor at the Sacramento Bee. And while that’s great news for Chad, it’s horrible news for us. Not only is Chad great with the reviewing, his Theater Dogs blog was always right on top of the latest theater news.

Yes, you read that right: was. Theater Dogs is on indefinite hiatus while Chad moves and figures out what it will become, or if it will continue to exist.

Boo for us. Yay for Chad. But mostly boo for us.

AlterTheater Article

Chad Jones has a fascinating article up about a theater company that this SF/Berkeley-centric playwright had never heard of: Marin’s Alternative Theater Ensemble, or AlterTheater.

They put on plays guerilla-style: working out of storefronts, getting furniture and costumes donated by Goodwill:

Now in its fourth season, AlterTheater has made this formula work by performing in storefronts all around San Rafael – art galleries, furniture stores, you name it….

“In many other companies, the first thing cut is actors and Equity contracts,” Harrison says. “The first thing we cut is the production budget. We do a lot of collaborative partnerships so that we can borrow or get donated most of the things we need for a show. One of our sponsors is Goodwill, which has been a wonderful relationship for us. We’re able to use what’s in their stock and return it at the end of the show. Also, when people donate items to us, we pass them on to Goodwill. In Moscow they have a theater position called `the procurer,’ who basically reads the script, determines what’s going to be toughest to find, then sets out to procure those items. That’s a little like what we do.”

Their current play is Justin Warner‘s American Whup-Ass, a spoof of the election process about a Senator who’s challenged to a wrestling match on national TV. Sounds like it’s worth the drive. And a new link in the list of theaters off in the right column there.

Through Nov 9 at 1299 Fourth Street (at C Street), San Rafael. 415-454-2787 or altertheater.org


Theater Dogs Article On YELLOWJACKETS

Chad Jones has an article up on his Theater Dogs site talking about a cool thing: The play’s about the Berkeley High School student newspaper, and Berkeley Rep’s set up a journalism summit for teen journalists, where they get to interact with big time reporters (including the aforementioned Chad Jones).

Cool outreach/tie-in, and a great opportunity for up-and-coming journalists. We never had anything like that back when I was on the student newspaper (for a week, before I discovered theatuh. Or more specifically, discovered that the only time girls were allowed into our all-boy high school was when they were rehearsing for the school play. Sign me up!)

On a side note: That’s my friend Alex Curtis with the skateboard in the cast photo above, getting ready to make his Berkeley Rep debut. Go see him. He’s great. (Well, I’ve only seen him improvise, but all the best improvisers I know make for really good, spontaneous, and real actors, so I assume he’ll be great in this too.)

The teen thing, for students grade 9-12, is Aug 18, 9:30AM – 3:30PM, at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. Yellowjackets is Aug 29 – Oct 12 at Berkeley Rep Theatre.

Berkeley Rep Now NOT Doing YELLOW FACE

Chad Jones reports that Berkeley Rep is postponing David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face, which was supposed to be the last play of the season. It looks like they plan to tour it in 2009, though, like they did with Passing Strange and Bridge & Tunnel, so it could end up being an extremely good thing for Hwang.

You’ve bookmarked Chad Jones’ Theater Dogs site, haven’t you? He knows all and sees everything, including Jersey Boys, which, if I’m reading his blog correctly, he’s seen one million and three times.