3Girls Theatre Company Will Return to Z Below for its 8th New Works Festival
3Girls Theatre Company returns to Z Below for its 8th New Works Festival, the first since company Founder and Executive Artistic Director AJ Baker brought her 3-decade long private law practice to a close in order to dedicate her time and energy to the company exclusively. "My specialty as a lawyer has been employment law, often revolving around high-stakes contracts and payouts. I've seen firsthand how unless you take action to stop it, history has a way of repeating itself. So, 'flipping the script' is an important tool to understanding our world, which is why this year's theme is 'Hindsight is 2020.' I'm thrilled that close to a decade after starting the organization I've arrived at the place where I can dedicate myself to it full time."
The Company is committed to contributing to the Bay Area's artistic economy, with the unique twist that while all are welcome, the playwrights are exclusively women. "3GT's mission" says Baker, "is to support the development of our women playwrights, who range in age from pre-teen to 80+. That support is not just artistic and financial, but includes the crucial step of getting their best work in front of Bay Area audiences. We want everyone to experience the power of stories told by women onstage. It's really that simple."
The theme of Hindsight is 2020: Reimagining Women's History means the company is joining artists around the country in celebrating a century of US women's suffrage. But rather than just focusing on the intersection of women's rights and politics, 3GT's idea is for Festival theatre-makers to play in alternative worlds that tweak women's place in history, for better or for worse. "Imagining what might have been rather than just dwelling on what we've got," says Baker, "is not only a great project for theatre to tackle, but shines a light on the best way forward."
Festival highlights include two performances of We Player's Mother Lear (including a special pre-festival production) and an evening dedicated to "flipping the script" of history that features seven short plays, including a tip of the hat to Caryl Churchill's Top Girls called Bottoms Up!
Also on deck, a program of LezWritesBTQ performances curated by Tina D'Elia, as well an afternoon of Salon Series Finalist staged readings vying for the 2020 Festival Prize: Swimming with Puppies by Susan Jackson and Meth by Elizabeth Flanagan.
3GT's distinguished judges for the 2020 Festival Prize are Sarah Rose Leonard the Literary Director at Berkeley Rep; Torange Yeghiazarian founder and Executive Director of Golden Thread Productions and Jessica Bird Beza, Executive Director at Playwrights Foundation
Opening Night: Use Your Imagination!
The Festival kicks off with an entertaining and provocative evening of theatre, improv and conversation riffing on the theme of "Hindsight is 2020!" It will feature improv from Festival favorites Rachel Hamilton and Kimberly MacLean, and introduce the 2020 Festival Ensemble. Hosted by 3GT Executive Artistic Director & Founding Playwright AJ Baker. Z Below, Friday, 3/20 at 7:30pm
LezWritesBTQ: In Performance
LezWritesBTQ is a unique script development and performance program for emerging lesbian, trans, gender non-conforming, and queer Bay Area theatre-makers. Curated by Program Director Tina D'Elia, this will be an evening of humorous short plays from L Zephyr, Troy Rockett, and Kristy Lin Billuni, along with monologues by Margery Kreitman, Julia Jackson, and Kelly J. Kelly. Z Below, Saturday, 3/21 at 3pm & 7:30pm
Presented by 3GT in collaboration with We Players. An irascible middle-aged scholar with dementia communicates with her caretaker daughter using only the text of King Lear, as the two struggle with aging, love and their own balance of power. Written and performed by Ava Roy and Courtney Walsh. Thursday 3/19 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, 3/22 at 3pm. Please note: the special pre-festival showing on 3/19 has a higher price point ($40) reservations and includes, reception, wine & cheese.
3GT Innovators: The Dream Thief
A new immersive urban fairytale for small audiences from Erin Gilley & Denmo Ibrahim that invites viewers to join them in an adventure to reclaim stolen dreams and unravel the mystery of a supernatural thief on the run. 3GT Innovators provides financial, dramaturgical, and production support to women-led companies experimenting with new theatrical forms. This special work-in-progress showing is at Z Below on Sunday, 3/22 at 7:30pm
3GT Investigates: Black Missing Murdered Trafficked
3GT Investigates commissions teams of women playwrights to interrogate the critical issues of our time via the use of investigative/documentary theatre techniques. California consistently has the highest number of human-trafficking incidents reported in the U.S. and the FBI refers to the SF Bay Area as one of the world's major sex trafficking hubs. In Oakland, 98% of trafficking victims are female and 64% are Black. In Partnership with Regina's Door, and led by 3GT playwright and organizer Cat Brooks, this work-in-progress explores the disappearance and murder of Black women in Oakland.
Z Below, Wednesday, 3/25 at 7:30pm
3GT Innovators: Apocalyptic Cabaret by Queer Cat Productions
Queer Cat Production's Curious at the End of the World is a consent-forward interactive immersive theatrical experience that imagines a queer cabaret at the end of the world. For these performances, the company chooses a different reason for the apocalypse in question, and March 2020's is "Patriarchy killed the world." 3GT Innovators provides financial, dramaturgical, and production support to women-led companies experimenting with new theatrical forms. Z Below, Thursday, 3/26 at 7:30pm
Hindsight is 2020 Theme Night: Flip the Script!
An evening of seven provocative, powerful and delightfully linked staged readings on the Festival theme by a dynamic crew of women playwrights, including the short Bottoms Up, inspired by Top Girls and its creator, Caryl Churchill. The evening is directed by Pamela Hollings and features the 2020 Festival Ensemble! Z Below, Friday, 3/27 at 7:30pm
Salon Series Finalist: Swimming with Puppies by Susan Jackson
In competition for the 2020 festival prize with Meth by Elizabeth Flanagan, this dark comedy explores the cult of hero worship and how grief affects those touched by headline-grabbing tragedy. Rachel's husband, and Phoebe's father, Jack, has died in a mass shooting. He appears to have saved the life of a young woman, Sandrea Clemmons, who suddenly shows up at their family home to seek refuge from the press. But Rachel holds a secret about Jack's past; will she reveal it to her anguished daughter Phoebe? Directed by Louis Parnell.
Z Below, Saturday, 3/28 at 1pm
Salon Series Finalist: Meth by Elizabeth Flanagan
In competition for the 2020 festival prize with Swimming with Puppies by Susan Jackson, Meth follows a woman named Louise who went away to college thinking she'd left her dead-end town and all its baggage behind. But upon returning home after being put on academic probation, finds unfinished business with old boyfriends and best friends right where she left it. Directed by Zach Kopciak.
Z Below, Saturday, 3/28 at 3:30pm
The 2020 Festival Prize Judges are: Sarah Rose Leonard the Literary Director at Berkeley Rep; Torange Yeghiazarian founder and Executive Director of Golden Thread Productions and Jessica Bird Beza, Executive Director at Playwrights Foundation.
GirlWrights: In Performance
Professional actors perform short plays written by girls age 11-15 living in San Francisco. GirlWrights offers free playwriting workshops to young women in the Bay Area who lack regular access to theatre programming and education. Z Below, Sunday, 3/29 at 3pm
3Girls Theatre Presents New Works Festival
Z Below, 470 Florida Street, SF CA
$10.00 3GirlsTheatre.org or Z Space
About 3Girls Theatre
San Francisco non-profit 3Girls Theatre Company offers development and performance opportunities to Bay Area women playwrights. Programs include readings, works-in-progress, full productions and a New Works Festival drawn from five development projects: the Salon Series, GirlWrights, LezWritesBTQ, 3GT Innovators, and 3GT Investigates. These projects develop new plays written by Bay Area women for both traditional and experimental theatre, empower young women and girls, and nurture LBTQ playwrights. Hundreds of Bay Area theatre-makers who share our vision - across ages, perspectives and genders -now collaborate each year with 3GT to "put women's work onstage, where it belongs."
About AJ Baker
3GT Executive Artistic Director & Founding Playwright AJ Baker co-founded 3GT in 2011 and has helmed the company since its founding. Baker has served as Executive Producer for 3GT's eight New Works Festivals and all of its full productions, in addition to overseeing the presentation of 90+ on-stage readings to date. Under Baker's leadership 3GT has grown from a single reading series into a company that offers development and production opportunities to an ever-expanding group of women theatre-makers that reflects the uniqueness and diversity of the Bay Area.
AJ is an award-winning playwright whose Bay Area productions include Disruption (2018), Entanglement (2016) and The Right Thing(2012). A proud member of Dramatists' Guild, AJ has also served on the board of PlayGround and as an independent producer for 429 Productions. From 2005-2020 she was managing partner of the San Francisco law firm Levine & Baker LLP.