Cutting Ball Theater Presents THE CUTTING BALL VARIETY PACK

Cutting Ball Theater Presents THE CUTTING BALL VARIETY PACK

Cutting Ball Theater's signature festival returns in the 2018/2019 Season, marking the 20th anniversary of the company's founding. The Cutting Ball Variety Pack - called "half shindig, half artistic salon" by Artistic Director Ariel Craft - is an eleven-day festival dedicated to exploration and collaboration, featuring directorial shorts, new play workshops, and roundtable readings. The Cutting Ball Variety Pack offers an eclectic array of programming with particular delights for the creatively curious from November 8 through November 18. Tickets to festival offerings cost $15 each and all-festival passes costs $30 each. Admission includes a free drink at Cutting Ball's bar. Tickets and all-festival passes are available for purchase online at or by phone at 415-525-1205.

"The ethos of our Variety Pack is to challenge artists to be wild - experiment with untested creative techniques, tackle projects that frighten them, and let their inspirations fly," Craft said of the festival, returning for its second year in 2018. The program is rich with a range of programming and something to suit every taste, "an artistic goodie bag," according to Craft.

The festival opens with Short Cuts, an anthology performance featuring four short pieces helmed by four different directors.

  • Cutting Ball's Artistic Director Ariel Craft will direct The Spurt of Blood, an 'impossible' mini-play by Antonin Artaud, theorist of the Theatre of Cruelty.
  • Cutting Ball's Associate Artistic Director Maya Herbsman will helm a queer re-imagining of the Greek myths of Eurydice and Persephone.
  • Bay Area favorite Susannah Martin (Shotgun Players, San Francisco Playhouse) makes her Cutting Ball debut with a selection from Henrik Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea.
  • Rounding out the program, Erik Pearson will contribute a piece exploring audience engagement through the lens of the Cyclops myth.

Combining four very different pieces into a single evening of exploratory performance, Short Cuts is divvied by three jovial mini-intermissions featuring the music of local bands, free snacks, and raffles. Short Cuts will be performed November 8 at 7pm, November 9 at 8pm, November 14 at 7pm, November 16 at 8pm, and November 18 at 2pm.

The Cutting Ball Variety Pack will also feature staged readings of two unproduced and unpublished plays, the culmination of week-long workshop processes designed to foster the plays' artistic development.

  • Zoohouse by New York-based playwright Aurin Squire, a two-time recipient of Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, is a dystopic, poetic, metatheatrical fable set in an "asylum for the black and criminally insane." Zoohouse will be presented in a staged reading directed by local actor-director Margo Hall on November 11 at 2pm.
  • Three Fat Sisters is a comedy by Morgan Gould, resident playwright at New Dramatists in New York City, exploring the identity politics of being a woman of size and the violence that women enact on one another and on their own bodies. Three Fat Sisters will be presented in a staged reading directed by Gould - who directed Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men at Marin Theatre Company last season - on November 17 at 8pm.

The Cutting Ball Variety Pack also offers audience the opportunity to gather around a communal table with artists for informal readings of lesser-known plays from the canon.

  • Sappho by Estelle Anna B. Lewis, a neglected verse play from 1876 that tells the story of a lesbian romance, will be read on November 10 at 2pm.
  • As Five Years Pass by Federico García Lorca in translation by Caridad Svich, considered by many to be Lorca's most experimental work, will be read on November 13 at 7pm.
  • The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, about the culpability of great scientific minds in times of nuclear threat, will be presented on November 15 at 7pm.

For twenty years, Cutting Ball Theater has been championing the unusual and the evocative, reimagining how narratives can be told, and producing plays for audiences with bold and curious tastes in San Francisco. Over the years, Cutting Ball has received recognition and honors from numerous grant makers and media outlets including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Weekly, San Francisco Magazine, the Acker Awards, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the American Theatre Wing. Cutting Ball Theater was founded by Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers and is currently led by Artistic Director Ariel Craft and Managing and Producing Director Liz Olson. For more information about Cutting Ball Theater, visit

Cutting Ball Theater's 2018/ 2019 Season is made possible in part by the Bothin Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The RHE Charitable Foundation, The San Francisco Arts Commission, SWEA, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, Embassy of Sweden, Dolby, Microsoft/Yammer, Wells Fargo Foundation, Zendesk, Zoosk, and season producers Robert Chlebowski, Ken Melrose, Velia Melrose, Erik Blachford and Maryam Mohit, Mark Rabine and Lydia Chavez, Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock, and Dave and Kate Yrueta.

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