Sara Toby Moore to Star in ATOMIC COMIC at Z Space Beginning Next Month

This production is a World Premiere, having had a sneak preview run in November 2019 at Potrero Stage.

By: May. 20, 2023
Sara Toby Moore to Star in ATOMIC COMIC at Z Space Beginning Next Month
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Sara Toby Moore to Star in ATOMIC COMIC at Z Space Beginning Next Month

ATOMIC COMIC - A Human Cartoon Fantasia, written by and starring Sara Toby Moore will be performed beginning Friday, June 30, 2023, with an opening night scheduled for Saturday, July 1. Additional performances will be on July 6, 7, and 8, 2023 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) All shows will be at 8:00 pm.

Performances take place at Z Space - 450 Florida St. (at 17th St.), San Francisco 94110. Seating is general admission. (Tix: $20 - $55)

For tickets, visit:

ATOMIC COMIC - A Human Cartoon Fantasia

San Francisco's award-winning, renowned poet clown Sara Toby Moore has created an autobiographical "human cartoon fantasia" about facing troubling times with humor as resilience. Through hyper-physical comedy, quick-witted repartee and sweet, goofy musical numbers, Moore tells the horrible-hilarious story of their recent journey through the death of a parent, a crushing breakup and surviving cancer by finding the humor in all that humanity! As a lifelong writer, actor and circus clown Moore chose to use every skill they'd acquired to embrace & outright celebrate their unbelievable bad luck by careening furiously from their mouthy, inappropriate therapist (played with fabulous raging candor by TV star Sharon Gless) to doing cancer treatments "in character", to endeavoring to rebuild a performing career with their fellow comics during COVID lockdown. Miraculously, Moore was saved from total despair by believing in the Carrie Fisher mantra: Take your broken heart and make it into art.

This 70-minute freewheeling romp is directed by Sean Owens - (Bay Area Critics' Circle Award-winner & Killing My Lobster veteran); choreographed by Rory Davis (illustrious Baloney and Peaches Christ choreographer).
In addition to star and playwright Sara Toby Moore as Toby, other comic performers include: Colin Johnson as Hammy Sammy (Awesome Theatre); Sharon Shao as Daphne (Sleeping Beauty, Chinglish), DeMarcello Funes as Rando (Circus Bella, The Supers), and special filmed appearances by Emmy-winning TV legend Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey) as Dr. Claire - Sara Toby Moore's snap-dragon therapist. Local guest performers George Maguire and Maureen McVerry also pop up as Moore and company's horrid talent agents!

This production is a World Premiere, having had a sneak preview run in Nov. 2019 at Potrero Stage.


Sara Toby Moore: Producer, Playwright/Actor; Annie Stuart: Producer; Debra Mosk: Co-Producer; Sean Owens: Director & Dramaturg; Annie Tillis: Production Stage Manager, graphic design; Colin Johnson: Soundscape & Video Design; Sarah Phykitt: Scenic Design; Kenna Lindsay: Prop Design & Photos.

For info call or visit: 415-626-0453 or

The Atomic Comics

Adjacent to the production of Atomic Comic is The Atomic Comics, the community outreach & education arm of Thrillride Mechanics. The Atomic Comics is a newly formed collective based on the art and practice of "fusion clowning," a combination of physical and verbal comedy, the process through which we construct our signature clown operas and comic fantasias. We do this work with a joyous commitment to diversity with an emphasis on the intergenerational, bringing together elders and teens and everyone in-between to create and perform buoyant,entertaining performances that are equal parts hilarious and soulful. To that end, Sara Toby Moore was recently awarded a $50,000 Arts Impact Endowment Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.


Sara Toby Moore (Producer/Playwright/Toby) is an award-winning queer nonbinary San Francisco-based clown, actor, drag artist, director & filmmaker whose 35-year career continues to toggle between queer theatre and physical theatre & circus while actively raising the stakes of new American clowning. As founding Creative Director of Thrillride Mechanics LLC, the world's very first "clown opera company," Moore continues to dedicate their career to what they call "restorative theatre," combining highly physical theatrical storytelling with accompanying workshops and classes that bring different groups of people together as creative explorers. In fact, Moore was recently awarded a $50,000 San Francisco Arts Commission Impact Endowment Grant for the formation of The Atomic Comics, a highly diverse and intergenerational education outreach program that, along with Thrillride Mechanics, is in residence at Z Space!

As master instructor and director of Circus Center's Clown & Performance Department where they previously led Circus Center's famed Clown Conservatory, Moore has brought a punk-rock sensibility to the teaching and performance of Physical Comedy & Tragedy. Their substantial body of creative work covers the full spectrum of acting & clowning and spans multiple media, from the big top to film and stage, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Krofft Puppets, Royal Caribbean Int'l. NYC credits include The McGinn/Cazale Theatre, Ars Nova, The Women's Project, La Mama ETC & P.S. 122. Casino showrooms in Atlantic City & Vegas, guerilla busking and as the comic foil in mega shows for entertainment tycoon Merv Griffin. They have opened for and performed alongside such greats as Chita Rivera, Carol Channing, Rita Moreno, Sammy Cahn, Phyllis Diller and others, while working for Mr. Griffin who called Moore "the hardest working clown in show business" and "our new Fanny Brice." Moore is also the proud writer-director of the cult indie film Homo Heights starring the late Quentin Crisp, prompting Variety to rave "witty narrative clowning with continuous laughs & many brilliant performances." Known and loved well by SF audiences for their work with Oasis, Theatre Rhino, Brava, NCTC, Center Rep, Circus Bella, New Pickle Circus, Make-A-Circus, Circus Center & George Coates Performance Works, among others, she's been hailed by critics as everything from a "21st century Pagliacci" to "a comedic powerhouse." Moore's trademark "human cartoon" productions include their nationally toured one-person tour-de-force Show Ho as well as Wunderworld and now Atomic Comic: A Human Cartoon Fantasia, a celebration of both queerness and physical comedy! Both the NEA and the Fleishhacker Foundation honored Moore with grants for their recent clown opera THE SUPERS, enabling this "live silent film" about cosmic refugees to debut at Z Space in SF in February 2020. Critics lauded this wildly unconventional production, with our own Jonathan Moscone (Cal Shakes, Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, Cal. Arts Council) writing: "I was on the ride from the get-go, thanks to the wildly talented cast, the extremity of performance style, and the emotionality underpinning the entire journey. It combined moments of Fellini, Chaplin, Dadaism and Melodrama into a new kind of theater that made me let go and just travel with Sara Toby Moore and company." In the works now is CYCLONES, a future "clown opera" about the cosmology of the Cyclone rollercoaster to be presented at Z Space in 2024.


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