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Word for Word Launches Associate Artist Group, Special Events for HOLIDAY HIGH JINX

Word for Word closes the 2015 Season with Word for Word's HOLIDAY HIGH JINX -- Bums, Broads and Broadway: Stories by Damon Runyon, Joseph Mitchell, and E.B. White, to open on Saturday Nov. 28, 8pm (Press opening) and run through December 24, 2015 at Z Below in San Francisco's Mission/SOMA district. These stories are by New York chroniclers known for their reflections on life in the New York of their time, with a range of New Yorkers from the common to the eccentric. Their stories give us the poetry of the city and its uncelebrated people living on the margins.

"The warmth of these writers in a cold world-winter cold and '30's Depression cold-glow with holiday spirit. Runyon, Mitchell, and White show us people drawn together in community, celebrating the season and bringing us all a cup of good cheer," remarks Susan Harloe, Word for Word's Co-Artistic Director.

Drected by Sheila Balter, the HOLIDAY HIGH JINX stories are Damon Runyon's "Dancing Dan's Christmas", Joseph Mitchell's "The Cave-Dwellers" and E.B. White's "Christmas and Relative Pronouns", "Notes and Comments" from the 12/17/32, New Yorker. The HOLIDAY HIGH JINX cast is Rotimi Agbabiaka,* Jackson Davis,*Paul Finocchiaro, Lisa Hori Garcia,* Stephanie Hunt* and Søren Oliver.* (*AEA) The creative team for HOLIDAY HIGH JINX features Scenic Design by Jeff Rowlings, Lighting Design by Jim Cave, Costume Design by Christina Dinkel, Sound design by Lawton Lovely, and Props Design by Gabi Immelman.

Word for Word launches a newly formed Associate Artist Group, a coterie of talented young theater professionals who are bringingWord for Word to a new generation of audiences. Associates artists featured in HOLIDAY HIGH JINX are Lisa Hori-Garcia, actor, and Amber Bryant (Assistant Stage Manager).

The full Associate Artist Group includes Molly Benson, Amber Bryant, Andrea Day, Rosie Hallett, Gendell Hing-Hernandez, Lisa Hori-Garcia, Ryan Tasker, and Becca Wolff.

Special Events:

Join Word for Word for a Tom & Jerry (cocktail) at each performance with special events on:

12/1 Dancing Dan Night - Come dressed in period clothing (1930's New York) and get a drink ticket.

12/8 Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest-Wear your strangest Christmas sweater and get a drink ticket-the winner will get a Word for Wordproduction gift certificate.

Give a book at Christmas: We love books so much we want to share them with kids! Bring a new or gently used children's book to the show, and we will give all we collect to the Children's Book Project. a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged children learn to read by providing children and their shelters, schools, daycare and community centers with books and other resources. Donation good for a free drink at our bar!



Bums, Broads and Broadway:

Stories by Damon Runyon, Joseph Mitchell, and E.B. White

Directed by Sheila Balter

November 28, through December 24 - Press Night Saturday Nov. 28, 8pm (Preview Nov. 25 & 27 ),

At: Z Below, Z Space's new second venue, at 470 Florida St..

Performances; Nov 29 3 pm and 7 pm shows, then run Tues-Sun; Tue-Th at 7, Fri-Sat at 8, Sun at 3

PLEASE NOTE: Final week: shows Tues 12/22 at 2 and 7, Wed 12/23 at 2 and 7, Thurs 12/24 at 2

Ticket prices: $35- $55, previews $20 Tickets:866.811.4111 or at


Damon Runyon ("Dancing Dan's Christmas") was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type: gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters. His distinctive vernacular style is known as "Runyonesque": a mixture of formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense, and always devoid of contractions. The musicalGuys and Dolls is based on his short stories. Runyon was also a well-known newspaper reporter, covering sports and general news for decades.

Joseph Mitchell ("The Cave Dwellers") was best known for the work he published in The New Yorker. He is celebrated for his carefully written portraits of eccentrics and people on the fringes of society, especially in and around New York City. A great chronicler of city life, and a journalistic prodigy, he is also known for suffering from writer's block for several decades. Mitchell's influence endures with today's generation of New York chroniclers. His short story "The Cave Dwellers", from Up in the Old Saloon, was first published in the Christmas Eve, 1938 edition of The New Yorker as "Christmas Story". "Mitchell was genuinely interested in his subjects as human beings, remarkable because they so vividly demonstrate that one way or another we are all a little weird. " Charles McGrath, also of The New Yorker

E.B. White ("Christmas and Relative Pronouns", "Notes and Comments" - [12/17/32, The New Yorker]) worked for the United Press and the Seattle Times before eventually joining the staff of the fledgling New Yorker magazine in 1927; this is also where he met his wife, Katharine Angell, then literary manager of The New Yorker. White's essays for The New Yorker quickly garnered critical praise. Written in a personal, direct style showcasing his wry humor, his witty pieces contained musings about city life, politics, and literature. Considered one of the great stylists of the English language, White co-authored the classic The Elements of Style, as well as writing the supremely elegant children's books, Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. In 1978, he received a Pulitzer Prize for the body of his work.

Sheila Balter (Director) acts, directs and teaches with Word for Word and is a Charter Member. Directing credits for the company include 4 Adverbs by Daniel Handler, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs by Tobias Wolff, Stories by Sandra Cisneros, and a staged reading of Woody Allen's The Kugelmass Episode at City Arts and Lectures. She has also directed for Encore Theatre Company, Brava for Women in the Arts, and California Shakespeare Theater for the New Playwrights Festival in Washington, D.C. Sheila was born in New York City and in her house it was always referred to as "...the greatest city in the world." Special thanks to Jim Cave.

Susan Harloe* (Artistic Director, Word for Word) is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Word for Word. Over the past twenty years, she has appeared in such Word for Word productions as Xingu (Edith Wharton), In the Garden of the North American Martyrs (Tobias Wolff), Rose-Johnny (Barbara Kingsolver), Floor Show (Julia Alvarez), Friend of My Youth (Alice Munro), The Standard of Living (Dorothy Parker), Mlle. Dias de Corta (Mavis Gallant), The Falling Girl (Dino Buzzati), and In Friendship (Zona Gale). Susan also manages Word for Word's annual tour to France.

Rotimi Agbabiaka* most recently appeared in Choir Boy (Junior) at Marin Theater Company, The Amen Corner (David) at Alter Theater Ensemble, We Are Proud To Present...(Another Black Man) at Just Theater, and A Raisin in the Sun (Asagai) at Cal Shakes. He is a collective member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a former cast member at Beach Blanket Babylon, and his solo play, Homeless, won Best Solo Performance at the SF Fringe Festival. Mr. Agbabiaka studied at Moscow Art Theatre and earned his MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University.

Jackson Davis* has performed throughout the Bay Area in classical plays, comedies, dramas, and musicals, most recently in Center REP's production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and in the world premiere of the musical Max Understood, produced at the Cowell Theater by the Paul Dresher Ensemble. He has also worked with ACT, TheatreWorks, San Jose Repertory Theater, Aurora Theatre, The Magic, San Francisco Playhouse, Z Space, Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, and as Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor at Livermore Shakespeare Festival.

Paul Finocchiaro has appeared in Word For Word shows The Loudest Voice, A Child's Christmas In Wales, The Bunchgrass Edge Of The World, More Than Human, Communists, Stories By Tobias Wolff, Strangers We Know, Angel Face, More Stories By Tobias Wolff, Olive Kitteridge, The Islanders, In Friendship, and Stories By Alice Munro. For more than 25 years he has taught acting at The Studio of American Conservatory Theatre.

Lisa Hori-Garcia* is a San Francisco based actor, singer, director and teaching artist. In 2004 she joined the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe as a collective member, principal actor,director and teacher. This year she has been nominated by the Theater Bay Area Awards for Best Female Principal Actress in a Musical for her performance in this summer's SFMT production of Freedomland. Lisa is a member of Word 4 Word's new Associate Artist Group and is thrilled to be working with the talented cast and crew on HOLIDAY HIGH JINX!

Stephanie Hunt* (Charter Company Member of Word for Word) has acted in over a dozen stories with the company, including playing the Speedometer in Upton Sinclair's Oil!, and Lizzie Borden in Angela Carter's Fall River Axe Murders. For Word forWord, Stephanie directed Tobias Wolff's Bullet in the Brain and Lady's Dream, as well as Cornell Woolrich's noir thriller Angel Face. As an actor, she has also worked at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre, the Magic Theatre, and Campo Santo. Stephanie has taught acting and voice at Sonoma State and San Francisco State, and voice with A.C.T.'s Summer Training Congress. She currently teaches in the Performing Arts Department at the University of San Francisco. Stephanie is very fond of E.B. White's books.

Søren Oliver* has spent the majority of his acting career in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nationally, Søren has appeared at such theatres as The Denver Center Theatre Company, The Huntington Theatre Company, The McCarter Theatre Company, and The Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C. Locally, Søren has worked at the Magic Theatre, the California Shakespeare Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, the Aurora Theatre Company, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Jewish Theatre of San Francisco, Theatre Works, and Word for Word. Søren was last seen this summer in a play of his own called Demetrius Unbound (or the Homeric Midlife Crisis), a farcical sequel to A Midsummer Night's Dream. Søren's most prominent television credit was the recurring role of Baliel the demon, on the WB's Charmed. He can also be seen as Pastor Paul in the independent film Nominated.

Word for Word Performing Arts Company, a program of Z Space, is an ensemble whose mission is to tell great stories with elegant theatricality, staging performances of classic and contemporary fiction. Founded in 1993 by Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, Word for Word believes in the power of the short story to provide solace, compassion, and insight into our daily lives.

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