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Z Space Presents World Premiere Of THE RED SHADES: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera in October

Performances run October 13–November 5, 2022.

Z Space Presents World Premiere Of THE RED SHADES: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera in October

Z Space, one of the nation's leading laboratories for the development of new works, is pleased to present the world premiere of The Red Shades: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera on Z Space's Steindler Stage, beginning Thursday, October 13 through Saturday, November 5, 2022. Written by Adrienne Price with music by Adrienne Price, Matt Fukui Grandy, and Jeanine Adkisson, The Red Shades mixes elements of rock concerts and musical theater, to tell the story of Ida, a teenage trans girl, who runs away from her small-town life to join a gang of trans superheroes squatting in the Tenderloin. Tickets (available on a sliding scale of $0-$50) are now available online at Opening night/press night will take place on Thursday, October 20.

"The Red Shades commemorates and celebrates the resilience and creativity of our trans ancestors, who put their fabulously clad bodies on the line for the freedoms we enjoy today," says Rotimi Agbabiaka, Co-director of The Red Shades. "I'm so excited to join my partner-in-crime, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, in co-directing Adrienne Price's epic blend of comic book action and rock opera musicality, and to highlight the joy, exuberance, and sweet defiance of San Francisco trans herstory."

The Red Shades is co-directed by Rotimi Agbabiaka and Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, with musical direction by Matt Fukui Grandy and Sid Quinsaat, and choreography by Stacey Printz. The 2022 world premiere cast will feature Tommy Clifford-Carlos (Ida), Julio Chavez, Göran Norquist*, May Ramos, Ezra Reaves (Tommy), Chris Steele (Genevieve), B Noel Thomas* (Sherry), and Romelo Urbi. The band features KB Boyce (bass), Fureigh (guitar), Blair Switch (drums), and Sid Quinsaat (keys).

Early concert versions of The Red Shades were independently produced in 2018 at El Rio, Starline Social Club, PianoFight, the Fresh Meat Festival, and the San Francisco Trans March. Under the stewardship of Rose Oser, Interim Producing Director of Z Space and lead producer of The Red Shades, Z Space began developing the show in 2019, with a two-week workshop in July 2019 on the Steindler Stage and a two-week workshop in January 2020 in Z Below.

"The Red Shades builds off Z Space's legacy of developing and producing epic rock productions, continuing to push the boundaries of what musical theater can be, and utilizing the full richness of our warehouse space," says Oser.

Writer Adrienne Price adds, "One of the great joys of this process for me has been connecting more deeply with trans histories and communities. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with local icons like Felicia Elizondo (may her memory be for a blessing) and Andrea Horne."

The creative team of The Red Shades includes: Alejandra Maria Rivas (Production Manager), Marie Shell* (Stage Manager), Jakob Bernardino (Assistant Stage Manager), Sarah Phykitt (Scenic/Projection Designer), JennyB of Shady Lady Lighting (Lighting Designer), Michael Creason (Sound Designer), Daniel Hall (Audio Mixer), Y. Sharon Peng (Costume Designer), Lyre Alston (Assistant Costume Designer), Kenna Lindsay (Prop Designer), Carla Pantoja (Intimacy/Fight Choreographer), Felicia Elizondo and Andrea Horne (Historical Consultants), Raisa Yavneh (Graphic Designer), Colm McNally (Technical Director).

"The Red Shades is an epic retelling of the Compton Cafeteria Riot that took place right here in San Francisco in 1966," says Shafer Mazow, Executive Director at Z Space. "Largely lost to history, the Compton Riot was instrumental in shaping broader public political and social consciousness about LGBTQ communities, inspired other movements like 1969's Stonewall Riot, and marked a clear turning point for us as trans people insisting on our full rights as citizens. We need The Red Shades now more than ever, as those rights continue to come under constant attack."

Under the prior artistic leadership of Lisa Steindler, Z Space and piece by piece productions developed and co-produced Hundred Days (The Bengsons), The Lucky Ones (The Bengsons, co-production with Ars Nova), and Weightless (The Kilbanes).

Z Space's development and production of The Red Shades is supported by: Horizons Foundation, MAP Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

*member, Actors' Equity Association

Adrienne Price is a playwright and songwriter based in San Francisco/unceded Ramaytush Ohlone land. She is the writer and co-composer of The Red Shades: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera (Z Space 2022) and Totally Normal: A Co-Dependent Queer Friendship Musical (in development). Her plays have been featured in the national festival Trans Plays of Remembrance as well as local festivals such as Music/Scene, Pint Sized Plays, Shotz, and Mutiny Radio's play festival. She was accepted into the Bay Area Asylum Arts Retreat in 2019. Price has also been an educator for 18 years, working as a high school English teacher, tutor, teaching artist, and more. She has performed as a stand up comic, founded the show Pure Pop for Queer Lovers on Radio Valencia, and serves as singer-songwriter of the psycho-spiritual trans folk rock band Peach Thief.

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