Phoenix Theatre and Annex
UNKNOWN PLAYERS PRESENTS:
Three original plays by Bay Area playwrights set in a 1990 Russian Hill coffee shop.
Previews: September 7, 8, 9
Opening: September 14
Run: September 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
All Shows: 8pm
TICKETS: ($20-30) at http://cafestories.bpt.me
or call (415) 640-1147.
Press page: http://www.philipwattcasting.com/caf-stories/
Café Stories, produced by the UNKNOWN PLAYERS, are new plays that restore the kinetic café culture of the 1990s to the stage. Written by Bay Area playwrights Vonn Scott Bair, Raul Delarosa, and Lorraine Midanik, Café Stories will preview September 7, 8, and 9, opening September 14th for a three-week run. With original music and sound design by James Goode (Theatre Rhinoceros, Lauren Gunderson’s The Fatales) the three plays will transport the audience to a time when cell phones, laptops, and overuse of headphones was not the norm; back to a time in San Francisco when a corner café was a breeding ground of interlopers, fetishists, businesspeople and artists. Café Stories is the directorial debut of Philip Watt. Starring Irving Schulman (Chetty’s Lullaby and The Cool), and Calgary Stage’s Caley Suliak, Café Stories also features a handful of sterling Bay Area talent, including veteran Marvin Glass.
All performances will be held at The Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason St., 6th Floor, San Francisco. For Tickets ($20-$35) visit http://cafestories.bpt.me For further information on context for the plays, press may visit http://www.philipwattcasting.com/caf-stories/
or call (646) 322-6901.
Paternal revenge and fleecing; survival jobs, the over-educated homeless, and litigation over dropping a spoon; semi-professional theatre communities equipped with oblong and outsized egos: Café Stories will strafe and primp, stave off your complacency, and pamper your sense of the possible.
- A character study of Russian Hill denizens who snipe and joke, flirt and joke about the state of society, Raul Delarosa’s Café Butterfly is irreverent and diverting.
- Lorraine Midanik’s Reciprocity features long-time Bay Area talent Marvin Glass as Ed, a retired CPA whose wife’s recent death has forced him into an end game with his greedy, dyspeptic son.
- Vonn Scott Bair’s recursive Sabrina on the Border satirizes the mid-sized city’s semi-professional theatre scene, and pays homage to the repertory artist who is on the road to becoming a diva, but unsure of the costs. Evoking Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler in name, and his A Doll’s House in quality, Bair pierces into how the actor in a market where it is impossible to make a living in art, comes to grips.
THE UNKNOWN PLAYERS
The Unknown Players are actors who know they work in a city where talent is imported in for the big stages, where eking a living from the stage is a frightful prospect; they simply choose not to resist as theatre draws them helplessly on. Banking on the idea that there's nothing to lose in being unique and idiosyncratic, Unknown Players serves as a pipeline to nowhere, as even imagining a pipeline to fame and theatrical success in San Francisco is a type of fool's errand. This smug acceptance of reality is what allows this theatre company to express the inherent contradictions of being an artist in a tech and banking town.
DIRECTED BY PHILIP WATT
Philip Watt has been an actor for 25 years, and most notably in San Francisco, has appeared as Chet Baker in two separate productions in the past 4 years, playing at Viracocha, Stage Werx, and Amado’s. Serving the City’s great desire to Make a Wish come true for a young boy, Philip played The Riddler in the BatKid event, which President Obama participated in as well. In the title role as The Elephant Man at the Brava, Watt continued to provide SF audiences with pure gold. This is Watt’s directorial debut.