The San Francisco Theater Festival is the largest theater event of the year with 100 shows on 14 stages on one day. Performances of all styles: Shakespeare, musical theater, comedy, drama, new works, solo performances, children's shows, improv, etc. All performances are free and all venues are within a short walk. One day: Sunday, July 27th, 11-5pm.
AfroSolo Festival preview
Amiri Baraka’s provocative plays of black experience, including his new play, “Sisyphus Syndrome”
Lamplighters Musical Theatre’s “Mikado”
Best of Playground’s one act plays
Aleshia Brevard and Gina Grahame—a two-woman story of gender change, family, love, and self, One Damn Man!
Oh My Godmother, gay Cinderella
Best of the Buddy Club, 20 great children’s shows
Improv Groups: Blue Blanket, BATS, SPF, Big City
This year’s festival is a true adventure in theater—plays, musicals, solo performers, improv, staged readings, new work, excerpts—and defies concise description. Here is an attempt at a summary: Broadway and original musical comedy, gritty black experience, Vietnam, racism, Jewish ritual, Jazz opera premiere, World War II, Iranian storytelling, US Policy, being a man, South Asian assimilation, travel and wanderlust, white privilege, Philippine culture, dating, Gilbert & Sullivan, aging and beauty, Turkish belly dancing, marching bands, puppetry, love and relationships, Lorca, Shakespeare’s insults, new local writers, old time radio mystery, Rocky Horror SF, the president’s challenge, Nazi justice, SF’s 1863 drug scene, circus, barbershop quartet, shopping, teen singers, sketch improv comedy, antique roadshow spoof, absurd theater, inter-species love, relationships, conservation, jug band, one weak moment…, folk tales, poetry, Asian identity, God & man, magic, illusion, clown, and more.
Featured theater companies: The Marsh, Tell it on Tuesday, 42nd Street Moon, Stagebridge, No Nude Men Productions, Three Wise Monkeys, Uncle Buzzy’s Show, The One Act Players, AtmosTheatre, San Francisco Buffoons, Golden Thread Fairytale Players, Galatean Players, SF Recovery Theatre, PUS Theater, Acme Players, APE Theater, Lower Bottom Playaz, Wordslanger, and many others. Many have won awards or been recognized for their shows at the Fringe and other venues. There will be 30 hours of performance throughout the day with six or seven shows being performed simultaneously on 14 stages, which are located within a short walk of each other.
Many of the performances are family friendly including 20 shows for children. An estimated 10,000 people attended the festival last year.
The downtown San Francisco festival takes place, indoors and outdoor, at Yerba Buena Gardens, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Zeum, and the Metreon. All admissions are FREE.
“This is the chance to discover some wonderful performers, shows, and theater groups that are under the radar, as well as others that are more well known. Short performances, 30 minutes and less, allow you to sample so much in one place on one day. It’s casual, fun, and festive,” said producer Bill Schwartz. “Theater in earlier days was a people’s art form that now has become exclusive and pricey. This festival brings theater back to its roots. It’s truly accessible.”
The festival is presented in partnership with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.