Drama Talk & Drinks: Interview with 3GT’s AJ Baker – “Putting women’s work onstage where it belongs!”

Beyonce tells us “Who run the world? Girls!”, but she forgets about the theater world…and the film world…and the business world when she prematurely asserts feminism’s victory. Only roughly 20% of plays produced nationally are written by women, which is technically more then the number of female written screenplays, but still a pretty paltry representation for half the human population. So when we found out about 3 Girls Theatre (3GT) new works festival that is dedicated to presenting works by female playwrights, we wanted to find out more. We got to sit down with 3GT’s Founder, Artistic Director and Resident Playwright, AJ Baker to learn more about the company and their festival which opens this week at Thick House.

Katie: Why did you originally start Three Girls Theater?

AJ: Only 20% of mainstream theater that is produced is written by women, and that’s across the board, that’s not just Broadway. It’s very hard for women to get work produced. My partners and I thought, we need to stop complaining about this and do something. You can’t just sit around and wait for the culture to change, you have to be a change agent.

Brittany: Be the change, as they say.

A: We are facing such a gigantic cultural bias against the voice of women. If it’s written by a women or has issues that are considered “women’s issues” (which in reality are issues that concern everybody) for some reason it’s not viewed as important as male-written works. The perspective of a women telling a story is a human perspective, in the same way as a man telling a story is a human perspective. That’s why our tag line is “Putting women’s work onstage where it belongs”.

K: What challenges has your company faced over the past 4 years?

A: There are so many small companies in the Bay Area. This is probably one of the most vibrant cities for independent theater in the country. It’s New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area. There are just so many people competing for the same arts dollars, cannibalizing the same audience, and that I think is the real challenge. The same audience just can’t go to everything. I just want more energy, more young people to learn about this amazingly rich and wonderful cultural resource we have. So often you sit in a theater and look around you and there is just old white people. In Marin if you’re not there with your oxygen tank you feel left out. But these are the people who buy tickets, they are people who care about theater, and support it. There’s no reason theater needs to be for old people, it’s fun, it tells compelling stories, at its best it brings people together in community for a shared emotional and cultural experience. This is why I think we need to focus on expanding the audience. That’s why our festival is free.

B: How did the pieces in the festival get chosen?

A: The first 2 plays are finalists in our salon series, which is a series of 6 new plays we put up in people’s living rooms and then we have an independent panel of judges that pick 2 of the 6 that go on to be done at the festival. We also have judges for the festival who pick one piece that we will produce in full.

K: Why should people come out?

A: It’s FREE, the theater is right on Potrero Hill, there’re great restaurants nearby, you can get a glass of wine and drink while you watch, and it’s not a gigantic time commitment, none of the showings are more than 90 minutes. They start at 7:30 so you will be out around 9pm and you can still go bar hopping.

VERDICT: This is a win win situation. Support local theater, the women’s movement, and independent artists all for free. We will be there. We hope you will too.

WHAT: 3Girls Theatre Company Presents…

The 4th Annual New Works Festival

3GT Honors Risky Women: Having Fun and Wreaking Havoc!

WHERE: Thick House

1695 18th St. (between Arkansas and DeHaro)


But reserving tickets is recommended:


WHEN: Monday, August 3 to Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 3 @ 7:30pm: Entanglement by AJ Baker

August 4 @ 7:30pm: Kicking Facebook by Margery Kreitman

August 5 @ 7:30pm: The Effects of Ultraviolet Light

August 6 @ 7:30pm: ReproRights! Women @ Risk

August 7 @ 7:30pm: Best of Lezwrites!

August 8 @ 1–6pm: Women Playwrights Meet & Greet

1pm: Kicking Facebook by Margery Kreitman

2:30pm: Entanglement by AJ Baker

4pm: Talk Back

4:30-6pm: Champagne Reception

August 9 @ 12pm & 2pm: Girl Talk Teen Monologues

*Beginning 30 minutes before each performance:

Lobby Art Exhibit. Risky Women: Wreaking Havoc!

The Frail, ‘the best up-and-coming act in San Francisco,’ play the Chapel this Saturday

From the show’s official blurb:

Recently named the best up-and-coming act in San Francisco by Deli Magazine, The Frail has already been featured on MTV, won the viewer’s choice award in Owl Magazine’s “Video Makes The Radio Star” contest, and have opened for Hot Chip, Justice, Moby, Neon Trees, MSTRKRFT, TV on The Radio and Goldfrapp to name a few.

And also:

Music by The Frail has been licensed for television series such asThe Kardashians, Bad Girls Club, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, 90210, and Road Rules. Their music has also been licensed for advertising campaigns by Nike, Patagonia, and Quicksilver.

Tickets and more info here.

Unsanctioned graffiti (2008) vs. sanctioned mural (2015)

Our pal Many Machines takes a moment:

Top: Potrero hillside, 2008.  Bottom: same hillside, 2015.

I was especially fond of the earlier version, as it featured the work of several artists who had an outsize significance in my mind in the first few years after I moved to San Francisco.

Few things make me feel quite so bad about how SF has changed as this hideous current incarnation. [link]

An outsize number of this blog’s early posts were about Girafa. Let’s take a look:

The Dark Room is closing

Capp Street Crap reports:

Over the weekend, The Dark Room announced via its Facebook page that it will cease operations at the end of August. A follow-up comment posted this morning says that closing was a business decision and not because they lost the space. Home to standup comedy and Bad Movie Night screenings, The Dark Room’s announcement comes less than two weeks after another Mission Street venue, nearby gallery and all-ages music space Sub-Mission, shut down.

Read on for the full text of the announcement.

[Photo by Google Maps]

Man, *everybody* is wearing jean jackets these days

[via Gillian]

The best restaurant in the Mission is F.O.B. Kitchen

The only trouble is that right now they’re only a restaurant in the Mission as an occasional brunch popup at Cease & Desist. (They’re also doing dinner this Wednesday night a little further out Mission Street at a great little neighborhood bar called Doctor’s Lounge.)

Anyway it’s Filipino food made with quality ingredients and a lot of good vibes, and every time I eat there it’s all I can think about for a week. (And I’ve eaten there every week for about a month or so, so it’s basically all I can think about.) (It’s the best.)

Follow F.O.B. Kitchen on Instagram or F.O.B. Kitchen on Facebook for updates.

[Photos by F.O.B. Kitchen on Instagram]

Should tech dudes be more discriminating about which of their bros they trust with private details of their lives?

For instance, yesterday I was sitting in the park and a group of dudes sat down near me and started talking very loudly about a number of things.

One of them pointed out that big new high rise, in the background of the above photo, to the right of Mission High’s bell tower. He says a colleague of theirs is moving in to a 2-bedroom condo there.

“Guess how much he’s paying? … Fifty-eight!!”

He’s moving in next week and doesn’t have a roommate lined up any time soon, but he’s not worried about it. He’s just been promoted to senior developer at Netflix, says his friend, by way of explanation. It’s just $5800 a month.

“I get it, living in the high rise, with the view — and if you wanna fuck a bitch, in the window, and be all like, ‘This is MY city.’ ”

I get it.

Apparently the guy’s rationale is that he’s worked really hard for a long time living in shitty places and hasn’t really lived his life. And now he’s been promoted and he’s breaking up with girlfriend because she’s moving to Chicago and he can’t leave the Bay Area and doesn’t want to do the long distance thing. So now he’s ready to live his life. Gotta have a ridiculous condo.

The group speculated as to why their friend didn’t get a place in SoMa, so as to be closer to the train, and then they changed topics and started talking about a video game where there’s a woman who works for you, and you can turn her into a dog.

And then they started talking about whether or not they should “get another bottle of Chenin.”

Netflix is great though. BoJack Horseman and Kimmy Schmidt are the two best shows on TV right now if you ask me.

Sad face

What Dolores Park is like nowadays

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Messages from another world, scrawled on the sidewalk

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