Plays & Prose


2018 in Theater-, Opera-, and Concertgoing

The ensemble of  The Wolves , at Marin Theatre in Spring 2018. Photo by Kevin Berne.

The ensemble of The Wolves, at Marin Theatre in Spring 2018. Photo by Kevin Berne.

In 2018, I saw 37 fully staged theatrical productions (28 plays, 9 musicals), 11 staged readings, 6 operas, and 4 pop-music concerts. Here they all are, in chronological order by category:


  1. Music/Scene (March), by various authors including yours truly, at PianoFight

  2. Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies, by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, at Custom Made Theatre

  3. Exit the King, by Eugene Ionesco, at EXIT Theatre

  4. The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, at Marin Theatre

  5. The Mourner, by Bridgette Dutta Portman, co-production between Custom Made and the EXIT

  6. Vietgone, by Qui Nguyen, at ACT

  7. The Laramie Project, by Moises Kaufman and Tectonic Theatre, at Left Coast Theater Co.

  8. The Effect, by Lucy Prebble, at San Francisco Playhouse

  9. Christian Teen Dolphin-Sex Beach Party, by Anthony Miller and Jess Thomas, at Awesome Theater

  10. Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2, and 3, by Suzan-Lori Parks, at ACT

  11. Timon of Athens, by Shakespeare, at Cutting Ball

  12. The Congresswomen, by Aristophanes, adapted by Stuart Bousel, at EXIT Theatre

  13. The Humans, by Stephen Karam, national tour of Broadway production, at the Orpheum

  14. Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, by Tony Kushner, at Berkeley Rep

  15. Angels in America: Perestroika by Tony Kushner, at Berkeley Rep

  16. Dry Land, by Ruby Rae Spiegel, at Shotgun Players

  17. Universal Robots, by Mac Rogers, at Quantum Dragon

  18. Champagne, by Barry Eitel, at 6NewPlays

  19. Caesar Maximus, adapted from Shakespeare by We Players, in Golden Gate Park

  20. A Doll’s House, Part 2, by Lucas Hnath, at Berkeley Rep

  21. Uncle Vanya, by Anton Chekhov, at Cutting Ball

  22. The Goat, or Who is Sylvia, by Edward Albee, at Custom Made Theatre

  23. North by North Lobster, by various writers, at Killing My Lobster

  24. Vampire Christmas, by Stuart Bousel and Allison Page, at EXIT Theatre

  25. I and You, by Lauren Gunderson, Hampstead Theatre production broadcast on Instagram

  26. The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, at Marin Theater

  27. Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, at Shotgun Players

  28. Everybody, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, at Artists Repertory Theatre (Portland, OR)


  1. The Black Rider: book by William Burroughs, music & lyrics by Tom Waits, at Shotgun Players

  2. Man of La Mancha: book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, music by Mitch Leigh, at Custom Made Theatre

  3. Saturday Night: book by Julius J. Epstein, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, at 42nd Street Moon — my thoughts

  4. Tinderella: book by Rose Oser, lyrics by Weston Scott, music by Christian B. Schmidt, at Custom Made Theatre (co-produced with Faultline Theatre)

  5. Soft Power: book by David Henry Hwang, lyrics by Hwang and Jeanine Tesori, music by Tesori, at the Curran

  6. Sunday in the Park with George: book by James Lapine, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, at San Francisco Playhouse

  7. Follies: book by James Goldman, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, at 42nd Street Moon (concert version)

  8. An American in Paris: book by Craig Lucas, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin, West End production broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances

  9. In the Heights: book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, music & lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, at Custom Made Theatre

Staged Readings

  1. Care of Trees, by E. Hunter Spreen, via Playwrights Foundation’s Rough Readings

  2. The Urban Retreat, by A. Zell Williams, via the Lorraine Hansberry Theater

  3. The Great Divide, by E.M. Lewis, via the Portland Shakespeare Project’s Proscenium Live

  4. Seek the Water, by Hannah Jones, via Custom Made’s Undiscovered Works program

  5. Border Line, by Laylah Muran de Assereto, at the San Francisco Olympians Festival

  6. No Single Thing, by Stuart Eugene Bousel, at the San Francisco Olympians Festival

  7. Octavian Augustus by Nic Sommerfeld & Orange Julius by Allison Page, at the San Francisco Olympians Festival

  8. Vesta by Veronica Tjioe, at the San Francisco Olympians Festival

  9. Sanctuary at the Oak Grove by Libby Emmons, Trivia by Alan Coyne, & Luna by Neil Higgins, at the San Francisco Olympians Festival

  10. A History of Freaks, by Katie May, via Awesome Theatre’s “Unproduceable”

  11. Eleanor and Me by Michelle Elaine Ianiro & Macaria, or The Good Life by Marissa Skudlarek, via Custom Made’s Undiscovered Works program


  1. Mozart & Salieri and Kashchey the Immortal, by Rimsky-Korsakov, at Island City Opera

  2. The Pirates of Penzance, by Gilbert and Sullivan, performed by the Lamplighters

  3. Roberto Devereux, by Donizetti, at San Francisco Opera

  4. Tosca, by Puccini, at San Francisco Opera

  5. Arabella, by Richard Strauss, at San Francisco Opera

  6. Iphigenia in Aulide, by Giovanni Porta, at Ars Minerva


  1. Amy Shark, at the Independent

  2. Jukebox the Ghost, at the Chapel

  3. Belle and Sebastian, at the Fox Theatre

  4. Belly, at the Great American Music Hall

By the numbers…

  • I am now averaging slightly less than 1 play a week: I saw 48 plays/musicals/readings in 2018, as compared with 52 in 2017.

  • However, after 2017’s excellent male:female:mixed ratio of 16:17:6 for plays/musicals, I hella retrogressed in 2018, with a ratio of 23:7:7. Yikes! To put it in perspective: there are more women in the photo I used to illustrate this post than full productions of plays by women I saw last year.

  • The 2018 stats also seem to support the idea that it’s easier for women to get readings than full productions (I saw 10 readings of plays by women & only 7 full productions!).

  • I’m not even going to bother running gender stats on the operas I saw; wake me up in 50 years. However, the reason I went to see the Rimsky-Korsakov operas was because their (female) conductor was a college classmate of mine!

Previous year-end theatergoing reports: 2017, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010