Footloose Presents is a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit arts organization that produces original theater, dance, music, comedy and multimedia works with artists and technologists from all fields, especially emerging and established women artists. Programming includes collaborations, residencies and co-presentations with other producers. We provide resources for artists to develop their work from initial through exhibition stages of the production process in order to promote their professional careers. We offer authentic and direct cultural experiences at the grassroots level--meeting people where they live, work, and play--reinforcing community identity, and building connections to strengthen and build on artistic expression and storytelling. We do this by making accessible events that are easy to find, affordable, inclusive and fun to be part of.
Our site specific, public art works are called Theatechture where theater, tech and architecture are the main artistic values for interactive play for local residents, tourists, shoppers, students, and workers to participate in and/or observe. The mission is "to offer people a customized experience of the urban landscape."
Ongoing, year round series are presented at various venues. The popular series Bitch and Tell: a real funny variety show showcases international talent, musicians, circus acts, dancers and magicians. YES to Everything is a festival for playwrights who appear in their own premiere theatrical and musical pieces. AIM: Artists in Motion is our performing arts residency program. An individual or group whose residency culminates in a showcase may also invite guest artists to share the bill. Artists are offered free rehearsal space, publicity and marketing, technical and administrative support and mentoring on how to self-produce.
See/Sound/Move is an interactive performance jam for creative play fueled by open source digital media where the audience is invited to participate in the zone. Dancers, musicians and sound artists lay the groundwork for making improvised art which is layered by computer wizards using video processing visualizations and other technology.
Footloose was founded in 1972 by Irini Nadel. Mary Alice Fry was appointed Artistic Director in 1982. From 1996 to 2004, Venue 9 was our premiere performance space in San Francisco’s SOMA district which was highly regarded by artists, audiences and the media. Fry’s commitment is to original material, especially by women artists. She started the acclaimed annual Women on the Way Festival at Venue 9 which later moved to Dance Mission Theater, The Garage, Shotwell Studios and ODC Theater.
For 23 years, Shotwell Studios in San Francisco's Mission District was shared by community groups, resident artists, companies, dancers and teachers. Footloose was displaced from Shotwell Street and now operates Spring Fall Studio in the historic Sawtooth arts complex in West Berkeley.
Leadership: Board members are professionals in their fields who share project duties as designers, directors, performers, writers, stage/house managers, social media mavens and fundraisers. They are invested in ensuring San Francisco artists, merchants, sponsors, government, residents, and hospitality industry work for all.
The Artistic and Executive Director of Footloose is the dynamic, multi-talented Mary Alice Fry, who chooses the projects, hires the talent, plans marketing/publicity and presents original art in a professional format. Fry’s lifelong career in the performing arts, her passion for creating original dance and theater, plus her employment in law, marketing and sales made possible the success of hundreds of productions and eleven Women on the Way festivals.
Fry has been the driving force behind many community art spaces. From 1986-89, she was director of the Haight Ashbury Community Coalition, a nonprofit that operated cultural, after-school and job programs for youth at the Park Branch Library. She was on the planning team to convert the abandoned Polytechnic High School's two gymnasiums into community spaces--now the San Francisco Circus Center and Acrosports. From 1990-2013, she managed Shotwell Studios in the Mission. From 1996-2004, she built the reputation of Venue 9 in SOMA during the dot com boom into a premiere theater. In 2010 and 2011, she was project manager of 24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival.
Performing, writing and directing credits of Fry’s own multimedia and collaborative pieces include these highlights: Cactus, Falling Back to Earth, Sound Advice, To Infinity and Beyond, In Mourning by Karin Cabello Moriarty, Tokens by David Schein directed by Bob Ernst, A Thousand Grey Birds, and Mudwings with British director, Angus Balbernie; hOPPomage by Zack; Bring your Own Dog, Honeycomb, and Skinetic Zone. She is writing a new Theatechture site-specific project: Ash Boys set for 2019 production.
San Francisco, I Love You! is the newest, original, full-length work by Mary Alice Fry in collaboration with world class writers, filmmakers, composers and the cast of multi-talented performers. The show is packed with satire, slapstick comedy, drama, music and dance bringing stories about the changes to our city of love. The show will have its premiere May 3, 2018 in San Francisco.
Footloose has received support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission Grants Program, Zellerbach Family Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, W. & F. Hewlett Foundation, W.A. Gerbode Foundation, The Argosy Foundation and generous businesses and individuals.