Above Ground festival

  • Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29;
    Plus two Sundays June 16 and 23, 2019
  • Mojo Theatre, 2940 16th, San Francisco's Mission district in the historic Redstone Building
Bob Ernst
Photo by Colin Hussey
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Daniel Larlham & Liz DeRoche
Photo by Azin Seraj
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Fenner
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Janet Collard
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Janet Collard
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Janet Collard
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Kimberly Lester
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Lauren Godla & Kristen Rulifson
Photo by Louis Bryant
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/Liz Boubion
Photo by Su Pang
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Michelle Owen & James Green
The Boy who Cried Naked

Photo by Mike Beck
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Cast
The Boy who Cried Naked

Photo by Mike Beck
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Natasha Kaluza
49 51 Balancing the Comedy and Tragedy of Life

Photo by Wes Terray
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Natasha Kaluza
49 51 Balancing the Comedy and Tragedy of Life

Photo by Wes Terray
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Ron Campbell
How to Fail

Photo by Colin Hussey
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Toni Mikulka
Giant Puppets Save the World

Photo by Colin Hussey
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Toni Mikulka
Giant Puppets Save the World

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Toni Mikulka
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Press Release
Press Release Above Ground 5-16-19.pdf
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The plays and playwrights are:

Shock Shock Shakeup
June 6, 14, 15
Written/Directed/Performed by Big Drama No Drama: Liz DeRoche and Daniel Larlham with Madeline HD Brown

Actor-musicians rock out with spoken word, movement and satirically operatic songs. Daniel Larlham's background in text-based psychological drama, heightened classical text, physical theatre in the Grotowski lineage and experimental theatre in New York City, brings together the team's experience in composition, arrangement and music activism. Daniel's most extensive, ongoing relationships in NYC were with the companies Les Freres Corbusier, The Continuum Company and Group Theory. With a MFA in Acting from NYU and a PhD in Theatre from Columbia, Daniel also trained extensively in extended vocal technique and contact improvisation. He now calls Oakland home and concentrates on composing and performing with his activist rock project, Now The Changes.

Liz DeRoche founded independent record label, AlphaBeat Records, dedicated to the release of family-friendly music. Tagg Magazine chose Liz as one of its "Women You Should Meet" in 2014 and further distinguished her in 2015 as the "Woman You Should Meet of the Year." In addition to her work as The Singing Lizard, Liz has performed with The Pushovers, Cane & the Sticks, and Tom Goss, contributing drums, keyboard/piano, vocals and production/arrangements.


June Bug Rolls Toward the Sun Like a Scarab
June 7, 8, 22
Written, Choreographed, and Performed by Liz Duran Boubion, Directed by Kimberly Lester

Liz is developing a dance theater work that examines the nature and identity of an aging Latina dance artist emerging into the next phase of her life and career. She is working with theatrical principles at the forefront for the first time through a more in-depth use of text in performance. Often using folklore, myth, and autobiographical material in her pieces, Liz is also incorporating scientific reasoning and events to illuminate the feminine psyche in connection to world politics and climate change. Boubion is the artistic director of the Piñata Dance Collective and founder of ¡FLACC! Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers. lizboubion.org

Giant Puppets Save the World
June 6, 7
Written and Performed by Toni "Tone" Mikulka and Cello Joe (Joey Chang) Directed by Kimberly Lester
Puppets, props and classical hip hop blast a mix for your senses. Toni's Czech and Joey's Taiwanese ethnicity are represented in folktale vignettes featuring sustainable food and gardening themes with one overarching story connecting all the amazing characters. Toni Mikulka makes costumes, props, flags, and giant puppets out of silk, bamboo, reed, and papier mache using nontoxic processes. Her art symbolizes honor, justice, peace, equality, hope, and sustainability. In 2016, she completed 49 rainbow flags to memorialize the 49 souls lost in the Orlando attacks. Toni graduated with honors in Anthropology and Art from the State University of New York. In 2010, she was accepted to the Bread and Puppet Theater Company in Vermont, which began her set design and puppet performance career. In 2011, she received a grant to apprentice with giant puppet artists and taught workshops for the Seattle Solstice Parade and the Procession of the Species Parade in Olympia. Toni works at Habitot Children's Museum in Berkeley as a puppeteer teacher and nonprofit manager. Joey Chang combines cello with beatboxing and has created a unique genre--Classical Hip Hop. CelloJoe records live on stage with a loop pedal and produces intricate tapestries of harmony, melody and rhythm. giantpuppetssavetheworld.com

49/51 Balancing the Comedy and Tragedy of Life
June 8, 23, 27
Written/Performed by Natasha Kaluza, Directed by Beth Clarke

This personal exposé of a clown caught between her born-again father and new age mother equals a teeter-totter existence between good and evil, depression and elation, Jesus and James Brown. Kaluza will utilize all of her talents to bring her first, full length, solo show to life. Natasha holds a degree in theater and a graduate certificate in dance from UCSC, and attended two years of the SF Clown Conservatory under Jeff Raz. She's performed with the New Pickle Circus, Pickle Circus School Tour, Circus Bella, Flynn Creek Circus, Circus of Sound, Sweet Can Productions, Teatro ZinZanni and many others. Kaluza serves as co-artistic director for Sweet Can Productions, and helps produce their annual holiday show, Mittens & Mistletoe: A Winter Circus Cabaret. Aside from being the Super Duper Hula Hooper, she is best known for her work with partner Jamie Coventry. Coventry & Kaluza won Best Comedy/Clown Act in the American Circus Festival two years in a row, and Best Duo in the Picklewater Free Circus Festival. coventryandkaluza.com

Performing Valeska
June 13, 14
Written/Performed by Janet Collard and co-directed with Dan Saski, Music by Terran Olson, Costumes by Keriann Egeland

This documentary style dance theater with live music is about Valeska Gert who was an anarchic feminist known for wild theatrics in her dance solos during the Weimar era in 1920's Berlin. Collard narrates and dances in the persona of this eccentric artist. Janet Collard is a dance performing artist, singer, actor, choreographer and teacher. She holds a BFA in dance from CalArts and an MFA in dance performance and choreography from Mills. She has danced professionally for over a decade in the Bay Area for companies including Katie Faulkner's little seismic dance company, Gerald Casel Dance, Nancy Karp and Dancers. Janet was a member of AXIS Dance Company from 2008-2011 during which time she toured in the works of many renowned choreographers including David Dorfman, Joe Goode, Kate Weare, Shinichi Iova-Koga and others. Her choreography credits include the Youth Musical Theater Company, the Berkeley Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Cal Shakes Theater and Re:Act Theater. janetcollard.com

Villains & Fools
June 13, 15, 16, 20
Written/Performed by David Draffin, Directed by Kimberly Lester

David Draffin takes the stage in his newest multi-media solo from his own science fiction theater genre. He describes it as mythical, scientific and imaginative beyond the scope audiences anticipate. He plays multiple characters who are real people in extraordinary situations. Each piece begins with laughter and physical comedy and ends with breathless vertigo. Draffin is an award-winning playwright who, for a time, was the youngest playwright the Magic Theatre produced. Creative Artists Agency identified his play, Touch, as one of the most noteworthy plays of 1996, along with new works by Joyce Carol Oates and August Wilson. He has sold screenplays in Hollywood to New Line and FOX2000 and self-published his own novels. He lives in San Francisco with his family and narrates audio books for a wide array of authors.

How to Fail: Being Dumb for Dummies in One Uneasy Lesson
Sundays, June 16 and 23
Written/Performed by Ron Campbell
First seen in Playground's Solo festival in January, How to Fail is part Ted Talk, poetry reading, standup comedy and Learning Annex Seminar all rolled into 60 minutes of disaster. Known for his comedic talent the world over, Ron is now a local resident, performing regularly and teaching/mentoring actors, circus and street performers. Ron created and played the lead clown in Cirque du Soleil's Kooza; Cecil B. DeGrille for Teatro Zinzanni; and Buckminster Fuller in The History and Mystery of the Universe. Ron is a principal in Boxcar's Speakeasy and starred in Around the World in 80 Days with TheatreWorks. His play, 'Round Midnight premiered in Footloose's 2018 show, San Francisco, I Love You! A short list of awards includes Bay Area Theater Critics for roles in One Man, Two Guvnors at Berkeley Rep and Don Quixoteat Marin Shakespeare; London Fringe One Man Show of the Year, both LA and Bay Area Critics' Circle for lead and solo performances; four Backstage West Garland awards, 15 Dramalogue awards; a 2002 Helen Hayes and The Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement. He has worked at Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep, San Diego Rep, Old Globe, the Edinburgh Festival and many more. soarfeat.org

The Buck and Bill Show
June 20, 21, 28, 29
Written/directed by Bob Ernst, Music by Mark Malmberg performed with the ensemble: Bob Ernst, Rachel Richman, GenevaMay Colcol, Brittany Gilmore and Ron Davis

This episodic dramatic play with live music is about a small rural community and a local band on their way to fame and fortune. Bob Ernst has a lifetime of theater credits with multiple awards for directing, acting and playwriting. Bob continues to collaborate and perform as actor/musician in local productions such as Last Blue Couch at YBCA in San Francisco in June, 2017 with Epiphany Productions and Island City Waterways this past June with Rhythmix in Alameda; plus Erling Wold's operas, UKSUS and Certitude & Joy. His credits range from Berkeley Rep, ACT, Magic Theater and Robert Wilson to Blake St. Hawkeyes, Ruth Zaporah and Z Space. Mark Malmberg(composer, musical director, musician) has been recognized with Emmys for Individual Achievement in Design; Silver from Ars Electronica (Austria) for an animated video for the Grateful Dead and by Ars Electronica in the category of Sound Art. His work is in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou. He performed locally with Barney Jones, the Arabic ensemble Aswat, and in Bob Ernst's pocket opera, Catherine's Care. markmalmberg.com

Curvy and Curly
June 21, 22
Written/Performed by FloorPlay Dance Theater
Lauren Godla and Kristen Rulifson

Rulifson and Godla are athletic storytellers who push their timeless comic characters to the most hilarious and sometimes dark edge of absurdity. Kristen Rulifson has worked with Footloose since 2016 in various configurations including Bargaining With God, San Francisco, I Love You, Yerba Buena Night and Twirl Me at SAFEhouse. She has recently taken on acting roles. Studying with Tom Bentley-Fisher, Kristen is integrating his technique with her 20 years of experience as a movement artist. Her most recent performances have been under the direction of Seth Eisen (Eye Zen Presents), Krista DeNio (KDMG), Adam Kotin (Dugway Theater) Mary Alice Fry (Footloose) and Liz Boubion (Piñata Dance Collective ). Lauren Godla is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. She recently performed her own original work at Bandaloop, La Maison, the Levy Salon and SAFEHouse Arts.

The Boy who Cried 'Naked'
June 22, 27, 28, 29
Written/Performed by Fenner with Katarina Countiss, James Green, Kaya Mey, Michelle Owen and Annikah Woodward, Dramaturg Emily Haydock, Director Sabrina Wenske

Clowning, music and puppet theater with storytelling tumble around in the tale of the boy who cried, "the Emperor is naked!" This devised one-act asks how do we take control of a shared narrative that keeps repeating itself? Fenner is a multifaceted theater maker who has performed and trained with Naked Empire Buffon Company, Ragged Wing Ensemble, Theater of Yugen, Chick Flick improv, LiarLiar Theater Co. They are currently an Accomplice with foolsFURY. Other credits: Desire Caught by the Tail with Fire House Art Collective in 2016; founding director of Agile Rascal Bicycle Touring Theater's 2015 cross country tour; Best of the 2013 Fringe Festival in O Best Beloved with Idiot String Productions; and work on developing the role of "performance guide" for Neurosociety at PACE Institute with David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar.


SF I Love You!


SF I Love You!

  • Nine weeks: Thursdays May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2018
  • Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, San Francisco

The multi-talented performers play different characters and are part of the ensemble bringing stories onstage about the changes to our city of love. Directed by Mary Alice Fry, in collaboration with world class writers, filmmakers, composers and the cast, the show is packed with satire, slapstick comedy, drama, music and dance. From all things romantic and idyllic, to the gritty and not so pretty, the moods change as quickly as our San Francisco weather.

Carolé Acuña plays Doris and Flash; is one of our choreographers and an ensemble player.
caroleacuna.com

Carolé Acuña is an actor, stand-up comedian, choreographer, flamenco and contemporary dancer, author, filmmaker and activist. She has a 10-year professional relationship with Footloose. She was a Best Supporting Actress nominee at the Sanford Meisner Film Festival and an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) nominee in individual performance. She is co-artistic director of Carolina Lugo's & Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco and a collaborator with Urban Jazz Dance. She is the creator of Climate Narwhal, Microscopically Short Films and Feeling Freedom Now Stand-Up Comedy Shows.


Sara-Jean Bartky is an actor, singer, and sketch writer hailing from New Jersey. She has been in multiple theater productions, short films, comedy sketches, and commercials over the course of her career and continues to be a part of the improvisational group, FingerHands, having performed at theaters such as La Peña Cultural Center and All Out Comedy Theater. Sara-Jean Bartky plays Michelle and is part of the ensemble.



Photo by
Colin Hussey
Joshua Berg plays Dillan and the Troubadour. He is our house musician, composer and part of the ensemble.

Joshua Berg is is a singer/songwriter from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has performed as front man for multiple rock & roll projects. Josh just moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in acting and music composition. This production has been the catalyst for his first solo album, to be released later this year.



Photo by
Colin Hussey
Cesar A. Herrera plays Chazz, Guido and the luchador.

Cesar A. Herrera is making his theatrical debut in this production that honors San Francisco, the city he feels lucky to have grown up in. Before being accepted to The Meisner Technique Studio's 2-Year Acting Intensive Program, Cesar did not know what he wanted to do with his life. Acting gave him a purpose and a dream. The process wasn't easy, but his faith kept him fighting for what was in his heart--to inspire others to face their fears and go after their dreams.


Krystle Liggins plays Delores and is part of the ensemble.

Krystle Liggins, a native Texan, moved to the Bay Area in 2010 and put down roots. Her creativity extends to acting, singing, dancing and writing. She has two solo shows that she performed at Stage Werx in San Francisco. A graduate of the Meisner Technique Studio, she recently starred in the play, Katie, at the Meisner theater. Other performances include The Bloodless Jungle at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina. She directs the Quiet Time Program for the San Francisco Unified School District, teaching meditation to students.



Photo by
Colin Hussey
Kristen Rulifson is one of our choreographers, lead dancer and ensemble player.

Kristen Rulifson is a Footloose resident artist who choreographs and performs her own and other artists' work. She is a whirlwind of creative energy teaching, directing and performing at various venues. With a B.A from UC Davis in Neurobiology Physiology and Behavior and Dramatic Arts, she continued her education as an Expressive Arts Therapist at the Tamalpa Institute. She dances with Pinata Dance/Liz Boubion (FLACC at Dance Mission); Mark Foehringer Young Choreographers' Forum; FloorPlay with Lauren Godla and more!


XedeX plays himself in a film; the luchador in his own dance choreography and is part of the ensemble.

XedeX was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. His day job, as an educator with San Francisco Unified School District, allows him to collaborate and perform in the Bay Area with local dance and theater artists. Graduating from UCLA with M.F.A in Theater/Film; and M.A. in Dance/Choreograpy, Xedex went on to receive a Fulbright Fellowship and won national honors from the American College Dance Association, performing his choreography in Washington at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. With filmmaker, Molly Stuart, he co-created a performative dance documentary movie, Mi Casa No Es Mi Casa, that debuts in SF I Love You!


Bruce Yelaska portrays himself in his own short play and is an ensemble member.

Bruce Yelaska puts his 15 years as an improvisor to use in his film and stage work, including the San Francisco Improv Festival, Antelope Valley Improv Festival, Sacramento Improv Festival, Los Angeles Comedy and Improv Festival and The David & Brady Show at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. His film work includes Cards, directed by Larry Hall,and Antiprism: Exploring the Vessel XII, directed by Jon Berson. Bruce is a renowned designer who has supported Footloose for 35 years!



Photo by
Liz Payne
Mary Alice Fry, Producer/Artistic Director of Footloose Presents since 1985 has been one of the driving forces behind keeping San Francisco venues going, including the company's own theaters, Shotwell Studios and Venue 9 (which since have been displaced). She now operates Spring Fall Studio in Berkeley. Fry produces the ongoing series: YES to Everything where playwrights perform their own material; AIM: Artists in Motion, for dance/theater; Bitch and Tell: a real funny variety show showcasing international comedic talent, musicians, circus acts, dancers and magicians. Her performing, writing, directing and choreographing credits cover 35 years of original productions and site specific works. Her comedy, You're Cookin Good, will have its premiere in San Francisco, I Love You!


Cast
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Cesar A. Herrera
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Cesar A. Herrera & Xedex
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Cesar A. Herrera & Xedex
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Cesar Herrera, Josh Berg & Carolé Acuña
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Press Release
San Francisco I Love You
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YES to Everything

  • Fridays and Saturdays, June 15-30, 2018. All shows 8:00 pm
  • EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy near Mason and Powell Street BART, San Francisco


Bob Ernst and Aldo Della Maggiora
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Bob Ernst
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Julie Drucker
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Osell’s 517 Club
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Ron Jones
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Press Release
Press Release YES EXIT JUNE 2018.pdf
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