Friday, November 29, 2013

Psycho Donuts


Location: Campbell and San Jose, CA

Food: Donuts

Close To: City Lights, Tabard Theatre, ComedySportz, Camera 3 Cinemas (San Jose)

Veteran donut eaters may find that the selection in chain bakeries tends towards standard, even boring at times. And while those who tend towards chocolate or plain jelly donuts will find satisfcation at traditional establishment, crazier donut aficionados desire a little more excitement in their pastry. For those people, Psycho Donuts–featuring a wacky B-movie theme both in its atmosphere and in its donut selection–is there to fit the bill.

Both Psycho Donuts locations feature a wide array of donuts, ranging in size, shape, and oddity. I have sampled a number of them over the two-and-a-half years I have been going to the San Jose Psycho, and here are some of the highlights:

  • Key Lime: The first donut I had here, the vegan Key Lime, combines a tangy flavor with a satisfying solidity. It is so dense and chewy, it’s almost a scone.

  • Strawberry Fields: A square donut topped with strawbery icing, freeze-dried strawberries, and with a single stick of strawberry Pocky laid across the hole.

  • Cereal Killer: Marshmallow frosting (not “marshmallow-flavored” frosting–actual marshmallow frosting) covered with Cap’n Crunch. Extremely sweet, but the range of textures stops the flavor from being overpowering.

  • This One/That One: Named after the chef’s frustration at customers not ordering donuts by name, these simple old-fashioned vanilla and chocolate donuts, respectively, are some of the best in the store, showing that Psycho Donuts knows how to do the basics as much as it knows how to show off.

Psycho Donuts also does dozens of seasonal promotions, with some donuts only available for a few days. My personal favorite is only available in the San Jose store on Memorial Day Weekend as part of a cross-promotion with local anime convention FanimeCon: The Psycho Takoyaki is eight ginger-flavored donut holes topped with caramel, lemongrass bavarian, coconut, and toasted pistachio.

Psycho Donuts’ unique selection and rotating menu makes it a great place to go to again and again. Donuts are baked in batches of four to six flavors at a time, meaning that what you want may not always be available in the case, but there is usually enough of a selection to make you indecisive. The San Jose venue also contains a movie theater and the popular improv team ComedySportz–why not make it an evening?

Cliff House Bistro


Location: San Francisco, California

Food: American/Seafood

Situated next to the Sutro Baths in one of the most beautiful parts of San Francisco, a Cliff House has been in operation since the middle of the 19th century. The Cliff House has gone through several architectural (and presumably menu) changes over the years, and it currently lives as an art deco mid-century throwback featuring the signature foods of San Francisco. There are two restaurants in the Cliff House – the sophisticated Sutro’s and the casual Bistro. This recommendation is for the Bistro.

There are no reservations at the Bistro, and the wait may take twenty to forty minutes, but fortunately there is plenty of bar seating where one can order a drink alongside a delicious appetizer. The dungeness crab cocktail ($15.95), artfully served in a martini glass, is sweet, flavorful, and satisfying enough for an entrée, and the prawn-pork potstickers ($13.50) are a beautiful blend of spicy and crunchy – using their accompanying dipping sauce is recommended. The French onion soup ($8.75), warm, soothing, and sweet, is another great choice. Once at the table, fresh sourdough bread is provided – so good my party usually ends up eating two or three baskets worth.

There are also a number of solid choices among the entrees. The fish and chips ($18.50), made with the Bay Area’s famous Anchor Steam beer, is a classic Bistro dish and not to be overlooked. The spinach ricotta pine nut ravioli ($19.95), served in a tomato-pesto sauce with mushrooms, changes flavors – sweet, rich, tangy, and savory – with every bite, creating a sophisticated taste adventure that’s perfect for pasta lovers. For meat enthusiasts, the braised lamb shank ($29.00) is cooked tenderly on the bone and served with a fitting side of Israeli couscous. Vegan dishes are also available on request.

Make sure to save room for dessert! The five desserts offered on the menu (all $7.25)  are an excellent way to round out your meal. The sour cream fudge cake is rich but not overpowering, and the créme brulee is served flat and wide, creating the ideal ratio of crunchy crust to sweet interior.

For visitors looking to capture the feeling of the historic San Francisco, the Cliff House Bistro is the perfect dining spot. The Art Deco architecture and signed photos of old movie stars catapult one back to the city of yesteryear. Try to get there in the evening – a delicious meal while watching the sun set over the Pacific coast is an unforgettable experience.

Monday, November 25, 2013



Location: Santa Clara, California

Close to: Santa Clara University, City Lights Theatre, Tabard Theatre

Food: Italian

A noble white-and-gold restaurant stands on El Camino Real in front of Santa Clara University – Fiorillo’s, a family-owned and operated eatery built in 1972. The restaurant has become a tradition for a number of Santa Clara students; one of my friends takes his family there every time they come into town.  And there is good reason why: Eating at Fiorillo’s makes you feel at home.

While Fiorillo’s serves focaccia and whole wheat bread for starters, I heavily recommend ordering a loaf of their garlic bread ($3.95). The bread falls on the chewy side, and though it contains a lot of herbs to make the taste more complex, it retains a perfect level of garlic flavor. Cheese is also available for an extra dollar. The bruschetta ($8.95), piled high with juicy tomatoes, peppers, and spices, is also a good choice for sharing with friends.

There are a lot of options for entrees, with portion sizes large enough that you can eat half and take the other half home. The lasagna ($12.95) is a personal favorite of mine – a classic dish done well, with tender meat, sweet cheese, and tangy marinara sauce. Fiorillos also boasts a mix-and-match pasta menu, ranging from noodles to ravioli, as well as a pizza and sandwich menu. The meat ravioli (pricing depends on selection) is tender and spicy, and the sauce is great for dipping bread.

The dessert menu is not without its options. The cheesecake ($8) has that smooth, fall-away texture that marks it as a masterpiece, and the tiramisu ($7) combines a creamy upper layer with a intensely flavored lower layer, the way tiramisu should be made.

With its warm atmosphere, well-stocked bar, and some of the friendliest wait staff I’ve ever encountered, eating at Fiorillo’s is truly a comfort. Even if you’re having a bad day, it’s guaranteed that you will leave with a full stomach and a smile on your face.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Santa Clara University: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice, the most well known of Jane Austen’s novels, has received many adaptations and treatments across the years, and has become cemented in the Western mind as one of the greatest romances ever written. However, the content of the novel is deeper than just a romance, reflecting both the social realities of the 19th century and Austen’s incisive, protofeminist sense of humor. The Santa Clara University production of Pride and Prejudice, co-directed by veteran Fred Tollini, SJ, and senior student Nick Manfredi, highlights the nuances of the novel with sparkling clarity.

One of the difficult parts of adapting a novel to the stage is deciding what to cut and what to retain; this production removed many scenes from the book that, though they worked well on the page, became extraneous when brought to the theatre. The result is a streamlined story that highlights some of Austen’s best language, supported by profound work on the part of the actors, including Maggie Woods’ delightfully vicious Caroline Bingley and Michael Standifer’s charming protrayal of Mr. Bennett.

The relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy – one of the most memorable romances of modern literature – is treated in a fascinating way in this performance, where the two are separated as much by the societal norms of the era as they are by their mutual stubbornness to admit they are in love. Though present in the book, it is rare to see these obstacles treated with such nuance. Gavin Mueller conducts himself with bitter dignity as Darcy, while Gabrielle Dougherty plays a headstrong, fearless Elizabeth. Their chemistry, while slow to unfold, is believable and touching.

Also worth noting is the subtle yet powerful technical work. The set uses rotating triangular pillars (periaktoi) to shift from residence to residence without making the changes jarring, while the costumes (a three-way collaboration between resident professor Barbara Murray and students Heidi Kobara and Anne Kobori) stay true to the time while marking the gender divisions characteristic of the novel, using bold colors for men and muted colors for women. Much like the direction, this is done mindfully, with every setpiece and color making a point.

It is rare to see a play – not just at a university but anywhere – that makes its decisions with such purpose that every facet speaks to its higher truth. SCU’s Pride and Prejudice is one of these. At $15 a ticket, the production is more than worth attending–better catch it before it closes on Saturday!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Palo Alto Players: In the Heights

Now that it has been five years after the original show closed and the rights have been released, numerous theaters in the Bay Area are performing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical In The Heights. The Palo Alto Players’ rendition, running until the end of the month, combines the exciting score with a talented, spirited cast to create a show of integrity and wonder.

In The Heights concerns the entwined stories of numerous people on an increasingly gentrified block of Washington Heights in New York City. Usnavi, our protagonist, struggles to keep his grocery store in business as he pursues Vanessa, a hairdresser at a salon down the street. Vanessa longs to leave the barrio and move into an apartment downtown. Kevin and Camila Roasario barely keep their taxi business afloat, while their daughter, Nina, returns home after working two jobs and studying at Stanford proved too difficult to her. And through it all, a lone piragua vendor competes with an ice cream truck for customers.

The cast was extremely strong and did a wonderful job: Standout voices include Jia Taylor as Vanessa and Alexa Ortega as Nina. Mark Alabanza plays the small but important role of the Piragua Guy with aplomb, making the vendor’s subtle jokes with impeccable comedic timing and singing his songs with a golden voice.

The Palo Alto Players do an amazing job in conveying the economic difficulties of the characters of the play to an affluent community. Contrary to the feel-good messages of many other musicals, In The Heights portrays the humanity of people in desperate situations, and, in my opinion, it’s this kind of conflict that makes for truly great modern drama.

Interestingly, In The Heights  possesses some similarities to the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof, which nears its 50th anniversary next year: A focus on the economically disadvantaged, the clash of heritage and true love, and the enduring question: Where is your home when you’re forced to leave? I’m happy to see more modern musicals addressing these issues, especially since In The Heights modernizes the message but leaves its timeless teachings intact.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2013: King Lear

Michael Winters as Lear (Left), Ray Fisher as Burgundy (Center), and Sofia Jean Gomez as Cordelia (Right). Photo by Jenny Graham and courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

In my sophomore year of college, I took a course on Shakespeare’s tragedies, taught by Santa Clara University’s resident Shakespeare scholar, Dr. Judith Dunbar. The class was enlightening, and I believe its greatest effect was that it introduced me to the intricacies of one of Shakespeare’s finest plays: King Lear. Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production, starring Jack Willis and Michael Winters as Lear in alternating performances, more than does the play justice.

My tickets were booked for the Michael Winters performance. Winters played Lear as a congenial, pleasant man, making his sudden fury towards his daughters and his eventual madness extremely unsettling. From what I heard, Willis played a mean, intimidating Lear; considering his prior performances as Lyndon Johnson in All The Way and evil monk Fahai in The White Snake, I'm sure that he performed the role as superbly as Winters.

The play is held in the black-box Thomas Theatre (previously known as the New Theatre). Though they are not as spacious or grand as proscenium theaters, the benefit of black-box theaters is their intimacy and potential for versatile staging. Artistic director Bill Rauch used these qualities to their utmost limits in King Lear, staging scenes in the catwalks above the stage and producing the storm scene using stagehands with leafblowers and flashlights. (It looks much, much better than it sounds). Particularly innovative is Daisuke Tsuji’s Fool, which – due to the desire not to spoil the artistry for you – I will not describe in great detail.

Similar to last year’s Troilus and Cressida, there is a military theme to King Lear’s design – when we first see him, Lear is wearing a general’s jacket covered in medals, and Edmund wears a soldier’s uniform for most of the play. Also like Troilus, we get a sense of both the depraved excess of the military upper class and the desolation of war, but Lear has a less narrow focus on the front lines, moving around to the streets and back alleys where Lear slowly descends into madness.

Whether this is your first Lear or your hundredth, there is something to be gained from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2013 King Lear. Make sure you know which Lear is playing when you purchase tickets – though both are great, it’s good to be able to decide between “Nice Lear” and “Mean Lear”.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2013: My Fair Lady

Ensemble. Photo by Jenny Graham. Photo courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Over the past few years, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has developed a pattern of taking a classic musical – perhaps one that the audience is starting to tire of – and directing it in a way so fresh and innovative that it seems new once again. In 2009, OSF’s Music Man changed Harold Hill into a man bringing Pleasantville-esque color to a black-and-white town. 2012’s Animal Crackers kept the rapid-fire Marx humor but added some cleverly blocked visual gags–and a few choice barbs aimed at the Festival itself. And this year, OSF has accomplished the impossible – breathing new life into My Fair Lady, one of the most well-known musicals of all time.

My Fair Lady takes place in the streets, apartments, and racing booths of the British upper class, and director Amanda Dehnert does not try to convince the audience any different. The twist is that these settings are left to our imagination; the action takes place in a rehearsal room, where a group of actors are practicing for My Fair Lady. This setting seems cliché, but the production doesn’t skimp on technical artistry. Eliza’s final exit has to be seen to be believed, and the familiar settings become new as the rehearsal room, with the help of a few props and costumes, transforms into a myriad of settings and spaces.

When I went to see My Fair Lady, an unfortunate illness was going through the ensemble, and numerous characters–including Eliza Doolittle herself–were played by understudies. Christina Acosta Robinson, coming straight from her role in The Unfortunates from earlier in the day, played Eliza immaculately, carrying her with the fire and emotional extremes the role requires to stay believable. Also great was Ken Robinson, probably the most acrobatic Freddy Eynsford-Hill in the history of the role, who drew wild applause for his rendition of “On The Street Where You Live”. The cast gave a wild, bombastic rendition of the show that made you almost forget where you were.

If you think you’ve seen My Fair Lady before, or even if you think you’ve seen it too many times, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s rendition of My Fair Lady will almost certainly change your mind. I am excited that the Festival is continuing the trend next year with The Cocoanuts, and, even more so, Into The Woods.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Theatreworks: Other Desert Cities

other desert cities
James Sutorius and Kandis Chappell. Photo by Tracy Martin.

Even a casual attendee of the theatre can tell that the sitting-room drama is currently experiencing a massive wave of popularity. It’s difficult to find a theatre these days that doesn’t have at least one show running about a group of horrible people yelling at each other in the same room. Some, like Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, are the most-produced plays in the world right now. Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, which just finished its Theatreworks run in Mountain View, is an example of the best the niche has to offer.

The play concerns the Wyeth family, a well-to-do family living in Southern California. Polly and Lyman Wyeth, the father and mother, are snooty Republicans; Polly is the ever-present psychologically abusive, alcoholic mother and Lyman acts as the more permissive parent.  Trip Wyeth, their son, is a flippant, vapid reality show producer, and Brooke, their daughter and the closest equivalent the play has to a main character, is an author who recently recovered from a deep spell of depression. Rounding out the cast is Selda, Polly’s sister, former partner, and current recovering alcoholic trapped in the house next door. When Brooke reveals that she is about to publish a memoir about her brother, who firebombed an army recruiting station and then committed suicide, the tensions underlying the family’s interactions come to a head.

Other Desert Cities takes the best of the sitting-room drama–the building tension, the subtly changing external and internal statuses of the characters–and avoids the larger problems with dialogue-heavy plays by keeping a fast pace and revealing more information with every conversation. There are issues with exposition being a little ham-handed and broader political issues appearing awkwardly in what should be a tightly focused, character-driven play, but the play as a whole is enjoyable enough that these are not particularly noticeable.

In this production, the Wyeths often turned to the audience to deliver important lines, acting as if they are constantly in front of the camera. This direction is divisive and largely depends on your taste (I don’t like it much personally), but there is no denying that it fits a family used to outside surveillance. The acting was strong across the board, with nobody standing out as better than the others particularly.

Unfortunately, the Theatreworks run is now over. However, the play itself is strong enough that if it opens again in the Bay Area or within a reachable distance, I would recommend buying a ticket.

Pasta Piatti


Location: Ashland, Oregon

Food: Italian

Close to: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Cabaret Theatre

Pasta Piatti is an Italian restaurant, conveniently located on Ashland’s Main Street. Described as “New World Italian,” I first went to this restaurant last year with my father, once in March and once, like this year, in September. The food was so good that I requested to go back this year with my family, a decision that I do not at all regret.

Pasta Piatti was crowded in March, but in September evenings there are only a few people in attendance, mostly eating on the restaurant’s spacious patio. The interior, with quiet music and dark wood, made for an inviting, intimate atmosphere. A number of wines and draft beers are available; I had a sip of a tart, crisp Riesling but my tastes in wine are so far not advanced enough to give a thorough review.

The first item I made sure to order was the house ciabatta ($3.50). Although dishes come with a few slices, only the whole loaf has a light brushing of oil on top, along with a salt-and-pepper seasoning that makes it one of the best breads I’ve ever eaten. As a Bay Area native and self-opined bread connoisseur, that is very high praise.

For an entrée, I had the lasagna ($14.95); the cheese was sweet and as wonderful as one might expect from a restaurant in one of Oregon's prime dairy locations. I also tried the planked sockeye salmon ($18.95), which was covered in a smoky glaze that brought out the fish’s sweetness. For dessert, I had a créme brulee ($6.50); it came with slightly sweet, crisp cookies for dipping and huckleberry preserves. Besides being a French dessert in an Italian restaurant, the only issue with the créme brulee was that the ramekin itself was deep but not wide, meaning there wasn’t as much crust to balance the richness of the cream.

Pasta Piatti has an excellent selection of Italian food and a wonderful atmosphere. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a  nice dinner in Ashland. The extensive wine bar, beautiful terrace seating, and intimate indoor space make it a great place to go on a date as well.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2013: Cymbeline

Dawn-Lyen Gardner (back) as Imogen and Kenajuan Bentley (front) as Iachimo.

Photo by Jenny Graham. Courtesy of Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival usually plays a similar selection of Shakespeare plays every year: A big, attractive tragedy, a comedy or two, and an apocryphal history or problem play. Though Cymbeline is classified as a comedy, it possesses little of the comedic elements of Midsummer Night’s Dream, and current scholars prefer to classify it as a romance. Cymbeline's language and plot are not as masterful as Shakespeare’s greatest, but the Oregon Shakespeare Festival made sure to give it as much justice as they did Troilus and Cressida last year.

As with most of Shakespeare, there are numerous plots that run throughout the course of the play, but most prominent is the romance between the ancient British princess Imogen and her lover, a court-raised boy named Posthumus Leonatus (after his father, who died in war). Posthumus’ Roman friend, under a bet, fakes evidence proving that he seduced Imogen, causing war to break out between the two nations. In the meantime, Imogen disguises herself as a man (as women were wont to do in Shakespearean comedies) and finds herself in the company of a hunter and his adopted sons…who happen to be the British king’s eldest two sons, lost long ago at sea.

OSF’s Cymbeline stayed roughly within Shakespeare’s time period, odd for the festival, but played fast and loose with accuracy: The Romans dressed like Venetians and used Italian accents, while some of the British wore elf ears. Though the costumes helped distinguish groups of characters from each other, they were certainly not as inspired as other OSF productions I had seen. However, the more typical setting worked for the obscure play.

Cymbeline should be seen just for the fact that hardly anyone does it, but OSF’s production of it is more than just sheer novelty. It  is an entertaining romp through the woods that allows us to experience a rarely seen side of Shakespeare’s work. My suggestion: Leave the full plot summary at home and enjoy getting shocked by the play’s twists and turns.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2013: The Unfortunates

Ramiz Monsef (right) as the Doctor, Cristofer Jean (Center, on trapdoor) as Koko, and ensemble. Photo by Jenny Graham. Photo courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

In recent years, musicals have departed from traditional structure and composition methods, exploring the use of numerous musical styles to tell a story. 2008’s Tony Award-winning In The Heights used hip-hop and Latin pop styles, each character representedy by a different form of inner-city Brooklyn music, while Fela! told the story of African musician Fela Kuti with his traditional tunes.

The Unfortunates, currently in its premiere performance at Ashland, tells a bitter, simple story using that classic American art form: The Blues. The play concerns Big Joe, former right-hand-man to King Jesse, underworld boss and owner of King Jesse’s Kingdom, a bar/casino/brothel that caters to the baser desires of whoever walks in. When Jesse dies from a plague, Big Joe is given the crown, but he is as soft-hearted as he is big-fisted and finds it difficult to maintain what he’s been given. Meanwhile, he attempts to pursue a relationship with Jesse’s daughter; however, when she contracts the plague as well, Joe’s life is turned upside down.

The musical draws many of its devices from other musicals, but employs them together in a way that makes it a truly unique performance. The closest musical I can think of is Kander and Ebb’s Kiss Of The Spider Woman: Both use a fascist prison where death awaits at every turn as a framing device, and both protagonists escape their terrifying circumstances by disappearing into the realm of their imagination. However, The Unfortunates improves the formula: Joe's imagination torments him just as much as the foreign soldier outside the cell and the soundtrack uses a musical style able to convey more angst than the tango. Big Joe’s mental landscape is bizarre and circus-like (Joe himself dons immobile, Hulk-sized fists in his mind), but as much as its inhabitants are cheery and love to joke, there is a noticeable grim current at the back of every scene.

If you are going to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, it would be a shame if you missed The Unfortunates, which, if it weren’t for OSF’s astonishing Streetcar Named Desire, would far outpace the others as the greatest play of the season.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bay Area Theatres

If you have another theatre to recommend, let me know in the comments!
Last updated May 2016.

San Francisco

PianoFight: Self-described as “San Francisco’s next landmark entertainment venue”, the PianoFight space plays host to sketch comedy troupes, audience-judged playwriting competitions, and surf rock bands. It’s also within walking distance of the Powell Street BART station!

Magic Theatre: A classic theatre located in northern San Francisco, famous for being the artistic home of gritty American playwright and film actor Sam Shepard.

Crowded Fire Theatre: A small theatre company in Potrero Hill that produces diverse plays by local playwrights.

ACT:  One of San Francisco's largest and most famous nonprofit companies, ACT puts on a variety of modern plays and musicals.

San Francisco Playhouse: Located close to Union Square, the San Francisco Playhouse combines old favorites with challenging new works.

Cutting Ball Theatre: A small theatre in the Tenderloin that performs risky, experimental plays.


Palo Alto Players: An 80-year-old community theatre that performs classic shows and occasionally branches into more experimental artists like Sarah Ruhl.

TheatreWorks: The biggest regional theater in the Peninsula, especially famous for its New Works Festival. Performs shows in Palo Alto (at the Lucie Stern Center) and in Mountain View (in the city's Center for Performing Arts).

Pear Theatre: A small but ambitious Mountain View theatre company that performs both the 20th Century’s greatest plays and more esoteric work. Their Playwrights’ Guild produces a festival of short plays every year.

Dragon Theatre: Another small theatre company, located in downtown Redwood City. Most Dragon plays are by little-known playwrights or apocryphal works by the greats. Within walking distance of a Caltrain station and a lot of good restaurants.

Hillbarn Theatre: Foster City's community theatre, which performs some of Broadway's most beloved musicals.

South Bay

City Lights Theatre Company: A midsize theatre in downtown San Jose that produces a variety of interesting shows. Usually serves snacks after performances, but you may want to save room for the dozens of excellent restaurants in the area.

Tabard Theatre: This family-friendly theatre, located literally across the street from some of San Jose’s best restaurants, has an intimate space with an interesting “corner” stage construction.

San Jose Theatre Company: Modern plays – and twists on the classics – performed on an arena stage in downtown San Jose.

Silicon Valley Shakespeare: A seasonal outdoor theatre near Saratoga that performs Shakespeare plays along with a few modern plays in a fun, casual setting.

East Bay

Gritty City Repertory Youth Theatre: A youth theatre in Oakland that stages plays – both Shakespeare and modern – with relevant themes for young people and people of color.

California Shakespeare Theater: Located in the hills near Orinda, Cal Shakes performs a four-play season during the summer in their outdoor arena stage.

Shotgun Players: An edgy Berkeley theatre company that directly responds to issues in the larger theatrical community: For example, selling $5 tickets to audience members under 25.

Berkeley Rep: Berkeley's longstanding theatre, most notable for its repeated collaborations with director Mary Zimmerman.

Impact Theatre: Another Berkeley company, this one dedicated to producing new work.

North Bay

Marin Rep:  Marin's most notable nonprofit theatre, which puts on mostly modern plays with serious artistic merit.

Notable College and University Theatres

Santa Clara University

Foothill College

Notre Dame de Namur University