Join over a hundred Bay Area writers, directors, actors, and fine artists to become a part of one of San Francisco’s most exciting new theater festivals!
The San Francisco Olympians Festival is an annual event that lasts for twelve nights (thirteen, if you count our opening party!) with a focus on the creation of new scripts for the theater in addition to providing a showcase for Bay Area fine artists, actors and writers.
The Festival was started in 2010 by Stuart Bousel, and featured 12 new full length plays, each one based on one of the twelve Olympian gods of Ancient Greece. In 2011 the festival returned with 32 plays, ranging from five minute shorts to full lengths, each one based upon an Ancient Greek sky god or mythical figure who had become a constellation, moon, etc. In 2012 we debuted 25 one acts, each night pitting a play about an Olympian god against a play about a Titan, the race of gods who sired the Olympian gods, and were then overthrown by them. Last year we premiered 36 new plays about the Trojan War.
This year we are excited to premiere 28 new plays by 30 local writers- 13 of whom will be contributing written work to the festival for the first time! The plays range from shorts to one acts to full lengths, and each one explores a different monster. It will play 12 nights, November 5-22, at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco, and if previous years are indicative of a trend, (every year we’ve broken our own records), we expect this to be the largest festival yet in terms of participants and audience!
Well, a bigger festival requires a bigger base of support, but we’re actually tightening our budget and asking for the same amount as last year- even though the cost of creating a theater festival has, like everything else in the world, gone up. We’re looking to raise $10,000- a really big number- because:
$3,600 of the money we raise goes to keeping the doors of the theater open, the lights turned on and the water running- all really necessary! The rest of the money we raise is split two ways…
The first half goes to marketing and materials: postcards, posters, programs, high quality printings of the work created by our fine artists, the catering for our opening night party, and of course, all the photocopies of these brand new scripts we need for the readings.
The second half goes towards maintaining last year’s lofty goal of paying everyone who works on the festival a stipend of some kind. In previous years actors and writers were paid, and we held raffles to raise some funds for the artists, but our entire production team and crew, including our box office manager and all of our directors, were volunteers. Last year we changed that by creating enough funds to offer everyone a small thank you for the hours, days and weeks they put into this project. If we meet our goal, we’ll be able to do this again, and maybe even have enough left over to put some money away for next year- something we’ve never been able to do!
Most importantly, if we manage to raise all of our funds, we’ll be able to keep our ticket price (which is only $10) low and our comp policy generous, ensuring that the wide variety of audiences looking to experience these new works can do so affordably.
When you support this festival, you’re not just supporting the 30 writers whose work will be presented this year, but also the 80+ actors we predict this festival will use, a dozen directors, and a dozen fine artists, the staff of the festival, and the theater where we work, the theater itself, the neighborhood it is located in, and the cultural life of the city that is our home. Events like the San Francisco Olympians Festival are part of what make the Bay Area a unique and inspiring place to be, a leader in the arts nationally, and a center for intellectual experiment and advancement.
The San Francisco Olympians Festival has been gaining momentum since its first year, with eight plays that were first given a public reading in the festival having gone on to full productions: 2010’s Hermes (No Nude Men Productions, Dramaworks, Bread and Water Theatre), Juno En Victoria (Wily West Productions), and Salty Towers (Thunderbird Theater Company); 2011’s Cassiopeia (Eat Street Players), Chronus (Bread and Water Theatre), You’re Going To Bleed (DivaFest), and Pleiades (No Nude Men Productions); 2013’s Take Me Home: a One-woman Odyssey (Lucy Tafler Presents)- soon to make its international debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Many others have received additional readings on local and national stages, including: 2011’s Joe Ryan (Impact Theatre), Pleiades (Atlantic Stage), Io (Eat Street Players), and Selene, or Someone Like The Moon (EXIT Theatre); 2012’s Caenis and Poseidon (Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco), and Twins (San Francisco State); 2013’s Under The Gods’ Golden Cleets (Dramatist Guild). 2013’s Walls Of Troy was a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award and the entire festival won “Playwriting Series Most Likely to Win a Gold Medal” from the SF Guardian. Additionally, EXIT Press has released a collection of five plays from year one of the festival, Songs of Hestia, and ten plays from year two, Heavenly Bodies, now available for purchase on Amazon.com and at bookstores across the country. So when you support our festival you’re also supporting American Theater, Literature and Art, and adding to the cultural heritage of generations of artists and audience yet to come!
Thank you for giving whatever you can give, for passing this campaign on to others you know who may want to support us, and for helping this festival continue to grow!