A Tides Theatre & The Center for Investigative Reporting Collaboration

A Tides Theatre & The Center for Investigative Reporting Collaboration

StoryWorks – Workshop Production

Changing the Way We Experience Journalism

By William Bivins & Jon Bernson

Based on the reporting of award-winning journalists Ryan Gabrielson & Mimi Chakarova

Directed by Jennifer Welch

Workshop Performances May 31 – June 15


San Francisco (May 2013) – The Tides Theatre and The Center for Investigative Reporting announced an artistic-journalistic collaboration that seeks to explore investigative reporting through performances developed in front of live audiences. Both Tides' Jennifer Welch (producing artistic director) and CIR believe that journalism that moves people to action is an essential pillar of democracy.

This powerful, experimental project blends the art of theater and the search for truth. We have commissioned artists, playwrights, actors and designers to discover what it means to delve into the deeper meaning of investigative stories that have resonated in California communities and bring these stories to life. The intention of this workshop production (that will evolve over the course of nine performances) is to explore beyond the headlines and ask: What is the truth? Is it the same for everyone? How does the revelation of previously hidden information affect a community?

William Bivins’ piece is based on Broken Shield by Ryan Gabrielson, which was an 18-month investigation that uncovered systemic failures at the Office of Protective Services and prompted a criminal investigation, two new laws, staff retraining, policy changes and a management shake-up. Jon Bernson’s piece is based on “Her War” by Mimi Chakarova, which explored the lives of some of the 3,000 women veterans that are living on the streets of the United States (the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s homeless population) and the battles they face when their tours of duty are over.

The ensemble cast is made up of Sarah Moser, Paris Hunter Paul, Shirley Smallwood and Brian Trybom. Additional members of the creative team include Susan Shay (assistant director), Deborah Cichocki (production manager), Alicia Griffiths (scenic design) and Claire Kendrick (lighting design).

Dates: May 31 - June 15; Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets: $18 general admission, $14 student/senior; available at www.tidestheatre.org

Audience services:  415-399-1322; info@tidestheatre.org

            William Bivins (playwright) is an award-winning playwright whose productions include "The Education of a Rake" (Central Works), "The Apotheosis of Pig Husbandry" (SF Playhouse), "The Position" (PianoFight) and "The Afterlife of the Mind" (Virago Theatre Company), among others. His drama "Ransom, Texas" (Pacific Repertory Theatre) won the 2010 Hyperion Project Original Play Competition. His Biblical comedy "Pulp Scripture: (Original Sin/PianoFight) won the 2009 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Original Script and grabbed eight SF Fringe Awards, including best new comedy. Bivins was the most produced playwright of the 2009-10 San Francisco Bay Area season, was one of 12 Bay Area playwrights chosen for the 2008 Theatre Bay Area/TheatreWorks Playwrights Showcase and has been a finalist for the Heideman Award in the National Ten-Minute Play Contest. He has participated in the Will Dunne Dramatic Writing Workshop since 2001, and is a member of the Monday Night Playwrights Group and the Dramatists Guild. He lives in San Francisco.

            Jon Bernson (playwright/sound design) has scored more than a dozen plays and films including his recent soundscape for Samuel Beckett’s "Waiting for Godot" and live soundtrack for John Steinbeck’s "Of Mice and Men." As a songwriter and recordist, he has released 15 critically acclaimed albums under multiple names: Ray’s Vast Basement, Window Twins, THEMAYS and Exray’s, whose music was featured in David Fincher’s Academy Award-winning film "The Social Network." He is a contributor to Decoder Magazine, mostly in the form of Studio Apartment, his monthly column that captures musicians in their habitats. Bernson also founded the Urban Music Program at the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center in 1997, where he continues to teach audio creativity and electronic music to youth.

            Mimi Chakarova ("Her War") is a photographer and filmmaker who, for the past decade, has covered global issues examining conflict, corruption and the sex trade. Her film “The Price of Sex,” a feature-length documentary on trafficking and corruption, premiered this spring. “Her War” tells the story of some of the 3,000 female veterans that are living on the streets of the United States (the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s homeless population) and the battles they face when their tours of duty are over.

            Ryan Gabrielson (Broken Shield) covers public safety for The Center for Investigative Reporting. He was a 2009-10 investigative reporting fellow at UC Berkeley. Gabrielson's work has received numerous national and state honors, including a Pulitzer Prize, George Polk Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award. Broken Shield was an 18-month investigation that uncovered systemic failures at the Office of Protective Services and prompted a criminal investigation, two new laws, staff retraining, policy changes and a management shake-up.

            Jennifer Welch (director) is the producing artistic director of Tides Theatre, a founding member of Howells Transmitter Arts Collaborative and a contributor to Dramalist.com. Her directing credits include "Waiting for Godot," "The Little Foxes," "5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche," "The Grapes of Wrath," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Buried Child," "The Trip to Bountiful," "A View from the Bridge," "The Rose Tattoo," "The Night of the Iguana," "Lysistrata," "The Real Inspector Hound" and "Killer Joe." She currently teaches acting classes in San Francisco and trained at the University of Kansas, American Conservatory Theater and the Jean Shelton Actors Lab.

            Cary Cronholm Rose (creative director) is the associate artistic director and literary manager of Tides Theatre. She was most recently the assistant director of "Waiting for Godot" and "5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche" for Tides. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf in Chicago and B.A.D.A.’s Midsummer in Oxford program. In Chicago, she worked with Second City, ImprovOlympic, The Chopin and the Steppenwolf Garage. Rose is a proud company member of Chicago’s Collaboraction Theater and a founding company member of Chicago’s Pine Box Theatre.

            Susan Shay (assistant director) is the director of marketing and communications for Tides Theatre. She has worked on and off stage in New York (Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons/After the Storm Foundation), Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Shay has contributed to new work development with Terrence McNally, Marisa Wegrzyn, Josh Tobiessen and Derek Goldman. As an actor, she was last seen as Lulie in Tides Theatre’s "5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche" and as Evelyn in the independent film “The Cedars." She is a graduate of Georgetown University and a proud member of Actors’ Equity.

            Phil Bronstein was named executive chairman of the board of The Center for Investigative Reporting in April 2012, when the organization merged with The Bay Citizen, and is responsible for overall operations. He was a member of the CIR board from 2006-2012, serving as chairman beginning in 2011. Previously, Bronstein was editor-at-large and director of content development for Hearst Newspapers. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and editor-at-large of the San Francisco Chronicle after serving as the newspaper’s editor from 2000-2008 and the editor of the San Francisco Examiner from 1991-2000. As a reporter, his specialized in investigative projects and was a foreign correspondent for eight years. Bronstein was a 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work in the Philippines. His career in San Francisco began as a reporter at public television station KQED. He is the former chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ International Committee and is currently on the advisory board of Litquake, the annual San Francisco literary festival.

            Robert J. Rosenthal is an award-winning journalist and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting. He has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002 before becoming executive director of The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2008.  Rosenthal has been a Pulitzer Prize judge four times and an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

For press photos and more information about the show, visit http://tidestheatre.org/press.

All photos by MDRP.NET

Tides Theatre, in its second season, is on a mission to challenge, inspire and heal our community by creating visceral theater experiences that are bold and truthful. Located in the heart of the Union Square Theater District, Tides Theatre is committed to fostering a spirit of collaboration within both the artistic and greater Bay Area communities, through workshop productions, staged readings, live and ambient music events, and a curated film series (launching July 2013) in addition to a three production main stage season: "The Little Foxes" (January-February 2013), "Sweet Bird of Youth" (July-August 2013) and "Gruesome Playground Injuries" (October-November 2013).  www.tidestheatre.org

Investigative reporting is an essential pillar of a democratic society. For more than three decades, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has relentlessly pursued and revealed injustices that otherwise would remain hidden from the public. Today, we’re upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to tell the stories that make a difference and reach diverse audiences of all ages, across the aisle and worldwide. www.cironline.org



WHAT: A Tides Theatre & The Center for Investigative Reporting Collaboration: StoryWorks workshop production. Changing the way we experience journalism. This powerful, experimental project blends the art of theater and the search for truth.

SHOWS: 5/31-6/15 at 8 p.m., Workshop Launch Party to follow the 5/31 performance.  Friday/Saturday 8 p.m., plus Saturdays 2 p.m.

WHERE: Tides Theatre 533 Sutter St., second floor (between Powell and Mason streets)

TICKETS: For tickets ($14-$18) or more information, the public may contact Tides Theatre at 415-399-1322, or www.tidestheatre.org

PRESS CONTACT: The Center for Investigative Reporting: Lisa Cohen, 310-395-2544, lisa@lisacohen.org; Tides Theatre: Susan Shay 415-567-7302 or susan@tidestheatre.org