General Question

Hobbes's avatar

What kind of Theatre does San Francisco have?

Asked by Hobbes (7355points) November 29th, 2010

I know a lot of jellies live in SF. What is the Theatre scene like there? If anyone has attended a live performance in San Francisco, what was it like? How many Theatre companies would you say the city has? Obviously LA is bigger for movies and TV, but would one be able to find screen acting opportunities in SF?

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7 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

It has an active theatre scene. I can’t tell you any more than that, though.

Hobbes's avatar

Thanks @Rarebear, but does anyone have more specific information? This is a pretty important topic with regard to my life choices.

Rarebear's avatar

I forwarded your query to a friend of mine who might know more.

janbb's avatar

Andrew should probably know since he trained in acting in SF and has lived in both cities. Maybe try sending him this question.

andrew's avatar

There’s a decent theater scene in SF. Not a lot of on-screen roles. Not a large amount of large theaters—that said, you can make a living if you can find consistent work.

Not as much theater as, say, Chicago, but I’m talking a little out my rear here.

Rarebear's avatar

@Hobbes Okay, here is the answer from my friend who is a film director. He directed the independent film X’s and O’s. You can contact him directly at

I have no real quantifiable numbers regarding theater productions, companies, or troupes. But as for movies and TV, there are almost no acting opportunities outside of non-union (meaning non-paying) independent films. During x’s and o’s, SF Screen Actors Guild informed me that I was the only union production shooting in SF during the 3 weeks I shot. In LA, there are between 100–200 union projects of varying degrees (independent, studio, low, mid, and big budget) being shot on any given day. Big studio movies come to SF, but most roles outside of minor parts are cast out of LA. SF does have pull in commercials and industrials so there are more opportunities for paid work in that realm. LA actors have complained that there is no theater scene in LA. But SF is not anywhere close to NY or even Chicago when it comes to theatrical productions. SF is a place where actors wind up if they choose to not go to NY or LA. Not much business is done here but there is none of the fierce competition among actors associated with those other meccas. The quality of actors in the pool is also lacking in SF. I didn’t cast one part out of San Francisco for x’s and o’s. Not that I didn’t try. They just weren’t good enough to warrant the daily SAG rates. There really isn’t much choice. If one is serious about acting, he goes to LA or NY. If one wants to act as a side creative endeavor to his normal job, SF might provide a few fun chances to express his creativity. There are no legitimate private acting schools, reknowned theater programs, or recognizable agencies here.

filmfann's avatar

From ACT to Beach Blanket Babylon, SF has a thriving stage community. You can find anything you want.

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