San Rafael-based AlterTheater has named its first-ever Producing Artistic Director, to help position and lead the company in its next 15 years of success and community involvement.
Following a national search, San Francisco State graduate and experienced Bay Area theater professional Alicia Coombes has been chosen to fill the position.
“I’m so excited to be working with Alicia,” says Artistic Director and co-founder Jeanette Harrison. “With Alicia’s guidance, AlterTheater will continue producing contemporary work in downtown San Rafael and in partnership with other groups. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to run the new play development program, and focus on fundraising and right-sizing the organization, getting us ready for the next 15 years. For all of us at AlterTheater, as we look toward the future, we’ll continue supporting storytelling that includes all members of our community, and look to do that in the best way possible for both artists and audiences.”
“Under Jeanette’s leadership, AlterTheater has built a foundation of artist-led and ground-breaking theater,” Coombes says. “As we continue to explore ways to create opportunities for both established and promising artists in the Bay Area, I’m excited about the possibilities of building on this ensemble’s history in the innovative, inclusive, and courageous way in which it was begun. It’s such an honor to be a part of the future of this organization!”
The company’s 2019/2020 season continues this winter with the world premiere of AlterLab-developed new play Ghosts of Bogotá by Diana Burbano, which has already won the Rella Lossy Award, and concludes with a touring production of Pure Native by Vickie Ramirez. Its first show, Circular by Laura Shamas, played in both San Rafael and San Francisco, in partnership with A.C.T.’s ArtShare program.
Ghosts of Bogotá will be presented in partnership with the Latino Council. “This is the first year in a while that we’ve been able to produce a 3-play season. We’re all super excited.”
AlterTheater’s work this season is made possible by a grant for Ghosts of Bogotá from the California Arts Council, and by a grant for Pure Native by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“This is the first time we’ve ever gotten both a California Arts Council grant and an NEA grant in the same season. We’re humbled and thrilled,” says Harrison. “And they’re both matching grants, so I’m going to be working very hard with our board of directors to raise the matching funds!”