We're gearing up for a weekend workshop to try out our ideas for Arctic Requiem.  We have a great group of actors and musicians and a big box of toys--time to play!  We won't have the 200 pounds of gravel our designer suggested we haul into the rehearsal room, but we have buckets and mops, tarps, tupperware and rainsticks.  These are the first steps for our new baby...we'll see if by the end of the weekend, this project is on its feet, or even off-n-running...will we be ready to take the leap to the next step?  Stay tuned.

Executive Director, Playwright, Producer

Sharmon has been writing plays for twenty-seven years and has been produced by Pear Avenue Theatre, TheatreFirst , Heartland Theater, Menlo Player’s Guild, and BootStrap Theater Foundation. Hanging Georgia is her seventh full-length play to be produced, and three of her short plays have been included in the Pear Avenue Theatre Pear Slices program. She is a founding member of the Pear Avenue Theatre Playwright’s Guild, a playwriting peer group. She studied playwriting with Rick Foster, Ellen McLaughlin and Oskar Eustis. Hanging Georgia is her fourth play with music written in collaboration with composer Joan McMillen. Their play about Emily Dickinson, Tell It Slant, sold-out at the Pear Avenue Theater (2009) and was remounted at the Southside Theater, Fort Mason in San Francisco (2010). Imaginal Disks: A Tale of Transformation premiered in 2001 at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. In 2003, Hilfinger and McMillen’s environmental activist play for high school actors, got water?, premiered at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Sharmon’s other full-length plays include An Ideal Mother, A History of Things that Never Happened, and Deuce.

In 1998, she founded BootStrap Theater Foundation. As Executive Director, she has developed a model for creating new works which emphasizes ensemble acting, music and movement. Her approach is to dwell in the collaborative process, rather than hurry into product.

Long before a play goes into rehearsal, Sharmon designs workshops that include writers, musicians, actors and a director. Her philosophy is that the script provides a foundation for a production, but that foundation is more like a trampoline, rather than a hard surface: a place from which the actors spring and land, repeatedly. She prefers to abandon hierarchy and listen to all voices, watch all ideas. Working early-on with other theater professionals allows the creative team to envision and incorporate theatrical moments that would not be found working in isolation.

She is proud to have nurtured ten world premiere productions from page to stage since the inception of BootStrap.

Jake Margolin

JAKE MARGOLIN is a New York based visual artist, performer, and director.  As a member of the collaboratively devised theater company The TEAM (dir. Rachel Chavkin) Margolin has co-created and performed four plays that have toured throughout Europe and North America, including Architecting (The Public, NYC; The Barbican Center, London; Culturegest, Lisbon; The Junction, Calgary) Particularly in the Heartland (PS 122, NYC; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Traverse, Edinburgh; Harbourfront Centre, Toronto).  With the TEAM Margolin is currently associate directing Roosevelvis which has been developed at London’s Almeida Theater and NYC’s Bushwick Starr.  With the TEAM Margolin has taught many workshops on devising theater throughout Europe and North America and was a teaching artist at NYU’s Tisch School Of The Arts in Fall 2012.

Margolin has collaborated extensively with the experimental choreographer Yoshiko Chuma on POONARC (developed in and toured thoughout Romania; NYC premier LaMama Etc) Love Story Palestine (LaMama Etc) and Shredded (Gallery 128, NYC).

With his husband Nick Vaughan, Margolin creates installation art.  Their work has been exhibited in Miami (Art Center/South Florida), New York (HERE) and Pittsburgh (Future Tenant Gallery).  They are resident artists at New York’s HERE Art Center where they are creating a large scale installation, A Marriage: 1 (SUBURBIA) funded in large part by a 2012 MAPfund grant.  Nick and Jake are twice official finalists for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2011, 2012).

Margolin made his directing debut with Sharmon Hilfinger’s Hanging Georgia in 2011.

Return to Current Production

4090 Amaranta Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 857-0782
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~Playwright, dramaturg, and producer of new dramatic works~

Playwright

Full-length Plays Produced:

Hanging Georgia

script by Sharmon J. Hilfinger, music by Joan McMillen

A play with music about Georgia O’Keeffe’s passionate affair and marriage to the famous photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz.

Pear Avenue Theater, Mountain View, CA

Co-production by Pear Avenue Theater and BootStrap Theater Foundation
Jake Margolin, Director
May 24 – June 9, 2013
Silicon Valley Small Theatre Award Honoree for Standout New Works
San Jose Mercury News review: “Hanging Georgia a powerful success at the Pear…an exhilarating, inventive and mostly absorbing “biography” of the unique American artist Georgia O’Keeffe.”
Thick House, San Francisco, CA
Co-production by TheatreFirst and BootStrap Theater Foundation
Jake Margolin, Director
October 8 – 30, 2011
San Jose Mercury News review: “Hanging Georgia roils and explodes across the stage like a Texas lightning storm."
Tell It Slant

script by Sharmon J. Hilfinger , music by Joan McMillen

A play with music about young Emily Dickinson, rebel and lover caught in an emotionally volatile love triangle involving the poet, her brother Austin, and their intimate friend Susan Gilbert.

Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA

BootStrap Foundation Production

Virginia Reed, Director

April 17 – May 16, 2010

Pear Avenue Theater, Mountain View, CA

Co-production by Pear Avenue Theater and BootStrap Foundation

Rachel Anderson, Director

September 11 – 17, 2009

Silicon Valley Small Theatre Award Honoree for Standout New Works

Palo Alto Weekly review: “Tell It Slant brims with emotion but is never sentimental. The wry wit and dark moods of Dickinson herself help steer the show away from those dangerous theatrical waters…this potent combination of poetry,biography and music is a welcome addition to the realm of Dickinson lore and provides an evening of consistently surprising theatrical bliss.”

Deuce

A drama about a revered Women’s Studies professor’s sexual exploitation of his female graduate students and the damaging consequences to his son and one of these women.

Pear Avenue Theatre, Mountain View, CA

Co-production by Pear Avenue Theatre and BootStrap Foundation

Ann Kuchins, Director

June 32 – July 15, 2006

San Mateo County Times review: “This is a marvelous play with well-crafted, interesting characters, an exciting plot and superb dialogue. Hilfinger created real dialogue that fits each character well. Good dialogue is arguably the toughest part of writing a play and Hilfinger is a master at it.”

got water?

script by Sharmon J. Hilfinger, music by Joan McMillen

song lyrics by Hilfinger and McMillen

Created for the SF Fringe format, this short play with music depicts a future where high schoolers must line up to receive drinking water in government-issue bottles. Rebellion breaks out when free (but limited) water is replaced by a costly vending machine.

Actors Theater of San Francisco

BootStrap Foundation Production

Bear Capron, Director

September 6 – 15, 2003

Also performed at Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA for the public and in two all-school assemblies as the conclusion of a two-year educational outreach program, September, 2003

Imaginal Disks, A Tale of Transformation

script by Sharmon J. Hilfinger, music by Joan McMillen

song lyrics by Hilfinger and McMillen

In this intimate play with music, a girl on the edge of womanhood and her invisible dancing Doppelganger provoke questions about genetics, biotechnology, and manipulations of nature as she struggles against her single father’s wishes for his only child.

Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, Mountain View, CA

BootStrap Foundation Production

Kristin Walter, Director

September 6 - 16, 2001

Also performed at Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA in an educational

outreach program, April, 2002

San Mateo County Times review: “Imaginal Discs proves that literariness, science

and art may be successfully blended into a moving and accessible theatrical

experience. For those who appreciate felicity of artistic expression, this is a

must-see.”

A History of Things That Never Happened

A comic romance in which misdirected mail leads to a fanciful literary correspondence between two strangers, infused with fantasies of how famous literary characters might have averted their tragedies.

Heartland Theatre Company, Bloomington, Illinois

Mike Dobbins, Director

October 13 – 23, 2006

Magic Theatre, San Francisco, CA

BootStrap Foundation Production

Andrea Gordon, Director

July 14 - August 8, 1999

San Francisco Bay Guardian review: “The play finds delightfully fresh comedy in the largely ignored province of midlife romance. Hilfinger is definitely a talent to watch.”

An Ideal Mother

A play within a play in which actors rehearsing Lady Windemere’s Fan discover parallels with their own lives, emotional needs and personal relationships.

Burgess Theater, Menlo Park, CA

Menlo Player's Guild Production

Dean Burgi, Director

October 2 - 17, 1992

San Mateo County Times review: “An Ideal Mother is a surprisingly pleasing stew…This is a good start for Hilfinger. It’s clear she’s no newcomer to the theater. It will be interesting to see what she cooks up next.”

Short Plays Produced:
Quiet Backstage, Please!

The Pear Avenue Theatre, Mountain View, CA

Troy Johnson, Susannah Greenwood, Directors

Pear Slices April 13 – 29, 2007

Best Laid Plans

The Pear Avenue Theatre, Mountain View, CA

Jane Geesman, Director

Pear Slices, March 25 – April 10, 2005

Graveyard Shift

The Pear Avenue Theatre, Mountain View, CA

Meredith Hagedorn, Director

Pear Slices, March 19 – 28, 2004

Playwriting Grant

The Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, affiliated with Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon:
2004 and 2008 Grants for a two week collaborative retreat with composer Joan McMillen for development of Tell It Slant

Dramaturg

In 1998 I founded BootStrap Foundation, now incorporated as BootStrap Theater Foundation, with the mission to help artists bootstrap their way to visibility. Our work is to develop and fund new plays. In recent years, we have co-produced new works at The Pear Avenue Theatre. I have worked with the following playwrights as dramaturg on these productions at The Pear Avenue Theatre:

Space Is Blue and Birds Fly In It, Gregory Meyer; Dramaturgical Workshop,
February 2 – 13, 2007; production slated for June, 2007

What the Birds Carry, Elizabeth Gjelten, June, 2005

Veracruz, John F. Levin, September, 2004

A Beautiful Home for the Incurable, Ian Walker, June, 2004

Professional Activities

Executive Director and Producer, BootStrap Theater Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
1998 – present (originally BootStrap Foundation, under CAPA 501c (3) corporate umbrella)

Pear Avenue Theatre, Mountain View, CA, Board Member 2001 – present

Pear Avenue Theatre, Mountain View, CA, Steering Committee 2001 - present

TheatreFirst, Berkeley, CA, Board Member 2012 – present

Eureka Theatre, San Francisco, Board Member, 1999 - 2001

Palo Alto Playwright Forum, Board Member, 1988 – 1989

Playwriting Studies

Eureka Theatre Playwriting Group, San Francisco, 1991 - 1998

Eureka Theatre Playwriting Workshop, San Francisco

Ellen McLaughlin, Spring 1990

Eureka Theatre Playwriting Workshop, San Francisco

Oskar Eustis, Spring 1988; Fall 1988; Spring 1989

Playwriting, San Francisco State University,

Rick Foster 1986 – 1987

Degree

BFA, Illinois Wesleyan University, summa cum laude

References

Ellen McLaughlin, Playwright and Professor, Barnard College,
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Lisa Steindler, Executive Director, Z Space, San Francisco, CA 94103;
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Diane Tasca, Artistic Director, Pear Avenue Theatre, 1220 Pear Avenue, K, Mountain View, CA 94043;
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 650-327-7071

 

62
BACKERS
$5,030
PLEDGED OF $5,000 GOAL
18

DAYS TO GO
BUT WE'RE STILL RAISING MONEY. The truth be told, we have a budget of $40,000 for this show, so every dollar we make on this campaign will be put to use. We have sets and costumes to build, posters to print, designers, technicians, stage manager and crew to compensate. We're setting a new goal: $7,500 before the CAMPAIGN ends.

THANK YOU TO THE 62 BACKERS WHO HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO RECEIVE OUR KICKSTARTER PLEDGES. KEEP THE BUZZ GOING!


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