Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Make the Most of Your Evening in the Theatre

Ease Your Parking Pains

Get dinner before the show. Between 3 and 6pm there's no street parking downtown (during weekdays). If you arrive promptly at 5:45pm, you can park on the stree tof free-- the meter maids are gone for the day. That leaves plenty of time for a relaxing dinner.

Dine at One of the city's Best
If you've followed the parking advice above, you've got plenty of great restaurants within walking distance. To name just a few:

Colibri Mexican Bistro, 438 Geary: between Mason and Taylor, across the street from A.C.T. Theatre. <415-440-2737) Dinner Entrees $14 to 18, Specialty Cocktails and wines by the glass $8 to $16.

E&O Trading Co., 314 Sutter St.; San Francisco, 415-693-0303, Dinner Entrees $15 to 26, Full Bar.

First Crush Restaurant & Wine Bar, 101 Cyril Magnin, San Francisco, 415-982-7874, Dinner: Small Plates $8 to 14 and Large Plates $18 to 29, Full Bar.

Scala's Bistro, 432 Powell St. near Post., 415-395-8555, Dinner Entrees: $20-34, Bar menu: $3-16, Full Bar.

Sears Fine Food 439 Powell St. near Post., 415-986-0700, Dinner Entrees: $14.25-29.95.

Azul: Lounge and Tapas 1 Tillman Place; San Francisco, 415-362-9750, Tapas menu with one Dinner Plate: $4-13. Extensive Bar and Cocktail menu.

Wet Your Whistle at the Theatre
Second Wind has always believed that you shouldn't be gouged for a glass of wine or a cookie just becuase you're in the teatre, so we keep the lowest prices in town. Have a glass of Viogner or Zin for just $3. We recommend arriving 20 minutes before the show. (Or try our
Elite Pass
for special savings.)

Make Sure Your Smart Phone is Smart
Second Wind is the only company in the Bay Area that includes QR Codes in our programs. Access behind-the-scenes videos with your smart phone. You'll need a free QR Reader. Download one from your phone's app store.

Say Hello to an Actor
The concession stand doesn't close when the curtain goes down. Grab and drink and stay in the lobby. After about five minutes the actors begin to emerge in their street clothes. Say hellow, ask a question, or give them a pat on the back.

Running Late? Go with Plan B
If you're running a little late to the show we recommend the Stockton Street Garage. It's the cheapers in the area and about three blocks away. When you arrive at the theatre, buy a drink when you pick up your ticket. You can take it into the theatre. If the show has already started, we do allow late seating, but the concessions bar will be closed.


Friday, January 27, 2012

The Most Intimate Theatre Experience Imaginable

Second Wind has a new adventure. It's called The Elite Pass. It's a mini-membership that gets you closer than ever to the creative process, and it's perfect for theatre enthusiasts, students, and budding actors, directors, and theatre people. What do you get?
> One ticket to any performance of Vigilance
> Two workshops with playwright/director Ian Walker and Producer/Choreographer Misha Wyatt
> One free "youth ticket" for friends and family 12-17 years of age
> Half off all concessions
> Exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and articles
> And the ability to see the show a second time for free

It's the most intimate theatre experience imaginable.  And we've got a video glimpse of the program.

Get your Elite Pass Here.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Four Ways Were Changing Our Relationship to Our Audience

Transforming our Lobby into a Lounge. Utilizing QR Codes in our program. Opening the bar after the show. Initiating an Elite Pass for the production. Here’s why:

Transforming our lobby
We’ve got a small lobby—it has room for maybe four chairs, and is separated from the theatre by a curtain. It’s not the best of circumstances, and it often requires us to set up folding chairs in the hallway outside the lobby to accommodate early arrivals and overflow. In the past we’ve done things to spruce up our “inner” lobby: lit candles, projected images high up on the walls, filled the space with old show posters, and offered free hot chocolate (that was a big hit). But it still says, “wait here a minute, the real entertainment soon.” It’s a “waiting room.” Why am I telling audience members not to engage in conversation? Not to connect? Not to enjoy themselves? So we’re moving comfy furniture into the lobby and even the outer hallway.
QR Codes
You know, that funny little black and white square with dark speckles in it. If your smartphone has the right app, you can take a picture of it and visit a website or see a short video. Like a lot of marketing innovations it’s become all the rage without a whole lot of evaluation, but I figure within the setting of a theatre auditorium having one person use the QR code gets 2-5 neighbors in on the fun. Want to hear an actor talk about his role? Hear the playwright’s description of the play? Get clues on who done it? All they have to do is open their program, point and click.

Open the Bar
People tend to flee the theater after the show, even if they enjoyed the show. That’s cool. But we also want people to talk about the show and engage with the art form. So even if the attendance doesn’t merit it, we’ll be keeping the bar open after the show and inviting folks to chat with the artists.

The New Elite Pass
Make theatre more than a business transaction of dollars for stage entertainment—that’s what this new program is about. We’re encouraging people to get involved not just for two hours, but two months by offering inside looks, workshops, right of return, discounted food and drink. For just $35, the price of many shows in SF, you get a whole experience. It’s our new adventure. For everyone involved. And frankly, we think it's the most intimate theatre experience in the nation. Check it out at www.secondwind.8m.com/AboutElite.html
So come tell us how we did.
Vigilance runs February 2nd thru the 25th at The Phoenix Theatre.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Vigilance in Rehearsal, Week Three

It's been a while since we posted a video entry to our blog. As we turn from staging to run throughs and polish, we offer a look back on what we've been up to.

We've got a few more tricks up our sleeve for this production. It's never too late to get tickets!


by Ian Walker

February 2-25th at The Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason St., San Francisco

A hostile newcomer drives his neighbors down a path of mutual destruction, laying bar long-buried secrets in this richly imagined, NY John Gold Prize-winner thrill from Bay Area playwright Ian Walker.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

2nd Wind's 5 Most Useful Posts for Producers, Directors, & Designers

Second Wind’s blog has posted over 60 entries into our behind-the-scenes diary over the past four years. So we’ve decided to cull the best of our resources and guides for producers, directors, and designers (sorry actors, you’ll have to wait your turn). Here they are:

Your Design Portfolio / Getting Hired
Advice from the pros and tips for sealing the deal. Get hired as a designer.

Strategic Marketing Plan for Theatre
We lay out our complete marketing plan for The Tender King, no holds barred. How does yours compare?

Starting a Visual/Emotional Palette
You’re a director—what do you know about design? Help on using visuals to hone your directorial work, and communicate better with designers.

Taking the Press Photo
We share our top six tips for a knock-out press photo.

Ah Paperwork!
Nobody likes it; everybody’s got to do it. No, I’m not talking about death— I’m talking about paperwork. We share some of our more useful examples of forms for producing, including press releases, contracts for designers/actors, rehearsal forms, marketing tools, etc.

And a bonus... Mastering the Art of the Question
Directors are forbidden to give "line readings" and for good reason. Telling an actor exactly what you want is a sure-fire way of creating an awkward, unconvincing performance. There are a number of ways to "guide" a performance; the most effective technique is about asking the right questions that create a common viewpoint. And it cannot be practiced-- or utilized-- enough.

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