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Sean San Jose (San Francisco) collaborating with The Cutting Ball Theater (San Francisco)

Award: $40,000 Performing Arts Grant awarded in 2014

To Premiere: Spring 2015

Playwright and director Sean San Jose is collaborating with The Cutting Ball Theater on Superheroes, a story of the crack-cocaine epidemic in 1980s San Francisco. The play is partially inspired by Gary Webb’s groundbreaking investigative journalism into the Bay Area drug ring that had been selling tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs for nearly a decade and funneling profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras.

The Cutting Ball produced a workshop of an early draft of the play in 2013, and now are working with San Jose to refine the piece and transforming its spoken-word narrative into a complete theatrical experience. Its development plans includes open process workshops in the Tenderloin and Bayview Hunters Point. Andrew Saito, artist-in-residence at The Cutting Ball, will act as dramaturg and The Cutting Ball’s co-founder Rob Melrose will direct. Choreographer Rashad Pridgin is creating a movement vocabulary for each character and the ensemble.

Sean San Jose is a writer, director, performer, and director of the ensemble Campo Santo. In his role as the long-time director of Intersection for the Arts’ performance program, he has collaborated with more than 500 artists.

The Cutting Ball Theater was founded in 1999 with a mission to develop and produce experimental new plays and re-visioned classics with an emphasis on language and images. For more information, visit The Cutting Ball, cuttingball.com.