Stuart: I Wish You Could Quit Your Day Job

If any one person is close to the center of the vortex that is San Francisco theatre it could be Stuart Bousel.  An award-winning playwright (2014 TBA best world premiere play Everyone Here Says Hello, among others), director, founder of the 7-year old Olympians Festival, San Francisco Theatre Pub, New Works Director for Custom Made Theatre, actor, and more (including guest blogger for TheatrePlaybyPlay.com: “I’m Not Sorry I Hate Your Play“), Stuart knows and is known by most San Francisco theatre artists and he still has to have a day job to pay the rent — not to mention an incredible amount of passion and energy to do it all.  I enjoyed getting to know him a bit better this past weekend.

Stuart Bousel photo taken by (and borrowed without permission from the Facebook page of) Cody Rishell

Stuart Bousel
photo taken by (and borrowed without permission from the Facebook page of) Cody Rishell

Last Saturday I had a marathon theatre day in San Francisco:  plays at noon, 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.  The clear highlight was the meat in my theatre sandwich (including the actual chicken sandwich at the PianoFight bar just before the 5:00 show, served by a very handsome and friendly barman).  I saw the penultimate performance of the very fun Adventures in Tech (with Pillow Talk on the Side) by Stuart Bousel.

The play does not really have many adventures, nor even much of a story arc; it is really just a series of vignettes, or brief conversations Stuart has with his co-workers, his snarky but smarter-than-you-think barista, and his boyfriend, plus a few greek chorus scenes, all illuminating certain aspects of young adult life in today’s San Francisco.  And yet, from the entertaining banter, at least one fully drawn character emerges and some thought-provoking and penetrating interactions occur.

adventures

Unabashedly autobiographical (the main character’s name is Stuart and the author had been posting versions of many of these conversations on his Facebook page for more than a year before pulling them together as this play), the piece made me – to plagiarize and bend one of its lines – fall a little bit in love with Stuart Bousel for a moment or two.  Since he evidenced my own inclinations in literature, politics and certain social philosophies, he must, of course, be brilliant and insightful.

Tightly paced by director Allison Page; well-performed; very entertaining.  But alas, the run is now over.  I have to arrange my schedule better.  Check your Facebook updates – maybe there’s a play in there somewhere.  And take a theatre artist to dinner!

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