Initiated by Director of Performing Arts Marc Bamuthi Joseph, YBCAway gives $500 micro-commissions toward the production costs of companies based in the five counties of the SF Bay Area who are presenting live performances during the 2013–14 season. In addition to the cash allotment, YBCA will also offer 10 hours of free rehearsal time in the Topham Family Rehearsal studio and marketing support on our website. Though initiated by Joseph, the recipients of these micro-commissions have been chosen exclusively by the 75-person staff of YBCA. These awards are the product of an institution-wide curatorial exercise that recognizes excellence in dance, music, comedy, and theater beyond what we are presenting in our two primary performance spaces.

YBCA cannot express enough how much these individual and collective talents contribute to the robust performing arts ecology in the Bay Area.

Our sponsors

YBCAway in 13-14 is made possible through the generous support of The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Panta Rhea Foundation.

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Lam Research

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.


YBCAway Artists 2013-14

Aimee Suzara »
Aimee Suzara is a poet and playwright based in Oakland, CA. Her current theater work-in-progress, A History of the Body, was awarded the East Bay Community Fund Matching Commission and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, among others. She has collaborated as a writer and performer with Amara Tabor-Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater. Her poetry has been published widely, including a chapbook that was nominated for the California Book Award. Her first book, SOUVENIR, is forthcoming in 2014. Suzara has performed nationally and teaches Creative Writing and Social Action at CSU Monterey Bay.
Amy Seiwert »
Amy Seiwert serves as the Artistic Director and primary choreographer of Imagery. Her collaborations with artists of other disciplines and commitment to experimental work from a classical base make her a unique voice in the Bay Area dance community. She was named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2005, one of the “Hot 20 under 40” by 7x7, and was honored with a Goldie award from the Bay Guardian. Twice she has worked with dancers from New York City Ballet, participating in the NY Choreography Institute at the invitation of Peter Martins. Her work is in the repertory of the Washington, Colorado, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Oakland Ballets as well as Alaska Dance Theater and Robert Moses’ Kin. Future projects include upcoming commissions for Smuin and Milwaukee Ballets. She is honored to be the Choreographer-in-Residence for Smuin Ballet as well as an Artist-in-Residence at ODC Theater.
Ashley Bellouin »
Ashley Bellouin’s work explores the merging of sound art, electro-acoustic composition, and instrument building. She focuses on the studies of sonology, psychoacoustics, and the interaction between sound and architecture. Her compositions emphasize and exploit the sonic potential contained within a single musical gesture, regularly using electronics to develop latent qualities. Bellouin holds an MFA in electronic music from Mills College, where she was awarded the Frog Peak Collective Experimental Music Award. She has presented her work at the Soundwave ((5)) Festival, the 26th Annual SEAMUS National Conference, the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford University, among other venues. She has additionally been awarded residencies at the Paul Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency Center, the UC Berkeley Center for New Media, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.
Crowded Fire Theater »
Founded in 1997 by a group of young artists interested in experimental contemporary theater, Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) gained early acclaim for urgent, poetic, and bold work. As the company’s visibility and production values have grown, they continue to offer beautiful, risk-taking theater, and have won consistent critical recognition for their gutsy, innovative spirit. Through diverse programming, CFT contributes to the creation of a contemporary canon that truly reflects the world in which we live. CFT believes art is always political, and that in order to move toward a more just society, theaters must offer a wider range of aesthetics and voices on our stages. To accomplish this, CFT supports work by a variety of playwrights whose plays give visibility to under-represented communities in American theater. CFT’s work privileges the multiplicity of experiences within communities of color, LGBTQ communities, as well as the female voice. CFT’s aesthetic is subversive, seeking subjects that are intellectually and emotionally challenging. The local and national playwrights who come on board with CFT have powerful, sharp-edged plays that are in great need of a producer who will take a risk on new, untested work. In addition to producing two to three main-stage plays each season, CFT offers development opportunities through The Matchbox, a program for new works.
DavEnd »
DavEnd is a tender-hearted, accordion-wielding songwriter, performing artist, and costume designer based in San Francisco. DavEnd has released two studio albums (How to Hold Your Own Hand, Fruits Commonly Mistaken for Vegetables) and for the past seven years, has been touring extensively in the U.S., performing at queer teen centers, festivals, colleges, theaters, and backyards. Most recently End has produced two soldout runs of her original musical, Fabulous Artistic Guys Get Overtly Traumatized Sometimes: The Musical! and completed a national tour with Sister Spit.
Delina Brooks »
Delina Patrice Brooks is a dancer, writer, and actress, proudly based in Oakland, CA. As a first time playwright, Brooks earned a 2008 “Izzie” Award nomination for Beauty, The Beast: A Dance-Theater Production, which she coins as her breathing self-portrait. Brooks has studied and performed across the U.S., Western Europe, The Philippines, and Guinea in West Africa, where she participated in several intensive dance workshop series with Les Ballets Africains. She has been funded by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, and the East Bay Community Foundation. She has been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Youth Speaks, The Black Choreographers Festival, and La Pena Cultural Center, and has performed with The Living Word Project’s touring project “SCOURGE,” Deep Waters Dance Theater, and ASE Dance Theater Collective (NYC), among others. Most recently she wrote and co-directed “In The Meantime” for Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble. Favorite roles include Hubert/Tribe Member in Hair with Willows Theater (Concord, Cal.), Tzitzimitl with Cherrie Moraga’s A New Fire, and the title role in Cinderella with San Francisco’s African American Shakespeare Company. Brooks has a BA in kinesiology (SFSU), a BA in ethnic studies (CSUEB), and an MA in ethnic studies (SFSU), for which she explored the sociocultural impact of African dance participation on African American women.
Do D.A.T. »
Davin A. Thompson, professionally known as Do D.A.T., is a master of ceremonies, arts educator, and event host, born and raised in Oakland. Throughout his career, Do D.A.T. has released four albums, as a member of The Attik crew, as a solo artist, and most recently collaborating with DJ/Producer Malicious Lee. Do D.A.T. is recognized as a prominent master of ceremonies in the community, hosting local fundraisers, award ceremonies for disabled youth, poetry slams, and hip-hop events. He has lead creative writing social justice workshops for almost every major high school in Oakland and San Francisco, and has been a featured speaker at several conferences and events across the nation, including the Earn Your Stripes Cipher and the Bay Area Emcee Olympics. Do D.A.T. also spent several years as an educator at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), where he mentored and groomed the next generation of hip-hop artists. Consistently pushing his musical boundaries, Do D.A.T. incorporates various genres of music into his creations. From classical ensembles to 1930s swing samples, his style pays homage to the original spirit of hip hop, carrying the essence of the culture into the future. Do D.A.T. has shared the stage with artists such as Ludacris, KRS-One, Little Brother, Guru, Ise Lyfe, The Team, Zion I, Mistah F.A.B., Aceyalone, Mystic, E-40, Crown City Rockers, Bambu, and Dead Prez. Love for Do D.A.T. and his music hails from coast to coast, and as far as Puerto Rico, making him a local and global artist that true hip-hop fans can appreciate.
Ewen Wright »
Ewen Wright is a filmmaker and performer whose work is largely narrative, comedic, and not completely conventional in form. His work has been seen around the country and has garnered awards from the New Mexico Film Office, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and a number of film festivals. His video work has been featured online via Spin Magazine, Buzzfeed, Urb Magazine, Bay Area Hip Hop, and dozens of other independent blogs. He has also worked extensively as a media educator for high school–aged youth in New Mexico and the Bay Area.
Felonious »

Felonious kills every live show it touches. From the six-piece live hip-hop band to award-winning theater productions such as Angry Black White Boy and Stateless: A Hip Hop Vaudeville, this collective of rappers, actors, beatboxers, musicians, dancers, and writers are “known to turn Hip Hop shows into ass-shaking Musical Theater”.
“The moniker ‘Felonious’ suggests a criminally-minded jazz genius, which isn't that far off the truth.” — Eric K Arnold.
George Chen and Kevin O’Shea of Cynic Cave »
The Cynic Cave began as a monthly stand-up comedy showcase in the recesses of the Lost Weekend Video store in the Mission District. The series evolved into a weekly show at the end of 2012 and promoter George Chen took on additional weekend booking duties. In its short time as a comedy venue, this tiny room has produced shows for nationally known artists like Ron Lynch, W. Kamau Bell, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Dan Mintz. Comedians from the U.K. and Australia have graced the stage and the venue seeks to develop an underground comedy scene fostering local talent in stand-up and sketch.
Heather Marlowe »
Heather Marlowe is a multi-talented performer. She has been performing musically and as a solo theater artist at venues in Los Angeles and San Francisco since 2007. She has studied theater and dance with Kristin Linklater, Gabrielle Roth, Simone Forti, Anna Halprin, and Martha Rynberg. Marlowe has trained with Steve Gardner and Irene Sazer on violin, and vocally with Raz Kennedy. Heather has a BA from UCLA.
Kumu Mark Keali`i Ho`omalu »
Kumu Mark Keali`i Ho`omalu has taught hula in the Bay Area since 1979 when he moved from Aiea, Hawaii. Since 1983, he has taken teams of men and women to the Olympics of hula at Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawaii, most recently a men’s team from Academy of Hawaiian Arts to the 50th competition of 2013. Though a fierce competitor, Ho`omalu crafts emotional theater and intricate hula. Kumu Patrick Makuakane of San Francisco writes that Ho`omalu “has clearly broken the mold, crafting a unique aesthetic that is visceral, aggressive, and unequivocally commanding.” Kumu Mark Keali`i Ho`omalu wishes to thank YBCA.
Lisa Geduldig »
Lisa Geduldig is a local comedian and comedy producer. She’s the creator, producer, and master of ceremonies of a variety of annual comedy shows, the most popular being Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ (Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant) which celebrated its 20th anniversary last December. What started out as a joke has become an institution in San Francisco, answering the age-old question, “What are Jews supposed to do on Christmas?” The highly acclaimed show grew exponentially overnight to a 4-day comedy festival catering to 3000 attendees of all backgrounds and has been written up worldwide. Past headliners have included Henny Youngman, Shelley Berman, David Brenner, and Elayne Boosler.
Maryam Rostami »
Maryam Farnaz Rostami is a San Francisco–based contemporary performance artist originally from Texas. Though professionally trained as an architect, her performance work deals with the complexities of the modern condition through the lens of the child of model minorities. She is dedicated to artistic engagement as an invitation for thinking about, looking at, and talking to one another differently. Mona G. Hawd, her drag/nightlife persona, uses lip-sync, movement, narrative, dance, and an exaggerated high femme medium to question ownership of images in our culture.
Morgan Bassichis »
Morgan Bassichis’ play The Witch House — a queer invocation of the restless spirits of Salem’s 1692 witch-hunt — premiered at The Garage in January 2013. Of the play, author Michelle Tea writes, “I felt a bit of true justice struck by the actors on the stage, the way that art can heal historical wounds we might not even know we have.” Bassichis is a former staff member of Community United Against Violence and has published essays on the intersections of prison abolition and queer politics.
Risa Jaroslow »
After a long and distinguished career in New York City, choreographer Risa Jaroslow is now living and working in the Bay Area. In December 2013, she will present Risa Jaroslow Redux, NYC and the Bay / Dancers and Dances from There and Then and Here and Now at CounterPULSE in San Francisco. “It is Jaroslow’s great gift that she makes the historical urgent and specific, turning each image on its side and gently examining it” (The New York Times). She has been and will be teaching and choreographing at several venues in the Bay Area including a master class at Stanford University in May 2013 and a guest choreography position at Sonoma State University in the fall. She is participating in two collaborative choreographic adventures during the summer of 2013 at Stanford University in July and at UCLA in August.
San Cha »
San Cha, the original “xola goth,” is a local Bay Area artist and Dark Room / Black Glitter Co-Producer. Cha delves deep into herself to bring the audience glimpses of her soul, projected on a backdrop of dark synth and soulful tracks. Using her voice, body, and spirit to grab hold of the audience, she pulls them into her performance. She doesn't ask permission. She emulates a performance strength that will grab hold of you and make you submit. Think of her as your musical mistress… She’s not asking for your soul, but wants to give you a memory, a longing for more while getting a small glimpse into her black hole.
Sri Vishnu Tattva Das »
Sri Vishnu Tattva Das is a dedicated artist who has devoted himself to perfecting the art of Odissi. Tattva began his training in dance with Smt. Jhelum Paranjape, director of Smitalay Dance Company in Mumbai, India. He then traveled to Orissa for intensive studies with Padmavibhusan Kelucharan Mohapatra at the Odissi Research Center in Bhubaneshwar. Tattva is recognized as one of India’s prominent male Odissi dancers and choreographers, and has received acclaim for his performances throughout India, Italy, Canada, and the U.S. He has presented hundreds of solo performances, lecture-demonstrations, and master classes. He has also collaborated, choreographed, and performed with many dance artists in India and the U.S. Tattva brings to his chosen art form a vision of beauty, refinement, grace, and spirituality, imbued with a divine inspiration, which permeates each step of his dance. He is the founder-director of Odissi Vilas: Sacred Dance of India.
Wild Rumpus »
Wild Rumpus is a contemporary chamber ensemble dedicated to the development of new music. Through commissioning new works from emerging composers and inviting them to collaborate, Wild Rumpus creates a space for experimentation, risk-taking, and dialogue. The ensemble hopes to create challenging, exciting new music and to support the overall artistic and technical growth of the composers who work with us. This season, they will present a series of concerts featuring new works by Nicolas Tzortzis, Nina C. Young, Lee Weisert, Leaha Maria Villareal, Joshua Carro, Ruby Fulton, Eliza Brown, Dan VanHassel, and Jen Wang.
Xandra Ibarra »
Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist and ecdysiast from the El Paso/Juarez border. La Chica Boom is a neo-burlesque project that Ibarra began in 2002 to performatively question sexual/racial representation, queer formations, and compulsory whiteness.