So Cheap It's Free

A roundup of local stage offerings that won't dent your pocketbook

On and around Oct. 20, 85 theaters across the Bay Area will open their doors to the public at no cost as part of the "Free Night of Theater" campaign aimed at expanding stage audiences. I'm not talking about a guy standing on a soapbox doing magic tricks outside the Geary Theater. I'm talking world premieres, revivals of classic plays, and experimental work by some of the Bay Area's most creative and well-established companies.

Catch, for example, a performance of the world premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally's Crucifixion at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, ACT's 50th anniversary production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, or a smattering of work at the Exit Theatre, including Dan Carbone's There Be Monsters, Manumission by Cassandra's Call Productions, and the Cutting Ball Theater's Risk Is This Experimental Plays Festival, all for less than the price of a stick of chewing gum.

Tickets (two per person) can be reserved online at, in person at the TIX Pavilion in San Francisco's Union Square, or at the Concierge Center in San Jose's Santana Row.

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