Best Rental-Market-Defying Theater - 2001
The Exit Theater
Within the last year, as the rental market peaked and performance spaces closed their doors with a sound like clattering rain, the Exit Theater managed to add another two stages to its pair of rooms on Eddy Street. First, in the original building, they built a small cafe, with space for compact shows and staged readings. And in June they are scheduled to open a new theater around the corner on Taylor, in a new deep-Tenderloin complex called the Presentation Senior Community. How did a small theater manage to expand in this dismal era of artistic downsizing? "Being in the neighborhood, knowing some people," says Artistic Director Christina Augello, "and convincing them that an arts space is really a good thing to have in this area, since it doesn't close at 5 p.m., like an office." For a decade or more the Exit has been a nucleus for local experimental and small-stage theater, including the San Francisco Fringe Festival, the famed annual showcase of oddball theater. This new space only heightens its indispensability.