Shotgun Players

The Shotgun Players is a California East Bay regional theatre group located in Berkeley, California. It runs 6 to 7 productions per season. Its main stage is the Ashby Stage located in the Lorin District near the Ashby BART station.

Shotgun Players
The Ashby Stage.jpg
Address1901 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, California
United States
Coordinates37°51′16.48″N 122°16′15.3″W / 37.8545778°N 122.270917°W / 37.8545778; -122.270917Coordinates: 37°51′16.48″N 122°16′15.3″W / 37.8545778°N 122.270917°W / 37.8545778; -122.270917
Public transitBay Area Rapid Transit Ashby
TypeRegional theater
CapacityAshby Stage: 119
Opened1992 (company)
2004: The Ashby Stage
2015: The Shotgun Studios


The Shotgun Players was founded in 1992 by Artistic Director Patrick Dooley.[1] Dooley and ten other actors formed the company in La Val's Pizza Shop.[2] Before moving to a permanent location at the Ashby Stage in 2004, Shotgun Players performed in 44 different spaces.[3] In December 2007, the Shotgun Players' Ashby Stage performance space in Berkeley's Lorin District became the first live theater venue in the nation to convert fully to solar power.[4] The Ashby Stage hosts all main stage shows and the Champagne Staged Reading Series. With donations from the community, Shotgun Players bought 1201 University Ave, which was previously Serendipity Books, and converted the building into a rehearsal studio and workshop in 2015. In addition to rehearsing Shotgun Players' own productions, the Shotgun Studios is a rehearsal space and creative hub for emerging performing arts groups.[5]

Shotgun Players' mission statement is to "create bold, relevant, affordable theatre that inspires and challenges audience and artist alike to re-examine our lives, our community, and the ever-changing world around us." The company is one of the few mid-sized theaters that maintains a core company of artists—including actors, directors, designers, playwrights, and stage managers. The Shotgun Players artistic company meets the first Sunday of every month and meets for an annual retreat.[6]

Shotgun Players performs both new and classic plays, specializing in new works by contemporary playwrights, Greek plays, and Shakespeare.  It has produced many award-winning new plays: both Dog Act (2004) and Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage (2008) were awarded the Will Glickman Award for Best New Play. The Salt Plays Part 1 and 2 (2010) as well as Phaedra (2011) and God's Plot (2011) have all been nominees. In 2011, San Francisco Weekly named Shotgun Players Best Theatre Company, and original works by company members are regularly included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s annual list of top ten productions.[7]

Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office 2 hours prior to a show. There are various discounted tickets which are available to youth 25 and under, artists, and groups; these are also available during "pay-what-you-can previews" which take place during the first week of every show run.[8] The theater has ADA seats available. Content advisories are provided to better prepare audiences to engage with each play.[9]

In addition to producing award-winning shows, Shotgun Players has other community engagement programs. The Make a Difference (M.A.D.) program serves people 25 and under, striving to make theatre accessible and affordable to Bay Area youth by offering discounted show tickets, fellowship opportunities, and rehearsal space.[10] Shotgun Players hosts general auditions for roles in upcoming productions.

Resident graphic artist Rich Black creates a new mural for each production, painting the facade on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Ashby Ave.

Production historyEdit

Since 1992, Shotgun Players has produced over 140 plays, 30 of which were newly commissioned works.

Main stage showsEdit

Shotgun Players has one season per year and produces an average of 6 shows per season.[11] In 2015, Shotgun Players announced a season of all works by women playwrights, including 6 full productions and 6 staged readings. In 2016, the company presented its season in repertory to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

2019 Season 28 2018 Season 27 2017 Season 26 2016 Season 25
2015 Season 24 2014 Season 23 2013 Season 22 2012 Season 21
2011 Season 20 2010 Season 19 2009 Season 18 2008 Season 17
2007 Season 16 2006 Season 15 2005 Season 14 2004 Season 13
2003 Season 12 2002 Season 11 2001 Season 10 2000 Season 9
1999 Season 8 1998 Season 7 1997 Season 6 1996 Season 5
1995 Season 4 1994 Season 3 1993 Season 2 1992 Season 1

Champagne Staged Reading SeriesEdit

The "Champagne Staged Reading Series" was introduced in 2015.[12] This series serves as a pipeline to test new productions in two-night runs, performed on the current main stage production set. The Champagne Staged Reading Series is designed to provide opportunities to engage with more artists, thus providing increased exposure to new voices.

2019 Season 5 2018 Season 4 2017 Season 3 2016 Season 2 2015 Season 1

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Staff". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  2. ^ "Mission and History". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  3. ^ Article in Shotgun Players Mission and History
  4. ^ Hurwitt, Robert (2008-02-25). "Bay Area performing arts groups going green". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  5. ^ "Shotgun Players Studio". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  6. ^ Article in Shotgun Players The Company
  7. ^ Rosen, Ruth (2004-01-07). "The play's the thing". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  8. ^ "About the box office". Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  9. ^ "Content advisories". Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  10. ^ "Make a Difference (M.A.D.) Program". Shotgun Players. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  11. ^ "Shotgun Archive". Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  12. ^ "Past Productions". Retrieved 2016-06-21.

External linksEdit