Cutting Ball Theater

The Cutting Ball Theater
141 Taylor St
San Francisco
United States
(415) 419-3584

The Cutting Ball Theater was founded in 1999 by theater artists Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers. After their training at the Yale School of Drama and Trinity Rep Conservatory respectively, Melrose and Rogers spent a year in Europe on a Fox Foundation Grant to observe master directors in France, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Upon returning to the United States, the couple debated about where to found a theater company with the goal of creating work of the same daring, rigor, arresting design and production values as the plays they had seen in Europe. They narrowed it down to New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Providence and ultimately chose San Francisco for its rich history of experimental art and commitment to the arts. Ironically in the same year as The Cutting Ball’s founding, Steve Winn wrote an article in the Chronicle titled “Experimental Theater Loses Its Edge,” which bemoaned the loss of companies like George Coates Performance Works, the Fifth Floor, and Antenna Theater, as well as the general lack of experimental work in a town that launched the careers of Sam Sheperd, Robert Woodruff, Karen Finley, and Joe Chaikin. The Cutting Ball arrived in San Francisco at just the right time to fill an important niche.

The Cutting Ball Theater was founded with a mission to develop productions of experimental new plays and re-visioned classics, with an emphasis on language and images. Cutting Ball’s vision is to produce plays that reveal a poetic truth as opposed to a naturalistic or realistic one. Our artistic goals are to exercise and enrich the imagination of our audience; to honor and move forward the field of avant-garde theater; to provide an artistic home to playwrights, directors, actors and designers interested in challenging themselves and deepening their work through experimentation; and to offer work featuring the highest level of professionalism, excellent production values, innovative writing, and deeply committed performances.