A trans superhero rock opera in October
Z Space, one of the nation’s leading laboratories for the development of new work, is pleased to present the world premiere of The Red Shades: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera on Z Space’s Steindler Stage from Thursday, October 13 through Saturday, November 5. , 2022. Written by Adrienne Price with music by Adrienne Price, Matt Fukui Grandy and Jeanine Adkisson, The Red Shades mixes elements of rock concerts and musical theater, to tell the story of Ida, a trans teenager, who flees her small-town life to join a gang of trans superheroes squatting the Tenderloin. Tickets (available on a sliding scale from $0 to $50) are now available online at zspace.org/redshades. The opening night/press night will take place on Thursday 20 October.
“The Red Shades commemorates and celebrates the resilience and creativity of our trans ancestors, who put their fabulously dressed bodies on the line for the freedoms we enjoy today,” said Rotimi Agbabiaka, co-director of The Red Shades. “I’m so excited to join my partner in crime, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, in co-directing Adrienne Price’s epic blend of comic book action and rock opera musicality, and highlighting the joy, l exuberance and gentle challenge of San Francisco’s trans story.”
The Red Shades is co-directed by Rotimi Agbabiaka and Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, with musical direction by Matt Fukui Grandy and Sid Quinsaat, and choreography by Stacey Printz. The 2022 world premiere cast will include Tommy Clifford-Carlos (Ida), Julio Chavez, Göran Norquist*, May Ramos, Ezra Reaves (Tommy), Chris Steele (Genevieve), B Noel Thomas* (Sherry) and Romelo Urbi. The band includes KB Boyce (bass), Fureigh (guitar), Blair Switch (drums) and Sid Quinsaat (keyboard).
Early concert versions of The Red Shades were independently produced in 2018 at El Rio, Starline Social Club, PianoFight, Fresh Meat Festival and San Francisco Trans March. Led by Rose Oser, Acting Production Manager of Z Space and Senior Producer of The Red Shades, Z Space began developing the show in 2019, with a two-week workshop in July 2019 on the Steindler Stage and a workshop two weeks to January 2020 in Z below.
“The Red Shades builds on Z Space’s legacy of developing and producing epic rock productions, continuing to push the boundaries of what musical theater can be and utilizing the full richness of our space as ‘warehouse,’ says Oser.
Writer Adrienne Price adds, “One of the great joys of this process for me has been connecting more deeply with trans stories and communities. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with local icons like Felicia Elizondo (may his memory be for a blessing) and Andrea Horne.”
The Red Shades creative team includes: Alejandra Maria Rivas (Production Manager), Marie Shell* (Stage Manager), Jakob Bernardino (Assistant Stage Manager), Sarah Phykitt (Scenic/Projection Designer), JennyB de Shady Lady Lighting (Lighting Designer ), Michael Creason (Sound Designer), Daniel Hall (Audio Mixer), Y. Sharon Peng (Costume Designer), Lyre Alston (Assistant Costume Designer), Kenna Lindsay (Prop Designer), Carla Pantoja (Intimacy/Fight Choreographer), Felicia Elizondo and Andrea Horne (historical consultants), Raisa Yavneh (graphic designer), Colm McNally (technical director).
“The Red Shades is an epic tale of the Compton Cafeteria Riot that took place right here in San Francisco in 1966,” said Z Space Executive Director Shafer Mazow. “Largely lost to history, the Compton Riot was instrumental in forming a broader public political and social awareness about LGBTQ communities, inspired other movements like the Stonewall Riot in 1969 and marked a turning point for us as trans people insisting on our full rights as citizens. We need The Red Shades more than ever, as those rights continue to be under constant attack.”
Under prior art direction by Lisa Steindler, Z Space and Piece by Piece Productions developed and co-produced Hundred Days (The Bengsons), The Lucky Ones (The Bengsons, co-production with Ars Nova) and Weightless (The Kilbanes).
The development and production of The Red Shades by Z Space is supported by: Horizons Foundation, MAP Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and Zellerbach Family Foundation.
*member, Actors’ Equity Association
Adrienne Price is a playwright and composer based in San Francisco/unceded land of Ramaytush Ohlone. She is the songwriter and co-composer of The Red Shades: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera (Z Space 2022) and Totally Normal: A Co-Dependent Queer Friendship Musical (in development). His plays have been featured in the national Trans Plays of Remembrance festival as well as local festivals such as Music/Scene, Pint Sized Plays, Shotz and the Mutiny Radio Plays Festival. She was accepted into the Bay Area Asylum Arts Retreat in 2019. Price was also an educator for 18 years, working as a high school English teacher, tutor, teaching artist, and more. She’s performed as a comedian, founded the show Pure Pop for Queer Lovers on Radio Valencia, and is a singer-songwriter for the psycho-spiritual trans folk rock band Peach Thief.