The NCAA playoffs -- also known as March Madness -- are almost here, and now there’s a theater alternative called Marsh Madness. It comes from the folks at San Francisco’s The Marsh, home to some of the Bay Area’s best solo performance. The Marsh has invited 28 theater teams, some solo, some with large casts, to compete for cash prizes and a chance for a full production on The Marsh's main stage.
Founding Artistic Director Stephanie Weisman says she knows nothing about basketball; a board member suggested the idea. But Marsh Madness is definitely better than the NCAA playoffs.
"You come," she said, "and you can spend all day looking at all these [plays], one after another, and seeing the entire world in front of you. Now do you get that in basketball? No. You get that in performance basketball.”
As my co-host A-lan Holt notes, it’s a great chance to see new performers and ideas on stage, perhaps something that will become a smash hit or a screaming failure. Audiences get to vote on their favorite shows, and there's a playoff round on Sunday in which Marsh judges like Weisman will pick the winner from the top rated four performances.
Marsh Madness runs March 9-11. Details here.
Funding for KQED Arts is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Support is also provided by Yogen and Peggy Dalal, Diane B. Wilsey, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Helen Sarah Steyer, the William and Gretchen Kimball Fund, and the members of KQED