New Conservatory Theatre Center is earning the title of its “discovery, danger, delight” theme this season with murder, “b*tch fights,” and naughty puppets in their 2014/15 offerings. So if you've somehow missed this nonprofit theater gem for the last 30 years, now is the perfect time to get with their program. They do more than just create good theater. Since it was formed by Ed Decker as a small conservatory for low income youth in 1981, the company has strived to keep their productions accessible to youth, LGBT and allied communities, and artists throughout the Bay Area. They see theater as more than just a creative outlet — it's art that creates a community. NCTC runs a full training program for young acting hopefuls, educates the next generation on important life issues through theater with YouthAware, and supports emerging artists with residencies and the creation of new work in their Emerging Artist Program and New Play Development Lab. 

But all of that community development doesn’t come at the expense of a good show. Fresh off the heels of their sidesplitting cabaret Katya on a Hot Tin Roof, NCTC’s “discovery, danger, delight” season brings a range of ovation-worthy evenings. From puppets struggling with adulthood in Avenue Q to the secret reenactment of Romeo and Juliet by schoolboys in Shakespeare’s R&J, there’s something for everyone here. And as a bonus for our readers, NCTC has given us a special discount code. Use "BoldItalic" for $10 off when buying tickets online or calling the box office. Now let’s take a look at some of the highlights.


September 5 — October 12, 2014

In this romcom with a twist, a young man splits with his boyfriend only to meet the girl of his dreams. The play explores sexual identity with a humorous touch, and pokes a little fun at our insistence on certainty in that department. The New York Times called it “a terrific comedy” that is “utterly hypnotic.”

Die Mommie Die!

October 3 — November 2, 2014

Can theater be “illegally entertaining?” The Los Angeles Times thinks so, and said Die Mommie Die! comes pretty close to that description. Set in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the comedy follows unhappy Angela Andrews as she plots her way out of a corrosive marriage to a film producer. The plan? Murder.  

Shakespeare’s R&J

November 7— December 14, 2014

This contemporary update raises the stakes on The Bard’s classic tale. Four schoolboys reenact Romeo and Juliet in an oppressive developing nation where revealing who you love can still be a crime. “Prepare for a bracing and brilliant shock to the system,” if you go see this, says UK newspaper The Independent.

Avenue Q 

December 5, 2014 — January 18, 2015

Back by popular demand — these puppets (and a few humans) in an “outer borough” of New York City are having a tough time. It turns out that living in the adult world is nothing like it looks on TV. And while they can’t go back to college, they can certainly make us cry — and laugh, heartily — along with them. Opens just in time for the holidays too, which should make for some interesting dinner conversation if your parents come to town.

Of course, we couldn’t possibly fit everything happening at NCTC into one article. To preview the rest of the season and get tickets with your "BoldItalic" discount code visit And we’ll see you at the theater! 

The New Conservatory Theatre Center will be part of The Bold Italic's Hayes Valley Microhood on Thursday, Aug. 14 from 6-8 p.m.

Photos by Lois Tema, courtesy of New Conservatory Theatre Center.

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