In this workshop we will not only cover the basics of how to handle stage violence safely, effectively, and dramatically, but we will also work through communication strategies that will help keep you safe when challenges arise during rehearsal and on stage.

Falls, slaps, punches, kicks, rolls, stabbings, and all sorts of violence come up in the theatre and on set. While, in an ideal world, your fight choreographer or stunt coordinator will advocate for you and your safety, ensure your comprehension of and capability to perform whatever moves are asked of you, and be a go-between to the director, producers, and other actors, many of these vital elements often fall by the wayside, so it is frequently up to the actor her or himself to be their own advocate to stay safe while creating the picture of violence needed for the scene.

By the end of this workshop, you will not only have an understanding of some of the most frequently-needed stage combat maneuvers and their safe, effective execution, but you will also have the basic knowledge and the confidence you need to advocate for yourself when asked to perform something that’s dangerous, beyond your physical capabilities, or with a partner who does not hold your (or their own) safety as their top priority.

Please come prepared with water, a snack if you like, comfortable clothes that you can move freely in (avoid excessive zippers, snaps, buttons, or velcro), and knee/elbow pads if you want (I’ll be wearing mine).

Class will be Monday February 26th 7-10pm.

Cost is $50. Cash only.

email to reserve a spot or to ask any questions.

Teacher Bio:Perez is an AEA actor and SAFD-trained fight choreographer currently in and choreographing fights for Sacramento Theatre Company’s Macbeth. STUNT AND FIGHT COORDINATION FOR FILM: Twelfth Night (feature, Hollywood Shakespeare), The Real Hunted of Los Angeles (web short). STUNTS: I (Almost) Got Away With It (TLC), Answered Prayers (TLC), Syndicate Smashers (feature). FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY: Rose and the Rime (Sacred Fools), Sisters Three (Inkwell Theatre), Othello, Macbeth, & Hamlet (Arabian Shakespeare Festival), Ragtime (3D Theatricals), Romeo and Juliet (Sacramento Theatre Company), Generation ME! (Flying Monkey Productions; Winner of Best Musical at NY Fringe 2017), Three Musketeers (B Street Theatre), Angels in America, King Lear, & Taming of the Shrew (The Alternative Arts Collective), Merrily We Roll Along (New Helvetia Theatre). Video, photos and more at


Previous Bit More Events
Acting & Movement with Lori Russo

Acting & Movement with Lori Russo

Big Idea Theatre is proud to be offering a new and exciting education experience for the training performer. Professional actor, dancer, and choreographer Lori Russo, will be sharing her vast knowledge of movement for the actor and the importance to character development. Lori Russo, who is currently the movement coach for Big Idea’s ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, brings 25 years of experince from Sacramento. Los Angeles, New York, and beyond.

“An audience cannot experience the actor’s intention, no matter how much he means it, if it remains ‘locked’ inside an unskilled body and an underdeveloped voice. ” -Lori Russo

Classes begin on August 13th and continue for the following two weekends. The schedule is as follows:

August 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 26th, and 27th. All classes will be hosted at Big Idea Theatre from 12pm-4pm. Class price is $200.

If you are interested in signing up for Lori Russo’s movement class or have any questions, please contact A BIT MORE Coordinator, Jamie Kale at

lori russoLori Russo a native from Hollywood California, has been professionally working as an actress, dancer , singer & choreographer for more the 25 years. She began dancing at the age of four, acting and singing at the age of 14. At 16 she began her professional career. At 22 she began teaching dance. Her theatrical training began at Estelle Harman Studios in Hollywood. She went on to USC’s Drama Conservatory BFA program, under the Artistic Directorship of John Houseman. She continued studies in NYC with Terry Schreiber and Michael Cecchi, which she considers her Masters education. Her dance training began at four years old. At 15, she was awarded a private scholarship to Stanely Holden Ballet Center. At 22 she was awarded a scholarship to Dupree Dance Academy and continued her studies further in NYC. As an actor her training includes techniques in, Meisner, Strasberg, Alexander technique, body dynamics, Stanislavski & Michael Chekov. As a dancer her, training includes, Ballet, classical jazz, contemporary, tap, and some modern. As a choreographer, she has been told she thinks like a director because her thought process is creating movement out of intentions or needs that need to be carried out and expressed and further the story. Bringing purpose to the movement in a way that assists in creating character behavior. In 2009 She was invited to Potsdam University to teach a week long acting intensive that culminated in her performance of Rick Foster’s “Love Isadora”. A one person play about the modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan. lori russo 2This piece personifies the integration of movement, both choreographed dance and stylized movement, that connects directly with character behavior, emotional life, externalizing intention through the body as well as spontaneity of expression from moment to moment. Her experience as a choreographer spans, musicals, highly stylized plays, plays with music, poetry and production shows. She continues to explore other philosophies of movement to integrate into her own work as an actor, choreographer, story teller and teacher. Lori’s intention with this workshop, is to assist and inspire actors to not just feel, but to express and embody all aspects of character in a theatrical text. Using their whole body as the instrument to achieve full, rich and textured, fully alive and engaged expressiveness, even in stillness.

Weekend of Comedy, July 22nd-24th 2016


Big Idea Theatre is excited to announce the return of “A Weekend of Comedy”. Due to it’s sold out success from the 2015 A BIT MORE Blackbox Series, Big Idea Theatre couldn’t wait to bring more live stand up comedy to its stage. On Friday July 22nd, Big Idea Theatre will welcome five local and up and coming stand up comedians, Ray Molina, Alfonso Portela, Kiry Shabazz, Melissa McGillicuddy, and DJ Sandhu to offer a fast paced and hilarious evening of comedy. Show starts at 8pm with tickets available at or at the door.

On Saturday July 23rd, Big Idea Theatre welcomes back it’s incredibly funny and dear artistic friend, Katie Rubin for some classic stand up comedy. Katie Rubin was last at Big Idea Theatre as director of the completely sold out hit, THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT by Stephen Adly Guirgis, back at the beginning of our season. Due to the success of Katie Rubin’s last stand up performance at Big Idea, there will be TWO performances on the night of July 23rd (7pm and 9pm). Tickets available at and at the door.

Wrapping up the Weekend of Comedy on Sunday July 24th, will be an Improv and Comedy Master Class with Katie Rubin. Katie has been a nationally touring solo show performer for the past 15 years.


NYE3After earning her MFA in acting from UC Davis, she toured her first solo show, “Insides OUT!” for 8 years. Her second solo show, “Amazing and Sage” was commissioned by Capital Stage in Sacramento. Her third show, “My Spiritual Death!” toured for three years, and “Why I Died, a Comedy!” is her fourth solo work for the stage. “Why I Died..” ran for 6 weeks at The Hudson Theater in Los Angeles, was picked up and produced at The Echo Theater, in the La Women’s Theater Festival and also ran at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

To join the class contact Jamie Kale, A BIT MORE Coordinator, at Improv Master Class will be held at Big Idea Theatre from 2pm-6pm and class fee is $60. Space is extremely limited, so reservations are encouraged.

Amelia Van Brunt in IN THE BLUE OF EVENING, June 2016

Big Idea Theatre and Bad, Bad Bunny present
Amelia Van Brunt


San Francisco based, award winning international clown and actor/creator Amelia Van Brunt embarks on an international tour with her solo show IN THE BLUE OF THE EVENING at Big Idea Theatre on June 3rd and 4th at 8pm. This stunning and risky comedy will take you on an epic and unforgettable adventure, guaranteed to leave you wonderstruck and asking: Who are we without our memories?

As the culmination of the San Francisco Circus Center’s artist residency and as her theater company Bad, Bad Bunny’s first production, award winning actress and comedian Amelia Van Brunt presents a solo exploration of memory, life and death, loneliness, and the elements. IN THE BLUE OF THE EVENING tells the story of a battle with dementia using the skills and forms of clown, Commedia dell’ Arte, surrealism, and the shock of grotesque physical theatre. A stunning and fantastical epic journey whisking us from a living room to the high seas! Equal parts hilarious and touching, this highly skilled physical comedy is the story of a feisty granny battling dementia who must fight to hold onto her memories and very existence against the forces threatening to wash it all away. Won’t you stay for tea?

“Van Brunt is…vulnerable, dangerous, and strangely funny” -Indie Theater Now

“With masterful focus, [Amelia] challenges and surprises her audiences in every moment” -KOLT Run Productions

“The future of American clowning.” -Sara Moore, SF Circus Center

WINNER: NY Fringe Festival Best Direction Award


Performed, Created and Directed by Amelia Van Brunt
Co-Directed by Ross Travis
Presented by Bad, Bad Bunny and Big Idea Theatre

From Amelia Van Brunt: “Coming back to my hometown of Sacramento with my own work has been a dream of mine for a long time; this is where I got my start and my inspiration to be a performer, so to get to share it with all the people who have helped and supported me along the way feels like such a privilege. I am so impressed by the enormous talent and generosity that flows constantly through Sacramento and am beside myself with excitement to get to share my work, my process, my training, and hopefully provide inspiration for those curious about devising new work. It is also a huge honor to get to work with Big Idea Theatre, a company I have always admired for their fearless and hungry desire to produce compelling, cutting edge work. I have seen countless shows at this beautiful, intimate space, and have always been inspired by their work; it’s thrilling to finally get up on that stage myself with my own show.”

Amelia Van Brunt’s Bio: Amelia Van Brunt is a professional and award winning actor/creator, clown, dancer, fire spinner, burlesque performer, character extraordinaire and Artistic Director of theatre company Bad, Bad Bunny. Amelia performs regularly around the San Francisco/Bay Area and specializes in complete physical transformation and ferocious play in her characters. Amelia has studied at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater where she completed a one year Professional Training Program and after graduation returned to complete her master’s thesis on clown. She is also a part of the beloved San Francisco based clown/burlesque troupe “Fou Fou Ha!” which has been established as one the bay area’s most sought after hired performers for over 15 years. With “Fou Fou Ha!” Amelia helped create and perform the smash hit full length show “WHOA-MAN!” which was extended with Shelton Theater and toured internationally. Amelia completed an artist residence at the San Francisco Circus Center where she developed a one woman show, ‘In the Blue of Evening,’ produced by under and Bad, Bad Bunny which is currently touring internationally. Most recently Amelia co-created, directed and performed as one half of “The Greatest Monkey Show On Earth” as artist residence and professional production of Kinetic Arts Center in Oakland, receiving a four star review from Global News and the inaugural Artistic Risk Award in Vancouver.

Chekov & Ibsen: Modern Drama Workshop with Gair Dartez, April 2016

CHEKHOV & IBSEN: Modern Drama Workshop with Gail Dartez, April 2016

Big Idea Theatre continues its second stage blackbox series, A BIT MORE, with a Chekhov & Ibsen Acting Intensive with Consumnes River College Adjunct Professor Gail Dartez. “Chekhov & Ibsen: The Makers of Modern Drama” will be a celebration of the birth of modern drama. Experience Chekhov and Ibsen through scene work and a culmination of those studies in a presentation of work. Classes will be at Big Idea, April 23, April 30, May 1st, May 14th, May 21st and the final class which will be a showcase will be on May 22nd. All classes will be 1pm-4pm and will cost $200 total. To sign up for the class, students should email Jamie Kale, A BIT MORE Coordinator, at

This class will be a focus on modern drama that begins with the late nineteenth-century Scandinavian playwright Henrik Ibsen and the Russian Anton Chekhov. These “classical modern” dramatists explore the construction of personal identity and relations with others, the structure of reality, the phenomena of time and change, the ethics of freedom and responsibility. The plays of Ibsen and Chekhov demand realistic truth in speaking and performing. Utilizing an approach adapted from Stanislavsky and others, and honed over 20 years of practice, Gail Dartez will guide you through the text to find your way to live truthfully under imagined circumstances.

From Gail Dartez: “No other playwrights have had as transformative an effect on my work as an actor as have these two. Their plays have the power to teach

one how to live truthfully in imagined circumstances. Early on in my career I was exposed to Chekhov specifically, and feel so lucky to have cut my teeth on that material. The dialogue is rich as a gold mine and mining the depths of it taught me so much.

I am a lucky artist to be able to work with Big Idea Theatre, a company with a clear sense of artistic integrity, kinda gritty, full of theatre workers with their sleeves rolled up, making good art and telling stories with strength and courage. I am honored to be invited to work with them.”

Gail Dartez

Gail Dartez Bio: Gail Dartez has more than 30 years experience as an actor, director, and theatre arts educator. Currently she is an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at Cosumnes River College where she teaches acting courses (all levels) and has directed numerous productions.

With Graham Sobelman and Sunny Staton Mitchell, co-founded Musical Theatre Intensive Sacramento, teaching workshops and offering master classes in musical theatre for youth/young adults.

Gail has been an instructor and director for California Musical Theatre workshops and camps; taught master classes and directed for YPC at Sacramento Theatre Company. At present she is a teaching artist for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission conducting numerous residencies in area schools.

In addition, Gail offers private acting lessons/coaching.

She holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and was awarded Arts Educator of the Year by the Sacramento Arts and Business Council in 2008.

ART by Yasmin Reza, April 2016

A BIT MORE Production: ART by Yasmina Reza, April 2016

Big Idea Theatre is proud to continue its second consecutive year of it’s blackbox series, A BIT MORE, with the staging of the Tony Award winning play, ART by Yasmina Reza on April 8th-10th at 8pm. Directed by Chloe King, Capital Stage Apprentice graduate and Assistant Director to last year’s hit NO EXIT, this will be an exclusive and limited lively discussion about art and our relationship to it.

About the show: How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art? One of Marc’s best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive painting. It’s about five feet by four, all white with white diagonal lines. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn’t have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Ivan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Eager to please, Ivan tells Serge he likes the painting. Lines are drawn and these old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships.

“…wildly funny, naughtily provocative…” —NY Post

“…a nonstop cross-fire of crackling language, serious issues of life and art expressed in outbursts that.. sound like a marriage of Molière and Woody Allen…” —Newsweek

“Anyone looking for a play that is funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving should go to ‘ART’.” —Independent (London)

Telling Your Story, Writing Workshop with Katie Rubin, January 2016

“Telling Your Story” Writing Workshop with Katie Rubin, January 2016

“Telling Your Story” will be a writing workshop designed to create YOUR own solo show, stand up set, or Moth Style story for public telling.

This class will be perfect both for those who have the beginnings of an idea, but aren’t sure where to take it, AND for those who have a more evolved idea that needs fine tuning or fleshing out.
Students will receive coaching, support, structure, and the tools to turn their ideas into an interesting and engaging story, show, or set they can be proud of! Class participants should come prepared to work on the page and/or on their feet as this will be an active and lively class experience.

From Katie Rubin: “I absolutely love facilitating and supporting the unique creative expression of others. It is endlessly satisfying to help someone figure out who they want to be, what they want to say, and how they might say it on stage. It is a bold task to undertake, when one decides to “tell the truth” on stage. The blank page is daunting, public vulnerability is nerve wracking at best, and coming up with a way to present one’s story that is both entertaining and well-spoken takes time, attention, and focused care. Facilitating this process for others allows me to play the roles of coach, director, editor, teacher, and mid-wife; roles which are an honor and a delight for me, personally, to play.

And where better to do it than at Big Idea Theater where the atmosphere, in my experience, is always open, welcoming, playful, and sassy. I’m endlessly impressed with the willingness the folks at Big Idea have to go bold, play hard, and take risks in their lovely small space on Del Paso Blvd. These are people who are undeterred by challenges. These are fearless, bad-ass folks who care about their community and work tirelessly to create for it, great theater and to provide for it, challenging classes. I am proud to w
alk and create among them.”

Katie Rubin Bio: Katie has been a nationally Katie Rubintouring solo show performer for the past 15 years. After earning her MFA in acting from UC Davis, she toured her first solo show, “Insides OUT!” for 8 years! Her second solo show, “Amazing and Sage” was commissioned by Capital Stage in Sacramento. Her third show, “My Spiritual Death!” toured for three years, and “Why I Died, a Comedy!” is her fourth solo work for the stage. WID just ran for 6 weeks at The Hudson Theater in Los Angeles, then was picked up and produced at The Echo Theater, in the La Women’s Theater Festival and is currently running in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. This August, WID will run at Capital Stage in Sacramento and with Synthetic Unlimited in Grass Valley.

For years, while touring her solo work, Katie was secretly gathering/writing jokes for an hour-long Stand Up set that she would ultimately perform as a portion of “My Spiritual Death.” Now, she writes jokes all the time and performs them on stages all over Los Angeles, Northern California, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Florida and wherever else folks are looking to laugh about person growth, spirituality, consciousness and general being-a-person-ness.

big idea theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company

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