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Theatre Bay Area was founded in 1976 to serve the vital artistic community of the Bay Area, and is today the largest regional theatre service organization in North America, serving as a model for other service organizations around the country. Our mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, working on behalf of our conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a healthy and truly democratic society, and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth.
The San Francisco Bay Area is the third largest theatre center in the country, with more than 400 companies in nine counties. The region boasts more theatre companies per capita than almost any other metropolitan area in the US, and is home to the third largest community of Equity (union) actors, following New York City and Chicago. Some 200 new plays are premiered here each year, many going on to wider success.
Theatre Bay Area's present membership reflects the thriving arts scene in the nine Bay Area counties, consisting of more than 365 theatre and dance companies, from multimillion dollar organizations to grassroots community groups; some 3,000 individuals, including actors, directors, designers, dance artists, playwrights, dramaturgs, technicians and theatre patrons; and more than 100 organizational members, from libraries and universities to theatre industry professional services.