Climate is a state-of-the art boutique theatre laboratory in the heart of San Francisco. Termed, “a vital scene and vibrant avenue for some of the most dynamic and promising crossover and experimental work around,” by the SF Bay Guardian. This tiny organization has been responsible for some surprisingly large cultural ripples- including Craigslist, which began as an interactive mailing list for the venue, and being the first Fiscal Sponsor for Burning Man.
Home over the past 30 years to a who’s who of Bay Area performance, the theatre was the force behind a number of artistic movements, including the now legendary Solo Mio performance festival, Festival Fantochio modern puppetry festival, and the Glass Haus events (which rapidly became the Studio 54 of the dot com era’s boom & bust). As theatre critic Rob Avila puts it, “So much sprang from the Climate’s operation in the 1980s and ’90s that the outfit was soon labeled ‘the biggest little theater in San Francisco.'”
Founded by impresarios Marsha Crosby & Joegh Bullock in 1985, the helm was taken over in 2007 by Artistic Director Jessica Heidt (Magic Theatre). Since then, it has blossomed as a central hub for cutting-edge festivals, theatre, circus arts, hip-hop performance, clowning, music, and new emergent art forms. Performers include John Gilkey (Cirque Du Soleil), Monique Jenkinson/Fauxnique, and Paul Nathan (Dark Kabaret). Currently, Climate Theatre is headed by Laird Archer as Consigliere, with the kind assistance of Andy Fusso. Climate has most recently assisted with ongoing productions by Edna Mira Raia and Potatoes Mashed Comedy. Much has been on pause during the time of Covid. We plan on several productions in the course of 2023 and will provide updates here. Climate is more than ever a space that stands at the center of emerging cultural traditions. In the words of Cirque’s Gilkey “This is the place that has open doors for the forward stuff, and that’s what excites me.”
Special note from Laird:
As you may know, during the summer of 2022 our dear friend Joegh has left us for the next great party, where we will join him in time.
I was with Joegh, along with other close friends and his wife Carly, during his path over the course of the past year … a continuation of our friendship and time spent together over my 30 years in SF. He wanted to keep his health situation private, which I respected. Things were looking good for a while, as they do for many people in similar circumstances in this age of modern medicine, until they weren’t. Luckily, as I would hope for anyone, the final chapter was fairly short. I had the chance to spend time with him every couple of months, including the week before my departure, which ended up being the week before his departure. I am thankful for the continued time I was able to spend with him right up until the end. He was the Joegh you always knew, dreaming, planning, being a good friend.
The very first party I went to when I first visited SF in 1989 was at 50 Oak Street where Joegh and Marcia were doing their “Ball” themed parties, a wonderful combination of music, theatrical performances, and a jamming party … I was blown away. That same summer I went to another one of their events (I didn’t know them yet) in the Mezzanine of one of the piers along the waterfront, and the soundtrack was Soul 2 Soul’s “Back to Life”. Those 2 events, along with the general vibe of SF, was enough to prompt me to move here. Right away I started working in nightlife, and probably 3 months after moving here I met Joegh and Marcia and started working on their events, along with events Martel and Adam (partners at the time, before Nabiel) were doing. I had the trifecta of woking with Townsend nightclub (during Se Padila’s time), Martel/Adam, and Joegh/Marcia. This was a formative part of my early SF experience, which then lead to Joegh and Marcia’s Anon Salon which I bartended and DJ’ed for many years (and lived at briefly in 1996 when I returned from living abroad), and where I met so many other creative and sometimes influential people in SF and beyond. It gave me a humble, comfortable, and raging fun platform for furthering my musical voice. Among other adventures, while I was living at Anon Salon I would come out of the room I was staying in, still in my bathrobe and with morning cup of coffee, and there would sometimes be a meeting of a small group of very focused and well intentioned people organizing a ridiculous thing in the desert that I decided to go to for the first time that year because I was so impressed by the organizers: Burning Man. Anyone who was living in SF in the ‘90’s and had the opportunity to go has an Anon Salon story … I have a mind full.
Joegh and I worked and created together for years side by side, from Anon Salon to countless warehouse parties, every Decompression (which Joegh dreamed up and got going in 2000) and Pre-compression, many SF Street Fairs, and our own SuperHero Street Fair. Like any couple, we had intense moments of frustration and disagreement, but we never lost trust in each other, or appreciation for our friendship, which only grew through our good and tough times together. Being creative with Joegh around is like getting water from a river … it’s just there. And if you want to bring it to people and share it … just do it. Very little could stop Joegh’s creativity and desire to create experiences for himself and others. Joegh is part of the beating heart of creativity anywhere at any time, but it is not everywhere all the time, even most of the time. Joegh is a shining light that brought that experience to life, especially here in San Francisco. Whether younger people today know it or not, he is one of the people responsible for the creative playful world we enjoy on the West Coast today, whether that be Burning Man, Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle, San Francisco … the beating heart that never stops, because he lived and laid a foundation and carried a torch that people either experienced directly or were influenced by. We all have an impact in the world … Joegh’s was strong. And I couldn’t be prouder to have been side by side with him for so much of the path. Peace brother, and a huge shout out to all the people who bring creative beauty to the forefront in this world. We intend to keep Climate Theater going and assist with the production of other creative projects in the coming months and years … hope you join us!