Little Boxes Theater Might be Hosting the Weirdest Shows in San Francisco
Guest post by Edna Mira Raia
Literal sparks projected at someone’s bare ass, a crying cow in a tub of pink milk, nudists in an upside-down room, trampoline powder art, rope suspended angels, and girls eating noodles off of each other’s bodies – I’ve seen all this craziness sprout from the most innovative minds of circus, bondage, dance, and otherwise specialized movement arts.
Where have these communities had such wild affairs? I’m so glad you asked. It’s all gone down at a special warehouse tucked away in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. That place is Little Boxes Theater, a giant, spacious venue at Tennessee and Cesar Chavez. Through its doors you’ll find a black/white reversible marley floor, a wall of mirrors, an aerialist’s dream ceiling, an assortment of large props to play with and, if you’re there at sunset, peaceful orange rays of sunlight beaming from the Southern facing windows.
But the glow of this venue does not fade with the sun. Quite the contrary, there is plenty of magic here after dark.
Founded by performance artists Christina (aka ‘Kitty Me-Ow’) Linskey from Portland, Maine and Aaron Simunovich from San Jose, California, Little Boxes is an experimental yet safe haven for the underground scenes of performance and photography arts in the Bay Area. Linskey is a former up-cycled clothing designer and metal maker. She was also a dancer at the late Lusty Lady, the world’s only unionized co-op peepshow (I know long-time San Franciscans miss that infamous strip joint greatly).
Simunovich is a former contemporary ballet dancer, recently turned aerial artist. Together, Aaron and Christina (A-K Arts) bring their physical talent and thoughtfulness to the dreamworld that is Little Boxes. Displayed on their walls are countless visions to behold, photographic evidence of the team’s incredible imagination. The shapes the pair create with their bodies under extreme, self-imposed conditions are intense and rousing and demonstrate years of creative juices caught on camera. This inspiration has leaked into the aforementioned communities and left impressions everywhere, clearly illustrated on their Instagram page.
Little Boxes has hosted aerialists in the rain, clowns in pie-face, bodies covered in flour, honey, spaghetti…you name it. If it hasn’t been done yet, it will be. From fire to water and every element in-between, Little Boxes is a breeding ground for visually eccentric works of art.
This place does not shy away from mess. It has become the mecca of misfit art and a hub of endless options for photographers. But photography and cinematography is not where the weirdness ends, there’s also nightly entertainment.
Little Boxes has been home to such wild events as Go Deep Lube Wrestling with Red Hots Burlesque performers, underwater dining in Queer as Merfolk, Muse-a-Palooza boutique art experiences, and the unforgettable Porn and Puppets shows. They also host Shibari rope bondage workshops, Monday night belly dance classes, and regular opportunities for indoor rain modeling and aerial photoshoots. Their monthly showcase, Project Open Box, is a great opportunity to try new material in front of an audience, as well as a low-key introduction to artists who frequent this high ceilinged warehouse wonderland.
Why am I raving about this place? DUDE, BECAUSE I have also had the pleasure of witnessing and creating art there and trust me, the stuff they are cultivating is EPIC. I once presented my bombastic show, Spaghetti Monologues, which unfortunately left their warehouse smelling like sour tomatoes for weeks. Most theaters would not have forgiven such an outcome. Kitty and Aaron welcomed the challenge with professionalism and grace. Perhaps most notably, I overcame my hesitance toward public nudity there. ‘Kitty,’ an advocate for nudist rights, is a big proponent of being yourself right down to your birthday suit. Ever since I was encouraged to make art with mine, I have joined the body-positive movement that rolls through their theater daily.
Be sure to like their Facebook page and stay tuned for their CHIME choreography workshop in March, Death & Taxes Soiree in April, Clown Intensive weekend in July and their 6 year anniversary in September! Upcoming events include another hilarious Porn and Puppets show in June and Queer as Merfolk, returning soon, with even more wetness!
If you need space to make your artistic vision come true, look no further than this huge nest ready to push us baby birds into our first flight. Little Boxes is a place of wonder, that wonder being “what will the come up with next?” Hopefully cherries.
EDNA SAYS “This place is the SHIZNIT!”
Edna Mira Raia is an adult sketch comedy writer/performer/clown. She moved to the city in 2005. She writes what she feels about the stuff that she knows. Find her on FB right here.