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Brava Theater Center




Brava! for Women in the Arts is a professional arts organization committed to producing, presenting and cultivating live art celebrating the intersection of feminism and multiculturalism that ignites social changes and builds community.


In 1986, an eclectic, talented group of 75 women artists met at Galaria de la Raza in San Francisco’s Mission District with one goal: to give voice to the unspoken realities of women’s lives through the creation of new theater works. The passion to create for these artists started with projects such as a black lesbian event at the African American Arts and Culture Center in the Fillmore district as well women’s writing showcase at the Victoria Theater.

“I do want to do the latest, most interesting work, and I’m very picky about the quality of work that I produce. On the other hand, the second part of my mission is to give women a voice, and I’m increasingly finding that for every one playwright who wins awards and captures the critics’ hearts and all that, there are twenty whose work is valid and whose experience is valid. People have a right to express culture, and [supporting] that is just as valid a mission as trying to send things to Broadway.” - Ellen Gavin, Founder/Executive Director of Brava! for Women in the Arts quoted by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, November 30, 1994.

During these two projects, Brava! for Women in the Arts was created and founded by Ellen Gavin. BRAVA’s initial participants included several feminists, activists and artists in San Francisco. Some of these participants included Cherrie Moraga, Amy Meuller, Jewelle Gomez and Ellen Sebastian Chang who continued their journey as artists, activists and community leaders in San Francisco during the inception of Brava! for Women in the Arts.

Since BRAVA was created in 1986, its founder/artistic director Ellen Gavin produced dozens of award winning World and West Coast Premieres by playwrights such as Diana Son, Eve Ensler, Debbie Swisher, Cherrie Moraga, Reno, Cherylene Lee, Suzan-Lori Parks, Culture Clash, Joan Holden, Ellen Gavin, Anne Galjour, Elizabeth Summers, Kate Rigg, Dan Guerrero Mabou Mines, Jesusa Rodriguez and Liliana Felipe of Mexico, Jorge Drexler of Uruguay and Ojos de Brujo and Ismael Serrano of Spain.  among many others.

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A call to arms, a spectacular reckoning, MANIFESTO is Rotimi Agbabiaka’s latest solo play, in which you the audience (and a cast of historical (s)heroes) will help a young artist create a manifesto for a 21st century theatre of liberation. Performances run February 8-15, 2020 at Brava Theater Center, San Francisco.  For tickets, Click Here.

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