On a Mission, in the Mission: 5 Facts about Ray of Light Theatre Company

The San Francisco theatre scene is just as rich and culturally diverse as its people. This thriving community of artists and performers is just one important part of what makes SF the magical golden gated land it is today. You can whine and complain about the tech industry all you want (no really, we’re not gonna stop you) but our arts community is just as vast and important. Especially special in The Bay, are our theatre companies, the groups that tirelessly and passionately produce groundbreaking theatre to entertain artistically ravenous San Francisco audiences. The Ray of Light Theatre is one of these amazing companies. To get to know this amazing community of thoughtful thespians, here are 5 facts about Ray of Light Theatre.

1. Same Age as Sasha Obama

The Ray of Light Theatre was founded in 2001 by Shane Ray (Ray of light? Get it?) with a mission “to produce quality theatre in San Francisco at a price that allows our audiences to reflect the rich diversity of the City.” And produce that quality and diversity they did, with a vast catalog of performed shows including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Grease, Rocky Horror, High School Musical on Stage, and even Jerry Springer: The Opera.

2. Dun, nuh, nun, nuh, nun, nuh, nun, nuh… Bat Boy!

The show that really set Ray of Light Theatre apart from other theatre companies was their 2005 production of Bat Boy: The Musical. A show not about a pre-teen who fetches the Giant’s baseball bats, but an edgy, boundary pushing tale about a half bat half boy who grew up in a cave and has to adapt to not-in-a-cave life. This risqué production played a big role in making Ray of Light Theatre the cool older sibling of San Francisco theatre companies it is today.

3. One Hopelessly Devoted Broke Girl

Beth Behrs, better know as rich girl down on her luck Caroline Channing on the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls, played the summer loved Sandy in Ray of Light’s 2005 production of Grease. She was the one that they wanted and then she, like greased lighting, was off to Hollywood. Okay, enough Grease references… even if we go together like wham-a-lam-a-lamma…

4. On a Mission, in the Mission

The Ray of Light Theatre performs at The Victoria Theatre in the Mission. Built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, The Victoria theatre is San Francisco’s oldest (and most haunted) operating theater. Located in the Mission district, this 480 seat theater (and its ghosts) shows everything from movie screenings to musicals. Legend says, if you look into a restroom mirror at the Victoria Theatre and say “tapioca pudding” 5 times with one eye closed, standing on one foot, facing north, the ghost of Victoria will appear and tell you a household cleaning tip.* Be a part of San Francisco’s theatrical history every time you enter this big ole red building.

5. Invest in Experiences, Not Things

Ray of Light Theatre is is volunteer-run registered nonprofit dedicated to keeping ticket prices low so that everyone can have amazing and unique theatrical experiences. They welcome almost 10,000 patrons per year. Right now they are in the midst of The Illumination Campaign, a 5 year plan to power Ray of Lights future, in order to raise money to keep this amazing company going strong and to, quite literally, keep the rays of light on.

*only probably true