As families assemble together for seasonal camaraderie, it is not uncommon for dinners and social gatherings to become crammed with unwanted drama.
One way to soften the intensity is by giving your loved ones the kind of drama everyone actually appreciates—the gift of local theater. Giving theater tickets is a two-way act of generosity, as your purchase not only provides an evening of entertainment—it's literally money in the bank for local theater companies, who are always grateful for the infusion of cash at this time of year.
The fun in giving theater to friends is in introducing them to styles of theater they might not be familiar with. For those likely to appreciate theater that's highly original, politically charged and a little bit edgy, the Imaginists Theatre Collective in Santa Rosa may be the ticket. Instead of subscriptions, per se, the Imaginists offer "memberships," which grant admission to all of their shows. Now engaged in their annual winter fundraiser, the Imaginists are planning some interesting experimental projects for the new year.
Santa Rosa's Sixth Street Playhouse offers its Flex Pass, which allows holders to choose from the many offerings in their two theaters. The best option might be a Flex Pass for the Studio theater (four shows for $84; $62 for youth and seniors), where the first show of the season has just opened.
In most cases, the best option is to pre-purchase tickets to a specific show you know somebody will enjoy. Fortunately, ranging from the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, where the Broadway smash A Steady Rain opens in the new year—up to Main Stage West in Sebastopol, premiering the explosive drama Fault Lines in February, theater is alive and kicking—and it's the perfect gift this holiday season.