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A 10-day "week" of free theater around the Bay Area.

Cruising the downtown Emporium for some noon-hour shopping, you swing past Better Jewelry, near the big dome: suddenly, you're face to face with a sleek, starkly costumed troupe of deaf performers moving with stylized energy through a hard-rock choreography. Such San Francisco serendipities are not only possible, they're predictable--especially May 5 through 14, during the second annual Bay Area Theater Week.

Designed to raise public awareness of the richness and multiplicity of local talent, Theater Week brings performers to unlikely venues--department stores, bank plazas, malls--where new audiences can make their acquaintance. By sampling the free appearances, you can decide which groups you'd like to see in their own performing spaces later.

To help you follow up, a special discount ticket package is offered: $20 buys you an orchestra seat at the American Conservatory Theater, the MArines Memorial, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, or the San Jose Rep; you also choose a ticket to two of a number of other theaters in San Francisco and other Bay Area cities--from the Mill Valley Center of the Performing Arts to the Hillarn Theatre in Foster City. Since orchestra seats comparable to those in the big theaters sell for about $20, you're really getting two free shows. Get the tickets at the half-price booth in Union Square (415/433-7827); use them by June 30.

A full day of theatrical experiment takes place May 13 from 11 to 5 at the Exploratorium, where you can concoct special sound effects, tape your own video play, help workshop actors revise a script, or see how a set is made. Bring the kids.

A parting bash is set for the evening of May 14 at Wolfgang's, the North Beach nightclub, with a high-energy environment engineered by Simon Levy and Steve Silver (of Beach Blanket Babylon) and cabaret entertainment by Bay Area actors and comedians. Tax-deductible tickets are $30 for champagne and dessert, $60 including dinner; get them through BASS or from the nonprofit Theatrical Communications Center of the Bay Area (which the event benefits) at 2940 16th St., San Francisco 94103.

May 5 to 14: the talent line-up

Hereare other Theater Week highlights confirmed at our press time. All are free; call TCCBA at (415) 621-0427 for details. Unless specified otherwise, locations are San Francisco.

May 5. Embarcadero Center. Noon: Make-A-Circus (clowning, tricks); 1: costume show; 2: Musign Theatre; 3: Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre comedy ensemble; 4: Nashional Anthem (cabaret routines based on poet-humorist Ogden Nash).

May 7. Chevron World of Oil Theater, 555 Market Street. Noon: Experimentalist Bob Ernst of Berkeley's Blake Street Hawkeyes. Crocker Galleira, Post and Kearny streets. Noon: Theater of Yugen (Japanese-style). Michael Matthern Gallery, 628 Clement Street. 8: Bob Ernst.

May 8. Bank of America Plaza. California and Kearny streets. 11:30: Musign; noon: Make-A-Circus; 12:30: Nashional Anthem. Chevron Theater. Noon: Mark Gordon (monologue). Crocker Galleria. Noon: Roberts and Blank (vaudeville sketches). Emporium-Capwell, 20th and Broadway, Oakland. Noon: Whoopi Goldberg and David Schein (offbeat comedy).

May 9. Emporium-Capwell, 835 Market Street. Noon: Berkeley Shakespeare Festival's "Shakespeare in an Hour." Chevron theater. Noon: Inner Stage (piece based on Robert Frost poems). Crocker Galleria. Noon: Make-A-Circus. Oakland Emporium. Noon: Nashional Anthem.

May 10. Emporium-Capwell. Noon: Musign theatre. Chevron Theater. Noon: Inner Stage (Ionesco's The Lesson). Crocker Galleria. Noon: Dick Bagwell as Shakespearean clown, Will Kemp. Oakland Emporium. Noon: Black Repertory Group (musical variety show). 1 Market Plaza. Noon: Nashional Anthem.

May 11. Chevron Theater. Noon: Peter Donat of ACT (Chekhov monologue). Crocker Galleria. Noon: Swordplay by fight masters from ACT.

May 12. Mall, 2257 K Larkspur Landing,

Larkspur. Noon: Nashional Anthem.

May 13. Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street. 11 to 5: Theater Day (details at left).

May 14. Wolfgang's, 901 Columbus Street. dinner
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Title Annotation:Bay Area Theater Week - May 5 to 14
Date:May 1, 1984
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