ICYMI: Through year’s end, we will be spotlighting 12 Milestones That Shaped FOGG in 2015. Check out the first milestone published earlier this week and be on the lookout for more celebratory stories coming down the pike!

Milestone 2: Being named 1 of the 12 best local theaters in the Bay Area

FOGG-SFist-pull-quoteReceiving this accolade was a huge moment for FOGG in 2015. Not only was it wholly unexpected, it kicked off a slew of honors we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams.

To relive the surprise and delight, we asked two esteemed Board of Directors members, Elizabeth Madariaga (President) and Natasha Melwani (Treasurer), to recount their reactions to FOGG’s inclusion on this list.

When you saw FOGG’s name on this list next to other acclaimed companies, what was your initial reaction?

Natasha Melwani: They like us. They really like us 😉

Elizabeth Madariaga: I’ve never been prouder than when I saw FOGG on the same list as established companies like Berkeley Rep and ACT. We are a young company and in many ways, we are building the plane while flying it. To be recognized was truly an unexpected, but very welcome, honor.

Why is inclusion on a list like this so meaningful for a young organization like FOGG?

NM: When you’re a young company, every accomplishment big or small feels momentous. From launching your website to hitting your fundraising goals, everything is a milestone. Being included on SFist’s list of best local theaters following our first original musical meant not only had we accomplished an important internal goal, but we had also done so in a manner worthy of recognition. It was reinforcement that others in the community share our passion and mission, and that we should keep producing art.

Talk to me a little about the diversity of those on the list and FOGG’s place amongst them.

EM: The article does a great job showcasing the wide range of regional theater the Bay Area is lucky to enjoy. All companies included provide local talent the opportunity to shine; however many, while producing truly outstanding work, focus only on reviving popular plays and musicals from the past.

The beauty of FOGG is that we are the only company on the list who has taken it upon ourselves to produce works by artists with explicit ties to the Bay Area. FOGG is laser focused on telling locally relevant stories and using our amazing Bay Area talent pool in the works we produce. We also focus strictly on musical theater (no offense, David Mamet).

Cable Car Nymphomaniac, the musical that put us on the list, tells the story of a woman injured on a cable car (a phenomenally local story), but its message focuses on the larger issues of sexual politics and the place of women in society. Similarly, our What’s Your Story, Bay Area? concert allows us to pair local songwriters of all genres with Bay Area residents to share unique points of view through song.

There is a renaissance taking place in the Bay Area and in the theater community as a whole. FOGG couldn’t be happier that what this list does is makes it abundantly clear there are places for all of us to create and produce amazing work, while elevating the importance of art and music in a region known mostly for technology.

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