Small Press Traffic

a semicolon with a green bottom and a yellow top, made to look like a dandelion.

San Francisco Poets Theater Festival

San Francisco Poets Theater Festival artwork by Ari Banias

Small Press Traffic and Maxe Crandall present the return of The San Francisco Poets Theater Festival, a celebration of the Bay Area's long-standing interdisciplinary performance tradition.

In honor of SPT's golden year, Crandall and assistant curator Elena Gross offer up a a feast of virtuosic, improvisational, and wholly unpredictable live performance, including debut plays by Cliff Hengst and Phillip Greenlief; a tribute to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha by Samulnori group kkiri kkiri; a puppet show by Poppers the Pony, selections from the poets theater repertoire directed by Torreya Cummings and Maxe Crandall; and a new collaboration from Margaret Tedesco and Leila Weefur.

Advanced registration is closed. Individuals can purchase tickets at the door if space allows.

This evening will be simultaneously livestreamed.

Saturday, March 2 | doors at 7:00 pm, Livestream at 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 2, 2024
7:00 pm


The Lab
2948 16th St, SF


A wheelchair lift can be accessed through the center doors of the Redstone Building (2940 16th Street). Contact SPT in advance if you will need the doors to the lift open. The Lab supports Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) through its mixing board. Each bathroom has one stall with a 35 inch clearance at the door.

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Maxe Crandall

Maxe Crandall is the director and co-producer of the 2024 San Francisco Poets Theater Festival. His performance novel The Nancy Reagan Collection (Futurepoem) made the New York Public Library’s Best 10 Poetry Books of 2020, LitHub’s 65 Favorite Books of 2020, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry. As a poet, playwright, and director, Crandall has received fellowships and grants from MacDowell, The Poetry Project, The Lambda Literary Foundation, and Onassis USA. Recent shows include Bacchae Before and Before Bacchae Before; STOP PLAY, a commission from SFMOMA Open Space and the Merce Cunningham Foundation; and a national tour of Robert Chesley’s Jerker presented for free in queer community spaces. Two scripts have been published as chapbooks Together Men Make Paradigms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs) and Emoji for Cher Heart (belladonna). He is the Associate Director of the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stanford University.

Elena Gross

Elena Gross (she/they) is the Co-Executive Director of the Berkeley Art Center and an independent writer and culture critic living in Oakland, CA. She specializes in representations of identity in fine art, photography, and popular media. Her research has been centered around conceptual and material abstractions of the body in the work of Black modern and contemporary artists and most recently in queer artistic and literary histories of the late 20th century. Elena is the co-editor, along with Julie R. Enszer, of OutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Culture (Rutgers University Press), winner of the 2023 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Anthologies.

Phillip Greenlief

Since his emergence on the west coast in the late 1970s, saxophonist/composer Phillip Greenlief has achieved international acclaim for his recordings and performances with musicians and composers in the post-jazz continuum as well as new music innovators and virtuosic improvisers. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Meredith Monk, Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Reiner, and They Might Be Giants. Albums include two LANTSKAP LOGIC TRIO releases (w/ Evelyn Davis and Fred Frith), THAT OVERT DESIRE OF OBJECT with Joelle Leandre, ALL AT ONCE with FPR  (Frank Gratkowski and Jon Raskin), and OH THAT MONSTER with LA punk pioneers Thelonious Monster. Recent residencies have included the Banff Center for Art and Creativity, Neue Muzik Koln, and Headlands Center for the Arts. His critical writing has been published in Artforum, Open Space (SFMOMA), Sound American, and Signal to Noise.

Cliff Hengst

Cliff Hengst is an artist and performer who works and lives in San Francisco.  He has exhibited work at SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, The San Francisco Arts Commission and Gallery 16 in San Francisco. Hengst has performed and exhibited at Hauser & Wirth, L.A., Machine Project in Los Angeles, The Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York, the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, and at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

kkiri kkiri

Kkiri Kkiri is a community group dedicated to learning, sharing, and celebrating Samulnori and other Korean traditions and culture, led by professional musician and amateur researcher Roger Kim. Samulnori is a performance practice based on traditional percussion music from farming communities in Korea. Roger has been studying traditional Korean music in South Korea and the United States since 2017.

Poppers the Pony

Dorian Katz/Poppers the Pony is an artist based in the Bay since the '80s. She publishes Kid Unfriendly, Animal Sex Coloring Book, and zines in addition to her unending output of drawings. Dorian’s art and writing have been published in Bay Area Reporter, Hyperallergic, ArtPractical, SFMOMA’s Open Space and in books ranging from Salome’s Modernity to The Human Pony. She’s organized art shows in Queer communities for over 20 years. From 2011-2019, Dorian was gallery director at Center for Sex & Culture, a scrappy community center in San Francisco. Besides curating and managing over 40 exhibitions there, she was instrumental in placing CSC’s massive archive of pervy people’s history at stable, accessible institutions. Her art has been at community centers, universities, art book fairs, museums, cider labels and even shown in galleries. Dorian has been given awards, grants and been asked rude questions about her art by very fancy people.

Torreya Cummings

Torreya Cummings works with ideas of place and time, particularly invested in unlearning dominant narratives of the American west. Their work often includes photography, sculpture, installation, performance and video. Cummings uses drag aesthetics, substitutions, hardware store materials, the relationship of history and fiction, landscape, research, ambivalence, theater tricks, bad illusions, props, sets, dioramas, and interpretive sites.

They have exhibited solo projects at the Oakland Museum of California, Recology AIR, Aggregate Space Gallery, and more, and have presented performances with Machine Project, Southern Exposure, and the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, among others. Cummings received an MFA in sculpture from California College of the Arts, and lives and works in Emeryville, CA.

Leila Weefur

Leila Weefur (He/They/She) is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Through film and architecture, they examine the performative elements connected to systems of belonging, present in Black, queer, gender-variant embodiment. The work traces black ecological symbols through the blackberry fruit, rice cultivation, and the life cycle of the fly. Their research, across disciplines, explores Black colloquial language, Transnational Blackness, and practices of collectivity. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including BlackStar Productions, Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, CCA’s Wattis Institute, McEvoy Foundation, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Museum of the African Diaspora, and The Kitchen. Weefur is a member of the curatorial film collective, The Black Aesthetic.

Margaret Tedesco

Artist, independent curator, and publisher, Margaret Tedesco has collaborated with artists, writers, choreographers, and filmmakers over three decades. In 2007, she established 2nd Floor Projects, an artist-run exhibition and publishing imprint, and received the Southern Exposure Alternative Exposure Award. 2nd Floor Projects has participated in Printed Matter’s New York & Los Angeles Art Book Fairs, the San Francisco Art Book Fair, Berlin Art Book Fair, KADIST and Southern Exposure's Book Fairs, and SFMOMA’s Printed Publics exhibition. As an artist, Tedesco has exhibited nationally and internationally.

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