Curran Theater Commissions Storytelling Star Installations By Local Artists

The Curran Theater is celebrating the opening of its holiday show, Bright Star, with a community art installation that encourages everyone to share their story.

The musical's main character sings a song called “If You Knew My Story” at the start of the show, which lead the theater to develop an outreach campaign that asked local artists to share narratives, said Kitt Grant, a theater spokesperson.

The campaign tasked local artists with creating “a star installation that reflects an aspect of their own personal story,” Grant said.  But the installation must also allow community members a method of incorporating their own stories so that it becomes part of the piece.

The Bright Star by Ryan Montgomery, in the Curran Theater's lobby. | Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

The theater searched for artists who have a knack of sharing personal narratives in a way that resonates with the community, Grant said.

“Everyone can relate [and] connect to having a story to tell,” Grant said. The Curran, which reopened in in January after an extensive renovation, has its own history to share. The 1,667-seat venue, which opened in 1922, has hosted more pre-Broadway productions than any other venue in the city.

The star installations are scattered across the city, but can be found in the Tenderloin, the neighborhood surrounding the Curran. The theater fully funded the installations, Grant said, but it is grateful for the partners that are displaying the stars.

Indira Urrutia, a mixed-media artist who created "Bright Star," installed in the lobby of the Parc55 hotel, told the Curran that her work represents freedom, time, and some of the individuals and cultures she's connected to.

Bright Star by Indira Urrutia, Parc55 Hotel .| Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

Urrutia's star is enclosed within a tear to represent sensations of both sadness and happiness that fill everyone’s life, Grant said.

The Curran and the artists developed instructions to help guide the community’s contributions to the installations, but responses are already being posted, even without guidance, Grant said.

Map of Stars across the city. | courtesy The Curran Theater

Other stars are at both of 826 Valencia’s locations—on Valencia Street in the Mission, and on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin. Another is nestled in the Tenderloin National Forest and another will be located in the SF LGBT Center on Market Street. 

You can view all of the stars by following the map above. Bright Star, written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, is playing at the Curran through December 17th.


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Curran theater commissions storytelling star installations by local artists