Snake- The Precursor to Antenna
SNAKE was an experimental performing arts company which produced only original work. Founded In 1972, in Venice, California, by Co-Directors Laura Farabough and Chris Hardman, SNAKE created thirty-three plays and smaller theater pieces during its first five years.
“I never thought of Snake Theater as having anything to do with snakes of any kind and I still don’t, instead the inspiration for the name came from the Ourosboros image – a snake eating it’s own tail. The ourosboros is meant as a metaphysical symbolic pictorgraph of Cyclical Time. This is the form of time that makes experience, memory and stories possible. Without it Linear Time would be sheer chaos. Only Circular Time makes it possible to revisit times that you have experienced before. Experiencing the first Spring morning at 5 years old , and again at 15 and then at 70 –each a very different person held together by some DNA code and massive vats of memories, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, harvest, first rain. At 5 you watched your sister dance ant 15 you danced and 70 you watched your grand children dance. “
After relocating to Northern California, SNAKE toured Mexico in 1976 under the auspices of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.
In 1977, Musical Director Larry Graber and Assistant Director Evie Lewis joined SNAKE. After 1977, all SNAKE productions were a collaboration of these four artistic directors.
SNAKE created three major new works in 1978 which began the California Series: plays which explored experiences particular to West Coast life primarily performed in locations integral to their purposes. The spring play, SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC, was presented on the beach at Fort Cronkhite, Marin County. In the summer, HER BUILDING was presented in front of Sausalito City Hall. The fall production, 24TH HOUR CAFE, was performed in San Francisco and then toured California, sponsored by the California Arts Council.
SNAKE's achievement was recognized by the Bay Area Drama Critics Circle in 1978 with an award for "New Directions In Theater." During 1979, SNAKE created a major new location piece called AUTO, this piece was performed at an abandoned Mohawk gas station in Sausalito. RIDE HARD/DIE FAST toured to several European theater festivals in Germany and Italy in early 1980.
SNAKE's work received national and international recognition. It received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, the San Francisco Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Fund. SNAKE also received in-kind contributions from numerous Bay Area businesses.
The Sausalito Waterfront War
ANTENNA Theater started as a community Agit-Prop theater in response to the arrival of developers with the intention of replacing the world famous Sausalito Waterfront Artist and Maritime Community with office buildings and the like. A big fat rat became the image of the developers and shows were produced with singing secretaries asking Fat Rat to gentrify the joint but our most successful maneuver was The Cardboard Front. We painted about 50 cardboard flats of madonnas and sailors and planted them right where the bulldozer was meant to drive. The Cardboard Front stopped the dozer for about two weeks and the media talked it up no end. The Front helped change peoples opinions about the waterfront from a butch of drugged hippies to something more in keeping with the positive view of the waterfront inhabitted by families building traditional wooden boat mingling with visionary artists and philosophers.