Program & Services

ODC partners with the Fleishhacker Foundation and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation to support self-producing artists through its open access rental program. 

  • Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund

    Application deadline for the 2017 Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund has passed.

    ODC Theater has partnered with the Fleishhacker Foundation to create an eponymous opportunity fund at ODC to support self-producing performing artists through its open access rental program.  The Fleishhacker Foundation has made a commitment of to support the administration of subsidies to self-producing artists at ODC Theater. Three artists will be awarded a scholarship to self-produce/rent at ODC’s B. Way Theater in 2017. Applications will be considered and scored by a panel, and the awarded artists will receive a subsidized rental week in the theater. Awarded artists receive a subsidy covering a minimum of 40% towards space and labor expenses.

    Eligibility & Requirements
    Recipients must be San Francisco Bay Area performing artists and must self-produce and offer a public performance in ODC Theater’s main space (B. Way Theater) February 1, 2017 – October 15, 2017. ODC Theater is booked by the week Monday-Saturday. A signed MOU will be required within 30 days of notification in order to claim the scholarship and confirm dates. All promotional materials (print and electronic) will be asked to acknowledge the Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater. All recipients will be required to complete a post-production report and participate in grant reporting, as needed. Any previous or current Fleishhacker funding received by the applicant directly from the foundation will not be a factor in consideration for this scholarship.

    About The Fleishhacker Foundation
    The Fleishhacker Foundation is a family foundation located in San Francisco, California. It was established in 1947 to improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation makes grants to local, community-based organizations through two main programs: Arts & Culture and Pre-collegiate Education.

    Please direct any questions to Jesse Hewit, ODC Theater Program and Operations Manager:

    2017 Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund Recipients

    James Graham Dance Theatre |

    James Graham is a San Francisco based choreographer, performer, and teacher. In 2015 he received an IZZIE award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance for an Individual (for his Entire Season) and was nominated for an IZZIE for Outstanding Choreography (for “Guilty Survivor”). James Graham Dance Theatre, presents the work of James Graham while also curating the work of others, namely in Dance Lovers, his annual show of duets on Valentine’s day weekend. James Graham Dance Theatre has recently been presented at ODC Theatre, in the Daegu International Dance Festival in South Korea, The Nourse Theatre and Davies Symphony Hall (commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus), at the University of Calgary, Canada, Dominican University, National Queer Arts Festival, Kunst-Stoff Arts, Too Much! Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, Joe Goode Annex, The Ohio State University, and in the Golden Gate Park National A.I.D.S. Memorial Grove.  In 2007, he first went to Israel to study Gaga, made possible by the Kathryn Karipides Scholarship in Modern Dance. Graham was chosen by Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company) to be a Certified Gaga Instructor and to take part in his pilot training program of international Gaga teachers. He has taught Gaga extensively on the West Coast, in the Midwest, as well as in Canada, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, Thailand, and Israel. He has been invited to teach at Oberlin College, Denison University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Reed College, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Ohio State University, California State University East Bay, Feverhead Studios in Granville, OH, Conduit Dance in Portland, OR, and at the SF Clown Conservatory.  He is currently on faculty at University of California, Berkeley, Dominican University of California/LINES BFA Program, and Mills College, as well as teaches open Gaga classes Tuesday evenings at the SF Conservatory of Dance.  Graham received an M.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University in 2010, focusing on performance, choreography, and video. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2005 with a B.A. in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. He has recently performed with Joe Goode, Hope Mohr, Lisa Wymore & Sheldon Smith, Scott Wells & Keith Hennessey, and Sara Shelton Mann.

    Marika Brussel |

    Marika Brussel is a San Francisco-based choreographer and teacher. She was born in New York City, and trained as a scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet School. She danced with numerous ballet companies, including Ballet Theater of New Mexico, Napoles Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Concert Group.  Her work has been performed by Emote Dance Theater, Bay Pointe Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theater, Ballet Theater of New Mexico and at Regional Dance America's Choreography Intensive. Lyrical, edgy and narrative, her ballets have also been shown at dance festivals around the country, including West Wave 23, SPF 7, Brooklyn Ballet's First Look Festival and at Spectordance.  She teaches ballet to all ages, and dance for people with Parkinson's Disease.

    Alyssandra Wu |

    Alyssandra Katherine Wu is a freelance choreographer, dancer, and performance artist whose works reference social issues that are current, relevant, and deeply personal. She is especially concerned with subjects such as deracination, gender ascription, and accessibility and her dance pieces often investigate her individual perspective and personal relationship to these topics. Alyssandra’s work draws from her cultural knowledge of her Chinese heritage and uses multimedia sources such as video and paint.  In her work as founder and choreographer of AKDP, Alyssandra strives to combine the academic and theatrical aspects of dance in a unique way, making her work accessible to a wide range of audiences, yet still contemplative in nature. Using both biographical and ethnographical means, Alyssandra finds parallels between human connection and movement. She then employs everyday pedestrian gestures as a framework for her repertoire and builds on these gestures to make them more theatrical. Through this process, Alyssandra develops works that are physically challenging, and yet accessible through familiarity. Her movement technique includes contact improvisation, floor work, and release.  Alyssandra currently holds an M.A. in Advance Dance Studies from London Contemporary Dance School and a B.A. in World Arts & Culture/Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has danced for several well-known choreographers, including Victoria Marks, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Michel Kouakou, Ros Warby, Jorge Crecis, and Darren Ellis. Her work has premiered at both U.S. and U.K. based dance platforms.

  • Rainin Opportunity Fund
    Apply to receive up to 50% subsidy on production space and labor when you self-present in the B. Way Theater.

    Application for the 2017 Rainin Opportunity Fund has passed.

    About Rainin Opportunity Fund

    ODC Theater has partnered with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation to create an eponymous opportunity fund at ODC to support self-producing artists through its open access rental program. The Rainin Foundation has made a commitment to support the administration of scholarship subsidies to self-producing artists in ODC Theater’s main stage. Two artists will be awarded a scholarship this round to self-produce/rent ODC’s B. Way Theater from January 1, 2017 – May 1, 2018. Applications will be considered and scored by a panel, and the awarded artists will receive a subsidized rental week in the theater. Subsidy scholarships will cover a minimum of 50% of the production space and labor costs for the artists. Scholarships will be awarded based on artistic merit and need.

    Eligibility & Requirements
    Recipients must be San Francisco Bay Area dance artists and must self-produce and offer a public performance in ODC Theater’s main space (B. Way Theater) February 1, 2017 – May 1, 2018. ODC Theater is booked by the week Monday-Saturday. A signed MOU will be required within 30 days of notification in order to claim the scholarship and confirm dates. All promotional materials (print and electronic) will be asked to acknowledge the Rainin Opportunity Fund at ODC Theater. All recipients will be required to complete a post-production report and participate in grant reporting, as needed. Any previous or current Rainin funding received by the applicant directly from the foundation will not be a factor in consideration for this scholarship.

    About Kenneth Rainin Foundation
    The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease. The Foundation focuses its efforts on the San Francisco Bay Area and specific medical issues and utilizes its networks, resources and commitment to socially responsible business practices to support innovation, collaboration, and connection.


    Raisa Punkki |

    Raisa Punkki is a San Francisco-based dance artist who was born and raised in Finland. While living in Europe she worked and studied to learn several genres of dance and movement practices including ballet, contemporary dance, butoh, jazz, boxing and Pilates, so she could better understand and tell the stories through the moving body. After moving to San Francisco in 2003, she founded her dance company punkkiCo in 2005. Punkki is a mother of two children. Through that life altering change she has been able to receive yet another way to gain knowledge of the female human body and mind. Her quest in life is to try to find the answer and keep asking the question: why? She constantly tries to broaden her range of experiences so she can find, capture and expose life’s significant moments through her art making. Raisa Punkki’s artistic exploration happens through different forms of contemporary dance, theatrical work and through collaboration with artists from different disciplines. The creation of her choreographies takes time and the final presentation is based on the maturity of the idea. For her, the strongest form of expression is the nonverbal communication that happens between and beyond words. This is what Raisa Punkki says about her experiences as dance artist: “A dancing body is ageless, and for me the most rewarding experiences as a performer and artist started to happen when I turned 46. I am still at the start of my journey. 

    Holly Johnston |

    Holly has done many things, created many dances, been a part of a pageantry of successes and she has also fallen down, tripped up facing backwards with loaded baggage tied around her neck, in public where others could see the obvious awkwardness spill out. Time has passed, as it continues to also move forward, in the passing Holly has performed, choreographed, taught, questioned and spoken out loud in public quite often. She often refers to the artistic life as “living in wonderland”. She and her fellow wanderers slip into ‘rabbit holes’ hoping to encounter the fluctuations between real and surreal, knowing and unknowing, of doing and being…of dancing and being the dance.   She works with members of a collective group of dance artists, Ledges and Bones and is the artistic director for LAB. 



    Sharp & Fine 
    Sharp & Fine was founded in 2011 in San Francisco by sisters Megan and Shannon Kurashige to facilitate choreographic work that grows out of a shared history of experience in both classical ballet and contemporary dance and a desire to collaborate with artists from different disciplines. “We want to make the phenomenon of live performance a necessity and a pleasure. We seek to connect on an emotional level through dance that is physically rigorous and technically defined. We hope to partake in and inspire new types of collaboration and to change the parameters of what is expected of a dance performance.” ODC Theater Performances: Dec. 2017

    Kristin Damrow & Company
    Kristin Damrow & Company creates and delivers an electric and innovative style of contemporary dance to broad audiences in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Each year, Kristin Damrow & Company produces a showcase performance season by bringing together local dancers, artists, musicians, and other creative minds. This collaborative spirit underlies every story we choreograph and perform. KDC’s community outreach projects seek to inspire dancers of all ages and experience levels to express their creativity through dance while learning about the choreographic process, while helping aspiring dancers cultivate their talent and advance their careers. ODC Theater Performance: Jan. 25-27, 2018

    Moving to San Francisco in 2000, I free-lanced with many companies before becoming a company member of ODC/Dance in 2003. Many of the works I performed during this time where site specific and in street festivals. By not having a formal curtain barrier between audience and performer these performances formed my understanding of the impact performance has on an audience.  After becoming a seasoned performer with ODC/Dance, especially after performing in the ODC/Theater, I became fascinated by the moments you can feel when the audience’s attention shifts or you hear a sudden intake of breath because you did something moving. Now as a choreographer, I want to exploit these moments with this concert. Beginning with our performance installation in the lobby which then leads into the theater for a peek into intimate duets, and finally landing in the immersive dance experience after intermission, the size and technical capacity of the ODC/Theater is ideal. ODC Theater Performance: TBA


    Christy Funsch
    Christy is an East Coast native currently based in San Francisco. The mission of her company is to celebrate the vulnerable yet indefatigable spirit through choreographic experiments with gaze, distinctive movement invention, and unpredictable phrasing. 

    Nancy Karp
    Since forming Nancy Karp + Dancers in 1980, director Nancy Karp has choreographed more than 70 outstanding works for her company. She and company members have performed together in many distinguished venues, at home and abroad. These include The Washington Project for the Arts in Washington D.C., The Kitchen in New York, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle, the Fur Augen und Ohren and Sprachen der Kunste Festivals at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, Kyoto College of Art in Japan, and the Zagreb Experimental Theater Festival. Interdisciplinary collaboration is one of the company’s key focuses, and since its inception Ms. Karp has commissioned numerous composers, visual artists, and designers to work with her in the creation of new dances each season. Performance: February 10-12, 2017

    Risa Jaroslow
    Risa Jaroslow's lush choreography and stunning visual landscapes are alive with compassion and humor. Jaroslow examines the questions at the core of human experience, threading the answers through choreography that is at once earthy and soaring, transcendent and rooted in the everyday. Communities emerge and dissolve and a simple gesture blooms into a magnificent metaphor. What sets the company apart is its ability to weave together the experiences and movement of people from firefighters and midwives to survivors of domestic violence to Jaroslow's company of accomplished dancers. Risa Jaroslow & Dancers has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including: Dance Theater Workshop (New York, NY); The Danspace Project (New York, NY); Central Park Summerstage (New York, NY); Jarson-Kaplan Theater (Cincinnati, OH); Dublin Dance Festival (Dublin, Ireland); and Open Look Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia). Performance: April 27-30, 2017

    13th Floor Dance Company
    13th Floor is darkly comic theater that moves.  We create original scripted plays that don't hold still - they are funny and wicked and intelligent, often with a literary bent.  We aim for a delicate combination of accessible yet thought provoking, and will make you laugh just when you thought it was getting a little too dark.  13th Floor was founded in 2010 by Jenny McAllister, along with a troupe of talented performers equally adept at acting and moving.  With a background in both theater and dance, McAllister and her company explore how narrative theater can be enhanced by character-based movement - using dance, fight choreography, or riffs on simple human gestures. Performance: February 24-26 & March 2-5, 2017

    Twisted Oak Dance Theater
    Twisted Oak Dance Theater pulls the seeds of dances from stories, pop culture, and the absurdity of our daily lives. Our seeds grow into the gnarled roots, winding trunk, and the flowering branches of a new story. Drawing from our shared cultural heritage, the myths and legends we tell ourselves and our children, Twisted Oak Dance Theater creates personal statements about our connections to nature as humans, the possible origins of these connections, and the way we apply stories to guide ourselves through the pitfalls, terrors, joys, and loves that await us in life. Performance: February 24-26 & March 2-5, 2017

    Katharine Hawthorne
    I create in the space between art and science, combining my physics background with my embodied experience as a dancer. I see the studio as my laboratory for experimentation and discovery. My work asks how our interactions with technology impact how we move and experience the world around us. Currently, I am creating a new work asking the audience to imagine the future.  I am a San Francisco based dancer and choreographer. I received early training through the Royal Academy in Singapore, and continued my studies at Ballet Arts Minnesota under Bonnie Mathis, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under Summer Lee Rhatigan, and with master Cunningham teacher Diane Frank. (shows are Nov. 16-18, 2017)