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446 Valencia St.

San Francisco, CA 94103

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Complicit Production's lauded Demi-monde returns to San Francisco for three encore shows this August (Thursdays, August 15, 22, and 29). See the improvised stageplay that audiences have described as "a rich, lovely time", "profound", and "brilliantly improvised".


Late 19th Century Paris: The Belle Epoque. Days marked by grand politics, upstart populists, and a frantic economy fueled by overseas exploitation; nights filled with half-truths, hidden lives, and raucous consumption. And throughout it all, romance. Spectacular, invigorating, essential...ROMANCE!

"Brilliantly improvised, Demimonde brings late-19th century Paris to life with compelling stories and a wonderful assortment of characters."

"A clear, well-executed aesthetic that evoked a rich, lovely time..."

"Not what I was expecting in an improv show -- and it totally blew my mind!"

Set in the iconic urban landscape of the city of lights, Demi-monde explores social negotiation between old money and new wealth, European discomfort with reverse migration, and seeks subtle commentary on theinterplay of hypervisible capitalist consumption with sexual politics -- all wrapped up in a theatrical comedy!

The show is followed by a salon-style talkback with the cast after the show; each night also includes a brief pre-show talk discussing topics relating to the time period. This show starts promptly - arrive between 7:30 and 8:00pm to enjoy concessions and refreshments.


Demi-monde is joined by the famed accordionist Ron Borelli as music director. For more information, visit https://www.ronborelli.com/.

"Trippiest part of all - improvised soundtrack!"

"The live accordion accompaniment enriches the reality and is a delight!"


Demi-monde is a two-act improvised stageplay presented in English. Starring Ana Nelson (GRENDEL'S GRINCHES), Melanie Salman (PHASERS ON STUN, RAGTAG IMPROV), Laura Wachtel (ZIPLINE IMPROV), Rez Graham (THE IRON STAGE), Remi Frazier (PHASERS ON STUN), and Tony Cordoza (THE ADVENTURES OF TIMBINE AND BENNY). Directed and produced by Ana Nelson (COMPLICIT PRODUCTIONS) and Remi Frazier (DETERMINISTIC PRODUCTIONS). Stage managed and lit remotely from Oklahoma by Nick Rice using ZEROTUAL, a platform developed by Deterministic Productions.


We'll be introducing each Demimonde show with a 10-15 minute lecture about an aspect of 1890s Parisian life from a subject matter expert.

Collage of three photos. Left: Marianne Faulkner with purple hair wearing a black corset. Center: Natalia Lauricella with long dark wear hearing a white blazer in front of a building. Right: Head shot of Sarah Curtis with short brown hair.

August 15th: Marianne Faulkner, Associate Creative Director, Dark Garden Corsetry
Ribbon Corsets: Shapewear of the Demi-monde

An exclusive teaser of Marianne's upcoming lecture at the fifth and final Oxford Conference of Corsetry! Learn about "ribbon corsets," a turn of the century style that allowed for new design possibilities by using lovely ribbons rather than fabric, and offered soft support with more freedom of movement. Ribbon corsets were often worn by the demi-monde because of their beauty and flexibility.

Corsetrix Marianne Faulkner earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University in 2011. A professional corsetmaker since 2007, she joined the production team at Dark Garden in 2009, where she has since been dubbed the "skeleton key" of the business for her wide-ranging and flexible skill set. Notable highlights in her efforts towards corset education include her tenure as a columnist for The Lingerie Addict and ongoing role with the Oxford Conference of Corsetry.

August 22nd: Natalia Lauricella, Art History Ph.D. Candidate, USC
Color Printmaking and the Avant-Garde in Fin-de-Siècle France

In late nineteenth-century France, avant-garde artists began to experiment in color lithography. Working with highly skilled master printers, artists produced vibrant posters, illustrated books, and luxury limited edition prints. Neither singular objects of fine art nor mass-produced ephemera, these color prints hovered between high and low art.

Natalia Lauricella is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her dissertation examines the networks of master lithographers, avant-garde painters, and art dealers who produced color prints, posters, and artist books in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France. Natalia graduated from Barnard College and received her M.A. in the history of art from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Prior to joining the department at USC, she worked as a curatorial assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

August 29th: Sarah Curtis, Professor of History, SFSU
Acting Up: Rebellious Women in Fin-de-Siècle Paris

In 1897, Marguerite Durand upended the Paris publishing world by founding a newspaper, La Fronde, written, edited, and typeset entirely by women and dedicated to the feminist cause. Named for the rebellious nobles in France's royal past, the project sought to disrupt male claims to authority and power and became an important symbol of new womanhood at the turn of the century. Durand herself played with norms of femininity by embedding radical claims to equality in so-called feminine charm. In an era when "public women" were assumed to be prostitutes, the Frondeuses made bold claims for alternative roles for women.

Sarah Curtis is professor of history at San Francisco State University, specializing in nineteenth-century France. She has published on social, cultural, religious, and gender history in both metropolitan France and the wider French empire. Her last book was on women missionaries (nuns) in the French empire, and she is currently working on a book about the culture of childhood in nineteenth-century France.

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446 Valencia St.

San Francisco, CA 94103

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