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Elaine Jennings as Alice B. Toklas and Kathryn Wood as Gertrude Stein

Elaine Jennings as Alice B. Toklas and Kathryn L. Wood as Gertrude Stein. Photo via Theatre Rhinoceros.

Kathryn L. Wood as Gertrude Stein and Elaine Jennings as Alice B. Toklas

Kathryn L. Wood as Gertrude Stein and Elaine Jennings as Alice B. Toklas. Photo via Theatre Rhinoceros.

Multi award-winning, lesbian-themed play Gertrude Stein and a Companion runs through the end of this weekend in San Francisco.

Written by Win Wells in 1983 and directed by Kathryn L. Wood and John Fisher, the production looks at the queer expatriate writer (played by Wood) and her relationship with fellow writer Alice B. Toklas (played by Elaine Jennings), whose home salon attracted the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, and Pablo Picasso during the early 20th century.

The play begins just after Gertrude’s death, when her ghost returns to Alice. Using text from Stein’s writings, letters, and interviews, Wells gradually and richly reveals the inner workings of their relationship from its genesis through a narrative that swoops back and forth in time. He also captures the feeling, art, music, and literature of Paris of the years between the World Wars when Pablo, Ernest, Henri Matisse, and all of Gertrude’s famous friends spent their free time in Alice’s salon.

The witty and romantic production has won first prize at both the Edinburgh Festival and the Theatre Festival in Sydney, Australia, as well as the Vita Award in South Africa as Best Play.

It runs until Sunday at the Eureka Theatre at Theatre Rhinoceros, the longest running LGBTQ theatre in the country. Tickets are $15 – $40 and are available at or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Angelo Louw
Angelo C. Louw
Angelo C Louw is the Advocacy Officer at Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII). He is also a Fulbright/Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship 2016-2017 awardee. He writes in his personal capacity.