This Just In: Macondray Lane Players Programs

Macondray Lane Players programs, [1930s]. San Francisco History Center.

A new accession to the San Francisco History Center's collections reveals that Macondray Lane, an unassuming residential byway on Russian Hill, was once a hub of DIY drama.

Alex Hatch, author of the book Cracks in the Asphalt: Community Gardens of San Francisco, and her brother, William M. Hatch, recently donated five programs for performances by the Macondray Lane Players, an amateur theater group started by George Henry Burkhardt, who set up the theater in his basement at 56 Macondray Lane in the 1930s. Ms. Hatch found the programs in her parents' belongings: her father, Francis Hatch, and aunt, Margaret Hatch, were players in the theater, and her aunt lived on Macondray Lane.

The website A David Dodge Companion, about the writer David Dodge, who wrote for the Macondray Players, has a lively description of the theater.

Thank you, Alex and William Hatch, for an intriguing addition to our San Francisco history collections!

Macondray Lane, circa 1980. The basement entrance led to the Macondray Theater.
San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.


  1. About 15 years ago I found a playbill cover (print) which is identical to the third cover shown above. It is signed by Peter Friedrichson and dated March, 1930. It was included in an estate sale for Mary Lois Smith of Marion, Ohio. She was a student at an art school in California at that time. I found it underneath the bottom drawer of a multi-drawer chest I purchased. I had it framed and have wondered for a long time what it represented--guess I finally found the connection thanks to your web site. If you have any questions, you can contact me at email:

  2. The correct spelling of the signature is "Peter Friedrichsen". I mistakenly read it as an ".....on" but a closer examination revealed it as an ".....en".

  3. Andrea Friedrichsen HardMarch 1, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Peter Friedrichsen was my great uncle, my father's uncle. I believe he may have also been the set designer for the theater. Later on, in the 1940's for sure, he designed all the sets for "The Drunkard", which played in Los Angeles for many years and was very funny. He took my brother and I to see it when we were children. I have a whole scrapbook of Uncle Peter's newspaper clippings of his career in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Besides being a wonderful artist, he was the nicest, most wonderful man you could ever know. He died at the age of 70 in 1955 in Los Angeles.

  4. Hello Andrea, I am doing some research on the Macondray Lane Players and was wondering if your great uncle's scrap book has any information. I am not sure if this will get to you, but I have to try. Thanks.

    1. Hello BFerrett. Well I just saw this today 11/10/22! I do have that scrapbook I think.


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