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Our inaugural episode featured Oakland, a dynamic destination at the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad and the sunny end of the Bay Bridge. Home of Jack London and the Black Panthers, Ishmael Reed and Earl Warren, this bastion of diversity is home to more artists than any other part of the country.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY AFTERNOONS
September 19 – Oct 10, 2020
Episode 1: Oakland
“…the city of Oakland felt different to me. It was the enchanted land of my theater scavenger hunt. Street signs and curbs and fences all seemed like they were built just for us. The rhythms of an intersection—when the mail comes, how often BART whirs past, the frequency and speed of cyclists—became the energy that a director adds to a play’s world.” —Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle
Audience members say:
“I loved the small sampling of the great diversity of art, artists, and neighborhoods that is Oakland. The limited audience added to the intimacy and unique scavenger hunt-style art extravaganza. Kinda like being A-listed to Oakland Got Talent.”
“Congratulations to all for the tremendously fun Neighborhood Stories. Thanks for getting me and all the kids in our house away from our screens for the afternoon for this joyful and whimsical trip through Oakland.”
“Thanks to all of the performers and for a great day! We were craving a quarantine injection of performance/art, and this was just perfect. It got us out of the house safely and gave us good things to chew on. And we got to hit a restaurant we’d been wanting to get to for take-out before the show!”
Coventry & Kaluza
Clown school sweethearts Jamie Coventry & Natasha Kaluza have performed their special brand of high jinks together for 17 years locally and abroad.
Appearing Sept 26 and Oct 3/4 only.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Kahlil Leneus is an actor, composer, writer, director and Laney College student—with wry tips for teens surviving a pandemic in his “6 Steps on How to Crack a Relationship (Quarantine Edition).”
Valerie Mendez performs Andréa Spearman’s “Terra Femme,” an investigation of the impact of global warming on Mother Earth personified and how her soil has been exploited and ravaged by man. All October dates. Follow her on Instagram @vallerina_mendez
Maddy Lawder appears in Megan Nicely Dance’s piece “The Time of Your Life” on September 19, 20, 26 and October 4.
Alicia Piemme Nelson
Alicia Piemme Nelson, a physical actor and teaching artist who is passionate about all things that spark the imagination, performs clown piece “Monkey Picnic” on September dates and her spoken word piece “Ballad of the Truth-Seer” on October dates.
Eastlake resident Cleavon Smith wrote his script “Eastlake Lyrics” especially for Troy Rockett and Episode 1.
“When you’re an Eastlake honeybee, being smoked out is not an option.”
More about Oakland...
- Like much of the East Bay, what we now call Oakland overlies the unceded ancestral homeland of the Chochenyo Ohlone people, now organized under the Muwekma Tribe. Learn at the Muwekma website.
- Despite gentrification, Oakland is consistently in the top 10 most ethnically diverse cities, with over 125 languages spoken here and one of—if not the—highest % of artists nationwide.
- Oakland public schools were first integrated in 1872, almost 100 years before the rest of the nation.
- Oakland is the only city in the world with a natural saltwater lake within city limits—Lake Merritt—which is also, as of 1870, California’s first official wildlife refuge. Watch the 150th Anniversary Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge Documentary (dir. John Kirkmire).
- For one guy, one lake wasn’t enough—the Kaiser Center at Lake Merritt also has a hidden lake on its roof!
- Check out some more local hidden gems to visit on your next day out.