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What'll we see in EC?

Cows vs. Casinos, and Citizen Committees FTW!
El Cerrito’s under-the-radar reputation belies a rough and lawless history. From Ranchero to cattle path, from “City of Sins” to “the City of Homes,” home of “Big Bill” Pechart and the origin of child care centers, this scrappy, little part of the Bay holds hidden delights, as illuminated by performers who call this area home.

Saturdays and Sundays
May 15 – 30 only
Start times available between 2 and 3:45

The show runs approximately 2 hours and is family-friendly.

This episode was funded by:
Theatre Bay Area‘s (CA$H Grant) and 
El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission (Mini-Grant)

Now Featuring:

El Cerrito

Young Asian man with glasses wearing fedora and headphones around neck playing small guitar

Featured Artists

Cascada de Flores

Multidisciplinary Artists

Featuring Arwen Lawrence’s ravishing voice and guitarist Jorge Liceaga’s supple accompaniment, Cascada de Flores brings a personal perspective to the Latin American songbook, adapting tradition into musical storytelling.

Cascada de Flores

Akaina Ghosh

Actor

Akaina (they/them) is a Bay Area theater artist who is passionate about reconstructing historically significant narratives through a gender expansive lens and generating new works that center queer voices and perspectives. 

AkainaGhosh.com

Anne Yumi Kobori

Playwright

Anne Yumi Kobori is a Japanese-American playwright with a passion for intersectional theatre and a nostalgia complex for the Jazz Age.
Her “The Disappearance of Betty La Rose”
was commissioned by NS and written for Akaina Ghosh.  

AnneYumiKobori.com

Aaron Loeb

Playwright

Aaron, the author of Cheri’s Miller’s piece, “I Forgive You,” is a multiple award winning playwright whose published work you can buy from Playscripts
Erin Merritt

Erin Merritt

Director/Narrator

Erin relishes connecting artists and audience in transformative experiences.
Watch her interview with Oakland’s The Yay: Bay Area Theatre Podcast.
erinmerritt.com

Cheri Miller

Actor

Actor and activist Cheri Miller premieres
“I Forgive You,” written for her by Aaron Loeb. Also a Lead Instigator for
Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival,
watch her interview with Oakland’s The Yay: Bay Area Theatre Podcast.

Eevelyn Mitchell

Poet

El Cerrito native Eevelyn Janean Mitchell,
the city’s brand new Poet Laureate
premieres a new poem about Home.

Eevelyn Mitchell

Plonsey Music

Musicians

The Plonsey Family—renowned composer/saxophonist Dan, singer/writer/actor Mantra, and their sons Cleveland and Mischa—create improvisational music and stories for our times.
Listen here

Indigenous woman with bright smile, straw hat and orange bandana around neck smiles confidently to right side of camera

Alicia Mary Retes

Storyteller

Alicia M. Retes, an engaging performer, weaves original songs into interactive and intriguing Native stories that uplift listeners of all ages. Shape-Shifters and Mischief-Makers of all sorts are eager to emerge for delightful magical moments. 
—Lauren Snell, Mill Valley Library and Jessica Ryan, San Anselmo Library
Alicia.M.Retes@gmail.com

El Cerrito Fun FAQs & Easter Eggs

Like much of the East Bay, what we now call El Cerrito is the unceded ancestral homeland of the Huichun Ohlone (Lisjan) people, now organized under the Muwekma Tribe. Learn more at the Muwekma website or pay land tax to help the Lisjan communities regain their land. As the Muwekma say, “Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswe! Welcome to our land where we are born!”

Get lots of cool info—geographical, architectural, fascinating, and scandalous, even a quiz—at the El Cerrito Historical Society website.

Who says the old days were dull? Starting near the end of WWI, San Pablo in El Cerrito was a major hub for gambling.

El Cerrito Plaza used to be a notorious track for dog racing that also sometimes added ostrich races. See for yourself.

Music has always flourished here, and Down Home Music Store/Arhoolie Records has been a source for roots music since 1976.

Thank you to all our helpful El Cerrito Neighbors!

This episode is funded by the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission‘s Mini-Grant program and Theatre Bay Area‘s CA$H Grant program.

Special Thanks:
Aimee Lind (Getty Research Institute), Jesse “Chuy” Varela (KCSM) and Robert Weaver (Old West Gun Room) for research information;
Corey Mason (keCg/One World Radio) and Contra Costa Civic Theatre for help getting the word out;
Down Home Music/Arhoolie Records for saying yes to the improv;
and everyone at the El Cerrito Historical Society, especially David Weinstein, whose kind words early in the process help us know we were on the right track.