Arts & Events

Around & About Theater & Film: East Bay Media Center Film Festival; Golden Thread Presents 'Dear Armen' from Toronto; Indra's Net Premieres 'Delicate Particle Logic'; Piedmont-Oakland Repertory Theatre Does A. R. Gurney's 'What I Did Last Summer'; Théât

Ken Bullock
Friday November 07, 2014 - 01:42:00 PM


—The excellent folks at the East Bay Media Center are once again hosting the Berkeley Video & Film festival in its 23rd edition, already underway with the Student Film Marathon, featuring in part work by the outstanding students of the famed USC Cinematic Arts program, several documentaries on Tibetan Buddhism & Bön, often shot in situ; Peter Yost's documentary on Mt. Tamalpais, narrated by Peter Coyote; a doc on poetry—and short comedies, drama, all kinds of new film and video, shown in the Center's well-refurbished Performance Space. 7 pm Hallowe'en through November 8, various times. $10; students/elders $5; Berkeley High students free with id—& wear a Hallowe'en costume or mask for 50% off. 1939 Addison, between Milvia & MLK. http:/ or 843-3099
—After the success of Tara Grammy's 'Mahmoud,' Golden Thread's presenting another show that originated in Toronto, 'Dear Armen,' an audience-interactive one, written and performed by Kamee Abrahamian & lee williams boudakian, about the research of a student and writer, Garo, into the life and work of Armen Ohanian, performer and survivor of the anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku, bringing up issues of cultural and gender identity—"their poetic search for self-exploration, artistic innovation and cultural connection blends into a poetry of words, movement and music." Thursdays through Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 3 though November 9, Thick House, 1695-18th Street, between Connecticut & Carolina Streets on Potrero Hill, San Francisco. $25; student/senior/TBA $20.
—Indra's Net Theater is premiering the fourth in their series of productions of plays dealing with modern physics, Jennifer Blackmer's new play, 'Delicate Particle Logic,' concerning scientist Lise Meitner, the "Mother of Nuclear Fission," and painter Edith Hahn, during the rise of the Nazi Party and concurrent male domination in society. Directed by Bruce Coughran, Indra's Net's co-founder and artistic director. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 5 through November 23 at the Osher Studio, 2055 Center Street, near Shattuck. Tickets: $20-$28 (Pay what you can at the preview November 1.) or (415) 613-9210
—Oakland-Piedmont Repertory Theatre (PORT) is staging A. R. Gurney's 'What I Did Last Summer,' directed by John A. McMullen II Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2:30 and at 7, through December 13 at 4137 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, across from Barney's, between 41st Street & Ridgeway Avenue. $22 in advance, $25 at the door, $19 at previews, 8 p. m. November 1 & 2:30 p. m. November 2.
—"An empty theater, a bare stage, no need to pretend. Or rather. yes. It is the very issue of pretense that is raised here." So begin the notes by director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, artistic director of the Théâtre de la Ville of Paris' production of Pirandello's great 'Six Characters in Search of an Author' at Zellerbach Hall for two performances next weekend, thanks to Cal Performances. Pirandello, awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize for Literature, is one of the greatest modern playwrights and thinkers about the theater, is identified by his idiosyncratic, penetrating sense of humor, which he defined in an important essay and letters before he (a fiction writer of renown) took to the stage as "a sense of the opposite" and as "what you find instead of what you expect to find."
Théâtre de la Ville staged a remarkable production of Ionesco's 'Rhinoceros' here a few years back. Their exploration of Pirandello's most famous play is an event of the first order. "This is a unique opportunity to seek to exceed the limits of theater, not by denying them, but by bringing them to paradoxical consequences." (For the full text of Demarcy-Mota's notes:
Other events include a panel discussion, November 7, 12-2 p. m. in Dwinelle 370 on staging 'Rhinoceros'—which UC Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies will perform November 14-23. On saturday the 8th, assistant director Christian Lemaire will discuss 'Six Characters' with Shannon Jackson, director of UC-Berkeley's Department of Art Research at the Alumni House on campus, 6-7 p. m. Both events are free to the public.
Friday and Saturday, November 7 & 8, 8 p. m. at Zellerbach Hall, on campus near Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way, $30-$68 (discounts for students & seniors).
—The Aurora Theatre unveiled the Barbara Oliver Bas Relief, a bronze sculpture in honor of its late founder by Fred Parhad, donated to the theater by Venus and Narsai David, on October 28. It will be permanently on view in the entrance lobby to the theater on Addison Street near Shattuck. Barbara Oliver founded the Aurora in 1992. She died this past June, age 85.