Citizen Josh" Benefit for Jovanka Beckles on Oct. 20

Josh Kornbluth
Monday October 15, 2018 - 06:36:00 PM

I'll be performing my comic monologue Citizen Josh at Berkeley's Live Oak Theater next Saturday, Oct. 20, to benefit Jovanka Beckles's campaign for the California Assembly, District 15. Tix & info here. Jovanka, a two-term City Council member in Richmond, Calif., is in the Richmond Progressive Alliance, an impressive coalition that has succeeded at the ballot box despite the millions of dollars that the Chevron Corporation has spent to defeat them. A children's mental-health professional and an immigrant (from Panama), she brings a community organizer's skills and mentality to her political work. Plus, Sara and I just saw Jovanka and her wife in Trader Joe's yesterday. (I realize that this last point may not be super-persuasive, but it was pretty cool to run into them there.) 

Director David Dower, my longtime collaborator, and I put together Citizen Josh in the aftermath of John Kerry's loss to George W. Bush in 2004. (Looking back, don't those seem like happier, simpler times? Yikes!) We wanted to plug back in to Berkeley's Free Speech tradition and explore how a passive person like me might become an active participant in grassroots democracy. We also tell the story of my belated attempt to complete my senior thesis in Politics for Princeton University, originally due in 1980 and still pending. (I'm not great with deadlines.) Though it was originally performed over a decade ago, Citizen Josh -- with its focus on, among other subjects, global warming and education -- feels totally relevant today, as we face the most challenging political environment of my lifetime. (The show also happens to feature absolutely gorgeous music by Marco d'Ambrosio and motion graphics by Alexander Nichols.)
It would be great to see you at the Live Oak Theater next Saturday! In any event, let us move toward Nov. 6, and beyond, with radical hope and empathy -- "radical," as my thesis advisor Sheldon Wolin (a hero of Citizen Josh) always reminded us, meaning "from the roots." Our roots are in the revolutionary idea of democracy, and democracy is "people power," and we (not corporations like Chevron) are the people -- no matter what the Supreme Court might ask us to believe.
Please vote!!!

WHAT: A performance of Citizen Josh, my comic monologue.
WHERE: Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, Calif.
WHEN: Sat., Oct. 20, 2018; doors open at 6:45, reception with Jovanka at 7, performance at 8.
TIX/INFO: Click here.