A new documentary, “Playing for Keeps,” posits that humans benefit greatly from playing and suffer when we are deprived of play. Isabella Miller, who prior to the coronavirus pandemic would regularly go swing dancing, and David Miles Jr., the proprietor of San Francisco’s Church of 8 Wheels, are featured in the film and joined “Civic” to reflect on how they play and how that has shaped their lives.
The new documentary “The Boys Who Said NO!” shows how young draft resisters built a massive movement with a commitment to nonviolence that followed in the footsteps of civil rights organizers. Hundreds of thousands of people ultimately refused to be drafted into the military.
In his memoir “Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of my Stroke,” writer and journalist David Talbot reflects on the long journey toward recovery from a stroke that attacked his ability to swallow, care for himself and speak and write.
The Word for Word performing arts company at Z Space, which brings short stories to the stage while staying loyal to both the letter and the spirit of the written work, is turning to podcasting during the pandemic, when audiences aren’t allowed to gather. “WORD for WORDcast,” which turns short stories into podcasts with theatricality and rich sound design, will also be broadcast on the radio station operated by the San Francisco Public Press, KSFP 102.5 FM, on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.
When you tune your radio to 102.5 FM in San Francisco, depending on the time of day, you might hear public radio style talk programming, or you might hear music from local artists. That’s because two radio stations share the frequency — KSFP, from the San Francisco Public Press, and KXSF, a project of San Francisco Community Radio. Carolyn Keddy and Ellie Stokes, two DJs at KXSF, joined us on “Civic” to talk about their experience working with scores of volunteers who bring a broad array of music and cultural programming to the airwaves and to the station’s live stream at kxsf.fm.
As events that would draw crowds under normal circumstances go virtual, an upcoming performance from American Conservatory Theater centers on building connections in digital spaces as a central theme. “In Love and Warcraft,” a play by Madhuri Shekar, is a romantic comedy about a young woman’s exploration of her identity in an online role-playing game and expressing it in the real world.
The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has been an institution within the LGBTQ community since 1978. Now, like many organizations, it’s scrambling to shift its focus to virtual events. The group’s annual gala, too, will be going virtual.
When actor and director Khalia Davis was growing up in the 1990s, children’s entertainment rarely addressed racism. When it did — in books about Ruby Bridges or special episodes of television shows like “Family Matters” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” — it was never explicit.
Now in 2020, after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement across the country, Davis is producing and directing “A Kids Play About Racism,” which will be streaming, free of charge, on Broadway on Demand this weekend.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people to stay home from work and school, but it has not suppressed a deep cultural impulse for expressing frustration, solidarity and demand for change through public protest. This year, that impulse has come from across the political spectrum, with early statehouse demonstrations decrying economic shutdown, followed by a national wave of protests against racism and police brutality. Marke Bieschke gives the conversation about these events and an even broader range of actions historical context with his new book, “Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protests in the United States.”
As live events of all kinds go virtual, one Bay Area comedy show producer has taken it upon herself to launch a monthly online performance with international talent. Lisa Geduldig, who has produced San Francisco’s “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy” and “Comedy Returns to El Rio” for years, will launch “Lockdown Comedy” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, featuring a group of London-based comedians. Geduldig and comedian Tanyalee Davis talked with “Civic” about coping with isolation, nailing comedic timing on Zoom and laughter as medicine. “It’s a matter of getting the timing right and trying to be as engaging as I can be in a small little screen. It’s a whole different ball game.”— Tanyalee Davis
“Occasionally when a comic will do some crowd work and talk to someone, it’s just this connection.
The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s annual free performances in the park skewering political figures with satirical musical theater have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the troupe will continue to perform on the radio. In its first ever serialized radio play, “Tales of the Resistance,” the Mime Troupe will try out a new medium in nine parts across four genres: noir, sci-fi, horror and adventure. Plays will be released bi-weekly from July 4 through Oct. 24. They will air on KSFP, the low-power FM radio station managed by the San Francisco Public Press, and other local radio stations.