Bookwaves/Artwaves – April 20, 2023 – Gemma Whelan – Russell Banks

Bookwaves/Artwaves is produced and hosted by Richard Wolinsky.

Links to assorted local theater & book venues



Gemma Whelan, whose latest novel is titled “Painting Through The Dark,” in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky, recorded via zencastr on April 5, 2023.

‘Painting Through the Dark” concerns a young ex-nun in Ireland, Ashling, who comes to America in 1981, specifically San Francisco, in order to get away from her family and from the control of the Catholic Church in Ireland. A dedicated painter, after spending time attempting to get a job at a local gallery, she takes a position with a family in a rural home outside Mendocino.

This is Gemma Whelan’s second novel. Her first, “Fiona: Stolen Child,” was published in 2011. Gemma is an award-winning director, screenwriter, and educator. She was the founding Artistic Director of Wilde Irish Productions in the San Francisco Bay Area, and of Corrib Theatre in Portland, Oregon. Her short film The Wake was the winner of the Silver Knight Award at the Golden Knight Film Festival, Malta; her feature screenplay Eye of the Storm won the Robert and Ellen Little Screenwriting Award; and her screenplay Wedding Bells won the American Gem Short Screenplay award and was optioned by Fox Broadcasting.



Russell Banks (1940-2023), who died on January 7, 2023, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky, recorded in the KPFA studios on November 11, 2004 while on tour for his novel, The Darling.

Russell Banks, who died on January 7th, 2023 at the age of 82 was a master of long and short form fiction. In a career that began in 1975 and continued to his death, there were 14 novels, six collections of short stories, two volumes of poetry, and three works of non-fiction. Among his novels were Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, both of which became critically acclaimed films, plus Continental Drift and Cloudsplitter. His most recent novel, The Magic Kingdom, was published in 2022. This is the second of two interviews and has not been heard in almost two decades. 2000 Interview with Russell Banks.



Review of “English” at Berkeley Rep Peets Theatre through May 7, 2023 and “Poor Yella Rednecks: Vietgone 2” at ACT’s Strand Theatre through May 7, 2023.


Book Interview/Events and Theatre Links

Note: Shows may unexpectedly close early or be postponed due to actors’ positive COVID tests. Check the venue for closures, ticket refunds, and vaccination and mask requirements before arrival. Dates are in-theater performances unless otherwise noted. Some venues operate Tuesday – Sunday; others Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday. All times Pacific Standard Time. Closing dates are sometimes extended.

Book Stores
Bay Area Book Festival  Lists of guests at the upcoming Book Festival, May 6-7, 2023, event calendar and links to previous events.
Book Passage.  Monthly Calendar. Mix of on-line and in-store events.
Books Inc.  Mix of on-line and in-store events.
The Booksmith.   Monthly Calendar. On-line events only.
Center for Literary Arts, San Jose. See website for Book Club guests in upcoming months.
Green Apple Books. Events calendar.
Kepler’s Books  On-line Refresh the Page program listings.

Live Theater Companies
Actor’s Reading Collective (ARC). 
See website for past streams.
Alter Theatre. See website for upcoming productions.
American Conservatory Theatre  Poor Yella Rednecks: Vietgone 2 by Qui Nguyen, March 30 – May 7, Strand.
Aurora Theatre  Cyrano by Edmond Rostand, adapted by Josh Costello, April 7 – May 7.
Awesome Theatre Company. Check website for upcoming live shows and streaming.

Berkeley Rep English by Sanazz Toosi, March 31 – May 7, Peets Theatre.
Boxcar Theatre. See website for calendar listings.
Brava Theatre Center: See website for events.
BroadwaySF: Come from Away, April 11 – 23, Golden Gate. Pretty Woman: The Musical, April 26-30, Orpheum
Broadway San Jose: Riverdance, 25th Anniversary Show, May 12-14. 1776, May 6-21.
California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes). No 2023 season scheduled. See website for events calendar.
Center Rep: In The Heights, May 27  – June 24.
Central Works Mondragola by Gary Graves, March 18 – April 23, 2023.
Cinnabar Theatre. Tiger Style! by Mike Lew, April 7 – 23.
Contra Costa Civic Theatre To Master the Art by William Brown and Doug Frew, April 21 – May 21, 2023.
Curran Theater: Into The Woods, direct from Broadway, June 20-25, 2023.
Custom Made Theatre. Tiny Fires by Aimee Suzara, postponed to a later date in 2023.
Cutting Ball Theatre. Exhaustion Arroyo: Dancin’ Trees in the Ravine by W. Fran Astorga. April 13 – May 21.
42nd Street Moon. The Scottsboro Boys, May 4 – May 21, Gateway Theatre.
Golden Thread  See website for ongoing special events.
Landmark Musical Theater.  Hair, May 6 – June 4, at the Landmark, 533 Sutter, SF.
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. In The Evening By The Moonlight by Traci Tolmaire, co-created and directed by Margo Hall, June 15 – July 2, Young Performers Theatre, Fort Mason, San Francisco.
Magic Theatre. The Ni¿¿er Lovers by Mark Anthony Thompson, May 3 -21. See website for other events at the Magic.
Marin Theatre Company Where Did We Sit On The Bus? by Brian Quijada, May 4 – 28,
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Upcoming Events Page.
New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC)  Locusts Have No King by C. Julian Jimenez, April 7 – May 14. The Confession of Lily Dare by Charles Busch, May 12 – June 11.
Oakland Theater Project.  Is God Is by Aleshea Harris, in theater, March 31 – April 23.
Pear Theater. Pear Slices 2023,  Original short plays. April 20 – May 14.
PianoFight. Permanently closed as of March 18, 2023.
Presidio Theatre. See website for upcoming productions
Ray of Light: Spring Awakening In Concert, June 8-10, Victoria Theatre. Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical, September 8 – October 1, Victoria Theatre. The Rocky Horror Show, Oasis Nightclub, October 6  – 31. See website for Spotlight Cabaret Series at Feinstein’s at the Nikko.
San Francisco PlayhouseClue, based on the screenplay, March 9 – April 27, 2023.
SFBATCO See website for upcoming streaming and in- theater shows.
San Jose Stage Company: Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl, April 5 – 30. 2023.
Shotgun Players. Triumph of Love by Pierre de Marivaux, extended to April 30.
South Bay Musical Theatre: Singin’ In the Rain, May 13 – June 3.
The Breath Project. Streaming archive.
The Marsh: Calendar listings for Berkeley, San Francisco and Marshstream.
Theatre Rhino   The Rita Hayworth of This Generation  written and performed by Tina D’Elia, April 6 – 23, Streaming: Essential Services Project, conceived and performed by John Fisher, all weekly performances now available on demand, New performances most Wednesdays.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. A Distinct Society by Kareem Fahmy, April 5 – 30, 2023, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
Word for Word.  Home by George Saunders, April 5-29, Z Below. See schedule for  one-night readings and streaming performances.

Misc. Listings:
On View calendar for BAM/PFA.
Berkeley Symphony: See website for listings.
Chamber Music San Francisco: Calendar, 2023 Season, starting February.
Dance Mission Theatre. On stage events calendar.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Calendar listings and upcoming shows.
San Francisco Opera. Calendar listings.
San Francisco Symphony. Calendar listings.

Playbill List of Streaming Theatre: Updated weekly, this is probably the best list you’ll find of national and international streaming plays and musicals. Each week has its own webpage, so scroll down.
National Theatrical Streaming: Upcoming plays from around the country.
Filmed Live Musicals: Searchable database of all filmed live musicals, podcast, blog.

If you’d like to add your bookstore or theater venue to this list, please write [email protected]








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