Bookwaves/Artwaves – December 31, 2020: Robert Macfarlane – Bill English

Bookwaves/Artwaves is produced and hosted by Richard Wolinsky.

Links to on-line and streaming local theater & book events


Robert Macfarlane, whose latest book is “Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places,” written in collaboration with artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards, is interviewed by host Richard Wolinsky.

This short book examines two strange areas in England, Orford Ness, a spit of sand in the southeast of England, not far from Cambridge, which was used as a weapons testing site in the Cold War, and the holloways of Dorset, strange paths beaten over centuries, and often covered over by trees, almost as caves.

In this interview, recorded December 8, 2020, he talks about the book, both places in England, how the pandemic has affected his life, and how climate change is affected by the shutdown.

The author of several books, including “Underland,” “Mountains of the Mind” and “The Old Ways,” Robert Macfarlane teaches at Cambridge University.

An extended 40-minute version of this interview can be found as a Radio Wolinsky podcast.




This is the fourth in a series of interviews about theatre companies during the year of Covid.

Bill English and Susi Damilano

Bill English is the Artistic Director and co-founder (with Susi Damilano) of San Francisco Playhouse, which had to shut down its theater near Union Square, in the Kensington Park Hotel on Post Street, in March while ready for tech rehearsals for their next show.

Since then, the company has had to come up with ways to stay alive — and as with most companies, turned to streaming, first with a series of interviews about theatre, and then with Zoomlets, short plays heard as readings every Monday. Both interviews and most zoomlets are now available on the SF Playhouse website.

More recently, SF Playhouse has devised three-play virtual seasons, one in the winter (The Jewelry Box with Brian Copeland closes December 25, 2020 and Songs for a New World closes December 31, 2020) and the next, featuring world premieres comes on line in sequence in February, 2021.

:The complete 32-minute interview can be found as a Bay Area Theater podcast.


Announcement Links

Bay Area Book Festival Ann Patchett, January 13, 6 pm. George Saunders & Tobias Wolff, January 15, 7 pm.
Books Inc Elaine Costillo, January 21, 5 pm.
Book Passage. Conversations with authors. January 6, 6 pm: Alex Davies. January 12, 6 pm: Gretchen Rubin. January 14, 6 pm: Rameshwar Das.
The Booksmith  Berkeley Arts & Letters: David P. Barash with David Livingston Smith, January 13, 6 pm; Mary Ziegler with Becca Andrews, January 14, 6 pm.
Kepler’s Books This is Now with Angie Coiro: January 19: Simon Winchester.

Curran Theatre: Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce: Pandemic, Streams through January 2, 2021.
San Francisco Playhouse. 2020-21 Virtual Season: Songs for a New World, streaming through January 15, 2021. The Jewelry Box extended through December 31, 2020. Art returns through December 31, 2020.
Custom Made Theatre Upcoming events TBA.
Theatre Rhino Thursday performance conceived and performed by John Fisher on Facebook Live and Zoom at 8 pm Thursdays. Thursday January 7: Seduction.
American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) A Christmas Carol, radio adaptation of Carey Perloff’s adaptation, streams Dec. 5-31, 2020.
42nd Street Moon. Third Tuesday Talks Over the Moon, 8 pm: Every other Friday at 8 pm: Full Moon Fridays Cabaret. Sundays at 8 pm: Quiz Me Kate: Musical Theatre Trivia.
Magic Theatre. The Catastrophist, a world premiere play by Lauren Gunderson begins streaming January 26, 2021. Virgin Play series: Unseen by Mona Monsour, January 7, 7 pm; Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You too, August Wilson) by Rachel Lynett, January 14, 7 pm.
Shotgun Players. 30th Season starts in March: Every Time I Feel the Spirit by Noelle Vinas, a Zoom commission.
Berkeley Rep What’s in a Play, Mondays 6:30 & 8 pm. Zoom, Registration required. June, 2021: Swept Away, a new musical.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Upcoming shows TBA.
California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes) Philippa Kelly speaks with Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro about his book “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” January 12, 2021, 5:30 pm, on Zoom. Tickets required.
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts new on-line programming series featuring classes, concerts, poetry sessions and more.
SFBATCO Live with Rod and Marce on Twitch TV, every Thursday at 6 pm.
Aurora Theatre’s A new ticketed audio drama, The Flats, written by Lauren Gunderson, Cleaven Smith and Jonathan Spector, with Lauren English, Anthony Fusco and Khary L. Moye, directed by Josh Costello, streaming now. Aurora Connects conversations every Friday, 4 pm.
Marin Theatre Company The Catastrophist by Lauren Gunderson, Jan – Feb, 2021.  Lauren Gunderson’s play Natural Shocks streams through Soundcloud on the Marin Theatre website.
Central Works Bystanders by Patricia Milton, an audio play, currently streaming.
New Conservatory Theatre Center A Mighty Queer Virtual Variety Show streams December 13 through January 3, 2021. In Good Company, episodic series podcast streams on the website.
The Marsh: International Solo Fest, archived streaming. Josh Kornbluth hosts bingo every Friday at 7:30 pm. Waste Management: The Show by Debra Castellano, January 13, 7:30 pm.
Brava Theatre Center: Winter Solstice Concert Series, all week, each night except Sunday, 7 pm, through December 31.
Pear Theater. The Path Back to Me, two one-woman shows, Full Fathom Five by Annamarie MacLeod and Becoming Othello by by Debra Ann Byrd, starts streaming December 4, 2020.
Contra Costa Civic Theatre Upcoming TBA.
Remote Theater. see website for listings.
The Breath Project. Complete collection streaming on demand.
Cinnabar Theatre. A Christmas Carol runs through January 3, 2021.The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne, streams January 22-31, 2021.
Ray of Light: TBA.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: On-demand audio recordings of early plays; videos of Indigenous Peoples Day 2020, etc. This Is Who I Am by Amir Nizar Zuabi, directed by Evren Odcikin, a co-production with Woolly Mammoth, through January 3, 2021.
Cinnebar Theater. Streaming of the filmed Geffen Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol” to benefit Cinnebar and other companies, Nov. 28-Jan.3. Tickets.
Atlantic Theatre Company. She Persisted, the musical, streaming through Jan. 20, 2021,
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.

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


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