Bookwaves/Artwaves – October 28, 2021: Richard Powers – Michael Gene Sullivan

Bookwaves/Artwaves is produced and hosted by Richard Wolinsky.

Links to assorted local theater & book venues



Richard Powers, author of “Bewilderment,” in conversation with Richard Wolinsky, recorded via zencastr on September 27, 2021.

Richard Powers is one of America’s most distinguished novelists. In 2006, his novel The Echo Maker, won the National Book Award and was a finmalist for the Pulitzer, and his most recent novel, The Overstory, was short-listed for the Booker Prize and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“Bewilderment” is the story of a father and son relationship, set in a world slightly different from our own, in which a president much like Donald Trump won re-election. The father is an astrobiologist exploring planets based on spectroscopic input whose wife died before the book opens; he is dealing with his continued grief and with issues involving his brilliant son who has a host of psychological issues. Long-listed for the National Book Award, and the subject of excellent reviews, “Bewilderment” is a meditation on grief, on love, on science and on the wonders of nature.

Complete 43-minute interview.



Michael Gene Sullivan, whose play “The Great Khan” runs live and streaming at San Francisco Playhouse through November 13th, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky.

A principal member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe since 1988, and currently the Playwright in Residence (“The Great Khan” is co-produced with the Mime Troupe), Michael Gene Sullivan has also been an actor and director, both with the Mime Troupe and in several companies around the Bay Area, including Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., TheatreWorks and San Francisco Playhouse.

As he explains in the interview, he uses his playwrighting to further the cause of social activism, and focuses attention particularly on race and on the narratives we learn, and the narratives we can unlearn.

Complete 31-minute interview.


Review: Jesus Christ Superstar, 50th Anniversary Tour, at the BroadwaySF Golden Gate Theater through November 7, 2021.


Book Interview/Events and Theatre Links

Note: Most in-person events require proof of full vaccination for all audience members over 12 (some may allow unvaccinated audience members with recent negative Covid tests), and masks. Check the venue before arrival.

Bay Area Book Festival   Festival events streaming on-demand.
Book Passage.  Calendar for October. Mix of on-line and in-store events.
Books Inc.  Mix of on-line and in-store events.
The Booksmith   Calendar for October. On-line events only.
Center for Literary Arts, San Jose. Check website for archived events.
Kepler’s Books  On-line Refresh the Page program listings.

Alter Theatre. Brer Peach, an audio play by Andrew Saito, on-line October 21-December 12.
American Conservatory Theatre Freestyle Love Supreme opens January 21, 2022 at the Geary Theater. Out Loud: In Person Readings: Cymbaline by William Shakespeare, directed by Pam MacKinnon, Nov. 4-6 at the Strand
Aurora Theatre Father/Daughter by Dael Orlandersmith, By Kait Kerrigan, directed by M. Graham Smith, performances start Nov. 12; streaming Dec. 7-12.
Berkeley Rep Wintertime by Charles L. Mee, opens November 12, 2021, Roda Theater. The Ripple, That Wave That Carried Me Home by Christina Anderson, has been postponed until 2022.
Brava Theatre Center: See website for live and streaming events.
BroadwaySF: National touring companies: Jesus Christ Superstar, at the Golden Gate through November 7, 2021. My Fair Lady, at the Orpheum, November 2 – 28, 2021.
California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes)  Check website for streaming archive.
Central Works Audio plays: Bystanders by Patricia Milton, streaming now. The Human Ounce by Nicole Parizeau, streaming now.  2022 season to be announced.
Cinnabar Theatre. Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain, opens October 15, 2021, on stage, weekends only. Streaming October 29-31.
Contra Costa Civic Theatre Our Town by Thornton Wilder, on stage October 1-31, 2021.
Curran Theater: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set to resume January 11, 2022 as a single evening play. Taylor Mac videos available on-line.
Custom Made Theatre Season schedule resumes in 2022.
42nd Street Moon. A Little Night Music, November 4-13, Alcazar Theater.
Landmark Musical Theater. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, through November 7, 2021 at the Children’s Creativity Theater.
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Upcoming season to be announced.
Magic Theatre. Theatre season resumes in 2022.
Marin Theatre Company On stage: Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, November 18 – December 19, 2021.
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Upcoming Events Page.
New Conservatory Theatre Center Streaming: Hold Me The Forgotten Way, through December, 31, 2021. In Theater: Interlude by Harrison David Rivers, October 8 – November 7, 2021.
Oakland Theater Project. In Theater: Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan, October 8 – 31.
Pear Theater. In Theater: Eight Nights by Jennifer Maisel and The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse, in repertory, November 19 – December 12, 2021.
Ray of Light: The Rocky Horror Show, October 7-31, 2021, at the Oasis.
San Francisco Playhouse. In Theatre/Streaming On Demand, The Great Khan by Michael Gene Sullivan, October 13 – November 13, 2021.
SFBATCO See website for upcoming streaming and in theatre shows.
Shotgun Players. In person with streaming options: The Claim by Tim Cowbury, October 14 – November 7, 2021.
The Breath Project. Streaming archive.
The Marsh: MarshStream updated calendar.
Theatre Rhino Essential Services Project, conceived and performed by John Fisher, all weekly performances now available.  On stage: At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen by Terry Guest, Oct. 28 – Nov. 14.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.  On stage: Lizard Boy, a new musical by Justin Huertas, October 6 – October, 31, 2021. Video On Demand through November 7, 2021.
Word for Word. Wordcast streaming: A Pair of Eyeglasses by by Anna Maria Ortese; Home by George Saunders; two by Toni Cade Bambara, live November 4. Each will be streamed through summer, 2022.

National, Misc:
Chamber Music San Francisco: Live concerts return February, 2022.
Dance Mission Theatre. On stage events calendar.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: New 2022 season announced.

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.

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