Bookwaves/Artwaves is produced and hosted by Richard Wolinsky.
Eric Ting, Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes), in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky, recorded August 31, 2021 via zencastr.
This interview is part of a series of discussions with artistic directors and their staff about how various theatre companies dealt with the Covid shutdown and its continuing aftermath.
Cal Shakes is slightly different from other companies in that it has an outdoor venue, the Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda, California, and only operates during the summer months. Here, Eric Ting discusses the time of the shutdown, in March 2020; the effect of the murder of George Floyd on Cal Shakes’ on-line programming, how the company survived during the many months after the shutdown, and its continuing coordination with the community it serves.
The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, adapted by Eric Ting and Philippa Kelly, plays at the Bruns in Orinda through October 2, 2021.
Kitty Carlisle Hart (1910-2007), in conversation with Richard Wolinsky, recorded by phone. This interview has never been heard via radio or podcast.
Created for an unfinished radio documentary on the life of George Gershwin, this interview was the final of seven interviews recorded for the program before it was abandoned, recorded in 2001 or 2002.
Best known for a long stint as panelist on a popular television quiz show, To Tell the Truth, from 1956 to 1978, with cameos in a handful of films late in life, Kitty Carlisle was born in 1910 and died in 2007. She came of age as an opera singer and Broadway performer, moving to Hollywood for a handful of films, including the Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera.
She dated George Gershwin from 1933 until he moved to Hollywood six months before his death. After that, she married playwright Moss Hart, a marriage that lasted until his early death in 1961. She was a leading advocate for the arts and arts funding, serving on the New York State Arts Council for twenty years. In the interview, she mentions going out with George, accompanied by a friend, a “piano player.” Most likely, that person was composer Burton Lane (Finian’s Rainbow, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever).
George Gershwin was born in 1898 and his brother Ira two years earlier. At the age of 15 he took a job as a song-plugger, playing other people’s songs on a piano for Remick Music Publisher for the sale of their sheet music. His first composed song was published when he was 17, and at 21 he scored his first big hit, Swanee. But it wasn’t until 1924 when he teamed up with his brother Ira as lyricist that George Gershwin became, what we might call a superstar, which he remained until his untimely death from a brain tumor in 1937. Ira Gershwin, who went on to work with other composers until he retired in the early 1960s, died in 1983.
Previous Gershwin Project interviews:
Interview I: English Strunsky, Ira Gershwin’s brother-in-law and George’s wingman in the 1920s.
Interview II: Musicologist Deena Rosenberg and Michael Strunsky, Ira Gershwin’s nephew.
Book Interview/Events and Theatre Links
Note: Several theatre companies are postponing their September shows due to the Delta variant. Please be aware that these changes are being made day-to-day. Most in-person events require vaccination proof or recent negative Covid test, and masks. Check the venue before arrival.
Bay Area Book Festival Festival events streaming on-demand.
Book Passage. Calendar for September. Mix of on-line and in-store events.
Books Inc. Mix of on-line and in-store events.
The Booksmith Calendar for September. On-line events.
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.
Aurora Theatre Stoop Stories by Dael Orlandersmith, September 3 – October 3, 2021 as a filmed production.
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.
California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes) The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, adapted by Eric Ting & Philippa Kelly, on stage September 1 – 26, 2021.
Central Works Audio plays: Bystanders by Patricia Milton, streaming now. The Human Ounce by Nicole Parizeau, streaming now. 2022 season to be announced in October.
Cinnabar Theatre. Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler, on stage weekends in September starting September 10, 2021. Streaming on demand September 24-26.
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 to be announced.
42nd Street Moon. Chess In Concert, September 24-26, Alcazar Theater. A Little Night Music, November 4-13, Alcazar Theater.
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Upcoming season to be announced.
Magic Theatre. In-theater performances to resume 2022. Joy and Pandemic by Taylor Mac, postponed to a later date.
Marin Theatre Company On stage: Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, November 2021. The Sound Inside postponed.
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. The Dream Life of Malcolm X by John Wilkins. Outdoor production cancelled.
Pear Theater. In Theater: Mothers of the Bride by Megan Maugeri, directed by Katie Hipol Garcia, on stage and streaming August 20- September 12, 2021. Somewhere by Marisela Trevino Orta and The Tempest by William Shakespeare, in repertory, October 1 – October 24, 2021.
Ray of Light: The Rocky Horror Show, October 7-31, at the Oasis.
San Francisco Playhouse. In Theatre/Streaming On Demand, Starting Here, Starting Now, the songs of Maltby and Shire. August 31 – October 2.
SFBATCO See website for upcoming streaming and in theatre shows.
Shotgun Players. In person with streaming options: The Claim by Tim Cowbury, October 14-30.
The Breath Project. Streaming archive.
The Marsh: MarshStream updated calendar. In theater performances to be announced.
Theatre Rhino Essential Services Project, conceived and performed by John Fisher, all weekly performances now available. Streaming: Hold Me the Forgotten Way, episodes 1-4. On stage: At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen by Terry Guest, dates to be announced.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. On stage: Lizard Boy, a new musical by Justin Huertas, October 6 – October, 31, 2021.
Word for Word. Wordcast: A Pair of Eyeglasses by by Anna Maria Ortese, posts September 2; Home by George Saunders, October 7; two by Toni Cade Bambara, November 4. Each will be streamed for a year.
Chamber Music San Francisco: Live concerts return February, 2022.
Dance Mission Theatre. On stage events calendar.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Live on stage: Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Cheryl L. West. July 1 – October 9.
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]