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VIDEO: Taylor Mac & Machine Dazzle Turn U.S. History into a Catwalk
KQED Newsroom

September 15, 2017




The Stockton-born, New York-based performance artist Taylor Mac and his costume designer Machine Dazzle are no ordinary historians. In A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, their 24-hour romp through American history from 1776 to the present day, Mac, Dazzle and their vast team of collaborators use the pop hits of the ages, commentary, and off-the-wall fashions to share a unique vision of this country’s story. 

KQED’s senior arts editor Chloe Veltman sat down with Mac and Dazzle in the costume-strewn basement of San Francisco’s Curran Theater when the artists were prepping for a run of their show.

Click on the link above to watch the video or follow this link

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Bay Area to Protest Far-Right Rallies with Clowning, Dance, Song
KQED Arts

August 24, 2017

Visit the original page where this story was published at KQED.org and listen to the audio here
Many in the Bay Area are planning to express their feelings about this weekend’s rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley -- organized by the Patriot Prayer organization, which typically attracts white supremacists and far-right groups to its events -- by marching and waving signs.
But some are choosing to take more offbeat and artistic approaches to protest.
The organizers of the LovedUp Mobile Dance Rally, a freeform dance party scheduled to wend its way from Dolores Park to Civic Center, expect around 1,000 people to show up on the afternoon Saturday, Aug. 26. Participants plan a political stand by boogieing to songs like “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power."
Organizer Daveed Walzer Panadero came up with the idea of a dance protest because he neither wanted to ignore the Patriot Prayer event, nor feed into what he sees as its aim of inciting violence and generating media publicity.
"The goal was to respond with a better alternative -- one that's bigger, brighter, and more inclusive," Walzer Panadero says. "And hopefully draws more people who might not normally come to a political protest or march."
Michael Franti is one of several Bay Area artists scheduled to perform at a public event at Civic Center on Saturday, Aug. 26 to protest a nationalist gathering at Crissy Field.
Michael Franti is one of several Bay Area artists scheduled to perform at a public event at Civic Center on Saturday, Aug. 26 to protest a nationalist gathering at Crissy Field.
Walzer Panadero and his team are asking participants to bring FM radios and boom boxes, as they plan to use an FM transmitter to share music as well as communicate with the crowd.
He believes dance is the perfect medium for protest because it's so universal. "Not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, you can participate," Walzer Panadero says.

Many creative approaches

The dance gathering is just one of many ways in which Bay Area residents are using the arts to protest the far-right rallies.
Michael Franti & Spearhead, Brothers Comatose, comedian Marga Gomez and other Bay Area artists are among those scheduled to perform at a Saturday afternoon “Peace, Music and Laughter” concert at the Civic Center. 
And a group of clowns plans to convene at Crissy Field, the site of Saturday's controversial rally, with balloons, red noses and other accoutrements of their craft. The intention, as the organizers put it on their Facebook event page, is “to mercilessly ridicule any neo-nazis, white supremacists, or alt-right trolls who dare show their face in San Francisco.”
The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers all dressed up for a city sponsored Summer of Love concert
The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers all dressed up for a city-sponsored Summer of Love concert.
Meanwhile, on a less confrontational front, the bucolic San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers is the backdrop for The Cutest Lil Counter Protest, a family-friendly event on Saturday morning involving a kids' costume parade and a group photo in front of the DeYoung Museum's Summer of Love Wall.

Changing minds unlikely

It's unlikely that these creative forms of counter-protest will win over people from the other side, especially since most of the artistic activities are scheduled to happen in locations several miles away from the sites of the rallies they're reacting to.
Concerns over public safety have caused the organizers of some acivities, like the mobile dance rally, to change their plans. Walzer Panadero says his group's original intention was to convene at Marina Green in close proximity to the Patriot Prayer rally. Now the dancing will be happening further afield.
"I don’t have any illusions that our protest is going to draw them over and change their minds," Walzer Panadero says of Patriot Prayer's followers. "I would not be surprised if select people have a genuine interest in having conversations. But I’d be very wary of interactions on the day of the event. Our interest at this point is maintaining a safe space and distance."

Power of art to make change

Sometimes these sorts of mass protests involving art can bring about actual change.
One of the most famous examples is what came to be popularly known as "The Singing Revolution," where the mass public singing of patriotic songs in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to independence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Closer to home and on a more modest scale, groups like the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have used their art to draw impressive crowds and media attention for various political causes.
The Gay Men's Chorus has adopted the Holly Near song “Singing for Our Lives” as a sort of protest anthem. Near wrote the song the night Harvey Milk and George Moscone were assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978. Ever since, the Gay Men’s Chorus has performed it at rallies, such as a 2009 Prop 8 gathering to fight for equal marriage rights.

Gay Men’s Chorus executive director Chris Verdugo says the ensemble is considering whether to join the anti-Patriot Prayer rally protests over the weekend. "Given the opportunity to sing some white supremacists down, I think we would be up for that," Verdugo says. "We'll surround them with love and with song."

Bay Area approach to protest

The Bay Area has long been a hotbed for unconventional protests involving art. "There doesn’t seem to be anything more San Franciscan than coming out in bright colors, with joy and expression as a form of protest, and tie that expression into effective action," says Walzer Panadero, a fourth generation San Francisco native.
The tradition has its roots in the 1960s, with notable actions like The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s 1967 tour of university campuses.
San Francisco Mime Troupe, c. 1966.
San Francisco Mime Troupe, c. 1966.
The San Francisco-based agit prop theater company performed an anti-Vietnam war satire at the same time the Dow Chemical Company, the manufacturer of napalm, was scouting around the same campuses looking for recruits. The Mime Troupe formed a marching band to energize anti-Dow, anti-war demonstrations and gained national attention and awards for its efforts.
For his part, Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, welcomes artistic approaches to protest.
"These are the people that I want to see, that I want to connect with," Gibson says. "These people are coming in with a positive message, right? It’s so much better than these gangs that dress up in all black, cover their faces, and they try to intimidate, try to use fear and violence and hatred."
Gibson is calling his event a "free speech" rally and is making a concerted effort to distance Patriot Prayer from white supremacist groups, even though Gibson's rallies have attracted militiamen and white nationalists in the past.
He points out that several hip-hop artists of color like Work Dirty and The Gatlin will perform at his event, and says his team wants to give voice to those that oppose his viewpoint. "We might have an open mike so protesters can speak," he says.
"The fact that people are willing to come in and have dance-offs and stuff like that, that’s awesome and I respect them," Gibson says. "And I hope they have an opportunity to hear what we have to say and hear some of our speeches, because they’ll learn that we actually have a lot in common."
You can find a list of many of the events going on in protest against this weekend's Patriot Prayer rallies in the Bay Area here

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VIDEO: Why French Artist Sophie Calle Bought a Burial Plot in Bolinas
KQED Newsroom

July 28, 2017



Sophie Calle has been a regular visitor to in the sleepy coastal town of Bolinas ever since she launched her professional career there, producing a series of photographs of gravestones in the late 1970s.

Recently, the famous French conceptual artist made the unusual move of buying herself a grave plot in Bolinas cemetery. KQED’s senior arts editor Chloe Veltman caught up with Calle among the gravestones while the 63-year-old artist was in the Bay Area for the opening of a major exhibition of her work at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture in San Francisco.

Curated by Ars Citizen, Sophie Calle’s exhibition, Missing, is on view at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture in San Francisco through Sunday, Aug. 20. Entry is free.

This segment originally aired on Friday, Jul. 28 on KQED Newsroom. To watch the full show, click here. To view the segment at KQED Arts, click here

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'Nobody has one button': Steve Jobs opera sings Apple founder's praises – and flaws
The Guardian

July 25, 2017

Edward Parks as Steve Jobs in the new opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Photo: Ken Howard/Santa Fe Opera)

Read the original story in The Guardian here.

When San Francisco bay area-based composer and electronic music DJ Mason Bates recently visited the childhood home of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Jobs, he was in awe.

“It all started in that garage,” Bates said in a hushed, reverent voice, as we pulled up in the composer’s 1970s Alfa Romeo outside the nondescript bungalow at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos. Located on an un-trafficked suburban street, the building’s only distinguishing feature was the “no trespassing” sign on the austere patch of lawn out front. “That’s where he built the early Apple computers,” Bates said, hesitant to get out of the car to take a closer look, lest we disturb the occupants. “That’s where the world’s most valuable company began. In that little garage.”

The fabled garage was designated a historical landmark in 2013. It’s been eulogized in films like Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) and Jobs (2013), as well as books such as Walter Isaacson’s expansive 2011 biography of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

And now that garage has found its way on to the stage in a new opera about Jobs, with music by Bates and libretto by Mark Campbell. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs opens this weekend at the Santa Fe Opera, a major international festival that unfolds each summer in an open-air amphitheatre, dramatically perched in the desert just north of the New Mexico capital.

The opera careens backwards and forwards between episodes in Jobs’s life. In one scene, he’s launching the iPhone at MacWorld 2007. Then it’s 1974, and he’s dropping acid in an orchard with his girlfriend. Then we’re in 1980, watching Jobs berate his employees at Apple’s corporate headquarters.

The garage is a linking motif through all of this. It’s where the opening scene, circa 1965, between a young Jobs and his adoptive father, Paul, takes place. And it’s a fundamental part of the set design: the garage walls fly apart after the first scene and reform periodically to create different backdrops for the drama as it unfolds.

For Bates that garage, Jobs’s career and Silicon Valley as a whole represent “a place where technology and creativity intersect”. The 40-year-old composer himself has made a career at this intersection. Bates often uses digital technology in his orchestral works. He’s written pieces that make integral use of electronic sounds for top-tier arts institutions such as the San Francisco Symphony and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

And he’s often seen sitting in the middle of the orchestra, playing the laptop part in performances of his compositions. In The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Bates commands two laptops and an electronic drum pad alongside the other musicians in the pit.

Appropriately, the composer has created a sound world for his new opera’s protagonist that features quicksilver electronics. It includes beeps, pops and whizzes from actual vintage Apple gear, such as the Mac Plus, released in 1986. That particular noise is a prominent feature of the overture. “While you might not be able to pick out exactly that’s a spinning hard drive of an Apple I, a Power Mac or Mac Plus key click, I think the accumulation of those sounds does lend an authenticity to the sound world,” Bates said.

But it takes more than an authentic sound world to make sense of Jobs’s epic life story on stage. The man ran three major companies: Apple, NeXT and Pixar, where he oversaw the release of many wildly successful products and movies such as the iPhone and Toy Story.

Jobs also had a complicated personal life. He was adopted as a baby; he refused for years to publicly acknowledge his first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter he had out of wedlock in his early twenties with his then girlfriend Chrisann Brennan; and he died young of cancer, at age 56, in 2011. 

“He was such a complex individual, I cannot even imagine how you’d capture Steve’s life in an opera,” said Andy Cunningham, who worked closely with Jobs as a publicist during the early years of his three companies. Cunningham witnessed the ups and down of the entrepreneur’s career – and erratic temperament – firsthand.

She said Jobs hired and fired her several times, and once demanded calla lilies for his hotel room at midnight. “Steve was a very emotional person, and he was driven largely by his emotions,” she said. 

Other individuals and organizations have also questioned the idea of transforming Jobs’s story into opera.

The San Francisco Opera turned down the opportunity to host the world premiere when Bates and his early collaborator on the project, University of Berkeley arts presenter Cal Performances, approached the opera’s leadership in 2013. (Since the project was workshopped in San Francisco in 2015 and 2016, the organization has come around and will be producing the work in its 2019-2020 season.) 

Apple Inc and the Estate of Steve Jobs have not endorsed the opera, and the creators behind The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs take ample liberties with their source material.

This includes radically simplifying Jobs’s story in some ways, to make it fit into two hours of stage time. For instance, it ignores the title character’s significant contribution to the animation industry through Pixar and his years in exile at NeXT, the short-lived computer company Jobs founded after being ousted from Apple in 1985.

But Bates and his collaborators get at the complexity and emotionality of their subject in other ways. “I was fascinated with the tension that is at the center of Jobs’s life: how do you create these sleek and beautiful devices that miniaturize our communication when people are so messy?” Bates said. “People are so complicated. Nobody has one button.”

To reflect this complexity, the composer weaves together intricate theme tunes for each individual character. There’s jazzy brass music for Steve Wozniak, Jobs’s partner in the formative years of Apple; lush strings signify Jobs’s eternally patient and grounded wife, Laurene; and Jobs’s spiritual adviser, Kobun Chino Otogawa, appears against a backdrop of prayer bowls and gongs.

As usual with opera, there’s plenty of drama. But librettist Campbell injects some fun. My favorite example is a garage scene in which Wozniak proudly shows off the circuit board of his brand-new creation, the Apple I computer.
“She sure is ugly,” sings Jobs.
“An interface only a motherboard could love,” Wozniak responds.

And while operatic heroes are usually played by tenors, this one’s a baritone – a darker, more nuanced voice. The American singer Edward Parks plays Jobs in the world premiere production. Equally tall but more heavyset than the emaciated Jobs, the performer cuts an imposing, intense figure on stage.

Dressed throughout in the entrepreneur’s signature uniform of black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers – according to Isaacson’s biography, Jobs ordered more than 100 of those turtlenecks from Japanese designer Issey Miyake – Parks, like a true baritone, isn’t afraid to embrace Jobs’s dark side.

“I’m mostly drawn to his flaws,” Parks said. “The arc of his life is grand. There’s a lot of betrayal, there’s a lot of anger towards people, and there’s a lot of love as well.”


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Silicon Valley Composer Transforms Steve Jobs’ Life Story Into Opera
KQED Arts

July 24, 2017

To listen to the audio version of this story which ran on KQED's The California Report and KPCC, click here.

Composer and electronica DJ Mason Bates is listening intently to the sound of a clicking computer key through speakers rigged up to a laptop in his Burlingame music studio.

Bates admits the key clicks don’t sound like much on their own. But the opening music in his new opera, "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs", morphs out of those simple sounds.
"When you take them together and then turn them into a rhythmic device, they create a bit of a tapestry," he says.
Composer Mason Bates in his home music studio in Burlingame.
Composer Mason Bates in his home music studio in Burlingame.
Bates often uses digital technology in his orchestral works. He's written major pieces for the likes of the San Francisco Symphony and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., among other top-tier arts institutions.
But this is his first full-length opera. And it matters to the 40-year-old composer that the pops, beeps and whizzes in his score come from genuine Apple gear. The key clicks are those of the Mac Plus computer, released in 1986.
"While you might not be able to pick out exactly that’s a spinning hard drive of an Apple I, a Power Mac or Mac Plus key click, I think the accumulation of those sounds does lend an authenticity to the sound world," Bates says.
Steve Jobs in 2003. Creative Commons.
Steve Jobs in 2003. Creative Commons.
But it takes more than an authentic sound world to make sense of Steve Jobs’ epic life story on stage; it's not for nothing that Walter Isaacson's well-known 2011 biography of Jobs (which Bates cites as a major source of inspiration for his opera) runs to more than 650 pages.
After all, the man ran three major companies -- Apple, NeXT and Pixar -- where he oversaw the release of many wildly successful products and movies like the iPhone and Toy Story.
He also had a complicated personal life. Jobs was adopted as a baby; he refused to publicly acknowledge his first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, for years; and he died young in 2011 of cancer at the age of 56.
Edward Parks as Steve Jobs in ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’.
Edward Parks as Steve Jobs in ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’.
"He was such a complex individual, I cannot even imagine how you’d capture Steve’s life in an opera," says Andy Cunningham, who worked closely with Jobs as a publicist and witnessed the ups and down of his career -- and erratic temperament -- firsthand.
Cunningham says Jobs hired and fired her several times, and once demanded calla lilies for his hotel room at midnight. "Steve was a very emotional person, and he was driven largely by his emotions," she says.
Andy Cunningham worked as a publicist for Steve Jobs in his early years at Apple, NeXT and Pixar. She witnessed the ups and down of his career — and erratic temperament — first hand.
Andy Cunningham worked as a publicist for Steve Jobs in his early years at Apple, NeXT and Pixar. She witnessed the ups and down of his career — and erratic temperament — firsthand.
Other individuals and organizations have also questioned the idea of transforming Jobs' story into opera.
For instance, the San Francisco Opera turned down the opportunity to host the world premiere when Bates and his early-stage collaborator on the project, UC Berkeley arts presenter Cal Performances, approached SF Opera's leadership in 2013. (Since the project was workshopped at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2015 and 2016, SF Opera has come around, and will be producing the work in its 2019-2020 season.)
But Bates revels in the complexity and emotionality of his subject. "His actual life is the stuff of opera," Bates says.
The opera careens backward and forward between episodes in Jobs’ life. In one scene he's launching the iPhone at MacWorld 2007. Then it’s 1974 and he’s dropping acid in an orchard with his girlfriend.
The work also weaves together intricate theme tunes for each individual character. There's jazzy saxophone music for Steve Wozniak, Jobs' partner in the early years of Apple. Gongs and prayer bowls illustrate Jobs’ spiritual adviser, Kobun Chino Otogawa.
Garrett Sorenson as Steve Wozniak and Edward Parks as Steve Jobs in ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’.
Garrett Sorenson as Steve Wozniak and Edward Parks as Steve Jobs in ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’.
Appropriately, Bates has created a sound world for the opera's protagonist that features quicksilver electronic sounds and acoustic guitar -- an instrument that Jobs adored, especially as played by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.
And while operatic heroes are usually played by tenors, this one’s a baritone -- a darker, more nuanced voice. American singer Edward Parks plays the character of Jobs in the world premiere production, opening in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this weekend. Like a true baritone, Parks isn’t afraid to embrace Jobs’ dark side.
"I’m mostly drawn to his flaws," Parks says. "The arc of his life is grand. There’s a lot of betrayal, there’s a lot of anger towards people, and there’s a lot of love as well."
All ingredients ripe for opera.
"The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs" opens this weekend at Santa Fe Opera in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There will be a California production at San Francisco Opera during the company's 2019-2020 season.

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A Trump-Tinged ‘Julius Caesar’: What Now?
KQED Arts

June 12, 2017

A 2003 production of 'Julius Caesar' at Cal Shakes, directed by Jonathan Moscone, featured L. Peter Callender as a Caesar that recalled the director's father, the late George Moscone.

In Act III of Hamlet, when the skirt-chasing, king-killing, crown-usurping villain Claudius watches a play entitled The Murder of Gonzago about a similarly skirt-chasing, king-killing, crown-usurping villain, he recoils at seeing himself portrayed and runs screaming from the theater: “Give me some light, away!”
So it’s been no surprise over the past few days to witness the knee-jerk reactions from the Trump team, the right-wing media and two major corporations to the Public Theater’s latest production of Julius Caesar, which depicts the murder of a Trump-esque Caesar in gory fashion. Over the weekend, the president’s own son performed a wounded sparrow act on Twitter, Breitbart and Fox acted suitably scandalized and Delta Airlines and Bank of America withdrew financial support of the show.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the political fence, the media has been aflame with defenses of Shakespeare’s 1599 political drama (Shakespeare makes it clear that the murder of Julius Caesar isn’t a good thing) as well as Oskar Eustis’ production for the Public (the director’s production notes include a warning: “Those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic methods pay a terrible price and destroy their republic.”)
At a time when stage productions outside of Hamilton rarely make headlines, it’s been edifying to see the art form do what it was set up to do since back in the days of Aristophanes and Aeschylus: make trouble. But because we’re not used to theater having this kind of impact, we’re left wondering, what now? “People talk about what theater does, but it’s rare that it actually hits a nerve,” says theater director and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Jonathan Moscone. “Here we are in a situation where theater is hitting a nerve and we don’t know what to do with it.”
But there are several things art can do in the face of such an assault on the freedom of creative expression. The most important is to stick up for itself.
Moscone has an interesting cautionary tale about the time he produced a production of Julius Caesar for the California Shakespeare Theater that speaks to this necessity. It was in 2003, when Moscone was near the start of his tenure as artistic director of the company. His take on Caesar -- like all productions of this play -- was politically charged, referencing the 1978 slaying of his father, San Francisco mayor George Moscone.
In preview performances, Moscone had the actor playing Brutus pull a gun and shoot Caesar, instead of stabbing him. This theatrical glance at real-life events -- the death of the mayor -- caused consternation among audience members in previews, Moscone says. “The thing that triggered this was literally a trigger,” Moscone says. “I had people run up to me and yell at me for doing that.”
Still relatively young in his role with the company, Moscone decided to replace the gun with a knife. “It was a decision I made at the time as a new artistic director,” Moscone says. “Would I do that now? No.”
A 2003 production of 'Julius Ceasar' at Cal Shakes, directed by Jonathan Moscone, featured L. Peter Callender as a Ceasar that recalled the director's father, the late George Moscone.
A 2003 production of 'Julius Caesar' at Cal Shakes, directed by Jonathan Moscone, featured L. Peter Callender as a Caesar that recalled the director's father, the late George Moscone.
Later in that same season, when audiences complained about a Cal Shakes staging of Measure for Measure which included an executioner wearing a George W. Bush mask, Moscone didn’t change course. “It’s a dangerous place to be,” Moscone says. “We should be doing this all the time.”
But there’s a certain peril in staging productions that make obvious political parallels between Shakespeare’s world and our own. Should they end up failing in their mission to get the message across, they fail all the more spectacularly. Which brings me to the second important thing theater should do at this moment, which is to more carefully consider its tactics.
When the Oregon Shakespeare Festival produced Julius Caesar in 2011 with a woman in the title role -- Vilma Silva -- you couldn’t help but have to balance Silva’s brilliant portrayal of a leader drunk on power with the murder of a female premier destroyed by the men around her. The production brought out all the complexities of Shakespeare’s play while making a strong feminist political statement without needing to resort to putting Silva in a Hillary Clinton pantsuit or Queen Victoria pearls.
The reason we keep coming back to Shakespeare and other great dramatists like him is because their messages about power, leadership and its undoing transcend the moment. They endure. So whether a director puts Caesar in a toga or a red tie ultimately doesn’t matter. If it’s a strong production, its resonance to today’s world should be loud and clear.
Sigh.
If only that were really the case. In the din of today’s media landscape, where many people draw their conclusions based on a headline or an opinion expressed in 140 characters or less, it makes sense, at one level, for a theater director who wants to make an impression beyond the confines of an auditorium to go for the bleeding obvious -- and put Trump, complete with gold bathtub and Slavic-accented wife, right there up on stage. After all, great art is subtle and rarely easy on the brain; understanding it requires patience, and who the hell has time for that? “Shakespeare demands breathing room and we as a nation are not breathing,” Moscone says. “We’re choking and everything is crisis responding.”
This reality causes Eric Ting, who took over from Moscone as artistic director of Cal Shakes in 2015, a great deal of concern. He notes that the problems for the Public arose when people took the one epic moment in the company’s production of Julius Caesar -- the grisly murder scene of the Trump-like Caesar figure -- out of context, unable to see the larger and more nuanced message of the whole play. “This is a single moment in a production of a great, classical drama,” Ting says. “What is missed is the context of that moment: that Julius Caesar is a play that says ‘violent means beget violent ends.’”

What’s a theater director to do? By presenting Shakespeare (or for that matter Bertolt Brecht, Suzan-Lori Parks or Caryl Churchill) in all its depth and subtlety, one risks reaching only fans of the performing arts, and the show tip-toeing quietly into oblivion. But when trying to grab the public’s attention with some kind of shock tactic that causes less than a moment of thought prior to eliciting a reaction, there’s every chance it will be misinterpreted.
Which brings me to my third and final thing that theater can do: It should never give up. What the hoopla surrounding the Public’s Julius Caesar teaches us is that this art form can make a great noise and send the corporate overlords into a tailspin. As I write, I wouldn’t be surprised if others among the Public’s sponsors stepped up to redouble their support of the company in the wake of Delta Airlines’ and Bank of America’s withdrawal.
And if the day should come when we end up in a nuclear wasteland, where all power is down and none of our electronic devices work, at least there’ll still be theater -- a few actors walking across a stage -- to bear witness, tell the important stories of our times, and spread hope.

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Why We Should Sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’s’ Obscure Fifth Verse
KQED Arts

March 3, 2017

L.A.-based history professor Stephen Mucher thinks the fifth verse of the national anthem
is the one we should focus on today (Photo: Chloe Veltman)
Go here to check out the full radio, text, photo and video package for KQED's The California Report and NPR's All Things Considered I created about the little-known fifth verse of 'The Star Spangled Banner' -- a verse which a Los Angeles-based history professor thinks is the one we should be singing today. 

You can also hear the radio story separately here: 


And here is a link to the video piece: 



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