Happy Monday, Berkeley.
Ever wondered what a hackathon would look like if it centered on theater rather than computer science? You’ll have your opportunity to find out Monday, thanks to the partnership between local playwriting incubator PlayGround and The 24 Hour Plays. Through the program, local artists are given 24 hours to write and produce an original play from start to finish. The six resulting 10-minute shows will be performed at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Theatre in Downtown Berkeley starting at 6:30 p.m. — tickets are $25 for students.
Speaking of students, it seems as though everyone I know in college is doing research, whether that means pipetting proteins in a wet lab or parsing through pages of historical documents. If you’ve ever been let down by fascinating research with a subpar presentation of the results, head to “Bear Slam” on Tuesday for some redemption. At 7 p.m., seven scientists will take the stage at the Chevron Auditorium in International House for a research slam — each scientist will have 10 minutes to present their research in an “understandable, creative and fun way,” according to the website. If that’s not enough of a draw, there will also be free drinks and refreshments, and audience members will have the chance to judge the slams and decide who wins first place.
Then Wednesday is the day for the more traditional: visual art. Walk over to ACCI Gallery on Northside to see its current exhibition, the centerpiece of the San Francisco Bay Month of Photography. “San Francisco Bay International Photo Show” holds the work of 30 photographers from across the globe, with topics ranging from street photography to fine art. If you’re in the mood for more, The Compound Gallery in Oakland will be exhibiting “Unquiet Form” by the first-generation Vietnamese American artist Ghost Ghost Teeth. The show will feature a site-specific installation of wooden structures mimicking his signature layered paintings, which incorporate the artist’s own background as well as the current cultural climate.
On Thursday, you might want to be at the Fox Theater to see British R&B and electronica powerhouse Blood Orange. But even if you don’t want to shell out up to $50-something for tickets, you can still get pretty close. Queue up Blood Orange’s Negro Swan as you take BART to the 19th St. Oakland station, and keep tunes such as “You’re Not Good Enough” or “Best to You” going as you explore Downtown Oakland.
Get to know the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” monument, which commemorates 25 global humanitarians, ranging from labor organizer Cesar Chavez to Iranian lawyer and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. The sculpture also features 14 local activists, including civil rights champion Fred Korematsu and a representation of an Ohlone woman.
Later, grab dinner nearby, whether that’s Peruvian ceviche and arroz chaufa at Tambo or ramen at Shinmai. If you feel like spending what you saved on concert tickets, splurge at Flora, which sits in the 87-year-old Oakland Floral Depot Building just across the street from the Fox Theater. The menu changes daily, but keep an eye out for recurring favorites such as the housemade burrata and a tangy dish of beets with horseradish cream.
Now, the Study Abroad Fair isn’t until Sept. 28, but if you want to get a feel for festivity from afar, take Caltrain down to Redwood City for Oktoberfest, the annual beer-filled Bavarian festival. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can enjoy drinks and dancing, as well as food such as German pretzels and bratwursts. The five-piece AlpinersUSA will perform authentic Bavarian music, including yodeling by lead vocalist Margot Turrell. Tickets cost $24 for those 21 years old and up or $17 for “non-drinkers.”
After all that terrestrial fun, Saturday is for sharks. Watch “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” — if you haven’t seen the first five movies of the franchise, they’re available on Netflix. Visit “Art/Act: Brian Skerry – SHARKS” at the David Brower Center, an immersive exhibition of the National Geographic photographer’s coverage of sharks around the world. And for a real road trip, drive about 2 1/2 hours south to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has about 14 species of shark in addition to a wide variety of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. While you’re there, you might have the opportunity to meet a Laysan albatross or watch a sea otter feeding. If you can’t make it all the way to Monterey, you can see sharks, otters, jellies and more through the aquarium’s live webcams.
Then Sunday, get to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for its “Added Value” event, for which one of the museum’s halls will be converted into a book sale. A variety of artistic events centering on books will also be featured — check out a screening of the 1966 François Truffaut film “Fahrenheit 451,” or listen to a reading by poet Michael Warr.
And while you’re surrounded by all those books, here’s something else to read: Visual art beat reporter Ryan Tuozzolo covered the Asian Art Museum’s new collection of art from the Mithila region of India, “Painting Is My Everything.” Find out how these artists use their paintings to “illustrate societal inequalities and hardships” and gain independence and recognition.
Until next time.