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Arts & Culture

Word for Word: ‘The Islanders’ on Corona Radio Theater – Music in Place – Ragazzi Boys Chorus

Mark Leialoha

 (Unfortunately due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to post audio for this week's episode.)

This week on Open Air, KALW’s live radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, we welcome back to the virtual stage of the Corona Radio Theater: Theater Company Word for Word with their reading of The Islanders, a story of unexpected friendship, danger, and reconciliation - and a road trip in Ireland, by Andrew Sean Greer, the San Francisco Pulitzer Prize winning writer.

Word for Word premiered The Islanders as a staged reading during a 2006 Litquake event, and decided to take the production on a tour of France in 2011. Andrew Sean Greer, who joined Word for Word on tour, wrote this: "I can’t tell you how transformative the experience was of seeing one of my own short stories turned into a Word for Word play....  To see your words come alive!  It is better than any film adaptation— because it is hardly an adaptation at all!  It is more akin to being inside the mind of someone reading your work.” 

Greer lives in San Francisco, was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel Less, and he is the author of The Story of A MarriageThe Confessions of Max TivoliThe Path of Minor Planets, and The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.  

Word for Word is renowned for bringing short stories from the page to the stage, fully theatricalized. The Islanders, by Andrew Sean Greer, features Paul Finocchiaro, Stephanie Hunt, Delia MacDougall, Joel Mullennix, and Nancy Shelby. Directed by Sheila Balter, with sound from Joshua Raoul Brody. First published in The New Yorker, 2004.

We check in with musicians Rod Marymor and Michael Hatfield, about their initiative Music in Place (www.musicinplace.org), established by a core group of Music Educators - Music/Video Techies, Legal, Finance, and Business Professionals – who are also accomplished musicians -  to provide assistance to the suddenly displaced and struggling Bay Area Musicians Community.  

Plus, we talk with Kent Jue, Executive Director and Artistic Director Designate of Ragazzi Boys Chorus, about how the Grammy-winning Silicon Valley chorus, which has 251 members aged 6-18, is rehearsing remotely and continuing to work on improving their singing skills despite sheltering in place. Jue also talks about how boys who love to sing can join the choir—Ragazzi is holding virtual auditions…

Open Air with host David Latulippe, live on Thursday, 21 May, 2020 at 1pm