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A.C.T. on Corona Radio Theater: ‘The Headlands’ - SF Symphony: CURRENTS - Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue


This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts in Times of Corona, we welcome to the virtual stage of our Corona Radio Theater, members of the American Conservatory Theater, performing an excerpt from The Headlands, a mystery play by Bay Area native and Obie Award–winning playwright, Christopher Chen

In The Headlands, Chen dives deep into his San Francisco roots to create a propulsive, thought-provoking 21st-century Noir. We see true crime fan Henry Wong investigate the ultimate cold case: his father’s unexplained death. As he digs into the SFPD evidence, he’s haunted by the myths and misdirections of his own family history. 

A full production of The Headlands will open A.C.T.'s In Person-season in the Spring of 2021. It will be directed by A.C.T.'s artistic director and Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon - who joins the cast after the reading to talk about A.C.T. in Times of Corona.  

We talk with conductors Michael Morgan and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, hosts and curators of CURRENTS, part of the San Francisco Symphony’s 2020 summer programming. 

CURRENTS consists of a four-part video series with companion podcasts, highlighting Bay Area classical music’s changing and symbiotic relationship with vital influences and influencers in Chinese, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Mexican cultures. 

Release of the four-part series started July 23. The first two episodes, Enter the Pipa and Bay Area Blue Notes, are already available online. Upcoming are From Scratch, about Oaklands Hip Hop culture; and ¡Viva México!, about Mexico’s multi-generational musical culture.

Plus, we talk about the upcoming production of Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, which opens Pear Theatre’s 2020-21 season, with actors Carolina Morones and Gabriel Montoya. The production was filmed live on stage at The Pear Theatre in Mountain View and will be presented in digital format from August 14 through September 13.

Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, by American playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, offers a multigenerational look at war through the eyes of a Puerto Rican family, when nineteen-year-old Elliot, a recently anointed hometown hero, returns from Iraq with a leg injury and a difficult question: Will he go back to war a second time? 

Open Air, with host David Latulippe; can be heard live on Thursday, August 1 at 1pm. This episode will be archived at this location afterwards.