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The Invisible Line – SF Mime Troupe: Fear of the Dark: ‘The Good Cop’ – Peter Robinson

Lawton Lovely - SFMT

This week on Open Air, Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe talks with Emanuel Rotstein and Ron Jones about the U.S. premiere of the documentary The Invisible Line. As part of Open Air’s Corona Radio Theater we present Episode 3, Fear of the Dark: The Good Cop, of the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s summer podcast series Tales of the Resistance. And Peter Robinson shines his unique light on cultural affairs from around the Bay Area. 

We raise the virtual curtain of this week’s Open Air Corona Radio Theater for the third installment of Tales of the Resistance, a nine-part series of original political comedy radio plays by the San Francisco Mime Troupe

This week’s episode, titled Fear of the Dark: The Good Cop, brought to you ‘horror’-style, features MAGA hat wearing, right-wing immigrant Primo, who is tormented by his racist fears, and haunted by his hate when he’s caught in a protest for justice turned riot.

We talk to German film director Emanuel Rotstein and former Palo Alto history teacher Ron Jones about the U.S. premiere of The Invisible Line, a new documentary about one of the world’s most famous social experiments-gone-wrong, which took place at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California, in April 1967. 

Rotstein’s one-hour documentary The Invisible Line – Die Geschichte der Welleis the first in-house production of A+E Networks Germany’s Crime + Investigation (CI) Channel and it tells the story of “The Third Wave”.  This social experiment in fascism was conducted by high school history teacher Ron Jones with his class of 10th-graders, to illustrate how the German population could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War.

In a matter of days, the experiment began to spin out of control, and the story has attracted considerable attention over the years through films, books, plays and musicals, and it serves as a teaching tool, to facilitate discussion of those uncomfortable topics of history, human nature, psychology, charismatic leaders, group behavior, intolerance and hate.

In The Invisible Line, Jones looks back on the experiment 52 years ago: “I should never have carried out the experiment and put my class in such incredible danger. I crossed the invisible line and enjoyed my power, just like Stalin, Hitler or Trump today”, said Ron Jones at a recent presentation of the documentary in which the timeless aspect of the experiment from 1967 plays a central role.

The Invisible Line premieres 7:30pm, Saturday, August 8 on MarshStream, followed by an audience Q&A with Jones, Rotstein, and Stephanie Weisman, founder and artistic director of The Marsh.

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, shares some Engaging Armchair Travel books by Bruce Chatwin, Jan Morris and Pico Iyer. And for some Real Travel, he suggests an escape from the city and a coastal drive through Stinson Beach and Bolinas, for a hike at Point Reyes. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe will be broadcast live on Thursday, August 6, at 1pm, to be archived at this very location afterwards…