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Corona Radio Theater: Word for Word & The Appropriation of Cultures - SF Ballet - Peter Robinson

Joyce Kim - The New York Times

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe welcomes back members of theater company Word for Word, for their fourth appearance on the virtual stage of our Corona Radio Theater. They will be reading the 1996 short story The Appropriation of Cultures by American writer Percival Everett (pictured) - in Word for Word co-director Susan Harloe's words “a wickedly subversive story, about symbols and their meaning.” 

About The Appropriation of Cultures, Percival Everett has said: “Since telling the South Carolina State Legislature in 1989 that I couldn’t continue my address because of the presence of such a conspicuous sign of exclusion [the confederate flag], I have not really considered South Carolina.” 

Percival Everett (b. 1956) is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of nearly thirty books, including Erasureand I Am Not Sidney Poitier. He is recipient of many awards, among them the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Dos Passos Prize, the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. 

The Appropriation of Cultures will be performed live on the air, to be archived at this location, with permission of the author, by actors Cassidy Brown, Artis Fountaine, Safiya Frederick, Gwen Loeb, and David Moore. Directed by Rami Margron; music by Marcus Shelby. 

We talk about SF Ballet in Times of Corona, and about their series of recent online videos, with Christopher Dennis, SF Ballet’s Production Director. Chris has been with the Ballet for 10 years. He has a technical theater background and is also a lighting designer whose work is in the repertoires of ballet companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, West Australia Ballet, Coleman and Lemieux & Compagnie, ProArte Danza and Moonhorse Dance Theatre. In addition to his work in dance, he has designed lighting for the Shaw and Stratford Festivals as well as other regional opera, theatre and film productions.

Dennis started at SF Ballet as the technical director and oversees and is responsible for everything that happens on stage, with the exception of the choreography. Sets, costumes, makeup—you name it.

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, responds to comments and tips from listeners about how music can help in Times of quarantine; and as it is back to school week (even if it means schooling at home), he reviews a book titled 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way, by Geraldine Woods, a help for any student, or anyone writing essays, reports or journals. 

Open Air, with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday, August 27 at 1pm, to be archived at this location afterwards...

If you like today’s reading, Word for Word is pleased to announce a new podcast!

The WORD for WORDcast is debuting on Thursday, September 17th with E.M. Forster’s 'The Machine Stops'. More information at zspace.org/pod.