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Corona Radio Theater: MarshStream International Solo Fest - Berkeley Rep - Composer Brian Baumbusch

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe welcomes to the Virtual stage of our Corona Radio Theater, artists from the MarshStream International Solo Fest, the Marsh’s first-ever digital global festival, running now through October 11. The Festival features performers aged 16 to 79 from around the world, including Russia, Scotland, Israel, Canada, and Australia, as well as some of The Marsh’s fan-favorites. 

The Marsh’s founder and artistic director Stephanie Weisman has selected a number of performers from the International Solo Fest for Open Air’s Corona Radio Theater to present excerpts from their shows. 

In A One-Man Show Skyler Cooper (pic 2) talks about growing up as a Baptist minister’s daughter who was afraid to tell her parents that she liked girls, didn’t believe in God, and desperately wished to become a man – which he eventually did;  Marga Gomez (pic 3) tackles generational divides in Not Getting Any Younger,  interweaving commentary with hilarious life vignettes; Russian comedian Igor Meerson(pic 4) reflects on stereotypes about the US and the West, and shares his childhood experience in the Soviet Union, as well as life in modern Russia and elsewhere; and Rhonda S. Musak (pic 5) tells a story about overcoming learning disabilities in an excerpt from Rhonda Badonda: The Adventures of a Girl with a Pain in Her Brain.

From the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, we talk with Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer and stage director Lisa Peterson about a new adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ novel, It Can’t Happen Here, that will be presented as a radio play in four episodes, starting Tuesday, October 13. 

Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here  follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. In 2016 Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel; one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. 

Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director and much of the original cast as a radio play, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. The audio drama is being offered free to organizations across the country. 

Plus, we talk with local composer Brian Baumbusch, who was recently commissioned by the UC Santa Cruz Wind Ensemble to write a remote recording work called Isotropes, which will be featured on a new Other Minds album scheduled to be released later this month. 

Isotropes  is specifically created for musicians of varying instrumentation to record at home, with the help of a click track and whatever recording equipment is available. 

The album will also feature another of Baumbusch's works called Tides, about the impending climate change impacts on the Bay Area.

Open Air with host David Latulippe; heard live on Thursday, October 8 at 1pm, and archived at this location afterwards. Listen now or anytime…