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Open Air catches up with L. Peter Callender - Peter Robinson on Lawrence Ferlinghetti

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe catches up with actor, director, Artistic Director of the African-American Shakespeare Company - and now also playwright, L. Peter Callender (pictured), and discusses his recent and upcoming theatrical activities. Plus, Peter Robinson reflects on the passing of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. 

Bay Area theater phenomenon L. Peter Callender is a native of Trinidad, West Indies. As an actor, he has worked professionally for over thirty years, after receiving his formal training at the Juilliard School in New York City; the Webber/Douglas Academy in London, England; and The Tadashi Suzuki Company in Toga-mura, Japan. Callender is an associate artist at the California Shakespeare Theater, and since 2009, has served as Artistic Director of the African-American Theater Company (AASC) in San Francisco. 

Among Callender’s recent theatrical undertakings is a production of Satchmo at the Waldorf at the American Stage in St. Petersburg, Florida, last month. Director was Callender’s long-time friend Ted Lange, perhaps best known for his role as bartender Isaac Washington in the ‘70’s tv-series The Love Boat.

Lange, who joins the conversation, actually has Bay Area roots himself. Born in 1948 in Oakland, he graduated from Oakland Technical High and San Francisco City College, before making it to Broadway for his debut in the musical Hair.

Satchmo at the Waldorf  takes place in 1971 in a dressing room backstage at the Empire Room of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Louis Armstrong performed in public for the last time four months before his death. Reminiscing into a tape recorder about his life and work, Armstrong seeks to come to terms with his long-standing relationship with Joe Glaser, his white manager whom he once loved like a father but now believes to have betrayed him.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Stage Company produced the virtual world premiere of Callender’s first play Strange Courtesies, about one family's search for truth and reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa. Strange Courtesies  explores the potential restorative power of truth telling, the significance of sympathetic witnesses, and the tasks of both perpetrators and bystanders in the TRC process. 

And of course we will talk about what goes on at the African-American Shakespeare Company in Times of Corona.

Plus, Open Air’s regular contributor and critic at large, Peter Robinson, discusses activities at Bay Area bookstores, and he commemorates American poet, painter, social activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who passed away on February 22 at age 101. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday, March 4 at 1pm, and archived thereafter at this location. Listen now or anytime…