The Sit List: 5 September events to help you thrive during the pandemic

See a play about marriage, view art and craft exhibits online and gear up for the Berkeley Public Library’s star-studded children’s reading series.

Hilary Hesse, Malcolm Rodgers, Karen Offereins, Matt Weimer in Custom Made Theatre’s “Happy Marriage.” Photo: Jay Yamada

CRAFT AUCTION Art is a powerful way to invigorate and inspire communities. The Craft Gives Back Auction for Justice features the work of local BIPOC artists creating sustainable work. Clothing designer Jenny Fong of Modern Shibori and jewelry designer Marja of MGG Studio team up in these difficult times to help small businesses and local communities.

The proceeds from the auction will go towards Oakland-based Planting Justice, an organization dedicated to cultivating food sovereignty and economic justice. Taking place exclusively on Instagram, Craft Gives Back will sell pieces from Ladha Jewelry, scarves from Modern Shibori, sustainable fashion from Lacson Ravello, and more. Beautiful designs for a good cause? Count us in. Sept. 18-20.

HAPPY MARRIAGE If you’re looking to keep the sparks flying (in spite of the weather), look no further than How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, a play by Sarah Ruhl about sexual awakening. In the play, two married couples meet a younger acquaintance who is in a polyamorous relationship with two boyfriends. The married couples question their relationships and test the limits of monogamy by inviting the woman and her lovers to a New Year’s Party. The production originally ran in January and February at the Custom Made Theatre in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the play “awakens something carnal.” Curious? Check out the pay-what-you-can screening online Sept. 18-20. Tickets range from $10-50.

THRIVE IN PLACE This year has been a rough ride between the global pandemic and protests highlighting structural racism. The Abrams Claghorn gallery located on Solano Avenue in Albany is hosting a socially distanced tour of their latest show, Thriving in Place. The show focuses on the theme of resilience and features artists like Demetrius Philip, who captured a stunning photograph of a woman at this year’s Juneteenth. Artist Jerry Takigawa is contributing a mixed media piece that commemorates the loss experienced by his family at the Japanese internment camps. Come out and book a safe tour—this show will move you. The exhibition runs through September 30.


READING IS INSTRUMENTAL Reading is crucial to a child’s development. When you pair words with music, you can make reading time both educational and fun. Berkeley Public Library Foundation and the Berkeley Symphony are teaming up to launch a new digital children’s storytime every Friday. Kids will listen to their favorite stories while being serenaded by professional musicians. The series will feature an all-star lineup of storytellers including author Maxine Hong Kingston, comedian and actor Andy Samburg, Rita Moreno, the actress, singer and dancer with an EGOT,  and Berkeley Symphony Music Director Joseph Young, and more. This storytime will be an entertaining and educational treat for kids and parents alike. Free. Fridays at 11 am. Begins on September 25 on Facebook Live. https://www.facebook.com/berkeleypubliclibrary/posts/10157679460260914

BERKELEY REP WORKSHOPS Acting on-screen requires an entirely different set of skills than performing in person. Acknowledging our new reality, Berkeley Rep is offering workshops that focus on acting during the pandemic. In their class Self-Tape and Virtual Audition Mastery, you’ll learn the skills to book the gig since companies across the nation are opening calls for self-taped auditions. You’ll learn how to make your tape look professional with tips on equipment and how to execute virtual auditions and callbacks with perfection. They also offer the class Film Acting on Zoom to help you develop your theatrical chops on screen. Show up and learn how to succeed. Classes start at bundles of 2 for $170.

Don’t forget about these other events featured in Berkeleyside:

Walk the paths of North Berkeley and find the hidden art
Big Screen Berkeley: Stream a documentary about Pepe the Frog
Read a remarkable illustrated field atlas of California’s forests