The Sit List: 5 ways to tell your story

Here are our suggestions for what to do in the next few days. All involve listening to stories and being inspired to tell yours.

Credit: Black Women’s History Improv

This week, listen to the love story of 19th century musicians Clara and Robert Schumann; learn about Black women’s history through improv comedy; be inspired to be creative during retirement; join family story time with the Berkeley Public Library; and hear stories of resilience at a benefit for food workers. 

WOMEN’S HISTORY In conversations about women’s history, we must remember the importance of intersectionality, the idea that gender, race, class, and other identities intersect to create unique forms of oppression. We can’t forget that women’s history includes Black women, who have been historically neglected or portrayed negatively. For Women’s History Month, Soul Sista Comedy and Marian Yesufu are presenting an hour-long comedy show exploring Black Women in history. Soul Sista Comedy has toured all over California and held residencies at Pack Theater, Tao Comedy Studio, and Upright Citizens Brigade. Have a laugh and learn a lot. Saturday, March 20. 7 p.m. General admission $5. 

LOVE STORY The world needs some love right now and this performance by the Gold Coast Chamber Players can certainly provide some warmth. “Love Story,” the fourth of six Main Stage Virtual Concerts in 2021, explores romantic music by the 19th century power couple, Clara and Robert Schumann. Their love story, like many, was imperfect. While Robert was supportive of Clara, he focused more on his own performances than supporting Clara’s compositions. This tension in the music will be explained by musicologist Kai Christiansen throughout the concert. The Bay Area Delphi Trio, including violinist Liana Berube, cellist Tanya Tompkins, pianist Allegra Chapman, and guest violist Pamela Freund-Striplen, will lead the performance. Listen to the music and feel the story. Saturday, March 20. 7 p.m. General admission $30.

Troy Duster and Russ Ellis
Troy Duster and Russ Ellis. Photos: Nancy Rubin and Judy Dater

A CREATIVE LIFE Cultivating creativity is a long-term goal. In “Troy Duster and Russ Ellis: A Conversation Exploring Creativity,” an event hosted by Ashby Village, two distinguished emeritus professors from Cal will share their creative journeys after leaving academia. After retiring, Troy Duster turned to ceramics, even operating a kiln in his own backyard for a time, and now fires his work at Berkeley Potter’s Studio. Russ Ellis, a founding member of Ashby Village, took up sculpting, painting, and singing. In this talk, you’ll hear personal anecdotes and reflections from the speakers and, if you arrive 10 minutes early, you’ll hear a recorded song by Ellis from 1958 along with a new rendition. Learn how to be creative for a lifetime. Sunday, March 21.


STORY TIME Families with young kids cherish story time, especially ones with our favorite local library. In Berkeley Public Library’s weekly family story time, you’ll be welcomed with a cheerful song followed by a series of interactive and colorful books about animals, counting, rhyming, and more. BPL hosts these story times every Wednesday on Facebook, and children ages 0-5, and their accompanying adults, can join these joyful events. The virtual story times are just as interactive and engaging as those before the pandemic with plenty of stories, songs, and finger play. Bring the whole family to the living room and have fun following along. Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Next one is Wednesday, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. Facebook Live.

Credit: Recipes for Resilience

STORYSLAM Bay Area residents have been through a lot this year, coping with raging wildfires, the coronavirus, unemployment, and racism. At this year’s digital Storyslam event, themed “Recipes for Resilience,” you’ll have an opportunity to listen to true stories from food workers of the Bay Area. 100% of the proceeds from Storyslam will go towards the Real Food Real Stories Resilience Fund, which provides microgrants to food workers, like farmers, chefs, business owners, and hospitality employees, who have been impacted by the pandemic and the wildfires this year. The evening’s storytellers include Chef Sarah Kirnon, organizer and sommelier Vinnie Eng, farmer Rudy Jimenez, Nomtipom Wintu ethnobotanist Sage LaPena, and shepherd and volunteer firefighter Ruthie King. Stay in and hear them out. Thursday, March 25. Tickets are $25.