Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Jazzschool Young Musicians Program Performances

5pm to 7pm, California Jazz Conservatory
2087 Addison St Berkeley, CA 94704

The Assassin - Hou Hsiao-Hsien

The Assassin

Hou Hsiao-Hsien,
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan,
(105 mins)

Winner of the Best Director prize for Hou Hsiao-hsien at the 2015 Cannes film festival, The Assassin is "a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie" (Variety).

7pm to 8pm, Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St, Berkeley

It Rains on Our Love - Ingmar Bergman

It Rains on Our Love

Ingmar Bergman,
(95 mins)

BAMPFA Student Committee Pick!
Two young people try to protect a fragile love on society's margins in Bergman's early look at adolescents in crisis, infused with a surprising warmth and optimism.

Screening in Theater 2; regular film ticket prices apply

7:30pm to 9pm, Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St, Berkeley

Mallory Ortberg reads from The Merry Spinster. With special guest Charlie Jane Anders

Mallory Ortberg reads from their darkly playful new book, The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror. Featuring special guest Charlie Jane Anders, author of the Nebula Award winner, All the Birds in the Sky.

About the Book

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from the beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, "The Merry Spinster" takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg's eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg's boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg's oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.

Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

Bed time will never be the same.

Mallory Ortberg is Slate's "Dear Prudence". Ortberg has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic and is the co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. Ortberg lives in the Bay Area with their laptop and their cat.

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, out now. She's the organizer of the Writers With Drinks reading series, and she was a founding editor of io9, a website about science fiction, science and futurism. Her stories have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,, Lightspeed, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, and several anthologies. Her novelette "Six Months, Three Days" won a Hugo award.

7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA

Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava

Drew Dir, director
Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman, sound and score

Shadow puppetry, live music, and immersive visual effects combine to tell the magical story of two elderly sister lighthouse keepers separated by death, in Manual Cinema's charming Ada/Ava. The Chicago-based performance collective's "exquisitely precise piece of visual storytelling" (The Guardian, London) evokes the supernatural world of the New England gothic, where the living and the dead commingle in an exploration of melancholy, loneliness, and sisterly love.
$68. 642-9988. cal

8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Playhouse, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA


David Milnes, music director
Ann Moss, soprano
BERG Sieben frühe Lieder
MAHLER Symphony No. 7

8pm to 10pm, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley

Fandango Jarocho: Son Jarocho Jam Session

FREE – Donations of any size are welcome and greatly appreciated!
Enjoy a lively evening of son jarocho music, dancing, and zapateado- bring your dance shoes and instruments, or just come and enjoy the music and dance! There is no entrance fee, but any monetary donations are accepted in support of programming at La Peña.

Son Jarocho is a lively traditional art form from the southern Mexican state of Veracruz that sits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.It is a lyrical and danceable music genre that formed in the melding of three cultures: Arabic-Spanish, African and indigenous Mexican.  It is at the same time highly improvised and highly structured-filled with complex poly-rhythms and musical dialogue in its dance, song, poetry and music.  The basic instrumentation of the son jarocho includes the jarana jarocha, guitarra de son (both guitar-like instruments) and zapateado (percussive footwork).  Regional variations include the harp and various percussive instrum (View Full Event Description Here:

8pm to 11pm, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA, 94705, United States


HowellDevine, the massively talented NorCal trio, became the first blues band Arhoolie Records (Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton) signed in 27 years. Triple threat talent Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, voice) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past.

HowellDevine breaks from the norm, providing rich and complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago.

8pm to 10pm, The Back Room 1984 Bonita Ave. Berkeley

Chris Smither

A profound songwriter, Chris Smither draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets, and philosophers. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. "Smither is an American original - a product of the musical melting pot and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world."-Associated Press. His latest album, Call Me Lucky, offers commentary on the human condition and raises the bar when it comes to reflective songwriting. He is joined by David "Goody" Goodrich on guitar and Billy Conway on drums.

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
$30 ADV / $34 DOOR (plus fees)

8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704

Theater: All in the Timing: Short Comedies by David Ives

Join us for an evening of four one-act comedies drawn from the collection of award-winning playwright David Ives, and directed, designed and performed by TDPS students. Ives's offbeat sketches mix the witty and the wise-cracking, the surreal and the satiric, and the poetic and the perplexing. The show opens Thursday, March 15, 2018 and continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus. Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2pm.

The four pieces take on the absurdity of being alive and the possibilities of human connection:

Time Flies - directed by Angelina Steshenko
English Made Simple - directed by Ceylan Ersoy
The Universal Language - directed by Tanvi Agrawal
Sure Thing - directed by Carmel Suchard

Time Flies follows two mayflies on their first date. They are interrupted by Sir David Attenborough, who informs them that their lives only last 24 hours. A one-night stand quickly turns into a mid-life crisis, as the brokenhearted bugs try to find a solution. "My hope for the audience, " says Director Angelina Steshenko, "is that they'll think about how lucky we are as humans to get more than one day to live and we shouldn't waste any of those days."

In English Made Simple, Jack and Jill meet at a party and proceed through a series of revealing relationship vignettes-punctuated by a solemn narrator who offers grammatical insight into what each person is really thinking as they speak. Director Ceylan Ersoy says, "The first time I read this one-act, it was as if I were reading dialogues I've had in my own life - a brutal revelation of what actually goes on in a daily human interaction. The stage reflects the truths that we avoid, and the reason it's so funny is because we see ourself in the characters."

The Universal Language follows a shy woman with a stutter as she places her faith in a language tutor who promises to teach her the (made-up) universal language "Unamunda." Almost entirely scripted in absurd gibberish, this one-act is gleefully silly and strangely profound as the two discover a true connection. "My goal," says Director Tanvi Agrawal, " is that audiences will walk away thinking about the many nuances and complexities that hide below the surface of `normal' human behavior. I want them to be perplexed at how it's possible to communicate a story without conventional language."

Sure Thing cheekily explores the many possibilities of conversation. Would-be couple Bill and Betty meet at a coffee shop and attempt to connect, continually stumbling or winding up in a dead-end. But every time they blunder, a merciful bell resets the conversation, resulting in a second, third, or even fourth chance to make a good impression. "The beautiful message within each of the four David Ives plays brings forward a little quirk about human relationships," says director Carmel Suchard. "I think audiences will leave with a smile on their face."

Tickets - Students and Seniors, Cal Staff & Faculty: $10 (ID required), General Admission $15

8pm to 9:15pm, Durham Studio Theater (Dwinelle Hall)

Berkeley Talks: W. Kamau Bell

Program: Cultural commentator, radio and television host, and comedian W. Kamau Bell combines
humor with astute social commentary. The Berkeley resident and self-proclaimed "blerd"-or, black nerd- is host of the Emmy-winning CNN series United Shades of America, where he travels the country, engaging diverse subcultures on contentious issues like immigration, white nationalism, and gang violence. At this hometown appearance, Bell discusses his career, his podcast empire, and his recently published first book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell.

8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Hall