October Online Theater and History Options

by Sheila McCormick

I wrote a short article about online theater options in the August Splash Pad News. Here is a theater update for October, to which I’ve added some local history options.


Dorothy Lazard

Dorothy Lazard, Librarian in the Oakland History Center at the Oakland Public Library, usually hosts a Fall History Series of Lectures at the Main Library. This year, in lieu of in-person gatherings, she instead will host four episodes of The Oakland Library Podcast “Check Your Shelf.” Here’s THE LINK.

October 7: An interview with the Editorial Team of the Oakland Heritage Alliance News

October 14: Filmmaker Cheryl Fabio talks about the Black Arts Movement and the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Inc.

October 21: Journalist William Wong talks about the history of Chinatown

October 28: Ms. Lazard makes a pitch for the East Bay COVID-19 Community Archive which is already accepting submissions of “stories, photographs, artwork, documents, correspondences, and more, to build a repository that will help future generations understand how the East Bay handled this challenging time.”

The Camron-Stanford House hosts Virtual History Happy Hours via Zoom on Thursday evenings.

October 15:  Of Gin-Slings and Timber Doodles – a history of Victorian-era cocktails.

October 29: Whispers from Beyond – apropos for Halloween, rumors of ghosts, spirits, and other-worldly energy at the Camron-Stanford House

Their past Happy Hour events can be found on their YouTube channel. I especially enjoyed Roland de Wolk’s presentation about Leland Stanford and Andy Carpentier’s presentation about restoring a Gold Rush Era cabin.

October 5, 7 pm: Contra Costa Civic Theater reading of  Welcome to Matteson, a play about reverse gentrification by Inda Craig-Galván.

October 7 – 11: The International Solo Fest at the Marsh – Ten- to sixty-minute solo performance pieces, via Zoom. $25 for a festival pass.

Beginning October 13, 5 pm: Just before the 2016 election, Berkeley Rep presented It Can’t Happen Here , by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen, adapted from the novel by Sinclair Lewis. Now they are reprising it, as a radio play, in 4 episodes available via YouTube, with live post-show talkback. Free · No registration required.

October 16 – November 8: Citizen Brain, by Josh Kornbluth, at Shotgun Theater. Monologist Josh Kornbluth was an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute at UCSF, where he filmed a number of short videos. Now he has expanded that work into a full-length monologue. I saw an early workshop version of this piece last fall. Highly recommended. Sliding scale, $8 to $40.


Sheila McCormick is an Adjunct Professor Emerita in Cal’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. Prior to her retirement in January 2016, she had a research lab at the USDA/ARS-UC-Berkeley Plant Gene Expression Center in Albany, studying the molecular biology of plant reproduction.

Sheila has been a frequent contributor to the Splash Pad News, beginning with a series of seven neighborhood walks – the first of which was posted in April 2017. She also regularly help with editing and serves in an advisory capacity.