26 September 2008

You may have read about this play in the SF Chronicle - if not, you should, and either way, you need to go. Anyone who is a parent in the east bay and struggles on a daily basis with their choices for schooling needs to see this. Not because it will answer any questions for you - quite the opposite. Because it will gut-wrenchingly highlight and magnify every hope and conversely every concern you have about the choices you make everyday, how those choices are effecting your children as humans growing up in this world, and ultimately will leave you realizing that no matter what you do, your child is going to have to question everything he/she knows, believes in, and was raised around.

Ryan, Sierra and I have a joke - we know that whenever we go to Berkeley around 3:30 or 4pm, we will run into "those crazy teenagers". Now this doesn't apply just to Berkeley High students - it applies to all high schoolers including those traipsing around Montclair Village around the same time. But the joke started with Berkeley High students because that's where we tend to spend the most time. Capoeira is in Berkeley, the best library ever is in Berkeley, my sewing machine/vacuum repair place is in Berkeley, we bought Ryan's bike in Berkeley, their City Camp program for two summers starts every day in Berkeley, sewing camp is in Berkeley, the farmer's market is in Berkeley, Spun Sugar-the only place I know of to get sheet gelatin-is in Berkeley, the annual Halloween store is in Berkeley - okay, you get the picture? And frankly, all but one of these listed places is within 3 blocks of Berkeley High. So we see these kids A LOT. They're not any crazier than any other teenager, but there are MASSES of them milling around. And they are a varied lot. Which is exactly the point of this play. And all your preconceived open-mindedness does not prepare you for the coming together of this varied lot. Think not only racial inequalities, but shades, sub-shades, and sub-sub-shades of how this plays out in an atmosphere and environment that prides itself on being so open-minded. I truly found the writing brilliant, poignant, and unbelievably entertaining. They've just extended their run through October 19 at Berkeley Rep. Please, please go see this play. Parental guidance: I would not find it appropriate for children below 7th grade.

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