Rising to an even-brighter new day, Under the Sun Studios held a relaunch party to introduce its new owners, Kevin O'Connell and Brian Matthews, this past Sunday.
For the last year or so, the small venue in Concord has been home to a variety of performing arts classes as well as Bill Chessman's original old-fashioned radio dramas.
"We'd heard that the venue was in jeopardy of being closed," says Matthews. "Kevin and his son had been taking music lessons there, and we didn't want to see another arts education venue get lost."
According to Matthews (a local musician and actor), he and O'Connell will continue offering music and acting lessons at the space as well as Chessman's radio dramas.
"We also want to make this a wonderful rental space for theater companies," Matthews adds.
The new owners have been upgrading the facility, which includes two classrooms, a recording studio and 45-seat performance space, to accommodate a variety of theatrical enterprises.
If the opening party is any indication, they are well on their way to making this a vibrant arts venue. The Oct. 27 opening featured eight local bands with musical styles ranging from folk to rock to pop and to alternative music.
John Mader of Music Camp Rocks helped organize the event. An accomplished musician, Mader has played with such groups as Steve Miller and Pat Benatar as well as several Broadway shows. The opening celebration also included a barbecue, contests and giveaways.
For more information on Under the Sun Studios, call 925-609-8100 or go to www.utsstudios.com.
Speaking of Chessman, the playwright and actor will present two radio plays (each lasting approximately 30 minutes) this coming weekend: "Woman on the Pedestal" and "The Adventures of Super-Speedy Man — the Complete First Season," at 8 p.m. Nov. 1-2, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 3, at Under the Sun Studios, 2956 Treat Blvd., Suite B, in Concord.
In the first radio drama, a famous sculptor's first wife dies under mysterious circumstances while traveling in South America. Returning from his honeymoon with his second wife, he creates an extraordinary sculpture of his first wife and brings into question the circumstances of her death.
The second drama features 13 episodes of Super-Speedy Man as he battles a dizzying array of villains.
Voiced by Paula Aiello, Cameron Aiello Dodd, Al Guaraglia, John Hale, Mary Kidwell, Michael A. O'Brien, Loralee Windsor and Wayne Wong, the radio dramas include original music written and performed by Brian Matthews.
For more information, contact Chessman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you happened to see Diablo Actors' Ensemble's production of "Driving Miss Daisy" a few years ago, you had the wonderful experience of seeing L. Peter Callender, Ann Kendrick and Tim Beagley turn in stellar performances in Alfred Uhry's touching portrayal of a stubborn, elderly woman and the driver who becomes her best friend.
Now, this same wonderful company along with DAE director Scott Fryer, is reviving the production thanks to Callender's African-American Shakespeare Company. The show runs Nov. 2-17, at the Buriel Clay Theatre, 762 Fulton St., in San Francisco.
For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or go to www.African-AmericanShakes.org. The preview performance on Nov. 1 is free with complimentary parking adjacent to the building.
The American Conservatory Theater brings Glen Berger's captivating solo drama "Underneath the Lintel" to San Francisco. Running through Nov. 17, the one-man show stars Academy Award nominee David Strathairn in this riveting ghost story about an eccentric librarian and a weather-beaten book. Lots of twists and turns make this a magical piece of storytelling.
"One of the things theater has the ability to do best is tell a suspenseful story to a live audience like a ghost story around a campfire," says director Carey Perloff.
"This story grabs you from its first moments and leads you on a wild, mysterious, circuitous journey around the world, and slowly you realize that what you are doing is traveling deep inside one man's soul."
For tickets, call 415-749-2228 or go to www.act-sf.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at email@example.com.