The conflict of faith and reason -- and what lies at the center of our universe -- are at the center of "The Life of Galileo," the classic play by prolific German author Bertolt Brecht that opens March 22 at the Masquers Playhouse, 105 Park Place in Point Richmond.

"Armed with a telescope and a questioning mind, Galileo incites a war between reason and faith that challenges his own integrity," notes the Masquers publicity, which calls the work, originally written in the 1930s, "a spellbinding lesson in the consequences of genius."

The Masquers are presenting a translation by English playwright David Hare, in performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through April 27, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees set for April 7 and 14.

Bruce Coughran directs the cast of Georgie Craig, Miranda Craig, Laura Domingo, Bruce Kaplan, Bill McClave, Simon Patton, Stanley Spenger, Matthew Surrence, John Terrell and Campbell Zeigler. .

Tickets are $22 each, available online at www.masquers.org or by calling 510-232-4031.

A special matinee performance that includes dinner at the nearby Hotel Mac will be held at 2 p.m. April 21. Tickets for the special event are $50 each with proceeds benefiting the all-volunteer theater company.

VOTE FOR TEACHER GRANT: Madeleine Rogin has made it into the next round of the Great American Teach-off, meaning she is still in the running for a $10,000 grant she can use for her kindergarten class at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito.

The field is down to six finalists in the national the competition sponsored by online social platform GOOD (www.good.is) and the University of Phoenix.

"We want to use some of the money to restore a local frog habitat right next door to our school, at Canyon Trail Park," Rogin says. "We also want to partner with an elementary school in Ghana, West Africa in order to help with school supplies and basic equipment for their school as well as build cross-cultural exchange and cross-cultural communication."

The competition pares the field by two contestants each week based on online voting until the winner is named. Once you have registered you can vote once a day at http://kto6gato.maker.good.is/projects/7998?sort=266.

EGG HUNTS: A Spring Egg Hunt Extravaganza will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 30 at Willard Park, 2720 Hillegass Ave. in Berkeley. Admission is $5, for attractions that include a petting zoo; spring bunny visit; carnival games and prizes; arts, crafts and activities; and egg hunts for ages 2 to 9.

  • El Cerrito holds its annual Egg Hunt at Arlington Park and Clubhouse, 1120 Arlington Blvd., at 10 a.m. March 30. "Come early so you won't miss the start. The hunt is over quickly."

    The hunts for eggs and candy will be held by age group at the rain-or-shine event, which will also feature a bunny visit.

  • The annual Albany Preschool Cooperative Spring Fair is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 30 on the lawn at Memorial Park. The day features crafts, games, food, music, egg hunt and 10 a.m. visit from the Spring Bunny.

    WEST COUNTY NOTES: The Supporters of the Theater Arts at El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave., are hosting a fundraising performance of the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" at 7:30 p.m. March 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. March 24 in the Performing Arts Center. This will be the first student musical production at ECHS since 1991, as well as the school's first musical in the new theater.

    Tickets at the door are $10 adults, $5 students.

  • Gun safety legislation will be the topic when the El Cerrito Democratic Club meets at 6 p.m. March 26 at the (Northminster) Presbyterian Church, 545 Ashbury Ave.

    The featured speakers will be El Cerrito Police Chief Sylvia Moir and Mark Chekal-Bain, district director for Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

    The program, open to the public, will cover pending state gun legislation.

    The club notes that Moir "has been actively consulting on a series of bills in the California State Senate, with 10 separate bills currently in committee review."

    Skinner, meanwhile, has introduced a bill requiring additional reporting of large sales of ammunition.

    After the speaker presentations and question-and-answer period, the club will consider possible endorsements and other actions.

    Details: ecdclub.org.

  • Spring is here and the El Cerrito Trail Trekkers have announced a schedule of free seasonal walks, starting with a two-hour, four-mile Sunset-Moonrise Hike on the Bay Trail at 6:30 p.m. March 26. Bring a flashlight and meet Tom Gehling at the Rydin Road entrance to Point Isabel Regional Park for a walk to the Richmond Inner Harbor at Shimada Friendship Park. Heavy rains cancel.

    Details: Dave Weinstein, 510-524-1737, davidsweinstein@yahoo.com or www.ectrailtrekkers.org.

  • The advantages of rainwater harvesting as a conservation technique will be the topic of a free public discussion when the group SPAWNERS meets at 7 p.m. April 3 in the meeting room of the El Sobrante Library, 4191 Appian Way.

    "Tapping the Sky: In the Bay Area and Beyond" is the title of program featuring Kat Sawyer

    of the Oakland Rain Barrel Program as speaker and SPAWNERS coordinator Femke Oldham showing examples of unique systems now in use elsewhere.

    Details: 510-665-3538 or femke@thewatershedproject.org.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.