The SF Mime Troupe opens "Schooled" Saturday at Cedar Rose Park. Photo: David Allen Studia
The SF Mime Troupe opens “Schooled” Saturday at Cedar Rose Park. Photo: David Allen Studio

SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE It’s summer. It’s park time, which means it’s time for the annual production of the Tony-award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. This time, the acting ensemble takes on the question of education in its 57th production, “Schooled.” Who is it for and who pays for it? From their program notes: “Education. It’s like the weather: everyone has an opinion but nobody does anything about it. That’s how Lavinia Jones feels about her son Thomas’ new school, Eleanor Roosevelt High. Decades of funding cuts have resulted in old textbooks, crumbling classrooms, and underpaid teachers,  making Roosevelt exactly the sort of public school that has failed students time and time again. Isn’t it time for something… efficient? And efficient is exactly what Fredersen Babbit, from Learning Academy for Virtual Achievement (LAVA Corp.), promises to bring to the district. New Technology, remote learning, computer-generated teachers –LAVA promises to put the “virtual” in achievement! ” The Mime Troupe opens its 2016 season Saturday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m. at Cedar Rose Park at 1300 Rose St., near Chestnut. Music begins at 1:30 p.m. There will be a second performance, same time, same place on July 3. It will also play in Live Oak Park on July 9 and 10th at 2:00 p.m.and at Willard Park Aug. 20 and 21st.

Sebastion (BRANDEN THOMAS) and Flounder (AUBRI NO’EAU KAHALEKULU) convince Ariel (ANDREA DENNISON LAUFER) that there’s no place better than “Under The Sea” in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of The Little Mermaid directed by Scottie Woodard, performed at the Julia Morgan Theater now playing through July 31, 2016. Photo by Ben Krantz Studio.

MORE PLAYS TO SEE – There are two other new plays in town (not counting the great ones now playing at Aurora, Berkeley Rep, and Shotgun) Berkeley Playhouse is putting on a colorful and modernized production of “The Little Mermaid.” This production is multi-racial and changes up the gender of some of the lead characters prompting SF Gate to call it a “very Berkeley” production. It is playing July 2 to July 31 at various times at the Julia Morgan Theater on College Avenue.  The Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is putting on “The Marriage of Figaro” the 18th-century comedy byBeaumarchais which foreshadowed the French Revolution. This production has been adapted by Second City founder Bernard Sahlins. It will be performed weekends at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre, from July 2nd to July 17th at 4:00 p.m. There will be a special performance Monday, July 4th at 4:00 p.m.

Photo: Berkeley Paddling and Rowing Club

PADDLEBOARDING AT THE BERKELEY MARINA – It’s summer. Get wet! The Berkeley Paddle and Rowing Club is holding an open house and demonstration of various water activities on Sunday, July 3 at 9:00 a.m. There will be canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, Hawaiian outrigger canoes and surf skis for people to try. The club, located at the south end of Aquatic Park, is located in the Kenneth A. Hayes boathouse, which it rents from Berkeley. The club is home to elite athletes as well as those just wanting to enjoy time on the water. The club is located at the South end of Aquatic Park. Download driving directions here.

Fireworks night sky

FOURTH OF JULY AT THE BERKELEY MARINA – On the 4th of July the biggest party is at the Berkeley Marina from noon until 10:00 p.m.  Adventure Playground, open until 8 p.m., is where children can use hammers, nails, saws, and paint with parental supervision.  There’s live entertainment from noon until 9:30 p.m. with the sounds of Tito y Su Son de Cuba, The Queue, The Rusty String Express and the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West. Be dazzled by Troupe Tangiers and Sharifa’s Habibis belly dancers. Tucked around the beautiful marina discover an Afro Cuban Drumming Circle, a one-man band, steel drummers, face painters, and balloon twisters.  In Shorebird Park spend the afternoon with magicians and clowns on The Buddy Club Stage.

There will be food trucks and stalls, handmade crafts, free dragon boat rowing from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., live pony rides, a petting zoo, Nerf tag and Sumo Soccer near Skates, an inflatable bouncy area, mini-train rides, giant slides, and water bubble balls. The day culminates in the grand fireworks over the water near the end of the Berkeley Pier at 9:35PM, presented by the City of Berkeley. Viewing is best along Frontage Drive south of the Pier or from Hs Lordship’s parking lot. Vehicle parking in the marina is $15 for the day or you can ride your bike over the Berkeley bicycle overpass and use the free valet parking sponsored by AT&T, near Adventure Playground. Take AC Transit #51B from the Downtown Berkeley BART station and into the marina until 6PM. To leave on AC Transit after the fireworks, walk out over the freeway overpass to University and 5th St. The event is produced by Lisa Bullwinkel. Details here.

Don’t forget these other events previously featured on Berkeleyside:

Berkeley Public Library presents “Fat Positive” festival.
Aurora Theater’s “Master Harold … and the boys”
Shotgun Players’ “The Village Bike”

To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, be sure to check out Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events: it’s self-serve and free. 

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...