The Sit List: 5 events that spark joy in Berkeley

This week, watch a contemporary adaptation of The Seagull, attend the Bay Area Book Festival, and sip and sketch with an artist-engineer. 

Credit: UC Berkeley’s Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

THE SEAGULL Looking for an irreverent remix of a theatrical classic? Check out the play, Stupid F##king Bird, written by Aaron Posner and directed by Christopher Herold for UC Berkeley’s Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. The play is “sort of adapted from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov,” says the department’s website. In the play, an aspiring director rebels against the tradition of his mother’s generation, while a young actor goes head to head with an aging celebrity to catch an acclaimed writer’s attention. Come to this limited digital run and explore questions of “love, loss, and the eternal (and elusive) pursuit of happiness.” Streaming April 24-May 1. Free and open to the public.

BOOK FESTIVAL It’s time for the beloved Bay Area Book Festival, a selection of stimulating, entertaining and educational literary events for the whole community. The virtual fest will kick off with “See No Stranger: A Radical Vision for Mending our World,” where Jamilah King will interview Valarie Kaur on her new book about hate crimes, racial profiling and immigration detention. On Sunday, you can attend an event with the novelist Kazuro Ishiguro, the author of Remains of the Day and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017, who will share about his first book after winning the prize. Explore this slate of events that cover topics that are invigorating for the Bay Area and beyond. May 1-9. The opening event at 7-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 1,  is free. Prices vary for other events. Check website for schedule and fees.

VIETNAM WAR For the 46th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center—in partnership with the Asian Health Services Specialty Mental Health Division, the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, Eastwind Books of Berkeley, and more—will be honoring two Vietnamese authors. Quế Mai, author of The Mountains Sing, and Thi Bui, author of the illustrated memoir The Best We Could Do, will be in conversation with Philip Nguyen, president of the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations. The event will also include a mental health presentation and wellness exercise. Support the work of these important Asian authors and stand with the Asian community. On Zoom and YouTube Live. Free. Saturday, May 1, 5:30-6:45 p.m.

MARIE KONDO After a year of staying inside and collecting objects and dust, it’s time for some spring cleaning. What better way to organize your homes than Marie Kondo’s KonMarie method. With its trademark consideration of whether items in your house “spark joy,” the KonMarie method has taken the world by storm since Tidying Up with Marie Condo was released in 2019. In an event hosted by Berkeley Public Library, Jenna Carlsson, a certified KonMari consultant, will teach us the basics of the method. In “KonMari 101: How to Organize Your Home So it Sparks Joy,” Carlsson will help everyone from beginners to experts learn to let go of clutter. Clean your house, declutter your life. Thursday, May 6, 2-3 p.m.

SIP & SKETCH Interested in honing your drawing skills? Check out the SIP (Shelter in Place) and Sketch class from Rhythmic Cultural Works. Bill Jeng, an artist and engineer, will lead a Zoom workshop on the fusion of art and science. He will demonstrate how he sketches and draws from the perspective of an engineer. You can bring your own sketchbook and draw along and you can interact with Bill as he demonstrates his technique. Participants are encouraged to bring a fun drink or cocktail as they engage in their artistic practice. You can come back at 6 p.m. every Friday to join Bill at Rhythmix. Free but donations to Rhythmix encouraged. Fridays, 6-6:30 p.m.