Monthly Archives: September 2016

Costume Tours, Hands-On History, Bayview Stories, Author Conversations and More for San Francisco’s 2016 One City One Book: Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by Carey Perlof

September 20, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;


Costume Tours, Hands-On History, Bayview Stories, Author Conversations and More for San Francisco’s 2016 One City One Book:
Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by Carey Perloff


San Francisco Public Library is pleased to announce an exciting fall lineup of programs in support of this year’s One City One Book, Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by local author and American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff.


Cover image of Beautiful ChaosThe main One City One Book event on Oct. 6, will feature an engaging and lively conversation with author Carey Perloff who will talk about the importance of live theater in society and of studying the arts in education at the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. She will be on stage with Donn Harris, the executive director of Creativity and the Arts for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Harris, the former executive director of Oakland School for the Arts, and former principal of the acclaimed Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA) has returned to SFUSD to help realize the citywide dream of building out the district’s ArtsCenter in the Civic Center corridor.

Both Perloff and Harris are tremendous and bold visionaries who have built lasting institutions dedicated to the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. And both have a no-holds barred approach to expounding on their passions for the arts and for San Francisco, which is sure to make for an exciting on-stage event.

Among the other exciting One City One Book events:

San Francisco Theater History Walking Tour – Sept, 24, 11 a.m.4 p.m.

Join City Guide’s theater guide David Rachleff on a guided tour of San Francisco’s legendary theaters in the downtown area. Meet at the entrance to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Misison St.

Imprint City & Stage Coach – Sept. 29, 6:30 p.m., Imprint City, 1439B Egbert Ave., San Francisco. Join us at Imprint.City for a panel discussion with A.C.T.’s Community Artistic Director Tyrone Davis, Bayview actress, Mary L. Booker and performers from A.C.T.’s Education and Community Programs involved in A.C.T.’s Stage Coach program, which developed and performed Crack. Rumble. Fly: The Bayview Stories Project, a play inspired by Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. Panelists will discuss the creative process and the vital relationship between theater and community in a conversation moderated by Rhodessa Jones.

A.C.T. Costume Shop Tour – Oct. 5, 2 p.m. Meet at the Main Library Atrium. A.C.T.’s costume shop is a hive of energy and creative output where costumes are built, stored, and rented out for stage plays, musicals, and other theatrical types of events.  At the costume shop you can see the diverse array of tools used by our artists to create complex and historically accurate period costumes. Visitors will meet in the Main Library atrium and walk together to the Costume Shop on Market Street.

Hands-On History: San Francisco Theater History – Two Sessions: Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. & Oct. 12 at 6 p.m., Main Library, SF History Center.

An experience that brings San Francisco performing arts history to your fingertips. Get a close-up show-and-tell with San Francisco history through original manuscripts, newspapers, and photographs which document the city’s performing arts. A special highlight will be broadsides of Joseph Rowe’s 19th century circus, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. This exclusive program takes place within the San Francisco History Center and is limited to 30 participants. The behind-the-scenes event is led by our knowledgeable archivists, who will guide the tour of documents with anecdotes and San Francisco trivia while guests hold San Francisco’s treasured documents. Photography is welcomed and encouraged during the program. Pre-registration is requested, with limited space for walk-ins. Reserve your spot on Eventbrite.

Theater Critics Tell All – Oct. 11, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Hear from San Francisco Chronicle theater critic, Lily Janiak, San Jose Mercury News theater critic Karen D’Souza and more, in a lively discussion about the state of Bay Area live theater, moderated by Theater critics tell all panel: moderated by Larry Ellenberg, Ph.D., professor in the School of Theater & Dance at San Francisco State University.

Litquake: Carey Perloff at City Lights – Oct. 11, 7 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco.

Thursday at Noon Films – The Dazzling World of Performance Art – Oct. 13, 20 & 27 and Nov. 3, 10 & 17th, Main Library, Koret Auditorium.

Book Clubs at Mission Bay, Sunset, Ortega and Parkside branch libraries.

About Beautiful Chaos:

Perloff has penned a lively and revealing narrative of her 20-plus years at the helm of A.C.T., and delivers a provocative and impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today’s technology-infused world. Beautiful Chaos, published by City Lights Press, highlights Perloff’s personal and professional journey—her life as a woman in a male-dominated profession, as a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change—is a compelling, entertaining story for anyone interested in how theater gets made. She offers a behind-the-scenes perspective, including her intimate working experiences with well-known actors, directors, and writers including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Robert Wilson, David Strathairn, and Olympia Dukakis. Whether reminiscing about her turbulent first years as a young woman taking over an insolvent theater in crisis and transforming it into a thriving, world-class performance space, or ruminating on the potential for its future, Perloff takes on critical questions about arts education, cultural literacy, gender disparity, leadership and power.

About Carey Perloff:

Perloff, who is celebrating more than 20 years as the artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), is also an award-winning playwright and teaches and directs in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts program. A recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award, Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She is also a proud mother of two.

Visit for more information about programs, book club discussion questions and more, and start reading the book now.

Celebrate Middle Eastern Heritage at the Library

August 16, 2016

Media Contact:  Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Celebrate Middle Eastern Heritage at the Library

In recognition of the cultures and peoples stemming from the Middle East who reside here in the Bay Area, a wide variety of programs for all ages and exhibitions will be presented in August, September and October.  Programs include lectures, films, cooking demonstrations, performances, music, games and more at the Main Library and branches, with select programs offered at multiple locations.

Adult Programs (selected):

You Are Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution.  Ahmed Salah, co-founder and leader of street activists, discusses his book and the growth and failures of the Egyptian opposition.

Sept. 7, Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Rooms, 6 p.m.

Sept. 17, North Beach Branch, 1 p.m

Sept. 24, Parkside Branch, 2 p.m.

The History and Art of Bellydancing with the Sausan Academy of Egyptian Dance

The program explores the history and evolution of belly dance and discusses the various styles, including a live demonstration.

Sept. 10, West Portal Branch, 2 p.m.

Sept. 17, Richmond Branch, 1 p.m.

Arab Street Food by Reem

Vendor Reem’s will give a talk on Middle Eastern street food and the chefs who have inspired them, including a tasting of their breads and dips.

Sept. 25, Mission Branch, 2 p.m.

Sept. 7, Main Library, Latino/Hispanic, 6 p.m.

Sept. 17, North Beach Branch, 1 p.m.

Sept. 24, Parkside Branch, 2 p.m.

Film Screening: Caramel  – Discussion will follow this screening of Caramel (2008), in which friends and employees of a ramshackle beauty salon in Beirut look for love and romance.

Sept. 10, Golden Gate Valley Branch, 1 p.m.


Home Away from Home: Little Palestine by the Bay, curated by Najib Joe Hakim, opens in the Main Library’s Jewett Gallery on Aug. 27. The exhibition includes multimedia histories as well as black and white photo portraits of 27 individuals from the Bay Area’s Palestinian American community, the second largest community in the U.S.

Home Away from Home – Main Library, Jewett Gallery, Aug. 27 – Nov. 27

Related Programs:

Opening event:  Curator Najib Joe Hakim will discuss his work and the ties and aspirations of the Bay Area Palestinian American Community. Aug. 28, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Palestinian Poetry and Music Celebration. Arabic violin virtuoso Georges Lammam and poets Elmaz Abinader, Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis and Tarik “Excentrick” Kazaleh perform their work. Oct. 25, 6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: In Defense of Culture features the work of 50 artists and print makers from around the world, who created their works in commemoration and solidarity to support the booksellers in Baghdad, whose lives and others were irrevocably changed by a car bomb set off in their street in 2007.

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here – Main Library, Skylight Gallery, Sept. 17, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017

Related Programs:

Opening Event: Art as Activism, Art as Memorial. Five artists from the exhibition, including Art Hazelwood and Kahlil Bendib, will speak on the use of art for memorializing loss and activating resistance. Sept. 25, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here – Readings and author discussions with Deema Shehabi, Art Hazelwood and others.  Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room, Dec. 4, 1 p.m.

Related exhibition:

Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Transcendent Hope –City College of San Francisco Library. The exhibition includes artists’ books, broadsides and prints. Oct. 24, 2016 – April 16, 2017

Additional exhibit:

Absent, I come to the home of the absent celebrates the works of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Absent, I come – Main Library, General Collections, 3rd Floor, Sept. 2 – Oct. 31

Children’s Programs (selected)

Alison Faith Levy Sings Shalom!

Alison Faith Levy is known for her lively and interactive program of original tunes that get young children and families dancing and singing along.

Sept. 13, Anza Branch, 10:30 a.m.

Sept. 15, Noe Valley Branch, 4 p.m.

Sept 20, Sunset, 10:30 a.m.

Sept. 24, Marina Branch, 11 a.m.

Sept. 27, North Beach Branch, 10:30 a.m.

Arabic Dance with Heaven Mousalem

Arabic dance, also known as belly dance, balady or raqs sharqi, is one of oldest dance forms in the world.

Sept. 6, Presidio Branch, 11 a.m.

Sept. 15, Eureka Valley Branch, 3 p.m.

Sept. 22, Parkside Branch, 10 a.m.

Sept. 23, Mission Bay Branch, 4 p.m.

Sept. 30, Golden Gate Valley, 3 p.m.

Middle Eastern Cooking with Arezoo Fakouri

Bay Area cook Arezoo Fakouri loves cooking with flavors and ingredients from her native Iran and experimenting with other Middle Eastern flavors as well. For children 8 and up.

Sept. 25, Ortega Branch, 3:30 p.m.

Persian Dance Performance with Shahrzad Dance Company

Join Shahrzad Dance Academy in an engaging and education program on Persian Dance, an ancient art form shrouded in mystery.

Sept. 22, Bayview Branch, 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 22, Chinatown Branch, 4 p.m.

Sept. 24, Excelsior Branch, 11:30 a.m.

Sept. 24, Merced Branch, 2 p.m.

Teen Programs (selected)

Henna Garden Workshop

Henna Gardens is a Middle Eastern owned company that teaches the history and art of henna. Henna tattoos will be provided!

Sept. 10, The Mix at Main, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 12, Portola Branch, 3:30 p.m.

Middle Eastern Snack Trials

You may know pita, hummus and baklava…now let’s try some of the other tasty snacks of the Middle East. For tweens and teens, ages 10 – 18.

Sept. 7, Western Addition Branch, 4 p.m.

Film Screening, Koran by Heart

A global contest reading of the Quran by young Muslim children that takes place in Cairo, Egypt annually during Ramadan tells a coming of age story about Muslim kids in modern times. For ages up to 18.

Sept. 16, Bayview Branch, 4 p.m.

Adult Programs (selected)

Opium Sabbah World Music

Hip hop artist Opium Sabbah was raised listening to the rich, exotic music of India and North Africa.

Sept. 3, Western Addition Branch, 2 p.m.

Sept. 24, Bernal Heights Branch, 1:30 p.m.
For additional information about Middle Eastern culture and heritage, check out our reading list on the Library’s Website,, under Books and Materials, Read This! These programs about Middle Eastern Culture and many other related programs can be found at All programs at the Library are free. For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.