1. COMES AROUND
Local playwright and actor Mike Sears likes to tell people that When It Comes is based on events from his life. Then you read the synopsis of the play: A folktale with music about Buck and Erma, a young, optimistic, blue-collar couple who build a house only to discover they need the moon to make it complete. They begin a journey to retrieve the moon, one that will test the very fabric of their love.
So we asked Sears straight up: How much experience does he actually have in retrieving the moon?
"I chose the folktale format because a folktale deals in universal themes," says Sears. "The dramatic question that I wanted to explore was how does a person navigate the end of a dream that they had for themselves."
For Sears, that dream was the one of becoming a parent with his wife, Lisa Berger, who serves as co-director of When It Comes. They first tried to conceive the old-fashioned way, then tried to adopt, but ultimately came to the decision that it was just not meant to be. This makes When It Comes—which premieres in workshops at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, at the Studio Theatre at University of San Diego (5998 Alcalá Park)—arguably Sears' most personal work to date. With help from a Creative Catalyst Grant from the Old Globe Theatre, Sears recruited a who's-who list of local actors for the play, as well as musician Clinton Davis to compose an original score and local puppeteer group Animal Cracker Conspiracy to add fantastical shadow puppets.
"It's very much a combination of music, images and dialogue," says Sears. "Part of the grant was that we had to do some kind of public presentation, but the hope is that people will see the heart of the piece on a smaller scale and that will lead to continued development."
In addition to the performance on the 11th, there will also be a performance on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2 and 7 p.m. The performances are free, but reservations are recommended by calling the Old Globe box office at 619-234-5623. theoldglobe.org.
2. MARKET PRICE
Now that Black Friday is over, it's time for holiday shoppers to regain their dignity. Piggybacking off of its current exhibit, Made in America, the Mingei International Museum (1439 El Prado) is hosting Mingei Holiday Market with items made only under spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, peruse and purchase jewelry from the likes of Jack Boyd Studio, textiles from Lookout & Wonderland, ceramics from Studio Kotokoto, homegoods from Nostrum and many more. Nature and houseware mashup Tend Living will also be there giving a demonstration on terrarium building. To top off the patriotism, Made in America-themed cocktails and food samples by Café Mingei Manager Jeff Venier will be available. Entry is free, and Mingei Museum members get 10 percent off one item. mingei.org
Anyone who's seen the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary Inocente may already be familiar with the fantastic work of ARTS (A Reason to Survive). The National City-based organization has provided music, art and writing programs for young people for well over a decade, and the Young Artists in Harmony concert and art show on Saturday, Dec. 12, is a particularly great way to see the inspiring results of these efforts. Held at 2 p.m. at the ARTS facility in National City (200 East 12th St.), the afternoon includes original paintings and poetry from ARTS students. The concert is particularly notable, as it will feature musicians from local chamber music organization Art of Élan performing originally composed pieces from ARTS students. Entry is free, but feel free to donate while you're there. artofelan.org