Cherrie Moraga's latest play, Watsonville, which opens May 25 at Brava Theater Center, is about, among other things, a cannery strike that lasted two years and was organized primarily by Mexican immigrant women. Moraga is a Chicana playwright with a serious interest in "making radical change." "Who you are and where you stand is really about action," she explains. The current anti-immigration sentiment in the country horrifies Moraga. "A year ago the idea of a national 187 [the infamous California anti-immigrant proposition] was sci-fi -- now it's happening. Progressive writers should be able to anticipate if we keep our eyes and hearts open. But now it's so reactionary that I can't keep up. There's so much scapegoating, so much misplaced hatred."
Moraga combines her progressive feminist politics with an exploration of things spiritual. "I'm also interested in exploring issues of sexuality from a Chicana perspective," she continues. "Political consciousness reverberates in our whole life. I want to connect the spiritual, the sexual, and the material, and that connection is political." Call 487-5401.
I always find it interesting when theater, the most ancient of art forms (yes, I do believe that storytelling preceded cave painting), adds leading-edge technology to its mix of tricks. The Thrill Peddlers production of Clive Barker's Frankenstein in Love (at Bindlestiff Studio starting May 23) offers a backstage pass to the production process with its very own Website (http://www.mindspring.com/~thrills/). In addition to the high-techery, the play includes "a nude -- no pasties, no G-string -- fan dance choreographed by the legendary Carol Doda, plenty of laughs, and lots of blood," according to director Russell Blackwood. "I think that we can deal with the horrors of daily life by looking at horror on the stage," he says. "Looking at death makes us more comfortable thinking about our own mortality." Call 974-1167.
Opening night of Positively Twisted (May 22 at Josie's), Joseph Leonardi's solo trip from the dark ages of contemporary Iowa to the bright future of 2040, will benefit the People With AIDS Coalition. Call 861-7933. ... Of course you'd expect the San Francisco Mime Troupe to be particularly inventive when doing the fund-raising thing. "The Great San Francisco Treasure Hunt" takes place Sunday, June 2; for $35 you get to play sleuth for a day, solve obscure clues (e.g. "It ain't narrow; it ain't the truth" led the clever to the intersection of Broadway and Lyon), and compete for prizes. In past hunts participants met Sam Spade in the Market Street office where Dashiell Hammett worked as a private eye. Call 285-1720.