When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
"A country road. A tree. Evening." So go the opening stage directions of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, one of the most important plays of the 20th century. But if the set description seems minimal, Tides Theatre's interpretation of them is anything but. Director Jennifer Welch says the set (designed by Richard Colman) will be a fuchsia tree against a black-and-white background, together with an angular, industrial soundscape, by Jon Bernson -- an unusual stamp on Beckett's existential "tragicomedy" and a bold beginning for a new theater company. Welch founded Tides with Cary Cronholm Rose and Ann Hopkins, and the three chose to inaugurate the company with Godot because of the challenge it poses. "Almost everyone has read the play, and then when they see it, it doesn't live up to their imagination," says Welch. "I wanted to do a production that would live up to mine." This production stars Keith Burkland and Jack Halton as Vladimir and Estragon. It will tour local Veterans Administration hospitals as part of Tides' mission to use theater to heal. For Welch, "this play is about what happens next, which is what soldiers who return from Iraq and Afghanistan deal with." Godotisn't about the war; it's about "what happens after the war."
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: March 22. Continues through April 14, 2012