How many times can a teacher tell a story about failing to connect to students and cause you to laugh out loud? Turns out, the answer is often, because Al Letson has a natural gift as a playwright, performance poet, actor, public-radio host, and storyteller. His one-man, autobiographical account of a summer spent working with disadvantaged kids in Jacksonville, Florida, is a kaleidoscope of dark and light colors. Spoken and sung, he tells a no-middle-ground story of America’s dropout epidemic. Summer in Sanctuary doesn’t play it safe, either. And why should it, when the kids Letson profiles butt up against shame, pride, poverty, and death each and every day?
April 7 – 29, $20-35 sliding scale, $55 or $100 reserve seating. 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley, TheMarsh.org.
The East Bay’s alt weekly. Published since 1978 on the east shores of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Express features original local news reporting and coverage of events, music, arts and restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and other parts of the vibrant East Bay, a cultural epicenter of Northern California.