Mark Jackson is recognized as one of the Bay Area's most adventurous and successful playwrights, but the pursuit of fresh challenges always carries an element of risk. Climbers sometimes slip. With Little Erik, his adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's rarely produced domestic drama Little Eyolf, Jackson slips badly.
Two productions new to San Francisco had that special aura about them: a piece of dance theater that attempted to retell a drama written by Sophocles in approximately 441 BC, and a contemporary drama which brilliantly demonstrated what happens when superb writing, directing, and acting combine to elevate a script into a miraculously poignant and deeply fulfilling event.
The Boston Marathon bombings forced many people to ask an age-old question. Is someone's behavior shaped by nature or nurture? Some of life's tragedies are undeniably due to natural cycles. Two shorts screened at the 2013 San Francisco International Film Festival demonstrated this process with a wry sense of humor.