There is still something new under the sun. City Garage, the locally lauded and ambitious theatre company at Bergamot Art Station, is launching a brand new play reading series.

This free series takes place the second Monday of September, October, November and December, testing out new material being considered for future production.

The first play is called [almost equal to] by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, a new work from Sweden that takes a personal look at global economics and the human cost of inequity. In October, the company introduces “Grimly Handsome” by Julia Jarcho, and in November “Gunnar Cowboy Poet” by Jeffery Atik.

Attendance is free but reservations are requested. RSVP to

Local Filmmaker

Satie Gossett made a splash in 2015 as part of a three-person directing team filming in three separate locations that became the first iPhone film to compete in the Short Film category at Cannes. Now he’s back with another short film, and it’s making a qualifying run for consideration in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards.

“Forgiveness” tells the story of a young black student invited to compete in an essay contest sponsored by the President of the United States. He writes about slavery and asks the President to apologize for it.

In reality in 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives issued an apology to African Americans for the institution of slavery and the Jim Crow laws that for years discriminated against blacks as second-class citizens in American society.

But the film is an allegory, says Gossett, that he hopes will “start a conversation around slavery and America’s role in the slave trade, and ask how reconciliation can take place between African-Americans and the United States.”

There are 5 more screenings through September 13 at The Landmark Theatres in West L.A. Here’s the ticket link:

Unexpected Music

Jacaranda presents music described as “mostly missing from the cultural life of Los Angeles.” Concerts showcase mostly living composers but span many eras and always are built around a connecting theme.

Upcoming 2016-17 concerts feature works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, a special 70th  birthday tribute to California composer John Adams, renowned contemporary conductor/composer Pierre Boulez, Arnold Schoenberg, Olivier Messiaen, and a drum summit with Steve Reich’s music.

Most concerts take place at the architecturally and acoustically stunning First Presbyterian Church on 2nd Street in downtown Santa Monica. Subscriptions for the season are available now at


Another adventurous local music group is starting its 2016-17 season.

Kaleidoscope is a conductor-less chamber orchestra that offers open seating, a pay-what-you-can model and the opportunity for anyone in Los Angeles to experience classical music by a professional orchestra regardless of means.

Beethoven, Janacek, Samuel Barber, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Poulenc, Prokofieff and more are among the concert offerings. Like Jacaranda, Kaleidoscope performs at Santa Monica’s First Presbyterian Church. They also perform for free in underserved communities, as well as schools, hospitals and homeless shelters.

For details on the season, dates and tickets, visit


“The True Cost” is about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The documentary asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing.

See it for free (with RSVP) if you’re a Santa Monica resident, high school or college student with I.D. or a member of Sustainable Works. A panel discussion follows the screening with Taryn Hipwell, CEO of EcoDivas and Lorrie Ivas, Professor of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Santa Monica College, and other experts in the field.

“The True Cost” screens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 29 at The Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave. RSVP here:


Two Santa Monica charities are teaming up to present a play featuring actors with blindness and musicians with autism.

CRE Outreach [Theatre By The Blind] and Rex & Friends have created “A Reason To Love,” a play exploring the space between disability and what’s possible when communities come together.

The live-music play takes place at “Kitty’s and Curls,” a hair salon, where characters take their seat in the barber’s chair and share their loves, losses and challenges with the community of customers and employees.

The preview show on October 19 is free to charities with advance registration via email to

Regular performances take place on October 19 and 20, October 26 and 27, and November 2 and 3 at Magicopolis, 1418 4th St., Santa Monica. Tickets are just $25, reserve by calling 310-902-8220 or visit


This Saturday, a group exhibition of artwork by veterans, including a career retrospective of photography by Ken Hackman, “The Godfather of Air Force Photography,” takes place at the West L.A. Veterans Home.

The 2nd Annual Phil Stern Art Show Fundraiser honors Stern’s memory. He got his start as combat photographer and later created iconic portraits of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe among other celebrities. When he turned 95, he donated 100 of his images for permanent display at the Veterans Home.

Work by eight veteran artists will be on view and on sale, including Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Nick Ut. A portion of the proceeds will support those with special needs at the Veterans Home.

This fundraiser takes place Saturday, September 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Veterans Home, 11500 Nimitz Avenue on the VA campus. For questions, send email to:

Sarah A. Spitz spent her career as a producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica and produced freelance arts reports for NPR. She has also written features and reviews for various print and online publications. Contact her at