Eureka Day

Spreckels Theatre Company, Rohnert Park
Runs through September 22, 2019

Brilliant. That’s the word that popped into my head at the end of Eureka Day, presented by Spreckels Theatre Company in Rohnert Park. Absolutely brilliant, timely, prescient, smart, and utterly captivating is this relatively new play by Bay Area playwright Jonathan Spector. It’s also touching, heart-wrenching, and even unsettling in its unsparing observations of current times. Spreckels’ production features a terrific cast and crisp staging to match, and is a definite Don’t Miss.
Val Sinckler as newcomer Carina.
Val Sinckler as newcomer Carina. Photo by Jeff Thomas.

Spector’s play, set in a private school in 2017 Berkeley, starts with a small group of parents tapped to serve on the school’s steering committee, led by headmaster Don (Jeff Coté). There’s Suzanne, who has served on the committee the longest, played with steely Earth-mother goodness by Sarah McKereghan; and Meiko (Eiko Yamamoto), pliant and thoroughly committed to the school’s vision. Eli (Rick Eldredge) can barely stop doing his yoga stretches long enough to interject his opinions, and newcomer Carina (Val Sinckler), a savvy black lesbian whose race and perceived economic status are referred to as desirable elements for the committee’s diversity and inclusiveness.

Initial exchanges make you think, This is So Berkeley, with discussions around gender pronouns, terms like “transracial adoptee,” and cluing Carina in on the committee’s devotion to consensus decisions. Don likes to end each meeting with a reading from the poet Rumi. But then the bomb is dropped, when a letter arrives from the health department that one of the school’s students has contracted Mumps, and all un-vaccinated students must immediately be quarantined. . . .

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Sonoma County Gazette:
Eureka Day