Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Abigail McMurry, Acting President of Associated Students of Laney College, spoke against last-minute class cancellations at the May 14 Board of Trustees meeting.
Class cancellations, basic needs, and 'flying pigs' at 5/14 meeting for PCCD Trustees
Ian Waters, News Editor • June 1, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives
Melanie Dixon appointed CoA President
Melanie Dixon appointed CoA President
After two years of acting appointments, the College of Alameda will finally fill the presidency with a permanent hire this summer
Ivan Saravia, Staff Writer • May 23, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024
Archives

    ‘The 51–0hz’ an ode to Oakland

    The lights go up on a stage set with BART seats and a song opens the show: “Nothing is as it seems/ in the world of dreams.” It is accompanied, as is the rest of the show, by live percussion, involving beatboxing and a large plastic water-cooler jug. “The 51–0hz” is the current title of Laney College’s original theater piece performed as an open-process show on Oct. 30 and 31 and Nov. 1.
    The show has returned to rehearsals in anticipation of a 3-week run in its completed state in March 2015, accompanied by a 2-week run at the Shotgun Players’ Ashby Stage, which the Players will co-produce, according to Michael Torres, chair of Laney’s Theater Arts Department and director of the show.
    The piece is the brainchild of five Laney students, whose stories center around the experiences of young, female Oaklandites navigating a changing and troubled city.
    Mika, Anya, Lisa and Marisela are at the center of stories of graffiti, addiction, child abuse, corruption, cynicism and hope, forgetting and remembering.
    The scenes are woven together by a Greek tragedy chorus — a foursome of sassy singers who narrate the plot and taunt its characters throughout the play.
    And, as any transit rider knows, our world revolves around BART. The plastified seats reside at the back of the stage and form the bedrock of Mika, Anya, Lisa and Marisela’s stories, told by riders on a train stuck in the noman’s-land between 19th Street and MacArthur stations. 
    The complexity of the play’s structure runs the risk of being confusing but dodges that folly with grace, keeping an excellent pace and remaining easy enough to understand without spoon-feeding the audience.
    It was evident in the Nov. 1 performance that the Laney Theater Department’s latest opus blows many professional pieces way out of the water even in this preliminary stage of production. (This reviewer found herself wishing she could watch “The 51–0hz” again instead during a long, bored slog through ACT’s “Testament” on Nov. 6). 
    In an email, Torres commented that the intention is to shorten the piece to 50 minutes and possibly rename it. 
    Frankly, every one of the openprocess show’s 70 minutes contributed to the flow and meaning of the story, and in reality, any attempt to shorten the piece could make it difficult to understand. The set changes and the live sound effects highlight the fine handiwork of the Theater Department.
    The writing is also impressive and full of memorable one-liners. It oscillates from humorous to weird to depressing, all while maintaining an honest demeanor and avoiding some of the verdramatizations that are common pitfalls in theater.
    Theater is one of the best tools humans have to reflect their realities and their hopes and fears, and the Laney Theater Department has done a commendable job of carrying the torch with this latest piece.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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