Worth a Look: Immigrant stories, high-tech art and more

This week's A&E highlights

This week, hear the stories of Silicon Valley immigrants, check out art inspired by science and technology at the Pacific Art League and catch Palo Alto High School's tech culture twist on a Commedia dell'Arte play.


'Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys'

Between its status as an international technology hub, the pull of Stanford University and the attraction of year-round sunshine, Silicon Valley draws immigrants from around the world. That makes it a container for some incredible stories. This Sunday, Nov. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m., the Midpeninsula Community Media Center will host "Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys," an afternoon of true, dramatic tales told live by six community members who immigrated to the region.

Among this month's storytellers are a dentist, a submarine engineer, a nonprofit founder and a septic-tank installer. They'll be bringing stories from as far away as Bolivia, Turkey and Ethiopia.

The free afternoon event includes a reception and will be filmed as part of a nationwide online archive project, "Made Into America," which collects the stories of U.S. immigrants in order to document an integral part of our nation's history.

The Media Center is located at 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto. To reserve a seat, go to tinyurl.com/ob3rdko or email editor@madeintoamerica.org. To learn more about Made Into America, go to madeintoamerica.org.


'Science, Technology and the Future of Art'

Where does art end and science begin? That's one of the questions posed by the Pacific Art League's new exhibition. Opening Friday, Nov. 7, "Science, Technology and the Future of Art" explores the intersections between the two disciplines. Take for example Scotty Gorham's "Pulse," an interactive light installation that responds to the viewer's heartbeat by flashing in sync, or his "Pink Clouds," which offers passersby a chance to watch digital videos by scanning bar codes with their smartphones.

The show is curated by Gail Wight, an associate professor of art at Stanford who specializes in experimental media. Though many of the more than 50 works rely on digital media, the show also includes pieces in more traditional genres, including painting, drawing and sculpture.

The Pacific Art League is located at 668 Ramona St., Palo Alto. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Nov. 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The show then runs through Nov. 28. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, go to pacificartleague.org or call 650-321-3891.


'Server of Two Masters'

Yes, you read that right: It's "server," as in computer software. This week, Palo Alto High School's theater department opens a farcical production based on Carlo Goldoni's 18th-century Commedia dell'Arte play, "The Servant of Two Masters." Set in Silicon Valley, Paly's "Server" spoofs the high-tech culture of our region. Director Kathleen Woods says she saw an obvious connection between the chronically overworked and underfed Truffaldino of Goldoni's original and today's young computer programmers as they struggle to secure jobs. Writer Tony Kienitz (who last year co-founded the Palo Alto-based youth film and theater academy A Theatre Near U) wrote the adaptation, while Paly's theater students helped supply many of the icons of Silicon Valley culture referenced in the play.

"Server of Two Masters" runs Nov. 7 and 13-15, at 7:30 p.m. at Palo Alto High School's Haymarket Theatre, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. For tickets, go to palytheatre.seatyourself.biz, email palyboxoffice@gmail.com or call 650-329-3857.

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