Event highlights for the week of January 3, 2018.
The 23rd annual “8 Tens @ 8” Festival is one of the most popular and highly anticipated theater events of the year. With a selection of 16 Actors’ Theatre award-winning scripts, the 10-minute plays spotlight some of the best local actors and directors around. The plays are separated into A and B series nights, with eight 10-minute plays at, you guessed it, 8 p.m. A lot can happen in just 10 minutes. Short attention spans are welcome, in fact they are encouraged.
INFO: Shows run Friday, Jan. 5-Sunday, Feb. 4. Center Stage Theater, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. $23 senior/student, $26 general admission, $45 two-night package. sccat.org.
Davenport Beach Cleanup
January is a time of self-renewal, brought to you on the heels of the giving season. In the spirit of a brighter new year, let’s all take a walk on the beach, and exercise our back muscles as we stoop to pick up trash. A beach cleanup is one of the most enjoyable ways to give back to the community and boost your local pride. Join Save Our Shores and help rid Davenport’s beautiful main beach of plastic and all other unnatural detritus—and maybe even make some new friends in the process. Years from now you’ll tell the story of how you met: bonding over bottles and butts. Don’t forget to bring reusable work gloves, buckets, hats and a full reusable water bottle.
INFO: 9-11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 7. Davenport Main Beach, 446 Hwy. One, Davenport. 462-5660, saveourshores.org. Free.
Santa Cruz might just be the fungi-est place on the Central Coast. Some wait all year for mushroom week, others can’t wait that long and are bringing the fungi early. Rain dances to help this process along are appreciated. In anticipation of Santa Cruz’s 44th annual Fungus Fair (mark your calendars for Jan. 12), Artisans Gallery is showcasing local art centered around fungi during January’s First Friday, with several artists, including the dreamy botanically inspired watercolors of McKella Jo. There will also be some (legal) shroomy snacks available. Sure, you’ve seen and eaten them, but have you ever done this while simultaneously taking in the mushroom’s natural beauty through an artist’s eyes? After that, head over to Agency and take in ocean-inspired paintings by pro surfer Shawn Dollar, who began painting while recovering from a brain injury.
INFO: 6-8:30 p.m. Artisans Gallery, 1368 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. firstfridaysantacruz.com. Free.
‘The Essence Show’
Ten musicians and four choreographers from various cultural backgrounds collaborated on this one-of-a-kind African culture-based dance performance celebrating the “oneness of humankind through dance.” We can’t think of a better way. The show is sponsored by Cheza Nami, a nonprofit aimed at preserving and encouraging the appreciation of African culture through the arts, and melds a myriad of different African cultures together. It’s no secret that Santa Cruz is severely lacking in African culture and representation, and here is a great opportunity to learn more about it while witnessing a knockout performance.
INFO: 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. essenceshow.eventbrite.com. $20/$30.
Growing roses apparently isn’t as intimidating as it seems. Naturally, the Queen of Flowers needs a little advance love and care if you want her petals to bloom their best. Preparation is key when growing roses; you need to choose what kind of flower you want to grow, have the right fertilizer, and plan the irrigation and pruning. An eye for pests and disease is also handy, which are easy to prevent and deal with if you know what to look for. But hey, today’s hard work is tomorrow’s beautiful blooms, and while Santa Cruz’s rose game is already pretty strong, a few more roses to smell this spring doesn’t sound bad at all.
INFO: 9:30 a.m.-noon. Alan Chadwick Garden, Corner of McLaughlin Drive and Merrill Road
Santa Cruz. 459-3240. casfs.ucsc.edu. $15-$40.