Maybe space is the place

What do you get when you mix Sun Ra’s interplanetary “cosmic philosophy” with funk music and the decline of the auto industry? We Want the Funk, a rustbelt lullaby on the one! It’s a hot brand new new play written by NEA award-winning playwright Idris Goodwin, developed and presented by UCSB’s Theater & Dance Department for this year’s Launch Pad production. A moving and, well, funky exploration of the intersection of the personal and the socio-political in the lives of workers laid off by “Big Auto” in the early 70s as they deal with love, drugs, the Vietnam war, race, labor activism, riots, and just how to get by. There’s a little bit of religion, a spaceship and a lot of music (soundscape by Randy Tico) in this perceptive and ultimately hope-filled journey through a rough period of US history, one that is still playing out today in our ever-shrinking “globalized” world. (click on images to make ’em big) Photos © 2016 David Bazemore