Molecular and Cell Biology 90A, Section 2

Exploration of the Performing Arts Scene in and Around Berkeley (1 unit, P/NP)

Professor Jack Kirsch
Tuesday 5:00-6:00, 621 Stanley Hall, Class number: 46587

The purpose of this seminar is to introduce incoming students to the wonderful variety of high quality performing arts opportunities mainly on the Berkeley campus. This freshman seminar grew out of a series that was previously entitled “ Sampling the Performing Arts at Berkeley,” which had been offered about six times. The funding level was modest and restricted our choice of performance venues to the Berkeley campus. Nonetheless, we experienced four performing arts events each semester that involved a classical film at Pacific Film Archives, a theater production at Zellerbach or Barestage, a dance performance usually at Zellerbach, and a classical music concert at Hertz or Zellerbach Halls. 

The instructor has secured very generous funding that now allows additionally some opportunities to attend major off-campus venues such as SF Opera, SF Ballet, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep and others. Each student will have at least one opportunity to visit one of these internationally recognized venues. There is no cost to the students for the tickets. Every student will give one 25-minute presentation over the course of the semester.  

Instructor Bio

I taught and did research in biochemistry and organic chemistry at Berkeley for many years, but always found some time for serious reading, attendance at concerts and the theater.  I formally retired several years ago and have now reversed those areas of focus.  I taught freshman seminars devoted completely to the performing arts from 2011-to the present.  I regularly attend about 100 performances a year in Bay Area theaters and concert halls.  Please feel free to contact me at for more information.

Faculty web site: