New play 'FSM' marks 50th anniversary of Free Speech Movement

Lyanne Melendez Image
Saturday, September 20, 2014
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The new play "FSM," relives the events that sparked the Free Speech Movement on the eve of its 50th anniversary.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It was one of the popular phrases to come out of the Free Speech Movement: "Don't trust anybody over 30. Don't trust anybody over 30."

In the fall of 1964, a student protest at UC Berkeley led to the birth of the Free Speech Movement. That was 50 years go. Next week, Cal will begin to celebrate one of its most noticeable legacies.

But this weekend, a new play called "FSM" celebrates the people who took part, including Mario Savio, the voice of the movement. The performances take place around the police car, which back then became the platform for speakers like Savio.

"I was friends with Mario during that period. He married somebody else first, and I'm his second wife," says Lynn Hollander with a laugh. She is Savio's widow. She decided it was time to bring the legacy of the free speech movement to the stage

She also performs in the production of "FSM" this Saturday and Sunday at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco's Mission District. Hollander says she wants people to know how the movement inspired students around the nation to oppose the war in Viet Nam and to being the woman's movement and the anti-apartheid.

"Are their times when questions of conscience are more important than questions of law?" - a line from one of the scenes.

Savio is played by actor Brady Morales. The music is performed by Savio's son, Daniel, who was almost 16 when his father died.

"Even though he is no longer with us, Mario Savio thought about this moment, how people would remember the free speech movement 50 years later," says Daniel.

Mario Savio had this idea that that would be long enough to take some sort of perspective. But he son says, "I think he would be a little sad about the way things have gone, but there are reasons to hope too."