The Bonfire Makers

gather. create. transform.


WE GO BOOM! explored the impact of the tech industry on Oakland. Built through interviews, personal stories, physical improvisation, and original music, this interactive performance examined the questions:

  • How does the presence of the tech industry positively and negatively affect long-time Oakland residents and residents of color?
  • How is technology changing the way that we communicate and interact with our communities?
  • Why is there a lack of diversity in the tech industry?
  • Can technology be a tool for social justice?
  • Where do we go from here?

WE GO BOOM! centered around the opening of Uptown Station, a tech hub replacing the downtown Oakland Sears that is slated to open in 2016 (and which we now know will be occupied by Uber). Building up to an imagined ribbon-cutting ceremony, we examined the reactions of a wide swath of Bay Area residents and interspersed this narrative with real community testimony, as well as interactive, comedic, and experimental moments inviting the audience to consider the role technology plays in their own lives.

WE GO BOOM! premiered in March 2015 at the Temescal Arts Center and the Omni Commons. We later presented the piece at the UC Berkeley Graduate Studies building, followed by a panel/discussion with Damon Packwood, Program Manager at Hack the Hood; Lucy Richards, Javascript developer at Noora Health; and Iman Sylvain, a biology doctoral student and Black Lives Matter activist.

View a snippet of the piece and read our review in Oakland North. Interested in bringing WE GO BOOM! to your community? Contact us at

The play is amazing, and it shined light around the complexities of the issue.
— Nicole Dixon, longtime Oakland resident