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Guns At Churches; Florida Education Standards; Pain Management; 'The Cubans' Play

Ashley Alvarez's Christy gestures for silence as she takes a frightening phone call in Miami New Drama's world premiere of 'The Cubans.'

On this Tuesday, Feb. 4, episode of Sundial:

Legislative Session Update

Guns at places of worship? That question's being debated during this year’s legislative session. A number of bills filed could expand where Florida residents are allowed to bring concealed weapons. Jim Saunders, a reporter with News Service of Florida, has been following gun-related bills closely and joins Sundial for an update.

Florida Education Standards 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently proposed the “Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking” or B.E.S.T. standards, as a replacement for Common Core, a controversial set of academic standards that determine what students learn in each grade.

Common Core has been used in Florida since 2011. The new B.E.S.T. standards would change how students approach math and English and require all students to take courses in financial literacy and civics. WLRN education reporter Jessica Bakeman joins Sundial ahead of the vote next week by the Florida Board of Education.

A Look At Pain Management 

A 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found one in five Americans suffers from chronic pain, which means they feel pain most days or every day for the past six months.

In National Geographic's January issue,“Scientists are unraveling the mysteries of pain” by contributing writer Yudhijit Bhattacharjee reports on new discoveries of pain management — without the use of opioids.

“Changing the state-of-the-mind research has shown that you can alter the pain and you can lessen the pain,” Bhattacharjee says. “When people are sad or depressed people tend to feel pain more.” 

Bhattacharjee and Dr. Dennis Patin, a pain management specialist at University of Miami Health System, join Sundial to discuss how new discoveries could help South Florida patients who deal with pain. 

‘The Cubans’ At The Colony Theater 

“The Cubans,” a world premiere play presented by Miami New Drama at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, centers around family. In the opening act, attendees are sucked into the lives of a Cuban family that lives in Miami as they prepare for a celebratory dinner. 

“There’s so many stories that our parents didn’t share with us,” says Ashley Alvarez, the lead actress of the play. “A lot of my Cuban history I’ve gotten from books or documentaries.” 

The play dives into the complexities of this Cuban family and the generational divide that raises points of tension between the children and their parents. Alvarez joins Sundial to talk about the production. 

"The Cubans" runs at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., through Feb. 16. Read the Artburst Miami review by theater critic Christine Dolen.