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Press and Publicity

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Publicity

POLAROID STORIES BRINGS US INTO THE MODERN-DAY UNDERWORLD

Posted on November 13th, 2017

“STORY OF A GIRL WHO WALKED AWAY, AND NEVER LOOKED BACK….”

Playwright Naomi Iizuka radically adapts and retells Ovid’s ancient classic Metamorphoses, with homeless youth crafting stories both for their physical survival and for the transformation of their souls. In this contemporary collage of classical mythology and real-life stories of street kids, the play weaves a world where myth-making and storytelling are vital weapons for the characters to survive a system that erases and ignores them.

POLAROID STORIES mixes poetry and profanity – along with verbatim interviews Iizuka conducted with homeless youth and young sex workers – to tell a kaleidoscopic tale of young people living on the streets, fighting to escape the vice grip of poverty and addiction, and finding love and light within this darkness. POLAROID STORIES is a messy labyrinth of addiction, violence and the serpentine paths of the heart. Directed by Eric Hoff (who has directed in LA, New York, Chicago and most recently at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville), this production is a visceral and theatrical journey into the underbelly of street youth culture. Director Eric Hoff spoke about POLAROID STORIES in relation to his prior work on What’s the T? a docudrama by homeless and under-resourced youth in Boystown, Chicago. Hoff said, “POLAROID STORIES feels like a world so close and real to what we created with What’s the T? I channel the real-life stories of those young people every time I read Naomi's text, and try to imagine these folks - my friends - going through such difficult situations.”

Read the full press release.


WOKE!: A REVOLUTIONARY CABARET DEBATES, SCREAMS AND CELEBRATES RESISTANCE

Posted on October 18th, 2017

JOANNE GODRON, ALEXANDRA BILLINGS AND THE CSULB COMMUNITY CREATE WOKE!

Song, dance, and poetry are crafted together by CSULB students in collaboration with Alexandra Billings and Joanne Gordon to create WOKE!: A Revolutionary Cabaret. WOKE! screams in protest to the policies, actions and words that seek to devalue and discriminate. Director Joanne Gordon said, “We live in extremely challenging times. Our campus community feels under siege. WOKE! is our attempt to express our outrage, our passion, our hurt and our inspiration in the only way we know how – by making theatre.” WOKE! plays from November 2 - November 12 in the Studio Theater.

WOKE!: A Revolutionary Cabaret is the launch of Cal Rep’s 4-year project Devising Democracy. Artistic Director Jeff Janisheski said, “Our Devising Democracy series is about the force, the power, of people – devising, sharing, learning and connecting to audiences and other artists through the medium of theatre.” Confronting the burning issues of race, LGBTQ rights, and political, social, and economic oppression, WOKE! was devised by citizens taking an honest look at their families, their relationships and their beliefs. For director Gordon, the title of the piece came from the need to “let us all be alive to and aware of and eloquent about- what is going on around us.”

Read the full press release.


THROUGH THE LENS OF A WOMAN MACHINAL CHALLENGES AMERICA’S SOCIAL IMPRISONMENT

Posted on October 6th, 2017

A REINVENTION OF THE 1928 CLASSIC EXPOSES THE COGS OF OPPRESSION

Sophie Treadwell’s groundbreaking classic Machinal rips the façade of social customs away by forcing the audience to see life through the eyes of a young woman in the 1920s. Inspired by the real-life story of Ruth Snyder, Helen is the lens through which the mechanics of America are seen. Directed by The Speakeasy Society’s co-artistic director Julianne Just, Machinal “is what happens when we push against the prescribed roles of society and how much we force ourselves into those roles, and how we feel trapped by them”, said Just.

Helen is a working stenographer in an office filled with mechanized workers and her boss Mr. Jones, who repeatedly calls her into his office for “special tasks”. Mr. Jones proposes and Helen is disgusted by the idea yet torn between her freedom and the necessity of financial security for her and her mother. In a flash, Helen is coerced into marriage and a honeymoon in which she discovers the full commitment that is expected from her new husband. Straining in her prescribed role Helen finds liberation and motive in a fleeting love, who gives her a glimpse of happiness. She murders her husband to escape the life, the child and the home forced upon her; it is up to a jury to decide her fate.

Read the full press release.


CALIFORNIA REPERTORY COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2017 – 2018 SEASON

Posted on September 1, 2017

STORIES OF RESISTANCE AND REINVENTION AT CSULB

California Repertory Company announces productions for the 2017–2018 season. The season highlights stories of resistance and reinvention: resistance to the oppressing effects of misogyny, economic disparity and autocracy; and reinvention of the self through the power of storytelling and imagination. Artistic Director Jeff Janisheski said, “This season we are changing the direction of our theatre. We want to be a laboratory for our students to explore new ways of making work; and to realize our namesake Cal Rep, by being committed to California – addressing issues that are urgent to our local and regional communities and producing work by Californian artists.” With adaptations of classics, modern plays, and devised works, nine of these projects were written by women, and eight are by writers based in California. Cal Rep's new initiative, Devising Democracy, is the beginning of a four-year project “to tackle the crucial issues facing our nation...Devising is about creating a democratic space - in the rehearsal room and in our world” said Janisheski. Devising Democracy launches this year with two projects: WOKE! A Revolutionary Cabaret and The Dreamers: Aquí y Allá.

Read the full press release.


Cal Rep Ends 2016-2017 Season with Good Boys and True

Posted on April 24th, 2017

FAMILY DRAMA CONFRONTS UNSETTLING TRUTHS ABOUT SEXUALITY, IDENTITY AND MORALITY

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Theatre Arts Department presents Good Boys and True, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Hugh O’Gorman. This probing family drama about a high school senior involved in an explosive scandal plays April 28 to May 13 in the Players Theatre, ending CSULB’s eclectic season of self-discovery.

Brandon Hardy leads a privileged life. He is the handsome captain of the football team at St. Joe’s School for Boys. He's a perfect son, a standout student with Ivy league dreams. He's following in his father's footsteps and a mother's dream. Then the sex tape is discovered. Circulating through the locker room at St Joe's is a tape that pulls Brandon, his family and his clSassmates into a spiral of lies, secrets, and life-changing choices. Is it just boys being boys? When is a secret too terrible to even speak its name? Will Brandon stay true to his mother's dream or will he follow in the footsteps of prep school boys of the past?

Read the full press release.


CSULB Theatre Arts Interrogates Gender Roles in Modern Adaptation of a Class

Posted on April 5th, 2017

NORA SLAMS THE DOOR ON THE STATUS QUO & OPENS A WINDOW FOR SELF-DISCOVERY

Ingmar Bergman’s Nora, adapted and translated by Frederick J. Marker opens April 14 at California State University Long Beach Theatre Arts in the Studio Theatre. This lean and stripped down adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House sheds light on a world where independence is outrageous and feminism is scandalous.

Nora, a loving mother and devoted housewife, relishes in her marriage to her husband Torvald. When an old friend from her past arrives on her doorstep, the threads of her reality begin to come undone and Nora realizes that her past will soon resurface. Has Nora been keeping secrets from her husband, or has she been hiding the truth from herself all along? Nora tells the classic story of A Doll’s House in a fast-paced, modernized manner, which includes the infamous ’door slam heard around the world’, invoking countless debates and discussions regarding the plights of women since A Doll’s House first premiered in 1879.

Click here to read the full press release.


CSULB Theatre Arts Grapples With Race in Dynamic Coming of Age Musical

Posted on February 27th, 2017

THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN CHALLENGES CONVENTIONS

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Theatre Arts presents The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, with book, music and lyrics by Kirsten Childs and directed by Dr. Jaye Austin Williams. This imaginative and multifaceted musical follows Viveca, a black woman who hides behind a mask of cheerfulness while searching for success on the Broadway stage and for love in her life. Viveca pursues her dreams from 1960s LA to present day New York City, navigating through some of America’s most turbulent times. Playing March 10 to March 25 in the University Theatre, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin continues CSULB Theatre Arts’ “season of self-discovery.”

Click here to read the full press release.


CSULB Theatre Arts Kicks off Spring Semester with She Kills Monsters

Posted on Feburary 6th, 2017

A YOUNG WOMAN’S ACTION-PACKED JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

LONG BEACH, CA, January 2017 – California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Theatre Arts presents She Kills Monsters, written by Qui Nguyen, and directed by Amanda McRaven with movement by Julie Granata Hunicutt. This hyper-theatrical comedy playing February 17 to February 26 at the Studio Theatre kicks off an eclectic season of shows at CSULB.

She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes, a young woman who finds a notebook written by Tilly, her recently deceased younger sister. Age kept the two sisters apart in life, but after Tilly’s sudden death Agnes leaps into the fantastical world of Dungeons & Dragons in a desperate attempt to understand the sister she barely knew. Agnes stumbles into a journey of revelatory self-discovery, but as she dives deeper into her sister’s domain, the lines between reality and game begin to blur, clashing with family expectations and putting Agnes’s real-world relationships at risk. Agnes must decide what is most important – the memories of her family, or the possibilities of her own future.

Click here to read the full press release.


Revenge Tragedy The Duchess of Malfi Takes the Stage at Cal State Long Beach

Posted on November 8th, 2016

Duchess of Malfi Show Poster

ACCLAIMED SHAKSPEAREAN DIRECTOR DISSECTS CLASSICAL TEXT TO REVEAL RAW HUMAN NATURE

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Theatre Arts Department presents The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster playing December 2 to December 11 in the Studio Theatre on the campus of CSULB. The Duchess of Malfi, a macabre Jacobean play first performed in 1613, is directed by internationally-renowned Shakespeare teacher and director Rob Clare.

Set against the backdrop of a raw and exposed land, this production shares the bloody and evocative story of a widowed Duchess who is left in a prominent political position with great wealth after the death of her husband. When the Duchess and Antonio, a man in her service, confess their love for one another they are secretly married. Discovering their sister’s betrayal, the Duchess’s brothers are driven mad by greed and will stop at nothing to control their sister’s power, leading to mutual destruction. Click here to read the full press release.


Acrobatics and Dance in World Premiere of Elements

Posted on October 27th, 2016

Elements Show Poster

WRITER/DIRECTOR OF OFF-BROADWAY HIT "FLIGHT" FOCUSES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Elements tells a powerful story of humans and nature colliding through acrobatic physical theatre. Set against the backdrop of our modern world, Sally and Avi are two strangers stuck in their cardboard-cutout lives, never noticing one another. Enter the elements, who shake Avi and Sally from their daily haze, changing their lives and the world around them.

Click here to read the full press release.


Alexandra Billings and Joanne Gordon Team Up For Stop The World, I Want to Get Off

Posted on September 15th, 2016

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off Poster

MUSICAL PROVES THAT LIFE IS A CIRCUS WHILE BRINGING FOCUS TO LIFE’S TRUE VALUES

CSULB Theatre Arts Department’s University Players’ presents Stop the World, I Want to Get Off with book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, directed by Joanne Gordon. This quirky British musical features Alexandra Billings from Amazon’s Transparent as Evie and plays in the Studio Theatre on the CSULB campus October 7, 2016 through October 16, 2016. Click here to read the full press release.


Cal Rep Opens 2016-2017 Season with Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge

Posted on August 29th, 2016

A View From the Bridge Poster

CSULB CELEBRATES ARTHUR MILLER’S CENTENNIAL WITH TIMELESS AMERICAN CLASSIC

California Repertory Company (Cal Rep) at California State University, Long Beach announces the opening of its 2016-2017 season with Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, directed by CSULB alumnus Jeff Paul. The Broadway production of A View from the Bridge recently received the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Cal Rep’s staging of this timeless classic runs September 23-October 8 in the recently renovated University Theatre. This intense examination of human nature – the dangers of obsessive jealousy, xenophobia, and homophobia verses the inherent instinct for survival – was a powerful comment on current events when it was written in 1955, and resonates still. Click here to read the full press release.


CSULB Theatre Arts Announces 2016 – 2017 Season

Posted on July 14th, 2016

EXPLORE CULTURE AND HISTORY IN ARTISTICALLY DRIVEN THEATRE SEASON AT THE BEACH

The CSULB Theatre Arts Department has selected and announced the productions for the 2016–2017 season. The season was selected with aims to make an immediate and meaningful connection to contemporary audiences through the work of budding and veteran artists, according to Olivia Sather of the Season Selection Committee. “By including a variety of theatrical productions we allow something for everyone in a community that reaches beyond the students on campus into the culturally diverse city of Long Beach,” said Sather. Audiences this season can expect a variety of classic plays, contemporary comedies, and compelling dramas, including two rarely produced musicals and an original movement piece. Click here for more information about each show and to read the full press release.