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CSULB Theatre Arts News

We are Proud to Present... is "Phenomenal"

Posted on March 15th, 2018

Proud to Present Photo
Photo by Keith I. Polakoff

Read the 22 West's review by Lilly Nguyen

"A meta-theatrical piece that asks its audience to simply come along for the ride as a cast of six navigate the line between history and the present."

Dreamers: Aquí y Allá shows the Art of Resistance

Posted on February 22nd, 2018

Dreamers Logo
Photo by Keith I. Polakoff

Dreamers: Aquí y Allá is the talk of Los Angeles County. Check out these reviews, feature articles, and television appearances.

Read the OC Weekly's review by Joel Beers

"This is the most important play you will ever see."

Read The Grunion Gazette's preview article by Emily Thornton and read their review by Chris Carpenter.

"This is the play of the moment..."

Read the 22 West Magazine's feature article and review of the play by Lilly Nguyen

“Dreamers: Aquí y Allá” humanizes DACA recipients, who account for around 1,000 students on campus and nearly 800,000 people nationwide, to educate people and provide a sense of belonging to its audience."

Read the Daily 49ers' feature article and review of the play by Samantha Diaz

"You can hear the quiet sniffles of the students slowly realize that this unfamiliar place is their home as well as America. They belong here and there..."

Read the LA Opinions's review

"Una de las actrices de la obra que viajó el año pasado a México con el grupo de universitarios para la preparación de la obra, Natalia Caraballo, pone en perspectiva el tema de los 'soñadores'. "

Read the LA TACO's review by Erick Galindo

"Development on Dreamers: Aquí y Allá began more than a year ago in conjunction with CSULB California Repertory Company as is based on stories from 160 Dreamers who participated in CMSC’s study abroad program. "

Read the feature article in CSULB Newsroom

Read the feature article in Sintesis

Read the feature article in Azteca Digital

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Read the feature article in NTX

Read the feature article in BI Noticias

Read the feature article in the Long Beach Post

Watch the news story on Univision Noticias

Watch the news story on Telemundo

CSULB Theatre Arts Graduate Student Wins Student Research Competition

Posted on February 22nd, 2018

MFA Performance/Acting Pedigogy Student Thomas Trudgeon competed in the CSULB Student Research Competition and won first place for Outstanding Research in Creative Arts and Design. Trudgeon was awarded a grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs grant for continued study in voice and speech integration. He won a stipend and is invited to travel to Sacramento State to compete in the state wide competition.

CSULB Theatre Arts presents California Repertory Company's Spring 2018 season

Posted on January 17th, 2018

Jeff Janisheki

Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat says, “Art is our weapon. Culture is a form of resistance.” The work at Cal Rep this Spring continues our Season’s theme of “Resistance” through four powerful productions.

We launch the Spring with an original devised piece, Dreamers: Aquí y Allá , created in collaboration with the California-Mexico Studies Center. The show weaves together stories of DACA students – and the continually evolving news about the fate of the Dreamers - to create a timely and urgent piece of theatre.

Next is a brilliant and bold play that turns the theatre on its head: we’re watching 6 actors in a rehearsal room create a theatre piece about genocide in early 20th century Africa. Proud to a meta-theatrical play that acts like a mirror: it reflects all of the issues that are present in that rehearsal room and also in our society: issues of prejudice and power, racism and remembering.

We follow that with Antigone X, Paula Cizmar's multi-media mediation that is about epic clashes and conflicts: love versus loyalty, being silent versus speaking up, the powerful versus the oppressed. This thrilling new adaptation shakes the dust off of a classic play to reflect our current moment as a country: who will speak up, who will resist, in the face of oppression.

We end with End Days, a warm and wildly funny play about the Rapture, redemption and a family that is struggling with a question we might relate to: how do you find hope and how do you heal in a world that is seemingly headed towards Armageddon?

I look forward to seeing you at Cal Rep this Spring!

Jeff Janisheski
Artistic Director, Cal Rep

Head of Design David Jacques Designs the Lighting for My Fair Lady in Napoli, Italy

Posted on January 16th, 2017

David Jacques

Head of Design David Jacques light designed Teatro Di San Carlo's My Fair Lady opening February 6, 2018

My Fair Lady Set

(Above) Jacques' Lighting Design in the Mrs. Higgins Garden Scene.(Below) Professor Jaques poses on the set of My Fair Lady in the Covent Garden Flower Market Scene. Set Design by Gary McCann.

My Fair Lady Set w/Jacques

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Trevor Biship, Directing

  • August 2017: Trevor is directed a staged reading of The Anatomy of Love at the Chance Theater in Anaheim. This is Trevor's seventh production with the Chance.
  • October 2016: Trevor is directed a staged reading of Lauren Yee's latest play at the Chance Theater in Anaheim. Learn more.

Anthony Byrnes, Theatre Management

Andrea Caban, Voice and Speech

  • February 2018: Andrea is mentioned in the ALS News Today for her work with ALS patients.Read the article
  • December 2017: Andrea Caban is featured in the Grunion for her work with The Voice Bank and the ALS Association.Read the article
  • March 2016: Professor Andrea Caban has toured her solo play The Voice Bank, originally workshopped and produced in the Theatre Arts Department in October of 2015, to various places including Penn State’s Art and Design Research Incubator, UC Santa Cruz’s Department of Biological and Physical Sciences and Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater Solo Celebration in conjunction with the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association Conference. The Voice Bank tells the story of one woman who defies her ALS diagnosis to fight for the privilege to keep speaking. Caban plays both herself and Terry, a woman with an indomitable spirit and a passion for performance, as they manage Terry’s progressing symptoms through voice and accent training. With every performance, Caban partners with local chapters of the ALS Association to raise awareness for the disease and the research around it.

Dr. Joanne Gordon, Directing

David Jacques, Lighting Design

  • February 2017: Jacques designed lights for Chicago Opera Theatre's The Invention of Morel.
  • January 2017: The fourth edition of Jacques' lighting design textbook Introduction to the Musical Art of Stage Lighting Design was published and is available on Amazon. He designed the lights for Utah Opera's Man of La Mancha
  • November 2016: Jacques designed lights for Ainadamar by Osvaldo Golijov at the Bing Theater at USC, running November 16 - 20.
  • October 2016: The English National Opera featured Jacques' lighting design in their production of Tosca at The Coliseum in the West End of London.

Jeff Janisheski, Department Chair

Ezra LeBank, Movement

  • February 2018: Professor Ezra LeBank's devised piece Flight was nominated for Best Touring Production by San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. Read more.
  • September 2017: Ezra was featured in the Fall 2017 edition of Beach Magazine as he discusses telling stories through movement and stage combat.

Brian Mulligan, Performance

  • November 2017: Brian booked a role on the new Alan Ball series "Here, Now" on HBO

Hugh O'Gorman, Acting

  • February 2018: Invited to participate in the Super Space Artist interviews project
  • October 2017: Published Article “Stanislavski’s Event Analysis” with the Athens Journal of Humanities & Arts, Volume 4, Issue 4, October 2017
  • August 2016: Lead Orientation Workshop for incoming CSULB MBA Students
  • July 2016: Planned, recruited, organized and course coordinated the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique workshop for the CSU Summer Arts Festival in Monterey Bay, CA for over 40 students.
  • July 2016: Served as Best Acting Judge, 3rd year in a row for the Southern California Creative And Innovative Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA
  • July 2016: CSU Low-Residency MFA in Acting Strategy and Vision Meeting at the CSULB Karl Anatol Center. With CSU Professors, Dr. John Mayer, Dr. Jim VOlz, Anne D’Zmura, Cynthia DeCure and Rob Clare (RSC) and Kim Rubenstein (UCSD).
  • June/July 2016: Faculty for The Michael Chekhov Association of American’s annual International Workshop and Festival at Conn College, The Eugene O’Neil Theatre Center in CT. Taught classes in the Michael Chekhov technique to over 60 participants.
  • June 2016: Planned, Organized, and Chaired the 3rd Annual Congress of the Craftsmen of Dionysus: a society of acting teachers in NYC at the Juilliard School’s Drama Division. Over 30 Acting teachers from around the country were in attendance. Master Classes by Stephen Wangh, Joy, Joanna Merlin and Carol Rosenfeld, with a Key Note Address to the Society by Head of Acting at the Yale School of Drama, Ron Van Lieu
  • May 2016: Chaired “Panel #2 on the Education and Training of Actors" at the Athens Institution for Education and Research’s 7th Annual Conference on Visual and Performing Artsin Athens, Greece.
  • May 2016: Presented Paper “Stanislavski’s Event Analysis” at the Athens Institution for Education and Research’s 7th Annual Conference on Visual and Performing Arts “Panel #1 on the Education and Training of Actors” in Athens, Greece.

Shanti Pillai, History/Literature & Criticism/Performance

  • March 2017: Dr. Shanti Pillai has been awarded a Fulbright Research Award to conduct research in India in support of her book project, Feminist Kinesthesia: Women as Innovators of Contemporary Performance in India.

Nancy Jo Smith, Costume Design

  • October/November 2016: I have an art piece "Kakemono" in an exhibit of the International Shibori Symposium at Centro de las Artes de San Agustin in Oaxaca, MX.
  • October 2016: Showed wall art and garments at Bellagio Art Gallery in Asheville, NC

Sarah Underwood Saviano, Performance

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Class of 2016

  • Sean Book, MBA/MFA in Theatre Management has accepted a position as the Philanthropic Engagement Manager for Children's Musical Theatre San Jose.
  • Caitlin Bryson, MBA/MFA in Theatre Management has accepted a position as the Management Associate for Page73 Productions in New York City.
  • Natalie Cruz, BA, hosted "Let's Create: A New Play Festival" through The Found Theatre of Long Beach. Read about the festival here.
  • Tahirih Moeller, BA won second place in the Hip Hop Theater Creator Awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her play A Live Mixtape. Her play Actually Oranges will be produced at Long Beach Playhouse in 2017 by Up and Coming Actors.
  • David Weber, MFA in Performance Pedagogy directed Harvest by Manjula Padmanabhan at the Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance, where he is an Assistant Professor of Acting. This futuristic Indian play won the 1997 Onassis Prize for the best new international play, and runs April 14 - 22, 2017. Mmore information about the production is avaialble.

Class of 2015

  • Tyler Bremer, BA, hosted "Let's Create: A New Play Festival" through The Found Theatre of Long Beach. Read About the festival here.
  • Elena Flores, MFA in Costume Design designed the costumes for Echo Theatre's production of Dry Land, which is being remounted at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre May 12 - 21, 2017 as part of CTG's "Block Party" celebration of Los Angeles theatre.
  • Megan Knowles, MFA in Costume Design created an original gown for faculty member Alexandra Billings to wear to the 2016 Emmy Awards, and was named to both Variety and ABC TV's Best Dressed lists.
  • Colleen McCandless, BA has won the John Cauble Short Play Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her play Fledgling, which will be directed by Jeanette Farr-Harkins, the National Playwriting Program Chair for KCACTF, at Glendale Community College, April 1st - April 11th. Additionally, Fledgling is being expanded to 90 minutes and performed at the STAGEStheatre in Fullerton from April 1st - April 9th.

Class of 2014

  • Demi Boyd has accepted a position as the resident stage manager for the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
  • Kyle Gladfelter has accepted a position as lead stage manager for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at University Studios Hollywood.
  • Suzannah Gratz is the co-director of LOUDMOUTH, which is performing at The Tank in New York. Read about the production here.

Class of 2013

  • Sebastian Arboldedo, BA in Performance is in his third year of the MFA Acting Program at Yale School of Drama, where he is starring in Blood Wedding.
  • Nick Davidson, BA in Lighting Design is the principle lighting designer for Diavolo Dance Company and Thinkwell. Read about his work.
  • Amanda Knehans, MFA in Sceneic Design designed the sets for Echo Theatre's production of Dry Land, which is being remounted at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre May 12 - 21, 2017 as part of CTG's "Block Party" celebration of Los Angeles theatre.

Class of 2011

  • Erica Larocque , MBA/MFA in Theatre Management recently started as the Events Manager for GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

Class of 2010

  • Madison Mooney, BA has been named Executive Director of the Long Beach Playhouse.

Class of 2008

  • Raymond Lee, BA has been cast in an upcoming Alan Ball-led HBO TV series, and was featured on the February 2017 cover of American Theatre. He played Quang in Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Vietgone. Lee originated the role in the world premier at South Coast Repertory in 2015. Learn more.
  • Sean Gray, BA has been named Artistic Director of the Long Beach Playhouse.

Class of 2007

  • Christina Vee (Velenzuela) is the voice of the Ladybug on Nickelodeon's Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir

Class of 2006

  • Jeremy Aluma, BA in Performance, the founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning Four Clowns clown troupe, has been accepted into and is now attending the MFA in Directing Program at The Theatre School at DePaul University. His production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity has received 3.5 stars in The Chicago Tribune Jeremy is a member of the CSULB Theatre Arts Alumni Mentor Circle.
  • MacKenzie Meehan, BA in Performance, plays Polly on HBO's new series Vinyl.

Class of 2005

  • Sylvia Bush (née Cervantes), BA in Performance, an LA-based director, has been accepted into and is now attending the UCLA MFA Directing Program. She is the recipient of UCLA's Graduate Opportunity Fellowship.

Class of 2003

  • Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, BA, Xochitl is doing a poetry foundation residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Class of 2002

Class of 2000

  • Jason Rogel, BA has been cast as Ricky in Kevin from Work. He has also starred in Hart of Dixie, Dexter, Bones, The Office, Man Up!, Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous and the SyFy Original Swamp Shark. Jason is a member of the CSULB Theatre Arts Alumni Mentor Circle.

Class of 1993

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