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 classmates 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 Classic
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.
Read the full press release on A Doll's House.
Theatre Arts Faculty Receives Fulbright Award
Posted on March 2nd, 2017
Dr. Shanti Pillai, an artist, scholar, writer, and Theatre Arts faculty member has been awarded a Fulbright Research Award. The Fulbright Research Award is a highly competitive scholarship that funds research for international education. The Fulbright Program seeks to increase mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between people of the United States and of other countries. “This award is a testament to Dr. Pillai’s incredible work as an artist and a scholar,” said Department Chair Jeff Janisheski.
Dr. Pillai’s research with women artists’ contributions to the evolving world of contemporary performance in India focuses on how these women have paved the road to new forms of performance practice that offer alternative perspectives on the relationship between the body, space, and identity. The Fulbright Research Award will fund her work in India in support of her book project, Feminist Kinesthesia: Women as Innovators of Contemporary Performance in India.
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.”
Read the full press release on The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin.
Jaye Austin Williams, History/Literature & Criticism/Performance
- March 2017: Dr. Jaye Austin William's meditation on gentrification, "A Paradoxical Stroll Down Harlem's Memory Lane," has been published on the Oxford University Press's blog.
- November 2016: Dr. Jaye Austin Williams is visiting director at Chapman University this fall, directing Intimate Apparel by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Set in 1905 New York City during the burgeoning of the textile industry, Nottage underscores the oft-untold stories of Black women (and men) who were laboring hard, and against a great deal of violent pushback, to enter the industrial project in the United States. Tickets and event information is available.
Andrea Caban, Voice and Speech
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.
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.
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