Volume 18, 1 | September 23. 2019
Department News
Week 1 - Sept 30 - Oct 4, 2019
Fall 2019 Orientation Lunch
Theatre & Dance kicked off the school year with our annual orientation luncheon - our faculty, staff, and students all came together to celebrate the 2019/20 academic year.
PC: Garrett Schulte
On Thursday evening, 9/26 there was reading o f Gorgeous by MFA I Keiko Green in the Arthur Wagner Theatre in Galbraith Hall. MFA I director Emily Moler directed, Bekah Fegan was the PSM. Cast: Eva Barnes, Lois Shih, Henry Greenberg & Jordan Smith
Professor Emeritus Steven Adler contributed a chapter to the new  Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical . His piece, “ Big River:  A New Road to Broadway,” chronicles the journey of the 1985 musical based on  Huckleberry Finn . The show, the brainchild of Heidi and Rocco Landesman, with a score by Roger Miller, book by William Hauptman, and directed by Des McAnuff, was first staged in early 1984 at American Repertory Theatre. That summer, it was the centerpiece of La Jolla Playhouse’s second season. It opened less than a year later on Broadway, where it swept the Tony Awards and ran for over 1,100 performances. Adler stage managed the Broadway production and first national tour. In this chapter, he explores how this groundbreaking musical was instrumental in pointing the way for producers seeking a new way to groom shows for Broadway.

Upcoming Department Sponsored Event: A Conversation About The History of Casting With Dr. Brian Herrera

How did contemporary casting practices come into being? Why do casting controversies figure so prominently in discussions about race, gender and sexuality in contemporary theatre?

Drawing upon his ongoing research for his book-length study of the topic (Next! A Brief History of Casting), performance historian and Associate Professor of Theater at Princeton University Brian Herrera will invite questions from those assembled to guide a lively interactive discussion about the history of casting in US popular performance.

For more information click below.

Faculty Celebrates Recent Publication in Seamus Heaney and the Classics.

Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Classics, Dr. Marianne McDonald's contribution to a collection on the life and works of Irish Poet Seamus Heaney entitled "Seamus Heaney: An Irish Poet Mines the Classics" will be available Oxford University Press in late October.

'Brings together a wide range of approaches to Heaney's work, by scholars of classical reception and modern literature, poets, and theatre practitioners, and encompassing both leading experts and rising scholars in their fields.'

For more information about this text, click below

PhD Candidate Directs Undergraduates in Performance Aimed at Addressing the Climate Crisis

Kristen Tregar, PhD candidate, directed a performance with some of our Theater & Dance students and their colleagues from Music as they joined in the global 2nd round of protests this past Friday. Jalani Blankenship, Elizabeth Blackwell, Gail Hobbs, Liberty Romanik and Evelyn Lopez all took part in the performance as well as their colleagues in Music who accompanied them

You can see the performance at about 19:35 in this video for NBC San Diego.

Current MFA Playwright Dave Harris received this year's Ollie New Play Award on September 23rd in New York City. The Ollie Award is presented to an artist for the most ambitious big idea play. "With our financial awards, we are encouraging artists to grapple with and dramatize the big ideas that the world is engaged with. This money will give them needed time and space to explore and write."

Alumni and current students in attendance to celebrate along with Dave were MaryGlen Frederick,  Steph Del Rosso Yonatan Gebeyehu , Mextly Couzin and  Anna Moench  (not pictured) as was Playwriting Professor, and alumna,  Naomi Iizuka  .

Michael Rishawn LA show Handjob
MFA actor Michael Rishawn is currently in a show, Handjob, at the Echo Theater Company in LA. The show runs Friday through Sunday until October 21st at the Atwater VIllage Theatre.
" Along the way, the show plunges into enough hot-button social issues to fuel a week’s worth of TV news round tables: consent, harassment, privilege, visibility, racial and sexual stereotyping, and more. In all of this, the show ably succeeds, supported by terrific acting, directing (by the Echo’s artistic director, Chris Fields) and production elements." https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2019-09-12/handjob-play-echo-theater-review
If you have news to share please send it to us at tanddnews@ucsd.edu and we'll post in subsequent newsletters. Photos are encouraged.
Ricardo Chavira 9-19

Desperate Housewives alum and MFA acting alumnus  Ricardo Chavir a has been cast in  Selena: The Series. Selena is dubbed as “the official story of Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla. Chavira will play Abraham, Selena’s father, a savvy businessman determined to achieve the American dream.
Chavira is best known for his role as Carlos Solis on all eight seasons of Desperate Housewives. His other recent credits include the role of Francisco Vargas on Scandal and guest/recurring roles on Rise, Kevin Can Wait and Jane the Virgin among others. 

MFA playwriting alumna " Steph Del Rosso 's biting You're Crazy (a play with karaoke), a play about female friendship and gas-lighting, young girls and Cool Girls, sexuality and rage" is part of the 4Flights Up Festival in NY. It performs tonight, 9/27/19.

Cast included MFA actors Kim Blanck , Mary Glen Fredrick & Luis Vega . MFA directing Alumnus Will Garrett Detlefsen is the Artistic & Managing Director at Access Theater in New York which produced the festival.

The above group of alumni went to the performance of Steph's You're Crazy (a play with karaoke). Tim Nottage, Keith Wallace, Luis Vega, Emily Shain, Kim Blanck, Mary Glen Fredrick, Steph Del Rosso, Michael Hammond, Will Detlefsen, Max Singer and Hannah Finn!
Marsha Stephanie Blake 9-19
MFA Acting alumna Marsha Stephanie Blake is cast in Amazon feature “I'm Your Woman" Marsha was Emmy-nominated fpr her performance in Netflix’s “When They See Us.”

"Blake starred in three films which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival including Julius Onah’s, Luce, opposite Octavia Spencer, the Spike Lee-produced, See You Yesterday and Goldie. Blake can be seen in recurring roles in the upcoming seasons of How To Get Away With Murder and This Is Us and will be featured in Steven Soderbergh’s Netflix film, The Laundromat, which recently made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival."
MFA Alumna Dresses New Television Production

MFA design alumna  Nya Patrinos  i s the set decorator on the series, Perfect Harmony (airing Thursday NIght at 8:30 on NBC) starting with the 2nd episode.

The half hour situation comedy marks Bradley Whitford's ( The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) return to the Silver Screen and focuses on a former Princeton music teachers assumption of the leadership of a small town church choir.

Be sure to tune in to see Patrinos' work.
Jefferson Mays 9-19
MFA acting alumnus Jefferson Mays joins the cast of next years The Music Man with roughly a dozen other Tony Award winners involved in this production, many of them multiple times.
Jefferson won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Play in 2004 for I Am My Own Wife having first appeared in the play in 2001 here at the La Jolla Playhouse.
MFA playwriting alumna Lauren Yee had two of the top 10 Most-Produced Plays of the 2019-20 Theatre Season! Note that Cambodian Rock Band is part of the season at La Jolla Playhouse Nov 12 - Dec 15 and The Great Leap is at the Pasadena Playhouse Nov 6 - Dec 1 if you are looking to see either.
Says Yee: “The fact that Cambodian Rock Band and The Great Leap are two of the most produced plays in the country this season demonstrates the hunger audiences have for thrilling new narratives that cast actors of color as unlikely heroes in their own stories. It also speaks to the incredible depth and breadth of the Asian American community. They are rock stars, they are sports legends, and they will break your heart and dazzle you with virtuosic performances. It’s an incredible honor.”
Dancer/Choreographer Brian Bose , UC San DIego BA was profiled in Twin Cities Pride Magazine in August.

Brian is based in Minneapolis. Brian mentions working with Jack Reuler , artistic director at Mixed Blood Theater Company in Minneapolis, who has hired many of our students through the years.

He will be resuming his SLAY workshop at the Guthrie Theatre later in the fall.

To read the full profile, click below.

Have news to share?
Send it to us at tanddnews@ucsd.edu and we'll pass it along for you. Photos are encouraged.
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Sincerely, UC San Diego Theatre & Dance