Volume 18, 4 | October 21. 2019
Department News
Week 4 - Oct 21 - Oct 25, 2019
Congratulations to UC San Diego Undergraduate Theatre major Cynthia Ochoa on the selection of her first play, Seperateland, for inclusion in the Final Draft New Play Festival slated for January 2020 at Carlsbad's New Village Arts.

For more information about the festival, click on the link below.

Assistant Professor & Head of Directing, Vanessa Stalling, has been awarded the 2019-2020 Hellman Fellowship. The Hellman Fellowship Program was established at UC San Diego in 1995 through the generosity of Chris and Warren Hellman. 2019-2020 marks the 25th year of this valuable program that is designed to provide financial support and encouragement to young faculty in the core disciplines who show capacity for great distinction in their research and creative activities.

For more information on the Hellman Fellowship, click on the link below.

Professor Stalling was recently nominated for a Jefferson award in Chicago for Director-Play-Large. She is part an impressive list of nominees.

Nominees for Director - Play - Large:
Gary Griffin – “ Indecent ” –  Victory Gardens Theater
Pam MacKinnon – “ Downstate ” –  Steppenwolf Theatre Company
( Pam was a PhD student on campus in the early 90's and directed many of our students in Studio Projects at that time )
Ron OJ Parson – “ Radio Golf ” –  Court Theatre
Ron OJ Parson – “ Too Heavy for Your Pocket ” –  TimeLine Theatre Company
Vanessa Stalling – “ Photograph 51 ” – Court Theatre
Mary Zimmerman – “ The Steadfast Tin Soldier ” –  Lookingglass Theatre Company

We're so excited that rehearsals for this fall's BALM IN GILEAD by Lanford Wilson are well under way! We love the spirit of collaboration that runs throughout our productions; from first read through last week, here's MFA acting candidate Michael Rishawn looking at MFA costume design candidate Christopher Flagstad's fantastic research!

For more information and tickets click the link below.

Recap of Theatre & Dance involvement in the La Jolla Playhouse WOW Festival
Sunday, October 20th there was a sneak concert preview of a new music theatre piece, The Golem of La Jolla by Professor and Department Chair Allan Havis & and Michael Roth, visiting Lecturer in Sound, depicting the vivid dystopian crisis in America.

'La Jolla’s synagogue is persuaded to accept a blasphemous solution to ward off a violent White Nationalist march to their door.' There were excerpts from this exciting, innovative opera’s score and soundscape, prior to what will be the official premiere in spring 2020.
The cast included (L to R) Cantor William Tiep form Temple Solel in Cardiff as the Golem of La Jolla, Amanda Sitton (UC alumna) as Rabbi Joan, Douglas Jacobs (co-founder of San Diego Rep) as the Congregant and Professor Marco Baricelli as the Rabbi from Prague,
Calafia at LIberty

 Wetsuit Collective is an ensemble of UC San Diego graduate students of all theater-making disciplines who are committed to theater as a collective act of creation. We believe in theatre’s power to spark conversation between people and the places they inhabit. We create spaces where multiple truths, layers of history, and audiences coexist with performers in worlds of theatrical possibility.
Encircling the land-locked naval training building, the USS Recruit,  Calafia at Liberty  dives through layers of history about the mythic figure that inspired the naming of California: Queen Calafia.
Using music and performance, audience members followed a path through history, myth, and the consequences of manifest destiny. This piece questions the legends we build over the land we inhabit.
Directed and Produced by Juliana Kleist-Méndez (UC San Diego MFA II)
Costume Designed and Produced by Natalie Barshow (UC San Diego MFA II)
Set and Projections Designed by Miranda Friel (UC San Diego MFA II)
Sound Designed/Composed by Andrew Lynch (UC San Diego MFA II)
Lighting Designed by Lindsey Stevens (UC San Diego MFA II)
Assistant Directed by Simon Martin (UC San Diego undergrad)
Assistant Lighting Designed by Natalie Hill (UC San Diego undergrad)
Performers: Katie Melby, Daniella Toscano (UC San Diego MFA II), Astrid Espitia, BA, Shyane Cole, BA, Natalia Quintero-Riestra ((UC San Diego MFA I)

PC: Jim Carmody

PDA  was a romantic documentary dance theater piece that invites us to be a fly on the wall as performers give us a window into the romance, sexuality, and affection they express in private and public. 

" PDA "
A docu-dance work on what we all do and love.
Directed and choreographed by Jesca Prudencio (UC San Diego MFA Alum)
A People of Interest production
La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls Festival

Featured: Erica Mejos & Anna Galvan, Eden Hildebrand & Bernardo Pacheco, and Dana & Francis Thumm
Assistant Director and Choreographer: Lauren Haughton
Production Designer: Justin Humphres (UC San Diego T&D MFA Alum)
Sound Designer and Composer: Melanie Chen Cole (UC San Diego T&D MFA Alum)
Stage Manager: Yari Cervas
Line Producer: Braulio Fernandez-Flores
Hall Pass  was a collection of short plays and musicals by rising talents, including Emily Kaczmarek (2018 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipient), Trevor Bachman (2019 Joe’s Pub Residency Artist) and Elizabeth Irwin (My Mañana Comes at San Diego Rep). Set and performed throughout a high school, the show offered a glimpse of the world young people navigate every day. Brimming with moments any former teenager will recognize and relish – as well as those they might rather forget – audiences choose their own adventure as they experienced the trials and triumphs of the class of 2022.

Sofia Zeragoza, BA, was the assistant director.

PC: Peter Shrock
From the creators of the groundbreaking  Waking La Llorona , Las Quinceañeras  offered a surreal, immersive, multisensory exploration of the famed rite of passage undertaken by many Latinas on their 15th birthday. The mysterious Optika Moderna opened its doors once again after years of secrecy and seclusion, inviting participants to undergo their latest procedure “Proyecto (15).” Adventurous audiences were able to book an appointment to meet with Optika Moderna’s staff of trained paranormal opticians. Within the lab, patients experienced a hallucinogenic journey into the early 1990s as they relived the fateful events surrounding the celebrations of multiple Quinceañeras.

Nicholas Ponting (UC San Diego MFA II) was Design Assistant and performed in the piece and Elizabeth Barrett (UC San Diego MFA I) was Design Assistant.
WITHOUT A NET , created by Malashock Dance , was an interactive, immersive and participatory experience, based on the theme of an edgy, “down-on-its-luck” traveling circus/carnival.

Samantha Rojales, MFA alumna did the projections and Mextly Couzin (MFA III) did the lighting design.

Malashock Dance advances the art and experience of dance by creating original programs that communicate, educate, challenge, entertain and encourage new forms of personal expression.

PC: Jim Carmody
Happening Around Campus
Zac Monday: A Ways Away Visual Arts Alumni Exhibition

Reception & Performance: October 23, 6–8 p.m.

October 23–November 14, 2019

Open: Tuesdays 2–3 p.m. / Wednesdays 12–3 p.m. / Thursdays 12–3 p.m.

Zac Monday’s crochet costumes and drawings are animated through performance experiences that are intended to direct how both the viewer and the maker interact. When performed, characters are focused on guiding viewers through art/and everyday spaces, where our emotional and spiritual sensations can be expressed through textile touch; an enigmatic significance, as well as storyline.

For more iformation about this exhibition, click the link below.

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.
MFA acting alumna Maria Dizzia will star in the national tour of What the Constitution Means to Me . The Tour starts in LA next January.

“I needed a remarkable, compelling actress with a mix of vulnerability and strength, and I find [Dizzia] riveting to watch onstage,” playwright Schreck told The Times. “She knows the play because she’s seen every iteration of it and she’s coached me through it as an actress. But I also admire her as an artist and a human being. I deeply trust her, and I trust the play in her hands.”

For more information on this story, click the link below.

MFA alumna Micha Espinosa ( UCSD M.F.A 1994) Associate Professor at School of Film, Dance, and Theatre, Arizona State University, recently won the 2019 Latino Book Award ( Academic Resource) for co-editing,  Scenebook for Latinx Actors: Voices of the New American Theatre . The collection of scenes is a guide to the contemporary Latinx playwrights for actors and teachers. This book follows her first volume,  Monologues for Latino/a Actors  The collections are published by Smith and Kraus and available on Amazon.

MFA acting alumna Zora Howard 's play STEW will have its Off Broadway premiere the beginning of next year. Page 73 will present it at Walkerspace Theatre for a limited run from January 20 through Saturday, February 22. Opening night is set for Saturday, February 1.

For more information about this story, click the link below.

When Daniel K. Isaac, BA, was a student in the department he was cast in a production of THE LARAMIE PROJECT directed by  Raimondo Genna , PhD, and played the actor track of Moisés Kaufman. Daniel never imagined getting to meet him and also celebrate his work.

This past week Daniel attended The Tectonic Theater Project joining the Tectonic family and friends from the Broadway community to celebrate the power of arts education and the singular style of Kurt Weill. The cabaret fundraiser supports Tectonic Theater Project ’s community engagement initiatives through the Moment Work Institute.

Daniel met Moisés Kaufman who he had portrayed years previously here.
Pictured are Mi Ryng Son, Moisés Kaufman and Daniel.
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