Volume 18, 24 | April 27, 2020
Spring Week 5 NEWSLETTER
Week 5 - Apr 27 - May 1, 2020
Department News
The following is an invitation from faculty members Julie Burelle and Eric Geiger:

Magnificent Theatre and Dance People,

We, Julie Burelle and Eric Geiger, invite you all to participate in a performance practice, with us. 

Making and Being is a 15 minute, weekly, Theatre and Dance, collective performance practice each Thursday evening at 8pm through the rest of the quarter.

What is performance? Practice? Who are we performing for? What if this performance is for us, our Theatre and Dance community. Can we all (undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and all faculty) collectively, energetically, and perceptually be in a performance practice for 15 minutes a week? 

No one has to know what you perform but we’ll know we’ll be in it together. It doesn’t have to look like any kind of performance you’ve ever seen or been in. We’ll call it performance, whatever it is. 

Option for no technology? No Zoom, no recording, no smart phones, no hosting. Just the awareness that somewhere around you others are sharing this moment. Let’s let it be ephemeral.

During the 15 minute performance you might choose to:
  • Draw
  • Recite text
  • Move
  • Design a space
  • Wear a costume (an infit as opposed to an outfit)
  • Meditate
  • Free write
  • Let go of ambition 
  • Find pleasure, joy, and ease
  • Allow yourself to breathe, fully
  • Sing with abandon
  • Imagine 
  • Fake laugh
  • Really cry
  • Be in anything that positively engages your artistic/creative self

  • What if at 10pm Thursday night you remember that you forgot? Let’s say that counts. 
  • What if you wake up Friday morning and realize you forgot? Let’s say that counts. 
  • What if you’ve just started cooking dinner and you realize it’s 8pm? Keep cooking, let’s say that counts. 
  • What if you close your eyes and take a breath for only 10 seconds, lose interest, and take a bath? Let’s say that counts. 

That said, we could still strive for some rigor around committing to the weekly 15 minutes. If it is hard, perhaps ask “what stands in my way?” “What prevents me from committing?” 

Post Practice Option:

We also invite you, though there is no obligation, to record a trace, post performance residue, or the aftermath of that moment. ‬Call and leave a message: (619) 431-1361. 

This will be the archive of our collective practice. It might be just a repository, or we may decide to collectively share it later. At this point, we do not know. If you’d rather your message be private please say so after the beep. 

--Julie and Eric
Current Student Successes
MFA Playwright Ali Viterbi's In Every Generation will have World Premiere at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater
Artistic Director Chay Yew recently announced the 2020-21 season at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, which will include the World Premiere production of In Every Generation by third-year MFA Playwriting candidate  Ali Viterbi.

Yew writes, "I first met Ali Viterbi when I was at the Wagner New Play Festival at University of California, San Diego several years ago. Under the mentorship of  Naomi Iizuka , one of our Victory Gardens ensemble playwrights, Ali wrote In Every Generation while pursuing her MFA. In this gorgeous gem of a play where the Levi-Katz family celebrates Passover again and again, Ali deftly explores the questions of race, religion, culture and tradition, and inter-generational trauma." 

Furthermore, Ali's play from the 2019 Wagner New Play Festival, Shame Spiral, was recently chosen as a finalist for the Playwrights Foundation's 43rd Bay Area Playwrights Festival.  

Click here to read the Victory Gardens 2020-21 season announcement in American Theatre.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
MFA Actor Xavier Clark is Named Young Playwright in Residence at Echo Theatre Company
Third-year MFA Acting candidate Xavier Clark was recently named one of the 2020 National Young Playwrights in Residence at the Echo Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Echo's National Young Playwrights in Residence Program is designed to nurture the next generation of playwrights through professional mentorship, staged readings, and the sharing of their work through digital platforms.

Click here to read more about Echo's 2020 National Young Playwrights in Residence.
Faculty & Staff Corner
Professor Ursula Meyer discusses "Voice and Text" for On Book: The Old Globe's Shakespeare Reading Group
Acting faculty member Ursula Meyer was recently featured in a video interview in which she spoke about voice and text in Shakespeare with PhD alumni Danielle Magas Amato, Literary Manager/Dramaturg at The Old Globe, for On Book: The Old Globe's Shakespeare Reading Group.

Audiences are invited to explore Shakespeare’s plays in On Book: The Old Globe's Shakespeare Reading Group , which offers an online space to read and discuss Shakespeare’s works with directors, actors, and other artists who have tackled these great masterworks for the Globe’s stages.

Click here to watch the video interview.
Broadway World S hines "Spotlight" on Professor Jennifer Chang
Acting faculty member Jennifer Chang was recently the subject of Broadway World Los Angeles ' "Spotlight Series" by Shari Barrett, which features interviews with some of the many talented artists who make the Los Angeles theatre community exciting and vibrant. The article focuses on Chang's work as a director, actor, educator, and founder of Los Angeles' Chalk Repertory Theatre.

Click here to read the full article.
Professor Julie Burelle Publishes Article in JEU Revue de théâtre
PhD faculty member Julie Burelle recently published an article titled "Au-delà des bonnes intentions" for JEU Revue de théâtre . The article explores the challenges faced by contemporary First Nations theater and the complex political relationship it maintains with its largely non-Aboriginal audience. Throughout, Burelle engages with the original ideas of Indigenous writers and scholars such as Naomi Fontaine of the Innu nation, Dylan Robinson of the Stó:lō nation, and Jill Carter of the Anishinaabe nation.

Click here to read the full article.
Alumni News
Alumna Sarah Rasmussen Named McCarter Theatre Center’s New Artistic Director
MFA directing alumna Sarah Rasmussen was recently named McCarter Theatre Center’s new artistic director, taking over for Emily Mann. Currently the artistic director of Jungle Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rasmussen has sought to bring inclusive and bold stories to the stage with diverse talent and gender parity. Among the productions seen under her leadership are School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play , The Wolves , and Ride the Cyclone.

Click here to read the Playbill announcement.
Alumni Nominated For and Win 2020 Drama Desk Awards
Nominations for the 2020 Drama Desk Awards were revealed on April 21st. MFA acting alumna Kim Blanck was honored, alongside the rest of the company of Octet by Dave Malloy, with the Drama Desk's annual Ensemble Award. Cambodian Rock Band by MFA playwriting alumna Lauren Yee was also nominated as Outstanding Play.

Click here to read the Playbill announcement.
Alumnus Danny Burstein Shares Harrowing Coronavirus Experience
MFA acting alumnus and six-time Tony nominee, Danny Burstein , who was starring in Moulin Rouge at the time of the COVID-19 shutdown, recently opened up about the alarming progression of his illness, his terrifying hospitalization and his recovery at home. Urged by playwright Sarah Ruhl to write about his experience, Burstein penned a moving and unflinching essay on the experience.

Click here to read Burstein's essay in The Hollywood Reporter .
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