Volume 18, 25 | May 5, 2020
Spring Week 6 NEWSLETTER
Week 6 - May 4-8, 2020
Department News
It's Giving Tuesday! Won't You Consider Supporting UC San Diego Theatre & Dance?
It's Giving Tuesday !

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. This year, #GivingTuesdayNow , a global day of unity will take place today, May 5, 2020 , as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

We know that these are challenging times for everyone and that many worthy organizations and causes need your support now more than ever -- but if you are in a position to give, please consider supporting UC San Diego's Theatre and Dance Performing Arts Fund . Your gift will support all Theatre and Dance student productions, including our upcoming digital and virtual productions in Spring 2020 (which we will share more details about soon).

Whether or not you are able to contribute, we thank you for your generosity and support. Much has been made of the value of community in tough times -- and our Theatre & Dance community means the world to us. We are holding you all in our hearts and wishing you good health and happiness!
Around Campus
Theatre Major Rickie Emilie Farah Teaches Virtual Cardio Dance Classes for the "Playground"
Over six weeks have passed since the official stay-at-home order was issued in California in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have begun to go stir crazy from being confined within four walls as they diligently commit to the safety of others. Movement and social interaction remains a basic need for everyone, and UC San Diego Recreation has created a space for both. Called the Playground , it welcomes all campus community members to dance, meditate, compete in esports, learn to draw and more through free virtual classes.

The Playground is designed to be flexible and fun during a time when our lives have become immobile and uncertain. While hobbies and adventures are on hold, virtual spaces like the Playground offer a chance to explore new activities, or perhaps rekindle a former pastime.

Undergraduate Rickie Emilie Farah , a Recreation instructor and third-year transfer student studying theatre arts and psychology, believes this is the perfect time to try something different. "In some ways, I think the virtual platform makes some of my students more comfortable to be able to try something new while in the comfort of their home with no one watching them," said Farah, who teaches cardio dance.

Whether you enjoy dancing, online gaming or tai chi, the most important thing is maintaining interaction with others. "Social distancing is hard!" said Farah. "We need to connect with people and sharing a class through the Playground is a great way to feel connected to others."

Click here to read more about the Playground at the UC San Diego News Center.
Faculty & Staff Corner
Theatre & Dance Faculty Featured in San Diego Union-Tribune Article on Making Art During the Pandemic
The San Diego Union-Tribune recently spoke to Professors Naomi Iizuka (Head of Playwriting) & Stephen Buescher (Head of Undergraduate Acting) about creating theatre with UC San Diego students during the pandemic.

Professor Iizuka, speaking of the work of the playwrights, says "They’re engaging with what is happening in the world right now and they’re doing it in a way that’s allegorical, unexpected and that’s also important. It’s a singular response to what’s happening in the world."

Meanwhile, Professor Buescher is working together with a team of students in a variety of disciplines to create a monster movie called Viral , which will be made available later this spring on UC San Diego’s Theatre & Dance department website. "The students are totally excited, and I’ve never done something like this," he says. "It’s definitely pushed us to think creatively."

Part time dance faculty member Sadie Weinberg is also highlighted in the article, and discusses plans for upcoming video projects.

Click here to read the entire article in the San Diego Union-Tribune .
Professor Robert Brill and Alumnus Danny Burstein featured as Playbill takes a "Look Back" at Cabaret on Broadway
Playbill recently took a "Look Back" at Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Cabaret , which opened at Studio 54 on April 24, 2014. The revival, a return of the 1998 production directed by Sam Mendes with co-direction and choreography by Rob Marshall, played 35 previews and 388 performances before closing March 22, 2015, earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor for alumnus Danny Burstein.

The production also featured set and club design by Professor Robert Brill , Head of Graduate Design. You can see a glimpse of his set design in the production photo above (photo by Joan Marcus).

Click here to read the full article in Playbill and to see more pictures from the production.
Alumni News
MFA Alumna Danae Iris McQueen Wins Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Costume Design 
The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the recipients of its 51st annual awards for distinguished achievement in theatre on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

MFA alumna Danae Iris McQueen won the award for Costume Design for Witch at Geffen Playhouse, which took home seven awards total -- the most for a single production. You can see two of Danae's costumes in the production photo above featuring actors Vella Lovell and Ruy Iskandar (photo by Jeff Lorch).

Click here to read the full press release from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
MFA Alumnus John-Andrew Morrison Wins 2020 Lucille Lortel Award
MFA alumnus John-Andrew Morrison won the 2020 Lucille Lortel Award of Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in A Strange Loop ( which also recently won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama).

MFA alumna Erin Gioia Albrecht was the Production Stage Manager for A Strange Loop in its extended run at Playwrights Horizons in New York.

Octet won Outstanding Musical which featured MFA acting alumna Kim Blanck .

Click here for the full list of 2020 Lucille Lortel Award winners.
Have news to share?
Send it to us at tanddnews@ucsd.edu and we'll pass it along for you. Photos are encouraged.
Miss a back edition? Visit the Newsletter Archives.
Sincerely, UC San Diego Theatre & Dance