Volume 18, 3 | October 14. 2019
Week 3 - Oct 14 - Oct 18, 2019
Department News
We're thrilled to introduce Assistant Professor Rebecca Chaleff to our faculty!

Rebecca Chaleff is a dance scholar, performer, and dramaturg. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside.

Rebecca’s research merges critical theory with practice to highlight the unseen, and often undervalued, elements of dance performance. Her current book project analyzes how dances are passed from body to body and corpus to corpus to survive the deaths of individual choreographers. In particular, the manuscript engages with the affective attachments of queer and racialized histories to question how choreographic claims to artistic afterlives reinforce the sociocultural hierarchies that privilege whiteness and homonationalism.

For more information about Dr Chaleff, click the link below.

Professor Jade Power hosted performance historian and Associate Professor of Theatre at Princeton University, Dr. Brian Herrera, for a talk on contemporary casting practices and how they came into being? How 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 ), Dr Herrera invited questions about the history of casting in US popular performance from those in attendance. 

You can find his bio  here .
Without Walls (WOW) productions offer a dizzying array of interactive and site-inspired theatre. Full of diverse offerings, WOW shows have one thing in common – they are an invitation to reimagine what theatre can be through intriguing and playful experiences.

WOW performances take place outside the confines of a traditional theatre, in unusual or unexpected locations. Past shows have occurred in the backseat of a car, on a basketball court and even emerging from the ocean at a local beach. WOW audiences can expect to be part of the action. You might find yourself in the middle of an impromptu dance party or taking a stroll through a lush botanical garden as your WOW experience unfolds.

Since its inception, Without Walls has become one of San Diego’s most popular and acclaimed performance series, delighting critics and audiences alike.

The WOW Festival runs October 17-20 and features a plethora of paid and free of charge performances. Students and Alumni are encouraged to click the link below for the list of events.

Here is where you can buy tickets or reserve for the Free events.
Theatre & Dance Cohorts Shine at La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls Festival - WOW
The 2019 La Jolla Playhouse's WOW Festival comes to San Diego's Beautiful Liberty Station October 17-20 and UC San Diego Theatre and Dance cohorts look to be a big part of the WOW.

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 follow 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 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 Tascono, Astrid Espitia, BA, Shyane Cole, BA, Natalia Quintero-Riestra ( (UC San Diego MFA I)

For more information click the link below.

Be sure to start off your Sunday morning festival schedule by attending an excerpt from Department Chair, Professor Allan Havis's The Golem of La Jolla on the Show Imagining Festival Stage at 11AM.

This exclusive sneak concert preview of a new music theatre piece depicts 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. Hear excerpts from the exciting, innovative opera’s score and soundscape, prior to the official premiere in spring 2020.

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

Hidden corners of Stone Brewing’s Liberty Station Bistro & Gardens serve as the setting for five new 10-minute plays. Audiences will travel to five locations and witness stories that were inspired there and penned by Playhouse-commissioned playwrights Mashuq Deen, Shairi Engle, Frank Henry Kaash Katasse (They Don’t Talk Back, presented by Native Voices during their Playhouse residency), Daria Miyeko Marinelli and Marisela Treviño Orta.

Savanna Padilla (UC San Diego MFA II) is part of the site specific piece A Play About Eye Contact Over Three Decades . Also involved is Anna Younce, BA, as a tour guide,

" 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

Thursday. Oct 17 2019 5:30 PM
Friday, Oct 18 2019 5:30 PM
Saturday, Oct 19 2019 5:30 PM
Sunday Oct 20 2019 5:30 PM
La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls Festival
Featuring: 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

International director, choreographer, and documentary theatre artist Jesca Prudencio and her company People Of Interest wields recorded interviews, music, and dance to explore the unique journeys of  three life couples  in different stages of their relationships, from dating for 1 year to another married for 20 years. Presented in an idyllic picnic setting outdoors in the heart of San Diego's beautiful Liberty Station, PDA is 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. 

#wowfestsd #LoveOutLoud #WoWPDA
Optika Moderna / David Israel Reynoso

From the creators of the groundbreaking Waking La Llorona, Las Quinceañeras  offers a surreal, immersive, multisensory exploration of the famed rite of passage undertaken by many Latinas on their 15th birthday.

The mysterious Optika Moderna opens its doors once again after years of secrecy and seclusion, inviting participants to undergo their latest procedure “Proyecto (15).” Adventurous audiences can book an appointment to meet with Optika Moderna’s staff of trained paranormal opticians. Within the lab, patients will experience a hallucinogenic journey into the early 1990s as they relive the fateful events surrounding the celebrations of multiple Quinceañeras.

Optika Moderna is a ground-breaking, immersive company led by San Diego’s David Israel Reynoso, the Obie Award-winning costume designer for the Off-Broadway runaway hit Sleep No More (Punchdrunk/Emursive).

Nicholas Ponting (UC San Diego MFA II) is Design Assistant and performing in the piece and Elizabeth Barrett (UC San Diego MFA I) is Design Assistant.

Hall Pass  is 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 offers 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 experience the trials and triumphs of the class of 2022.

Sofia Zaragoza, BA, is the assistant director.
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.

Fresh from its London run the cast of Conor McPherson's Girl from the North Country based on the music of Bob Dylan (including MFA Acting Alumnus Donald Sage MacKay) began playing Toronto's Royal Alexander Theatre at the end of September and look forward to a successful run through November 24th.

To catch a sneak peak of the show, click the link below.

MFA Playwright Lauren Yee has been selected for the 2019 Stienberg Playwright Award by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust alongside Jackie Sibblies Drury .

Trustee Jim Steinberg said in a statement that the work of the paired playwrights “has made an indelible impact in a remarkably short amount of time, and we look forward to watching their powerful ideas continue to influence the lives of all who have the privilege of experiencing them onstage.”

Click the link below to read more about this story in American Theatre.

Click the link below to see MFA acting alumnus Brian Slaten talks about Fool For Love and learning to do a backflip in movement class when he was a grad student here at Theatre & Dance. Brian is in The Lifespan of a Fact at St Louis Rep directed by MFA directing alumna Meredith McDonough. 

MFA acting alumnus Brian Sgambati was in this past weeks episode of New Amsterdam, Season 2, episode 3. He comes in at 29:22 and plays a not so love-able lawyer.

Brian is an adjunct Professor of Theater at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York.
MFA acting alumnus Walker Hare was in the Monday night episode of Deuce on HBO. Walker plays a porn film director in the episode.

About the Deuce:
The 80s are in full swing as The Deuce  brings its story to a close in the third season. A drama series that tells the story of the billion-dollar pornography industry.

Alumni  Susannah Snowden-Ifft and  Elliott Beltran are starring in Mermaid of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch at the Stuart Rogers Studio October 18, 19 and 20. 

When an idealistic marine biologist captures a mermaid, they realize mermaids are much different than the fairy tales say. As more people find out the secret, circumstances become dire very quickly and all must decide where their loyalties lie.

For those in the Los Angeles area interested in attending, click the link below for ticket information.

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