Open Auditions – “Metamorphoses”

Audition information, including show description, casting details and production schedule are available under the “Productions | Auditions” tab of the TDPS Callboard. Please read all the details and then sign up for a time using the link provided.



New Student and New Transfer Student Open House

TDPS invites new students and new transfer students to an open house. Meet Michael Mansfield (Undergraduate Academic Advisor) and Lisa Wymore (TDPS Chair) to ask any questions you may have during this special Orientation Week event.


TDPS Undergraduate Welcome!

Are you an incoming student interested in learning more about TDPS? A current TDPS student? A transfer student? 

Join TDPS from 4:30-5:30 PM on August 22, 2017 on the Zellerbach Playhouse stage for conversation, cookies, and connection with the TDPS community. Meet faculty, staff, and fellow students to learn about the department and hear what’s new!


The Fall Choreography Showcase highlights the work of promising emerging choreographers as TDPS students present original solos and duets, under the direction of choreographer and TDPS professor Joe Goode. Come see the next generation of dance artists.



There are two alternating performances, Program A and Program B. Tickets are free, but a reservation is required. Please complete the entire purchase process for your $0.00 ticket.

Program A performances: 
Thursday, December 7th at 5:00 pm & Friday, December 8th at 8:00 pm
• Reserve a free ticket to Program A • 

Program B performances: 
Thursday, December 7th at 8:00 pm & Friday, December 8th at 5:00 pm
• Reserve a free ticket to Program B •



Cal Students, Staff & Faculty, & Seniors: $10. ID required.
General Admission: $15

Written by David Ives
Directed by TDPS Students

TDPS presents an evening of one act comedies drawn from the collections of award-winning playwright David Ives and directed by multiple TDPS students. Ives’s offbeat sketches mix the witty and the wise-cracking, the surreal and the satiric, the poetic and the perplexing.


Cal Students, Staff & Faculty, & Seniors: $13 online presale, $15 at the door. ID required.
General Admission: $18 online presale, $20 at the door.

Written by Dipika Guha
Directed by Christine Nicholson
November 16-19, 2017// Zellerbach Playhouse

A man who forgets everything falls in love with a ballerina who forgets nothing. Until, that is, she falls in love with him. And his wife. And the mechanic. Characters frolic through life in this pirouette of a play that questions how we love, who we choose, and the cost of making sense of it all.


Cal Students, Staff & Faculty, & Seniors: $13 online in advance, $15 at the door. ID required.
General Admission: $18 online in advance, $20 at the door.

Featuring choreography by Katie Faulkner and James Graham
February 15-24, 2018 // Zellerbach Playhouse

Berkeley Dance Project 2018 features new choreography by Katie Faulkner and James Graham, as well as several TDPS students. James Graham’s collaborative piece explores gender identity, self-understanding, and how we present ourselves in the world, while Katie Faulkner’s multimedia dance work builds imaginative connections between stories of metamorphosis, surreality, and the supernatural. 


Cal Students, Staff & Faculty, & Seniors: $13 online in advance, $15 at the door. ID required.
General Admission: $18 online in advance, $20 at the door.

Written and Directed by Philip Kan Gotanda
Playhouse Production
April 20-29 // Zellerbach Playhouse

When Lord Rosanjin dreams the demon Kitamura is coming to kill him, his horror is so profound that he hires two bodyguards to defend him against his own hallucinations. But are they who they appear? And what of the icy, repressed Lady Zuma and his petulant daughter Otsu? Something rots in the House of Rosanjin. For this mythic fever dream, Gotanda—revisiting one of his early works—collaborates with choreographer Katie Faulkner to weave a high and low brow tale of how love kills love.


Cal Students, Staff & Faculty, & Seniors: $13 online in advance, $15 at the door. ID required.
General Admission: $18 online in advance, $20 at the door

Written By Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Chris Herold 
October 13-22 // Zellerbach Playhouse

Tales from Ovid come to magical life—in all their playful, passionate, savage, elemental glory—in Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses. In this visually fantastic world where the human and the divine collide, such familiar figures as Poseidon, King Midas and Eurydice share universal stories of love, hope, loss, betrayal and transformation.


Dumb Puppy is a mystery play for the 21st century, for the United States, taking place in the future when the surveillance state has overstepped its bounds domestically. The play is elliptical, filtering through the mind of K, a mother in Lawton OK, and revolving around a mashup of a salon weekend at Marie Antoinette’s Hameau de le Reine meets Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory meets Studio 54 meets Johnny Depp’s filmography.

Join us for a reading of the play Dumb Puppy by Elizabeth Spreen, followed by a discussion with the playwright. Presented by the Contemporary Drama Working Group.

E. Hunter Spreen is a writer and independent theater artist. Elizabeth enjoys exchanging ideas with artists, makers and thinkers across disciplines. Her work includes performance, communal gatherings, facilitated investigations, broadsides and experimental texts. Her work has been developed and/or produced by Crowded Fire, Playwrights Foundation, Shotgun Players and Paducah Mining Company. She is currently developing The Laurette Taylor Experience, a time-based immersive game, and Dumb Puppy, a play cycle that will include three full length plays and a series of shorter performance events. She is a playwright in residence with Playwrights Foundation’s four year Resident Playwright Initiative. Work includes Split the Stick, Dumb Puppy, The West is Won, Care of Trees, six/eleven, This World Is Not My Home and ElectrOphelia. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Contemporary Drama Working Group brings outstanding new and in-progress work by up-and-coming and established playwrights to the UC Berkeley campus. In the monthly New Play Reading Series, new plays are read by TDPS students, followed by a discussion with the playwright.This is sponsored by the Townsend Center for the Humanities in conjunction with the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.

Director + Choreographers’ Meet and Greet // FALL 2017

PLEASE NOTE: This event will continue as scheduled. Attendees are encouraged to enter through the west doors by Durham.

TDPS wants YOU to come out and audition for Fall 2017 productions! If you’re interested in participating in or learning more about these upcoming productions, attend the Director Meet & Greet, hosted by your TDPS Liaisons, where you’ll have a chance to meet the directors & choreographers and hear about their show firsthand.

Artists in attendance:
• Chris Herold // Director of Metamorphoses (Playhouse)
• Christine Nicholson // Director of Mechanics of Love (Studio)
• Katie Faulkner  // Choreographer for Berkeley Dance Project 2018
• James Graham // Choreographer for Berkeley Dance Project 2018
• John Hildenbrand // Author of Restroom for Customers Only (Student Workshop)
• Lashon Daley // Organizer of  The New Play Reading Series
Peter Glazer // Faculty advisor for Spring 2018 Studio One-Acts (announcing an opportunity for students to apply to direct!)

Each director/choreographer will speak briefly about their show and what performers they are looking to cast, followed by a Q&A, plus time for students to talk individually with directors and choreographers.  We will have coffee, juice, and donut holes on hand for the reception!!!

TDPS GRAD RACE – First Year Performance Studies Graduate Student Showing

TDPS GRAD RACE is created and performed by the first-year Ph.D. in Performance Studies cohort: Caleb Luna, Tonika Sealy-Thompson and Toshi Pau. There will be a reception following the showing. 

This is a free event, but please make a reservation using the ticketing link. 

This will be a fragrance-free event, so please refrain from wearing scented products. If you would like more information about scents and alternatives, please reference this document.


Director’s Showcase

Our annual showing of scenes by students in our Stage Directing class, guided by Christopher Herold. This two-day event is one of the best opportunities to see the hot new talent coming to the theater scene.


Program A (Performances: Thursday, May 4 at 2:00 pm and Friday, May 5 at 7:00 pm)

Reefer Madness: Directed by Elizabeth Mathis
Private Lives: Directed by Jordan Don
Sor Juana: Directed by Isabel Cruz
Mother F@#ker With The Hat: Directed by Sam Peurach
The Constant Wife: Directed by Lila Mullins
Almost Maine: Directed by Elizabeth Woolf

Program B (Performances: Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 pm and Friday, May 5 at 2:00 pm)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Directed by Claire Pearson
The Nether: Directed by James Aaron Oh
Wash and Dry: Directed by Alex Parkin
Bent: Directed by Cameron La Brie
Letters Home: Directed by Beatrice Hadjipateras Dodgeon
Wit: Directed by Hanah Chang



Cal Day 2017 TDPS Events

UC Berkeley

CalDay is UC Berkeley’s annual open house to welcome the community, prospective students, current students, kids and families. For complete information about the day, please visit the Cal Day website. Events hosted by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies are as follows:

Making Networks: A Dance Theater Workshop
10:00 Am – 11:00 AM  
Bancroft Dance Studio 

TDPS presents a workshop by choreographer Krista DeNio that includes a physical warm-up, ensemble-building exercises, and “making” (bringing creative ideas into choreographic action). Content will be drawn from “NETWORK,” the Berkeley Dance Project (BDP) piece choreographed by DeNio about networks of communication among cells–in bodies, prisons and plants. Attendees will receive a discount to the BDP performance (running April 20–29 at Zellerbach Playhouse). DeNio is an interdisciplinary choreographer and artistic director of kd>>moving ground.

Honors Projects and the Artistic Research Process
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
44B Dwinelle Hall 

Four undergraduate students in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies discuss aspects of their recently performed original works, including inspiration, research, rehearsal and performance. Heather Brown discusses choreographing and performing her original dance piece “Bodies of Color”; Sy Jordan discusses writing and directing the new musical “Love and Pride”; and Linda Girón and Madison Wackerman discuss writing and directing their respective workshops, Memoria del Silencio and The Othello Project.

Playwright’s Showcase

Performance Thursday, April 27 will be at Hearst Field Annex – D23 Acting Studio. 
Performance Friday, April 28 will be in Room 7. 

Students in Philip Kan Gotanda’s playwriting class present readings of their work. 

Berkeley Book Chats with TDPS Professor Abigail De Kosnik

Berkeley Book Chats
Rogue Archives Book Cover
Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom
Abigail De Kosnik

The task of archiving was once entrusted only to museums, libraries, and other institutions that acted as repositories of culture in material form. But with the rise of digital networked media, a multitude of self-designated archivists—fans, pirates, hackers—have become practitioners of cultural preservation on the Internet. These nonprofessional archivists have democratized cultural memory, building freely accessible online archives of whatever content they consider suitable for digital preservation.

In Rogue Archives (MIT Press, 2016), Abigail De Kosnik, associate professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and the Berkeley Center for New Media, examines the practice of archiving in the transition from print to digital media. She focuses on the genres of “remix culture” and fan fiction, both of which are grounded in a conception of mass culture as an archive from which individuals can redeploy content for their own creation.

After an introduction by Mark Griffith (Classics), De Kosnik will speak briefly about her book and then open the floor for discussion.

The Othello Project (TDPS Workshop)

The Othello Project is a TDPS workshop (work-in-progress) written and directed by undergraduate Madison Wackerman.

The Othello Project is a devised piece consisting of student experiences, references to the text, and character investigation to examine harmful societal tropes in the white patriarchy in Shakespeare’s Othello that persist today. This piece uses personal accounts and contemporary references to contextualize Shakespeare’s “classic” play in modern America, exploring present-day intersectionality of race and gender. Please join us as we present and discuss this collaborative investigative piece.

The Evolving Role of Theater in the 21st Century featuring ACT Artistic Director Carey Perloff

The Evolving Role of Theater in the 21st Century

As today’s culture is heavily influenced by more popular, commercial forms of art and entertainment, how do we keep a classical culture alive in the new world? Theatre is often seen merely as a traditional art form, a concept existing independently from the issues of the outside world. However, as A.C.T. artistic director and award-winning playwright Carey Perloff suggests, the theater should serve as “connective tissue” between the stage and the real world (LA Times). Perloff will explore from both a local and national perspective some of the pressing issues in American theater today, including the role of theater in regards to technology, politics, and diversity. Come join us this Tuesday, March 21st at 6pm.

Presented by The Berkeley Forum in partnership with the UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.

The event is subject to the standard event policies listed on our website (


Paradise is a stage adaptation of Dante Alighieri’s Paradiso, the third poem in his Divine Comedy. No, wait, Paradise is a play about the failure to adapt Dante Alighieri’s Paradiso for the stage as a stoner rom-com which takes place under the shadow of fascism. Or if not fascism, Guelph-ism. Okay it’s both and something else. A play about love, beauty, death, fear, rage, and the paradisial places (fake and real) in which we make our lives. 

Join us for a reading of the play Paradise by Brandon Brown, followed by a discussion with the playwright. Presented by the Contemporary Drama Working Group.

Brandon Brown’s most recent books are The Good Life (Big Lucks) and Top 40 (Roof).  His work has appeared recently in Fanzine, Art in America, The Best American Experimental Writing, The Felt, and Open Space.  In 2012, Small Press Traffic included his debut play, Charles Baudelaire the Vampire Slayer as part of their annual Poet’s Theater. He is also the author, with J. Gordon Faylor, of two volumes of Christmas poems, most recently A Christmas Reckoning. In 2018, Wonder will publish a new full length book, The Four Seasons.

The Contemporary Drama Working Group brings outstanding new and in-progress work by up-and-coming and established playwrights to the UC Berkeley campus. In the monthly New Play Reading Series, new plays are read by TDPS students, followed by a discussion with the playwright.This is sponsored by the Townsend Center for the Humanities in conjunction with the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.


The annual TDPS Alumni Panel will take place on Thursday, March 16 from 5:00 – 6:30 PM in Durham Studio Theater. Learn about the professional paths and opportunities that await you after graduation, from a diverse panel of Alumnni.

Following the alumni panel, attendees are invited to join the panelists for dinner (provided) and extended conversation, and then the 8:00 performance of Love and Pride (ticket required).


To RSVP for dinner, please select “Going” on the Facebook event. To purchase a ticket for the show, visit Love and Pride.

List of Panelists:

Jonathan Amores, ’09  | Digital Marketing Coordinator at Shorenstein Hays Nederlander
Beryl Baker, ’09  | Operations Manager at Bay Area Children’s Theater,
Lorri Holt, ’75 | Professional Actress in bay area for 30 years
Barry Horwitz, ’70’s |  Theater Reviewer, curates, retired English and Drama professor at Saint Mary’s College
Elkhanah Pulitzer, ’95 | Opera and Theater Director, Artistic Curator for SF Opera Lab, a new innovative R and D programming division for intimate scaled works
Joy Regullano, ’11 | Actor and YouTuber who has appeared on Supernatural, House of Lies, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Lauren Selman ’06 | Publicity Logistics Coordinator for Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Actor, Director, Film Producer, Founder of Reel Green Media.



Fireflies (4F)
It’s twilight time.
And the small, winged things–
like spiders and roaches and fireflies–
have begun to stir and search for light.
Will Then-Self find hers before she dies?
Or will Now-Self find other ways to survive?

Fireflies is an exploration of one girl’s longing and search for intimacy through the lives of insects.  Join us for a reading of a new work-in-progress by Philana Omorotionmwan, followed by a discussion with the playwright. Presented in partnership with the Townsend Center Contemporary Drama Working Group.

Philana Omorotionmwan is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The daughter of a Louisiana Creole mother and a Nigerian father, Philana began writing as a way to articulate her experience of growing up as the “other” in this place. She graduated from Stanford University where she majored in English, dabbled in spoken word, and began writing plays under the mentorship of Cherríe Moraga. Her play Before Evening Comes has been developed as part of the 2016 Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the 2016 Br!nk New Play Festival. Her ten-minute play “Dis Da Hood” is currently a finalist for the 2016 Heideman Award. Production of Philana’s short plays includes “The Settlement” (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and “Black Boys Don’t Dance” (Manhattan Theatre Source). From 2010-2011, Philana was a PlayGround SF company playwright. In 2011, she studied playwriting as the recipient of the Walker Scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA and a participant in the Kennedy Center’s Summer Playwriting Intensive. She has also studied poetry at Naropa University as a guest student in the Summer Writing Program, and her poems have appeared in New Delta Review and African American Review. Philana is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. Visit her website at

The Contemporary Drama Working Group brings outstanding new and in-progress work by up-and-coming and established playwrights to the UC Berkeley campus. In the monthly New Play Reading Series, new plays are read by TDPS students, followed by a discussion with the playwright.

Staging Grounds: Camp and the Asian Female Body in Contemporary Dance

Maura Nguyen Donohue shares her choreographic focus on the site of the Asian body as a staging ground for complex cultural, racial, and gendered projections in American culture by discussing her 2011 dance work, strictly a female female. She will share how the deployment of a camp aesthetic allows her to destabilize gender norms and traditional concert dance audience/performer relationships. strictly a female female is a 2011 mashup of Asian themed musicals/operas and (mostly) 80s rock.


About Martha Nguyen Donohue:
Maura Nguyen Donohue is Associate Professor of Dance at Hunter College/CUNY and faculty fellow for the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. She has been making experimental performance works in NYC for over 20 years. Her work has been produced by Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Roulette, Danspace Project, Performance Space 122, La MaMa, The Asia Society, Mulberry St. Theater, the West End Theater, and has toured across the US and to Europe and Asia.

Organized by: The Institute of International Studies Interdisciplinary Faculty Program on Gender and the Transpacific World, Center for Race and Gender, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Department of Ethnic Studies, and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies


Part of the Public Movement Workshop Series (4 Sundays)
No dance training required to participate.
$5 for UCB Participants (with ID); $10 for general public  per workshop — cash or check
No need to RSVP; simply show up ready to move.

The Orisha are deities found in the Yoruba-spiritual tradition known as Ifa in Nigeria, Candomblé in Brazil, and Lucumí in Cuba.

Join us for a rare opportunity to learn sacred Lucumí songs for the Orishas Yemaya, Oshun and Oya,  and the significance of these important deities,  from renowned singer, educator and Orisha priest, Bobi Céspedes. Accompanied by live drummers, Bobi will lead participants in singing to the mothers of the Ocean, River and Wind.

An ordained Yoruba priestess, singer Gladys “Bobi” Céspedes was born in Cuba, but has lived in the U.S. since emigrating in 1959. She currently lives in San Francisco where she co-founded the progressive Latin/Cuban group Conjunto Céspedes in 1981 with her nephew Guillermo Céspedes. Her spiritually charged lyrics also inform her collaborations with percussionist Mickey Hart, as well as her 2002 solo album Rezos.



Part of the Public Movement Workshop Series (4 Sundays)
No dance training required to participate.
$5 for UCB Participants (with ID); $10 for general public  per workshop — cash or check
No need to RSVP; simply show up ready to move.

Please wear loose and comfortable clothing.

The Feldenkrais Method is a wide ranging system for understanding how human beings function and learn how to learn, using the body as the primary laboratory. In this workshop we will explore how bodies in motion and at rest work. Learn to truly experience – from the inside – how different parts of your body move and work together. Discover how very subtle changes can fundamentally alter and refine all the movements you do – from sitting at your desk, to carrying groceries, to double pirouettes, to standing on your head – and can increase awareness, release inefficient patterning, tension and pain, and increase flow. Feldenkrais can be a wonderful opportunity for dancers working in any style to bring greater understanding of how their body is constructed, as well as greater ease and articulation, into the execution of their movements. However, this pathway of exploration is equally open to movers in all walks of life, including martial artists, athletes, armchair warriors and couch potatoes, as all of us are included in the set of those who have bodies and move them in the course of their everyday lives, and perhaps would like to find more ease or fluidity in how we navigate our way through our lives.


Mary Armentrout is an experimental choreographer, performance artist, videographer, teacher, curator, and the director of the Mary Armentrout Dance Theater.  She is also a Feldenkrais Practitioner.  Her artwork and teaching practices explore the ways Feldenkrais insights into the mind-body continuum offer rich resources for embodied artmaking.  She calls her genre-mixing works performance installations, and one of her site-specific works recently won an Isadora Duncan Dance Award.  Her work has been presented throughout the Bay Area, as well as across the US and the UK, Europe, and China.  She also organizes the Dance Discourse Project, an on-going series of artist-curated discussions of the Bay Area dance scene, and co-curates performance at The Milkbar in Richmond.



Part of the Public Movement Workshop Series (4 Sundays)
No dance training required to participate.
$5 for UCB Participants (with ID); $10 for general public  per workshop — cash or check
No need to RSVP; simply show up ready to move.

How do we honor the roots of the African American dance aesthetic? Can we trace and physicalize the form? Celebrate, and use movement to connect, the histories and future of the black dance aesthetic through Soul Line (African American line dancing) and the emerging expressions of Gospel and Afro-House.


Rashad Pridgen is a dance artist, somatic educator (CMT-SE) and teaching practitioner & performer. His recent works include: selected artist with The Future Soul Think Tank: “What Will Soul Look Like in 2038?” presented at Yerba Beuna Center For The Arts as the creative director of Translating Global Street Dance: A Media & Dance Presentation, performer in The Ed Mock Project conceptualized by Amara Tabor-Smith, choreographer for singer Sila (2010 NAACP Winner of The Outstanding World Music Award) music video “Super African”, theatrical dance work with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company “Chapel Chapter” San Francisco, Ronald Brown/EVIDENCE and Nick Caves “Soundsuites”, teaching artist & performer with The Rennie Harris Illadelph Legends Festival, appearance at The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2010 with Jacinta Vlach/Liberation Dance Theater and commissioned choreographer with The Question Bridge Project: Black Males to create a dance installation at the Oakland Museum 2012. Rashad teaches his unique dance style afro house hop in the Bay Area and beyond.


MEMORIA DEL SILENCIO is a TDPS Workshop (work-in-progress) written by undergraduate Linda Girón.

MEMORIA DEL SILENCIO EN EL PAÍS DE LA ETERNA PRIMAVERA is an original play that explores the relationship between memory and trauma, and how these wounds can leave a mark that flows deeper than blood. In the land of eternal spring, there’s a town where the population of ghosts outnumber the living, nearby villages are disappearing and roses grow larger than cattle; here, la familia Noguera face the boundaries of love when tested by the realities of life— aging, war and illness.


Performance Roundtable: Embodied Knowledges in Ritual Processions, The Cypher and Festivals



This open research roundtable presents new work in performance studies from interdisciplinary scholars on processions, cyphers and political formation in popular fiesta. The conference begins with a reception for guest speakers, followed by a roundtable conversation with brief presentations and Q&A. Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students with research interests in fiesta, carnival and popular performance including hip hop and street dance are encouraged to attend.

This event is free and open to the public thanks to generous support from the Hellman Faculty Fund, the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies and the UC Berkeley Townsend Center Performance in the Americas Working Group.

Please RSVP to

Presenters include:

Dr. Zoila S. Mendoza (UC Davis)
Prof. Mendoza is Professor and Chair of the Native American Studies department at UC Davis and author of several publications including Shaping Society through Dance: Mestizo Ritual Performance in Andean Peru (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and Creating Our Own: Folklore, Performance and Identity in Cuzco, Peru (Duke University Press, 2008); including her recent film, The Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i: The Walk Experience (Berkeley Media 2015).  

Dr. Imani Kai Johnson (UC Riverside)
Prof. Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the department of Critical Dance Studies at UC Riverside whose research interests include African diasporic ritual cultures, popular performance, and Hip Hop. She has published articles in Alif, Women & Performance, and the Cambridge Companion to Hip Hop. Johnson is currently working on a manuscript entitled Dark Matter in B-boying Cyphers: Hip Hop in a Global Context.

Dr. Angela Marino (UC Berkeley)
Prof. Marino is an Assistant Professor in the department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. Her research includes festivals, popular performance, and intersections with campaign politics and social movements. Marino co-edited Festive Devils in the Americas (2015), and is currently working on her manuscript Populism and Performance: Fiesta Politics in the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela (forthcoming with Northwestern University Press in Spring of 2018).

New Play Reading Series: “A Tale of Autumn” by Christopher Chen

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth, along with popular “quest-for-power” TV shows Game of Thrones and House of Cards, A Tale of Autumn is a modern day fable about the psychology of a one-time altruistic corporation whose seemingly benign tactics destroy a community over time.

Join us for a reading of the play A Tale of Autumn by Christopher Chen, followed by a discussion with the playwright. Presented in partnership with the Townsend Center Contemporary Drama Working Group.

Christopher Chen is an international award-winning playwright whose full-length works have been produced and developed across the United States and abroad. Plays include The Hundred Flowers Project and The Late Wedding (both Crowded Fire commissioned world premieres), Mutt, Aulis: An Act of Nihilism in One Long Act (world premiere at the UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies), You Mean To Do Me Harm, and Caught, currently showing at Shotgun Players and enjoying a sold-out run at The Play Company in New York. Honors include the 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for theater; the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was the 2013-2014 playwright-in-residence at The Vineyard; the Barrymore Award; the Glickman Award. Current commissions include American Conservatory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Crowded Fire, San Francisco Playhouse and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from S.F. State. He is a San Francisco native.

The Contemporary Drama Working Group brings outstanding new and in-progress work by up-and-coming and established playwrights to the UC Berkeley campus. In the monthly New Play Reading Series, new plays are read by TDPS students, followed by a discussion with the playwright.

Old Plays, New Faces: Representation in Classic Theater

Cal Shakes’ Civic Dialogue Series seeks to explore the intersections between theater and issues affecting our community. Through facilitated dialogues with theater artists, cultural workers, community organizers (and more!)Cal Shakes’ Civic Dialogue Series examines how theater can be a tool for building bridges and igniting change.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, this year’s dialogue analyzes the ways in which traditional casting can act as a barrier to specific communities and illuminates the ways  performing arts organizations are creating more inclusive practices to engage a more diverse range of performing artists. Featured speakers include Melissa Hillman, Artistic Director of Impact Theater, and Desdemona Chiang, who will be directing Cal Shakes’ As You Like It in May.


GRADUATE STUDENT SPEAKER SERIES: “Radical Acts: A Dialogue on the Aesthetic and Political Histories of Resistance”

Our current political moment demands that we think carefully and closely about the legacies of protest in the United States. Such reflection is crucial for the cultivation of future activist imaginaries. To this end, Radical Acts: A Dialogue on the Aesthetic and Political Histories of Resistance, brings together feminist artist Sharon Hayes with feminist theorist and punk lifer Mimi Thi Nguyen for a discussion on the politics of telling and representing queer, feminist, and anti-racist histories. The dialogue will explore questions like: What does resistance look like during a Trump-led administration? In what ways are ideas of the U.S. nation state currently being reconfigured domestically and globally? How are the legacies of U.S. imperialism operative in the current re-emergence of ethno-nationalist sentiments? What is the future of, and for, radical acts under such conditions?

Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her first book is The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Duke University Press, 2012). Her following project is called The Promise of Beauty. She has also published in Signs, Camera Obscura, Women & Performance, positions, and Radical History Review. Nguyen has made zines since 1991, including Slander and the compilation zine Race Riot.

Sharon Hayes lives and works in Philadelphia. Hayes engages multiple mediums–video, performance, and installation–in ongoing investigation into specific intersections between history, politics and speech. Her focus on the particular sphere of the near-past is influenced by the potent imbrication of private and public urgencies that she experienced in her own foundational encounters with feminism and AIDS activism. Recent solo exhibitions include: Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland (2015); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2014); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2012); The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2011); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2011).


This event is co-sponsored by: ARC | Arts + Design, UC Berkeley / Arcus Chair for Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment, College of Environmental Design / Center for Race and Gender/ Department of Ethnic Studies / Department of Gender and Women’s Studies / Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies / History of Art Department / Townsend Center for the Humanities

Big Give 2016

Give Today and Change the World

The butterfly effect explains change. The Berkeley Effect changes the world. During Big Give — our annual fundraising blitz taking place right now — you can be that change by contributing to Cal departments and programs of your choosing.

If you support the work of TDPS and believe that the arts have a powerful role to play in today’s world, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible gift today to support the work of TDPS.

Every gift to TDPS helps us to bring together the best academic and performance opportunities for our students, and to create a unique home where our students learn to build intellectual, emotional and creative connections with each other and the world. These students – as well as our alumni, faculty and supporters – become part of the Berkeley Effect that changes the world!

Director Meet & Greet // Spring 2017

TDPS is putting on amazing productions in Spring 2017 and we want YOU to come out and audition! If you’re interested in participating in or learning more about these upcoming productions, please come out to the Director Meet & Greet, hosted by your TDPS Liaisons, where you’ll have a chance to meet the directors & choreographers and hear about their show firsthand!

Artists in attendance:
• Margo Hall // Director of POLAROID STORIES
• James Graham // Choreographer for BERKELEY DANCE PROJECT 2017
• Krista Denio // Choreographer for BERKELEY DANCE PROJECT 2017
• Sy Desiree Jordan // Director of LOVE AND PRIDE
• Madi Wackerman // Director of a CONTEMPORARY ADAPTATION OF OTHELLO

Audition information and sign-ups for BDP/Polaroid Stories:

Yakshagana Dance-Drama: A Vibrant Retelling of the Sita Apaharan

Yakshagana (which literally means “Celestial Singing”) is a unique 800 year old theater art form from Karnataka, India. It uses a unique technique of storytelling (from epics) in which music, dancing, acting, dialogues and costumes all play an equal role. Costumes are vibrant and elaborate. Yakshagana originated as a folk theatre and has developed into a main stream theatre form in south India. A sample clip of the art can be seen here.

Join us for a vibrant retelling of the Sita Apaharan (Abduction of Sita) episode from the Ramayana performed in this mesmerizing dance-drama art form from South India.

The performance will be led by two professional Yakshagana artists Anantha Padmanabha Phatak and Kidiyuru Ganesh along with local Yakshagana artists from the Bay Area.

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

Event is FREE and open to the public.

Director Meet & Greet // Spring 2017

TDPS is putting on some amazing productions in spring 2017 and we want YOU to come out and audition! If you’re interested in participating in or learning more about these upcoming productions, please come out to the Director Meet & Greet, hosted by your TDPS Liaisons, where you’ll have a chance to meet the directors & choreographers and hear about their show firsthand.

Artists in attendance:
• Margo Hall // Director of Polaroid Stories 
• James Graham // Choreographer for Berkeley Dance Project 2017
• Krista Denio // Choreographer for Berkeley Dance Project 2017
• Sy Desiree Jordan // Director of Love and Pride
• Linda Girón // Director of La Memoria Del Silencio En El País De La Eterna Primavera (Memory of Silence in the Land of Eternal Spring)
• Madi Wackerman // Director of a Contemporary Adaptation of Othello 

Auditions for “Polaroid Stories”

Open Auditions to Participate in:
Polaroid Stories 
March 3-12 at The Playhouse @ Zellerbach Hall
Directed by Margo Hall
Written by Naomi Iizuka
See Audition Flier 

Signing up for Auditions: 

>> Polaroid Stories Audition Sign-up<<

Audition sign-up requires log in with your CalNet ID.
New students who do not have CalNet access
may call the main office or the production office
to sign up for an audition time.

About Polaroid Stories

Based on real life stories of street kids, and drawing from Ovid’s Metamorphoses myths, Naomi Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories blends poetry and profanity to explore how young people pushed to the edge of society come to understand their lives amid anger, love both lost and found, violence, homelessness, ambition, and addiction.


Cast size: 10 (gender flexible casting)
D (dionysus)
SKINHEADgirl (a.k.a. neon girl)
SKINHEADboy (a.k.a. oklahoma boy/speedracer)
G (a.k.a. zeus, hades)


AUDITION SCHEDULE: Open Auditions – Sunday, December 4, 5–9pm ­ Durham Studio Theater

CALLBACKS: Monday, December 5, 7–10pm ­ Durham Studio Theater

Please prepare a dramatic monologue (no more than 1 minute) and/or an incredible story about yourself (true or not – just be convincing.) Students who are familiar as well as those new to the audition process are encouraged to audition. Be prepared to share the piece and to talk with the director, and possibly to read from sections of the play. If possible, bring a resume, along with a headshot (or picture of yourself from the shoulders­ up.)

Perusal scripts are available in the TDPS Main Office, Dwinelle 15.


Rehearsals: January 17 – February 21, 2017:  evenings & weekends

Tech Rehearsals: February 22 – March 2, 2017: evenings & weekends

Performances: March 3–12, 2017 @ Zellerbach Playhouse


All students cast in POLAROID STORIES will be required to enroll in TDPS 181 in Spring 2017


Auditions for “Berkeley Dance Project 2017”


Audition to participate in:

Berkeley Dance Project 2017
April 20-29 at The Playhouse @ Zellerbach Hall
Directed by SanSan Kwan
Choreographic works by Krista DeNio and James Graham
See Audition Flier


Dancers please arrive dressed and ready to dance at 6PM in Bancroft Studio. There will be a brief orientation preceding the audition.


Berkeley Dance Project 2017, inspired by the theme “Digging Deep,” offers an evening of dance works exploring how we communicate with each other as humans and the deeply intertwined ways these processes are mirrored in our relationships with the non-human world that surrounds us. BDP 2017 will feature a new piece of ensemble devised dance theater by Krista DeNio. Titled Network, the piece incorporates multi-disciplinary research and experiential investigation into the idea of networks of communications among cells—in bodies, in prisons, and in plants. The piece considers our incredible abilities (plant and human) to survive and thrive, even in tiny spaces and constrained realities. Continuing these themes of communication and survival, choreographer James Graham explores the concepts of earth, fire, air, and water. Titled For Elements, the piece looks at our human relationships to these elements. Both pieces explore multiple processes of communication: verbal, non-verbal, felt, visual, and sensed, revealing the deep layers of connection we have to each other and our world.  Ultimately “Digging Deep” asks: What sustains us? What destroys us? What makes us feel connected while we are alive?


Detailed, proposed rehearsal calendars for each piece will be distributed at auditions. Each piece will rehearse for up to 45 hours prior to Spacing & Technical Rehearsal and Performances (Approximately 4-6 hours per week for 9-10 weeks depending on the piece.)

Rehearsals – Graham piece: Jan 24 – April 10: Tue & Thu, 12-2 PM
Rehearsals – DeNio piece: Jan 31 – April 11: Tue & Thu, 6-9PM

Tech Rehearsal: April 12-14 and April 17-19, 6-11 PM  (specific schedules will be determined after mid-term in Spring; dancers should be available for all dates listed)
Performances: April 20-22 and 27-29, 6-11 PM


Students cast in BDP 2017 will be required to enroll in a section of THR 180 for the corresponding number of units associated to the piece(s) in which you are cast.


Lin Yatin presents “Sino-Corporealities: Contemporary Choreographies from Taipei and Hong Kong”

Lin Yatin (Taipei National University of the Arts) will present a talk on the repertoire of two female choreographers from the Pacific region, Lin Lee-chen (founder and artistic director of Legend Lin Dance Theatre from Taiwan) and Helen Lai (choreographer of City Contemporary Dance Company from Hong Kong). She will discuss their work within the context of two different post-colonial Sinophone communities and consider their choreography within the complex web of international arts festival circuits. Her talk will cover related issues of cultural export/diplomacy and the political economy of arts touring.

Organized by the Institute of International Studies Interdisciplinary Faculty Program on Gender and the Transpacific World. Co-sponsorship from the Institute of International Studies; Center for Chinese Studies; Institute of East Asian Studies; and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.

Visiting Lecture by guest scholar Larry Bogard

Please join us for a visiting lecture by Larry Bogad, Professor of Theater and Dance at UC Davis, for a presentation of his most recent publication, Tactical Performance: On Theory and Practice of Serious Play (Routledge 2016). Prof. Bogad will talk on the first chapter of his book with students of TDPS 26: Introduction to Performance Studies. (The reading is available by request to  All students and faculty are welcome to attend this open classroom lecture, made possible by the Shelley Osborne Fund for Visiting Artists. 

Larry Bogad is Professor of Theatre & Dance at UC-Davis, author, performer and founder of the Center for Creative Activism. Among his many collaborators are the Yes Men, Billionaires for Bush, and La Pocha Nostra. He is a veteran of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Laboratory and a co-founder of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. Among Bogad’s publications are: Electoral Guerilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements (Routledge 2005), which examines the work of international performance artists running for political office as a radical critique of systemic corruption in political campaigns and elections.



“Bodies of Color” is a TDPS Workshop (work-in-progress) presented by undergraduate Heather Brown.

Note from the creator: In Bodies of Color, I aim to create a dance piece focusing on the bodies, experiences, and struggles of people of color. The piece looks at concepts including the oversexualization of the bodies of women of color, the stereotypes and stigmas that come with being judged as a person of color, the silencing of minority voices, the will to fight back, and the creation of a community of people who will no longer allow themselves to be oppressed through separation but will gather together in all of our fights against inferiority and oppression.