THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS

 
Students, & Seniors, Cal Staff & Faculty: $13 online in advance, $15 at the door. ID required.
General Admission: $18 online in advance, $20 at the door.
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April 26-May 5, 2019
A new play by Caridad Svich
Based on a novel by Isabel Allende
Directed by Michael Moran
The Playhouse at Zellerbach Hall 

Based on Isabel Allende’s best-selling novel, Caridad Svich’s The House of the Spirits follows three generations of the Trueba family — their loves, their ambitions, their spiritual quests, and their place in the post-colonial social and political turmoil embroiling their South American country. This darkly poetic adaptation incorporates magical realism to weave the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate.

STUDENT-DIRECTED ONE-ACTS 2019

Students, Seniors, and Cal Staff & Faculty: $10. ID required.
General Admission: $15
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Directed by TDPS Students
March 14-17, 2019
Durham Studio Theater 
 
TDPS presents a curated evening of one-acts. Selections and details about how students can apply to direct a piece will be announced at a later date. 

BERKELEY DANCE PROJECT 2019 

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

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February 21-March 2, 2019 
The Playhouse at Zellerbach Hall 

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of TDPS’s dance program, and Berkeley Dance Project 2019 will feature pieces by: Joe Goode; Rulan Tangen; Latanya Tigner; a current student, selected from the Fall Choreography Showcase; and an alumnus of the dance program, selected from a call for applications. TDPS dance program co-founder Marni Wood will be here for a short residency around this time. 

FALL CHOREOGRAPHY SHOWCASE 2018

The Fall Choreography Showcase features the original work of emerging choreographers. Under the direction of choreographer and TDPS professor Joe Goode, TDPS students present original solos and duets.

 

TARTUFFE

Students & Seniors, Staff & Faculty: $13 online in advance, $15 at the door. ID required.
General Admission: $18 online in advance, $20 at the door
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Written by Molière, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur
Directed by Domenique Lozano
November 9-18, 2018
The Playhouse at Zellerbach Hall 

A con man disguised as a pious spiritual leader wheedles his way into the home of a gullible wealthy man in the midst of a mid-life crisis—and promptly sets the household topsy turvy. If not for the quick witted Dorine, grounded Elmire, and infinitely patient Cléante, all might be lost! Lechery, egotism, young love, deception, and delusion collide in Moliere’s famous classic work that skewers religious hypocrisy and self-inflated egotism.

70 SCENES OF HALLOWEEN

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

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO LATE SEATING AND ALSO NO RE-ENTRY DURING THE PERFORMANCE, DUE TO THE STAGE CONFIGURATION.
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Written by Jeffrey M Jones
Directed by Christopher Herold 
October 11-14, 2018 
The Playhouse at Zellerbach HallIn this quirky and inventive play, ordinary married couple Jeff and Joan seem set to spend Halloween on their couch in a state of mild antagonism and mutual boredom. But as time fragments and reassembles, dark forces emerge and the couple must contend with ghosts, beasts, and witches banging on their windows, wafting through their rooms, and wielding butcher knives. 

New Play Reading Series: Natural Women by Aparna Nambiar

A play about a relationship between mothers and siblings, Natural Women explores the habits of love and heartbreak we learn from family. In a house overcast with clouds of met and unmet desires, the three children of a straying mother and cuckolded father navigate their relationship with each other, with ultimately tragic consequences. Taking crucial plot points from mythical Greek stories, the play recasts well known mythic characters -the web-spinning Ariadne, the naive and ultimately corrupted Phaedra, the monstrous Minotaur and the ever-heroic Theseus, as archetypes for contemporary characters working through the quandaries of the human heart.

Join us for a free reading of the play Natural Women by Berkeley graduate student Aparna Nambiar, followed by a discussion with the playwright and Toshi Pau, the director. Presented by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

Playwright Aparna Nambiar is graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. Having been a classical dancer and performing artist for many years, Aparna ‘s love for mythic stories have only been enhanced by her tryst with western classical theatre at TDPS. Natural Women is Aparna’s first full length play and she is absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to bring to life her passion for mythical stories and workshop her ideas in play form, along with the many talents of TDPS. In her day job, Aparna works on writing a doctoral thesis on art, culture and the State in Singapore.

Director toshi pau is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and a co-director of the New Play Reading Series for the 2017-2018 academic year. His interests as a new playwright revolve around the possibilities of language and non-language in theater, meaning and the absence/construction of context, and disturbing preconceived notions of reality. Through the Play Reading Series, he was able to debut his own play Left Unfinished last semester. He has previously directed Marie Yuen’s Tourist Trap and is excited to bring Aparna Nambiar’s debut work Natural Women to life for your enjoyment.

The New Play Reading Series 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.

BIG GIVE 2018

Give Today and Change the World

150 Years of Light.  On March 23, 1868, the University of California was born. And Berkeley, its first campus, is today the most distinguished public university in the history of higher education. Guided by the motto Fiat Lux, our duty is to bring new knowledge to light … to illuminate solutions for bettering the human condition … to be a beacon of opportunity for promising young minds and top faculty. Throughout 2018, let’s celebrate 150 years of light — and project that light forward for another 150 years.

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.

Your donation to TDPS directly impacts key areas within our undergraduate and graduate programs, allowing us to further TDPS’s mission of “teaching performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression and public engagement.” With your help, we can continue:

  • producing shows that offer students unparalleled hands-on learning experiences;
  • supporting the diverse visiting artists that engage our students;
  • keeping ticket prices affordable; and
  • acquiring the latest technical equipment for our stages and rehearsal rooms; and
  • reaching thousands of students each year in our classrooms and audiences.

We are grateful for your donation of any size! 

CalDay 2018 – TDPS Events

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:


Theater as Research and Research as Performance – Honors Project Presentations

10-11am
Zellerbach 170

The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies invites you to watch four short presentations of new plays generated from embodied research. Undergraduate Theater and Performance Majors will present 6-8-minute selections from their original dramatic works, and share their playwriting processes. These Honors Project pieces explore bi-racial identity, homelessness, alcoholism, and cross-cultural education. Followed by Q&A.

Demonstration and Information Session: UC Berkeley Dance Program
11-11:45am
Bancroft Studio

Students in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies’s “Intermediate Modern Dance” class share movement combinations and choreography, followed by a Q&A session about TDPS with Department Chair Lisa Wymore.

Information Session: Dance the Bay (Student Run Dance Organization)
11:45am-12:15pm
Bancroft Studio

Meet core members of this exciting student-led dance group as they share their mission to promote dance through teaching youth, community outreach, and performance. They will also discuss how they became an Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) sponsored group and what that means.

Staged Reading of the play BARCODE, presented by The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
1-2pm
Zellerbach 170

Join us for excerpts from BarCode, a new play by undergraduate TDPS student Lila Mullins that wittily explores bartending culture and relationships, informed by a decade of firsthand experience. Lila will also discuss the research and creative process that went into this Honors project, from surveying bartenders to researching the psycho-social-addictive pull that a bar has on its patrons.

50 free tickets to the TDPS performance of THE DREAM OF KITAMURA
8:00pm
Zellerbach Playhouse

When Lord Rosanjin dreams the demon Kitamura is coming to kill him, he hires two bodyguards as defense against his hallucinations—but are they who they appear? Award-winning playwright Philip Kan Gotanda weaves a mythic fever dream of how love kills love. 50 tickets available, first come first served, at the box office beginning at 7pm. Limit 1 per person.


 

QUEM EU? (STUDENT WORKSHOP)

Quem Eu? is a TDPS Workshop (work-in-progress) presented by undergraduate Livia Gomes Demarchi

Freedom of speech and cultural microaggressions collide when a South American exchange student realizes she is not living the “American dream” in small, rural El Dorado, Kansas. Through humor and critical self-analysis, Livia Gomes Demarchi relives her time as an exchange student in Bush’s America, exploring themes of patriotism and assimilation, and questioning if liberty and justice for all also applies to immigrants.

Livia Gomes Demarchi is a Bay Area based Latinx actor who has performed with companies such as the San Francisco Playhouse (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet), Marin Shakespeare Company (Love’s Labour’s Lost, As You Like It and Richard III), BRAVA, Crowded Fire, Shotgun Players, Theater Rhinoceros, among others. As an undergrad at UC Berkeley, she has expanded on her acting training by exploring other forms of storytelling.Quem Eu?” marks her playwrighting debut. As she moves forward, she will focus on Latinx stories and the intersection of social justice with embodied art forms. “Obrigada” to all who supported this work and made it possible! 

GRADUATE SPEAKER SERIES – “Race Play: Racialized Gender and Sexuality in Settler Colonial North America”

“Race Play: Racialized Gender and Sexuality in Settler Colonial North America” brings together two scholars who work at the intersections of racialization and gender and sexual identities—C Winter Han and Scott Morgensen—to considers how these issues become co-constituted in contemporary settler colonial North America. 

The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A.
This event is free and open to the public.

Presented by the UC Berkeley Departments of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; Ethnic Studies; and Gender Studies, as well as the Townsend Center. 

About the speakers:

Chong-suk Han attended college at the University of California, Berkeley and received his PhD in 2007 from the University of Washington. His areas of expertise are race and sexuality, particularly the ways that categories of race and sexuality are socially constructed and the way multiple identities intersect. Before becoming an academic, Dr. Han was an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in both national and local magazines and newspapers. He served for three years as the editor-in-chief of the International Examiner, the oldest continuously publishing pan-Asian American news paper in the United States. Professor Han spends most of his spare time trying to come up with clever titles for his manuscripts.

Scott Morgensen an ethnographer and historian of social movements. Dr. Morgensen’s research within U.S. queer politics sought to examine how white queer cultures and politics form in relationship to settler colonialism. His first book, Spaces between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization, examined these themes in response to longstanding and enduring critiques of colonialism and racism by Two-Spirit / queer / trans Indigenous activists and by queer/trans activists of color. A current SSHRC-funded research collaboration with Lisa Kahaleole Hall (Wells College) and AW Lee (University of Toronto, Mississauga) is recording memories of activist challenges to racism, colonialism, and gender and sexual oppression crossing Canada and the United States. Dr. Morgensen received his PhD in Anthropology (Women’s Studies) from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2001.

Brown Bag Lunch + Info Session: Study Abroad in Ireland, Summer 2018

Bring your lunch and join us for this info session to learn more about TDPS’s Summer Abroad course “Irish Theater,” which will run July 9-August 11, 2018 in Galway and Dublin, Ireland. This five-week, six-credit course begins with one week of classes in Berkeley before a four-week trip to the Emerald Isle to study Irish theater at its source.

Irish theater, in both the Republic and Northern Ireland, is at an unprecedented level of popularity as measured by the number of international tours, productions, and translations of plays worldwide in recent years. The 20th century opened with the powerful resurgence of Irish writing brought about by W.B. Yeats’ and Lady Gregory, whose Abbey Theater set the standard for the aspirations of national(ist) theaters around the world. It ended with overlapping waves of renewal: from the founding of major new theater companies like Field Day and Charabanc in the North in the 1980s to the arrival in the 1990s and 2000s of a new wave of theater companies. In the early 21st century, Irish theater stands poised to continue expanding the scope and influence of this body of work, despite the huge social, cultural and economic upheavals of the past twenty years. This study abroad program takes advantage of Ireland’s rich theater, literary and historical culture by engaging students in the study and practice of Irish Theater from historical and contemporary contexts.

About the Course: 
Irish Theater: Origins and Contemporary Performance takes advantage of Ireland’s rich theater, literary, and historical culture by engaging students in the study and practice of Irish Theater from historical and contemporary contexts. Students will engage with Irish dramatic literature, history, and cultural theory in lecture, discussion, and practice. They will apply their knowledge to writing weekly critical essays addressing productions, presenting scene-work from the Irish theater, trips, and class activities in order to integrate their intellectual knowledge with their lived experience as theatergoers, performers, and visitors in Ireland.

The first week of the program will be in Berkeley, where students will be introduced to the material and prepare for travel to Ireland. For two weeks students will lodge and study at the National University of Ireland, Galway, adjacent to Galway City Centre. Galway’s arts scene is renowned throughout Ireland, especially for music and theatre. Our arrival in Galway coincides with the start of the annual Galway Arts Festival, Ireland’s largest international arts festival, giving students the opportunity to participate in talkbacks and workshops not only with West of Ireland companies but also with visiting artists.

For our final two weeks students will lodge and study at Trinity College Dublin, located in the heart of the city–an institution central to the study of Theater and literature in Ireland, and the alma mater of many of Ireland’s best-known playwrights and Theater artists including Samuel Beckett, J.M. Synge, Oscar Wilde, Oliver Goldsmith and George Farquhar. Most of Dublin’s major theaters and historical sites are within walking distance of our classroom. Our daily classes will be held at the Samuel Beckett Centre, which houses the TCD School of Drama.

Students will attend at least ten plays/performances at theaters such as the Abbey, the Gate, and Druid as well as visit historical and cultural sites associated with the advent of Irish theatre and literature and the Irish struggle for independence. We will also welcome prominent theater artists into our classroom for talkbacks and group workshops. Past Guests have included Druid Theater’s Casting Director, Maureen Hughes, Barabbas’s artistic director, performer and clowning expert Raymond Keane, Irish Modern Dance Theater’s John Scott, and the co-artistic directors of the internationally acclaimed Brokentalkers, Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon and acclaimed scenic and lighting designer Sabine Dargent.

Dates:
Five-week program: July 9th – August 11th 
7/9/18 – 7/13 /18 in Berkeley
7/16/18 – 7/29/18 in Galway (students check in on 7/16; classes begin 7/17)
7/30/18 – 8/11/18 in Dublin (classes end on 8/10, and student’s checkout from lodging 8/11)
All dates are subject to change.

Units: 6 units

Courses: TDPS 113A: Irish Theater: Origins and the Contemporary Scene. This course fulfills the Performance and Literature Upper Division requirement for Majors and Minors. It also fulfills International Studies requirement or Arts and Literature requirement of the Seven-Course Breadth Requirement for the College of Letters & Sciences.

Eligibility: At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program. 2.0 GPA or higher

Cost: Visit http://studyabroad.berkeley.edu/program/summerabroad/ireland for a cost breakdown. Scholarship opportunities will be discussed at the info session. 

Application:
• Application opens February 1, 2018
• Space is limited, and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
• Deadline to apply is March 9, 2018

FIVE WAYS TO LEARN MORE: 

1) Attend this info session! Thursday, February 8 from 5-6:30 PM in TDPS Seminar Room, Dwinelle 44B. Hosted by program director Christine Nicholson.
2) Visit the UC Berkeley Study Abroad page here: http://studyabroad.berkeley.edu/program/summerabroad/ireland
3) See last year’s website/blog: https://tdpsabroad.wordpress.com/blog/
4) Read what a previous student had to say about the program: http://tdps.berkeley.edu/september-student-spotlight-ely-orquiza/
5) Ask questions. Please direct any questions to program director Christine Nicholson at nicholsonjc@comcast.net.

New Play Reading Series: Only You Get Me by Sam Peurach

After traveling for two weeks, Cam and Selena find themselves stranded in an underwhelming 2-star hotel near a train station in Hamburg, Germany. With no trains until morning, passions spark and a promise is made: to be intimate upon their future return to Hamburg, even if they have been with other people in the interim. 10 years later, that promise is tested when the two find themselves back in the same hotel room, searching for what they once had while trying to maintain who they had become.

Join us for a reading of the play “Only You Get Me” by Berkeley alum, Sam Peurach, followed by a discussion with the playwright and the director, Jennifer Coluccio. Presented by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

About the Playwright
Sam Peurach is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley.  He was a recipient of the Mark Goodman Award for Dramatic Excellence and the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Citation Award. He now lives back in his hometown of Los Angeles where, like many people, he is pursuing his acting career of being that one guy from that one show. “Only You Get Me” is Peurach’s first full length play and he is honored to be able to go through this amazing experience of having it workshopped in his home department–where the writing first began.

About the Director
Jennifer McPherson Coluccio is a Ph.D. student in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a theatre and film actor in New York and Los Angeles with credits that include In Justice, Entourage, Iron Man 3 and a five-year run in Tom Salamon and Neil Patrick Harris’s live interactive series, Accomplice. She has been an acting instructor and director for a private Meisner conservatory, Excelsior College, and California State University, Los Angeles.

About the New Play Reading Series
The New Play Reading Series 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 series is sponsored by the Townsend Center for the Humanities in conjunction with the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.

The Grey Area (Student Workshop)

The Grey Area is a TDPS Workshop (work-in-progress) presented by undergraduate Logan Moody. 

In a surreal landscape, two people—each running from and towards something—meet on a swing set, and everything changes. This multimedia performance piece incorporates movement, acting, gesture, music and film to ask hard questions about identity, race and belonging in today’s world.   

This workshop is free, but a reservation is required.

Zellerbach Room 170 can be accessed by entering through the stage door of Zellerbach Hall (located down the stairs behind the Cal Performances box office — to the left of the Zellerbach Playhouse). Go straight down the main hallway, then turn left at the end of the hall. Room 170 will be on your left, across from the restrooms. The stage door personnel can also assist with directions. If arriving by car, plan ample time for parking. Map

“Exploration of Forms” Public Movement Workshop: Afro Cuban Dance with José Francisco Barroso

TDPS presents a series of three spring workshops with Cuban dancer and choreographer José Francisco Barroso. These workshops focus on the explosive and subtle sacred expressions of the Orisha (Yoruba deities), as well as the dances of the Dahomey-Arará (Vodu, Gaga), and Congo (Palo, Makuta) regions. Barroso’s class offers students a strong understanding of polyrhythm and the kinesthetic distinctions of Afro-Cuban
traditional dances, rhythms, and movements. Join us for all three, or drop in for just one or two! The class is free, but cash donations for the drummers are welcome and encouraged.

ALL LEVELS WELCOME! LIVE DRUMMING! FREE!

10:30am-noon on three Sundays (drop in for one, or come to all)
January 28
February 18
March 18

UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Dance Studio
2401 Bancroft Way at Dana (entrance to studio on Dana)

See the poster: ExplorationForms_Spring2018

About José Francisco Barroso:
From a very young age, Havana-born José Francisco Barroso studied the Cuban dance styles of son, casino, rueda, and rumba. Barroso describes these art forms as an expression of everyday life in Cuba and as a symbol of the vibrancy of the Cuban people. He was recognized throughout Havana for his skills in hip-hop and break dance, and studied with Cuba’s Compania Folklorica Raices Profundas. As a director, choreographer, and teacher, Barroso has received numerous grants and awards, including the Isadora Duncan Dance Award, a California Arts Council Artist-In-Residence Grant, and ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program, and has held many residencies at universities. Barroso currently teaches a weekly class open to all levels on Tuesdays, 7pm, at ODC in San Francisco. 

“Exploration of Forms” Public Movement Workshop: Afro Cuban Dance with José Francisco Barroso

TDPS presents a series of three spring workshops with Cuban dancer and choreographer José Francisco Barroso. These workshops focus on the explosive and subtle sacred expressions of the Orisha (Yoruba deities), as well as the dances of the Dahomey-Arará (Vodu, Gaga), and Congo (Palo, Makuta) regions. Barroso’s class offers students a strong understanding of polyrhythm and the kinesthetic distinctions of Afro-Cuban
traditional dances, rhythms, and movements. Join us for all three, or drop in for just one or two! The class is free, but cash donations for the drummers are welcome and encouraged.

ALL LEVELS WELCOME! LIVE DRUMMING! FREE!

10:30am-noon on three Sundays (drop in for one, or come to all)
January 28
February 18
March 18

UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Dance Studio
2401 Bancroft Way at Dana (entrance to studio on Dana)

See the poster: ExplorationForms_Spring2018

About José Francisco Barroso:
From a very young age, Havana-born José Francisco Barroso studied the Cuban dance styles of son, casino, rueda, and rumba. Barroso describes these art forms as an expression of everyday life in Cuba and as a symbol of the vibrancy of the Cuban people. He was recognized throughout Havana for his skills in hip-hop and break dance, and studied with Cuba’s Compania Folklorica Raices Profundas. As a director, choreographer, and teacher, Barroso has received numerous grants and awards, including the Isadora Duncan Dance Award, a California Arts Council Artist-In-Residence Grant, and ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program, and has held many residencies at universities. Barroso currently teaches a weekly class open to all levels on Tuesdays, 7pm, at ODC in San Francisco. 

“Exploration of Forms” Public Movement Workshop: Afro Cuban Dance with José Francisco Barroso

TDPS presents a series of three spring workshops with Cuban dancer and choreographer José Francisco Barroso. These workshops focus on the explosive and subtle sacred expressions of the Orisha (Yoruba deities), as well as the dances of the Dahomey-Arará (Vodu, Gaga), and Congo (Palo, Makuta) regions. Barroso’s class offers students a strong understanding of polyrhythm and the kinesthetic distinctions of Afro-Cuban
traditional dances, rhythms, and movements. Join us for all three, or drop in for just one or two! The class is free, but cash donations for the drummers are welcome and encouraged.

ALL LEVELS WELCOME! LIVE DRUMMING! FREE!

10:30am-noon on three Sundays (drop in for one, or come to all)
January 28
February 18
March 18

UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Dance Studio
2401 Bancroft Way at Dana (entrance to studio on Dana)

See the poster: ExplorationForms_Spring2018

About José Francisco Barroso:
From a very young age, Havana-born José Francisco Barroso studied the Cuban dance styles of son, casino, rueda, and rumba. Barroso describes these art forms as an expression of everyday life in Cuba and as a symbol of the vibrancy of the Cuban people. He was recognized throughout Havana for his skills in hip-hop and break dance, and studied with Cuba’s Compania Folklorica Raices Profundas. As a director, choreographer, and teacher, Barroso has received numerous grants and awards, including the Isadora Duncan Dance Award, a California Arts Council Artist-In-Residence Grant, and ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program, and has held many residencies at universities. Barroso currently teaches a weekly class open to all levels on Tuesdays, 7pm, at ODC in San Francisco. 

 
 

Amateurism Across the Arts Conference

Hosted by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, Amateurism Across the Arts is an exploration of vernacular, popular, fannish, kitsch, informal, self-taught, user-generated, and DIY production in music, architecture, literature, the visual arts, dance,  and new media– especially in relation to raced, classed, and gendered notions of value.  How do the implicitly skilled “arts” rupture and reorganize themselves around hierarchies of taste?  And how can critical race and feminist/queer scholarship account for “hobbyist” — that is, extra-institutional, self-organized, or improvised — modes of cultural production and circulation?  If amateurism has been traditionally disavowed in modernist and avant-garde historiographies, it is at the same time persistently—even obsessively—invoked, and is hence inextricably woven into those discourses.
 
The symposium asks how the “high” and the “low” are porous constructions by looking at the ways that these charged terms have been deployed and dismantled across several artistic disciplines, particularly as we examine the alternative economies and systems of distribution that attend such forms of making. While it has become commonplace for “fine” artists to recruit untrained participants into their practices, it is vital to acknowledge that many non-professional forms of making grow out of necessity and survival. In addition, though “amateur” is frequently used as a shorthand for the unpracticed and/or uninteresting, this conference seeks to understand its connections to its root word amare: a complex outgrowth of critical investment, pleasure, and love.
 

Schedule of Events

9:30am: Door Open to the Public

10:00: Welcome by ARC Director Julia Bryan-Wilson

10:20: Self-organized student hip-hop dance performance

10:30-12:30: Street Modernists: Urban Undoings of High and Low

“God is Beautiful and He Loves Beauty”
Talinn Grigor, Professor of Art History, University of California, Davis

“Modern and Vernacular—How Brazilian mid-century architecture problematizes this inherent contradiction”
Fernando Luiz Lara, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Texas

Response by Greg Castillo, Associate Professor of Architecture, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley

12:30-1:30: Lunch Break

1:30-3:30: Self-Made: Cultural Production Outside of Industry

“Piracy and Fandom: DIY Media Distribution”
Abigail De Kosnik, Associate Professor, Berkeley Center for New Media and Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies, University of California, Berkeley

“Post-autonomous literature in Latin America: the radical art of poverty”
Cecilia Palmeiro, Professor, Contemporary Latin American Cultural Studies, NYU in Buenos Aires and National University of Tres de Febrero

Response by Natalia Brizuela, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Literature & Culture, Spanish and Portuguese Department, UC Berkeley

3:30-3:40: Self-Taught Student Music Performance

3:45-5:45: Everyday Avant-Gardes and Non-Elite Evaluations

“Kenner und Liebhaber Revisited: ‘Advanced’ Music and Sound since 1950”
Benjamin Piekut, Associate Professor, Music, Cornell University

“Kaisik Wong: Extravagant Appropriation”
Marci Kwon, Assistant Professor, Art & Art History, Stanford University

Response by Stephanie Syjuco, Assistant Professor, Art Practice, UC Berkeley

5:45-6:15: Student DIY Couture Fashion Show, hosted by Derrick Duren (Arts + Design Student Committee)

6:15-7 Reception


Amateurism Across the Arts is an event hosted by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, and co-sponsored in part by the Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California Humanities Research Institute, Judith Butler’s Maxine Elliot Endowed Chair Funds, the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Additional support is provided by Departments of MusicHistory of Art, Spanish and Portuguese, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, Critical Theory, the Center for Race & Gender, and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies.

New Play Reading Series: “Left Unfini–” by toshi pau

Comedy, drama, romance, tragedy. Noise, silence, intimacy, enmity. Whatever you want, nothing you can have. Everything you need, maybe not what you want. A distant future… or perhaps a distant past? Follow the lives of three friends who go abroad to three different places, looking for something —anything— to keep their dreams alive. But what happens when dreams die? Join us for this reading of the new play “Left Unfini–,” and be sure to stay for a discussion with the playwright.

NOTES
Don’t dreams always seem to make sense, even when they don’t? Don’t you ever feel like you can do anything? Doesn’t it feel liberating? And yet, sometimes oppressive? How do we truly know when we are dreaming? When does it start? When does it end? Do I dream of being a butterfly? Or am I a mere butterfly dreaming of being human?

昔者莊周夢為胡蝶,栩栩然胡蝶也,自喻適志與。不知周也。俄然覺,則蘧蘧然周也。不知周之夢為胡蝶與,胡蝶之夢為周與。周與胡蝶,則必有分矣。此之謂物化。
⁃ Zhuangzi

AUTHOR BIO
toshi pau is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and a co-director of the New Play Reading Series for the 2017-2018 academic year. His interests as a new playwright revolve around the possibilities of language and non-language in theater, meaning and the absence/construction of context, and disturbing preconceived notions of reality.

Little Russians (Student Workshop)

Little Russians is a TDPS Workshop (work-in-progress) presented by undergraduate Lana Cosic.

In 19th century Little Russia, an elderly couple’s peaceful, predictable daily routine begins to unravel, revealing the fantastical dysfunctionality of their world. Inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s “Old World Landowners” and the Greek myth of Baucis and Philemon, this original play examines how long-lasting relationships last and evolve, and the power of simple events to disrupt daily life’s cyclical patterns. 

New Play Reading Series: “Tourist Trap” by Marie Yuen

It’s Cantonese meets culture shock the day Laura arrives in Hong Kong. But that’s okay for this ABC (American-Born-Chinese) because when dinner with a local friend turns into a mad dash about town, Laura’s game on for anything: from black pepper steak set meals to dancing with drunken bankers and a Canadian who may (or may not) be a Gurkha. Tourist Trap: A play for the hopeless adventurer in all of us.

About Marie Yuen: 
Trained at Chicago Dramatists Workshop, the Theatre Building Chicago Musical Writer’s Workshop and Artistic New Directions with Jeffrey Sweet (NY), Marie’s short one-acts Silk Scarf and My Father’s Father were produced by North Avenue Productions in 1996. A 20-minute version of Too Many Cooks (Book: Marie Yuen, Lyrics: Julie Pedersen, Music: Jill Marshall-Work) was workshop produced by Theatre Building Chicago in 2000 and in 2005 she was commissioned by Scott Foresman Publishing to write Dreams Come True and The Boy Who Would Be Famous for their 2007 Reading Series: Readers’ Theatre Anthology (for elementary school students). In 2007, Marie wrote and executive produced Wingmen (a pilot about 5 Asian American men living in Chicago) which was a finalist and runner-up at the 2007 Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Competition and which screened at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre in July, 2007. Most recently in 2012, a 10-minute excerpt from her play “Autumn Moon” was produced as part of A-Squared Theatre Workshop’s sold-out run of “My Asian Mom.” 

Onstage, Marie has appeared: twice in The King & I (Hong Kong and Chicago); as a platinum blonde tap dancing angel named Virtue in Anything Goes (Chicago); and as Tommy the Cat in Dick Whittington and His Cat (Hong Kong). Backstage she has stage managed for YAMA Works (Hamlet), the Pintig Cultural Group (Nanay Isog and her Children) and offstage she’s been a script reader for Victory Gardens Theatre (2004) as well as a Box Office Associate & House Manager for Lifeline Theatre (2001-2005). 

Winner of the 1993 South China Morning Post/Radio Television Hong Kong Short Story Competition for “The Audition” and the1998 Dalan Award by CITA for Excellence in Acting, Marie has a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Illinois-Champaign/ Urbana and is a past copywriter for BBDO Hong Kong. She has been a member of the Dramatists Guild of America since 2000.

The New Play Reading Series 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 event is sponsored by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.

Exploration of Forms Movement Workshop: “Afrobeats Party Dance Workshop” with Nkei Oruche

 

Part of the Public Movement Workshop Series 
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.

From Lagos to Bahia, London to Kinshasa, Lome to Port-Au- Prince, Luanda to Kingston, experience movements and music from urban African Diaspora’s clubs and parties. This workshop will explore basic to advanced moves of Afrobeats dance styles, while incorporating techniques and movement from other genres including Ndombolo, Kuduro, Afrohouse and Dancehall.


Nkei Oruche is an Igbo-Nigerian performer, educator, and producer specializing in street dance and music styles from Africa and her Diaspora. As a choreographer, dancer and performer she has enthralled audiences from street corners, to house parties to the stages of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Yoshi’s SF, Dance Mission Theater, the Independent, the Mezzanine and the California Academy of Sciences. Nkeiruka has performed with Magic System, Les Twins, Amara Tabor-Smith, Zakiya Harris & Elephantine, MJ’S Brass Boppers, and is currently a front-person for Gbedu Town Radio, a live ensemble of dancers and musicians covering Afro-diasporic street and club music. In 2016, she directed Bacchanal de Afrique-Til’ Dance Do Us Part, a tongue-in- cheek dance-theater piece narrating urban African life stages via
a soundtrack of Afrobeats, Azonto, Turf, Second-Line, and Dancehall, against a narrative of Black empowerment.

Currently, Oruche is focused on expanding and sustaining grassroots change-making and community resiliency through the production, performance and embodiment of art and culture. She is a co-founder of BoomShake, a community organization that uses street drumming as a tool for cultural survival and social justice, and the artistic director of Afro Urban Society, a meeting place for urban African art, culture and people.

Exploration of Forms Movement Workshop: “Protean Progressions” with Sherwood Chen

 

Part of the Public Movement Workshop Series 
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.

This warming and dynamic training offers a torrent of movements across and through the floor to challenge kinesthetic, motor and sensorial awareness—riddled with imagery and sense memory—as we individually and collectively test limit, drive, scale, fun, rigor and rhythm. 


Sherwood Chen has worked as a performer with artists including Anna Halprin, Xavier Le Roy, Amara Tabor-Smith, Min Tanaka, inkBoat, Sara Shelton Mann Grisha Coleman and l’agence touriste. He has lead movement workshops and trained companies internationally in studio and in natural and urban landscapes in places including Ménagerie de Verre, Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade, Independent Dance / Siobahn Davies Studios, Earthdance, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Chez Bushwick and Dock 11. For over twenty years, he has contributed to ongoing Body Weather research initiated by Tanaka and proponents at large.

RESTROOM FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY (TDPS WORKSHOP)

 

Restroom for Customers Only is a TDPS workshop (work-in-progress) written, directed, and starring undergraduate John Hildenbrand. 

Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again.” Entirely true and unembellished, Restroom For Customers Only is an autoethnographic display of a 50-year-old man who has traveled the nation in search of a home and finally found one as a UC Berkeley student.

EXPLORATION OF FORMS: “When I Choose to Explain the Curve of My Path” with Brontez Purnell

 

Part of the Public Movement Workshop Series 
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.

In this movement/word workshop we will explore the interface of Brontez’s first two artistic loves—dance and writing. In moving through the world of dance—a body based practice that often forgoes the use of speech—the mode of physical expression is emotive—to express with gesture where words may fail. In this workshop we will explore/investigate/deconstruct the inescapable world of movement and the written word. Please bring a note book and pen.


Brontez Purnell has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. He is author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell’s other prominent artistic collaborations include his supporting role in the queer independent feature film, “I Want Your Love” (dir. Travis Mathews, 2012). He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum’s L@TE program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by OutMagazine’s 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie for Performance/Music.

AUDITION FOR THE FALL CHOREO SHOWCASE

Join our dance community! TDPS is looking to cast dancers for the TDPS Fall Choreography Showcase: Solos + Duets. This showcase features choreography by TDPS students, and is directed by acclaimed choreographer and TDPS Professor Joe Goode.

Please come to the audition ready to move!

To be cast, dancers must be able to commit to rehearsals Thursdays 2-4 PM.
Dancers will enroll in Theater 146A for 1 credit.
Performances are December 7 and 8, 2017 and are open to the public. There will be two performances each night, one at 5:00 PM and one at 8:00 PM; it will be decided at a later point which dances go on which program.

OPEN AUDITIONS – “BERKELEY DANCE PROJECT 2018”

Berkeley Dance Project 2018  features new choreography by Katie Faulkner and James Graham. 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. 

No sign up necessary. Dancers, please arrive dressed and ready to move at 6:00 PM. 

Additional information is available under the  “Productions | Auditions” tab of the TDPS Callboard. Please read details. 

***AUDITIONS ARE OPEN TO ALL CAL STUDENTS. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A TDPS MAJOR OR MINOR, OR ENROLLED IN A TDPS CLASS, IN ORDER TO AUDITION.***

**Please note this new format: Berkeley Dance Project will be created in the fall and performed in February.**
 

NEW PLAY READING SERIES: “THE CARTER SISTERS” BY LASHON DALEY

The Carter Sisters is a play about the sisterhood of Tiana and Lorraine Carter as they grapple with the recent death of their mother through their artistic practices—Tiana through her spoken-word poetry and Lorraine through her playwriting.  However, offstage, their relationship is stifling and combative. As they work to reconcile their relationship, their estranged father is released from his 20-year stint in prison and wants to become a part of their lives again.

Join us for a reading of the play The Carter Sisters by Lashon Daley, followed by a discussion with the playwright Lashon Daley, and the director, Malika Saramaat Imhotep. 

Lashon Daley has been writing since she was young girl. After earning her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, Lashon moved to New Orleans for several years.  During her time there, Lashon discovered the joys of storytelling, sparking her interest in folklore and community stories. After the death of her mother in 2013, Lashon found that performing spoken-word poetry evoked the part of her mother that lived on in her: her voice, her face, and the movements of her hands.

Lashon’s passion has continued to fuel her work as a writer, especially of children’s literature and poetry. She is a 2014 Callaloo Fellow and a 2015 UC Berkeley Chancellor Fellow, where she is working towards her PhD in Performance Studies. Lashon’s work has appeared in O, The Oprah MagazineStorytelling Magazine; and Underwater New York. An active performer, Lashon makes her home in Oakland, California. The Carter Sisters is her first play.

The New Play Reading Series 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.

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.

***AUDITIONS ARE OPEN TO ALL CAL STUDENTS. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A TDPS MAJOR OR MINOR, OR ENROLLED IN A TDPS CLASS, IN ORDER TO AUDITION.***

 

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!

FALL CHOREOGRAPHY SHOWCASE 2017

With dance pieces touching on topics from consumerism, to the connection between love and death, and the linking of freedom to oppression, the Fall Choreography Showcase 2017 highlights the work of emerging choreographers. Under the direction of choreographer and TDPS professor Joe Goode, TDPS students present original solos and duets. Come see the next generation of dance artists!

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGE: Rather than two performances each evening (5:00 & 8:00 PM), as previously scheduled, there will now be ONE performance each evening at 7:00 PM.

Tickets are free, but a reservation is required. Please complete the entire purchase process to “buy” a $0.00 ticket.

 

ALL IN THE TIMING: an evening of short comedies by David Ives

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


Written by David Ives
Directed by TDPS Students

Join us for an evening of four one-act comedies drawn from the collection of award-winning playwright David Ives, and directed, designed and performed by TDPS students. Ives’s offbeat sketches mix the witty and the wise-cracking, the surreal and the satiric, and the poetic and the perplexing. They will leave audiences laughing long after they leave the theater.

The evening’s four pieces take on the absurdity of being alive and the possibilities of human connection:

Time Flies – directed by Angelina Steshenko
English Made Simple – directed by Ceylan Ersoy
The Universal Language – directed by Tanvi Agrawal
Sure Thing – directed by Carmel Suchard 

The show opens Thursday, March 15, 2018 and continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus. Tickets are $10 – $15 and can be purchased online through the TDPS Box Office at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=78714 or at the door. Ives’s clever style of humor is decidedly intellectual, mixing quick-witted wordplay, poetic conception, and outlandish surrealism. TDPS Associate Professor Peter Glazer, who is mentoring the student directors, says: “David Ives presents a demanding language style. The directors are learning to connect with his unconventional sense of humor and make it accessible to an audience—to bring his offbeat conceit to life.”

Time Flies, directed by Angelina Steshenko, follows two mayflies on their first date. They are interrupted by Sir David Attenborough, who informs them that their lives only last 24 hours. A one-night stand quickly turns into a mid-life crisis, as the brokenhearted bugs try to find a solution. “My hope for the audience, ” says Steshenko, “is that they’ll think about how lucky we are as humans to get more than one day to live and we shouldn’t waste any of those days.”  

In English Made Simple, Jack and Jill meet at a party and proceed through a series of revealing relationship vignettes—punctuated by a solemn narrator who offers grammatical insight into what each person is really thinking as they speak. Director Ceylan Ersoy says, “The first time I read this one-act, it was as if I were reading dialogues I’ve had in my own life – a brutal revelation of what actually goes on in a daily human interaction. The stage reflects the truths that we avoid, and the reason it’s so funny is because we see ourself in the characters.”

The Universal Language follows a shy woman with a stutter as she places her faith in a language tutor who promises to teach her the (made-up) universal language “Unamunda.” Almost entirely scripted in absurd gibberish, this one-act is gleefully silly and strangely profound as the two discover a true connection. “My goal,” says Director Tanvi Agrawal, “ is that audiences will walk away thinking about the many nuances and complexities that hide below the surface of ‘normal’ human behavior. I want them to be perplexed at how it’s possible to communicate a story without conventional language.”

Sure Thing cheekily explores the many possibilities of conversation. Would-be couple Bill and Betty meet at a coffee shop and attempt to connect, continually stumbling or winding up in a dead-end. But every time they blunder, a merciful bell resets the conversation, resulting in a second, third, or even fourth chance to make a good impression. The beautiful message within each of the four David Ives plays brings forward a little quirk about human relationships,” says director Carmel Suchard. “I think audiences will leave with a smile on their face.”

READ THE PRESS RELEASE

MECHANICS OF LOVE

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

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO LATE SEATING AND ALSO NO RE-ENTRY DURING THE PERFORMANCE, DUE TO THE STAGE CONFIGURATION.


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

Sometimes, the business of beginning a new world involves forgetting the old one. But when you forget your wife to marry a ballerina with an artificial spine…and the ballerina forgets you to marry your fashionable wife…and then they both fall in love with the mechanic…suddenly, the ordinary rules of love are impossible to follow. Dipika Guha’s wryly poetic and playful comedy Mechanics of Love questions the laws governing who and how we love, and the cost of making sense of it all. TDPS presents this fast-paced, four-person production in an intimate in-the-round configuration on the Zellerbach Playhouse stage November 16-19.

Mechanics of Love features choreography by Chloe Chan, scenic and costume design by Annie Smart, lighting design by Jack Carpenter, and sound design by Emily Fassler. The cast includes: Jade Moujaes, Ciclady Rodriguez, Baela Tinsley, and Marcus van Duren.


“I think the show reveals how exhilarating and terrifying it is to find and fall in love, and how difficult it is to maintain a relationship, how hard it is to juggle ‘having it all’ at the same time that you are trying to discover what “it all” actually is, and, after making that discovery, what it means to let “it” go, whether that be from desire or necessity.” 

-Director Christine Nicholson


About Playwright Dipika Guha

Dipika Guha was born in Calcutta and raised in India, Russia and the United Kingdom. She is a Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University for the year 2017-2018 and was the inaugural recipient of the Shakespeare’s Sister Playwriting Award with the Lark Play Development Center, A Room of Her Own and Hedgebrook. Her plays include Yoga Play (South Coast Repertory Theatre, KILROYS LIST ’17),  The Rules (SF Playhouse), The Art of Gaman (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor ’16, KILROYS LIST ’16, Relentless Award Semi-Finalist), I Enter the Valley (Theatreworks New Play Festival, Southern Rep New Play Festival), Mechanics of Love (Crowded Fire Theatre, Two by For, NYC) and Blown Youth (published by Playscripts). Most recently her work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Roundabout Underground, McCarter Theatre’s Sallie B. Goodman Residency, New Georges, Shotgun Players, the Sam French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, Southern Rep, 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and the Magic Theatre amongst others. Dipika has been the recipient of several residencies and fellowships including the Djerassi Residency Program, the Hermitage Retreat, Ucross, SPACE at Ryder Farm and a Dramatists Guild Fellowship. She is an alumnus of Ars Nova Playgroup, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Women’s Project Lab and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. She was recently a visiting artist at the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, is a resident playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco and a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Dipika is currently writing on American Gods, the series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel for Starz.   

Read our interview with Dipika Guha.

BERKELEY DANCE PROJECT 2018

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


You are invited to “Berkeley Dance Project 2018,” a night of exciting new choreography that uses movement and multimedia to explore human physical and psychological journeys.

Choreographer Katie Faulkner (the award-winning founder of little seismic dance company) has created a piece that uses movement and projection mapping to examine the physical changes that women undergo as they progress through puberty, childbearing, aging, and illness, with a specific focus on the power that women possess in their ability to reproduce. On the heels of a year of female action and activism (2017’s Women’s March on Washington, and the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements), Faulkner’s piece, performed by an all-female cast, gives voice to the physical experience of being a woman in the world. 

James Graham (artistic director of the San Francisco-based James Graham Dance Theatre) has created a new work that questions our experiences with gender, sexuality, and identity – how we see ourselves, and how we are seen in the world. James questions, “In comparison to when I was a student, how do these diverse young people experience their comfort level in their own gender identity and sexuality? It’s inspiring to delve into their stories.”

Original student choreography is also featured in “Berkeley Dance Project 2018.” Works by TDPS students Madeline Aragon and Hillary Tang will be restaged on a larger scale, after premiering in December as part of TDPS’s Fall Choreography Showcase. Aragon’s duet conveys the challenge of clear communication between two people, and the resulting impact on relationships between friends, lovers, or family members. Hillary Tang’s solo exposes her personal process of acknowledging a toxic relationship, removing herself from the abuse, and ultimately finding internal peace and clarity.

 

Read the Press Release 

the Dream of Kitamura, written and directed by Philip Kan Gotanda

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
Choreography by Katie Faulkner
April 20-29 // Zellerbach Playhouse

TDPS presents the Dream of Kitamura – a mythic, ghostly tale based on a haunting image that appeared to esteemed playwright and TDPS Professor Philip Kan Gotanda in a dream. Gotanda will direct this darkly evocative and movement-driven play in collaboration with award-winning choreographer Katie Faulkner. The show opens Friday, April 20 and continues through Sunday, April 29 in the Zellerbach Playhouse. Tickets are $13 – $20 and can be purchased online through the TDPS Box Office at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=78715 or at the door.

The Dream of Kitamura is a mystery-shrouded hallucination that begins when Lord Rosanjin dreams that the demon Kitamura is coming to kill him. His horror is so profound that he hires two bodyguards to defend him against his own delusion. But are they who they appear to be? And what of the icy, repressed Lady Zuma, and his petulant daughter Otsu? Something rots in the House of Rosanjin as great love kills great love.

One of America’s leading playwrights, Philip Kan Gotanda is best known for plays that focus on the Asian American experience, such as The Wash, The Ballad of Yachiyo and Yankee Dawg You Die. This particular play stemmed, not from his own life experiences, but from a dream: “I dreamt the central image,” he explains, “and that dream was very potent. The image was my father as an aging lord, in an ornate, gothic throne. I was to his left, and a composite of my brothers was to his right. My father was pointing into the darkness, crying ‘KITAMURA. KITAMURA.’ We pulled out our swords to protect him. I woke up and my sense was that my father was dreaming of death coming for him. Out of this, I built a murder mystery—a feverish, dream play.”  While writing the play, Gotanda sought to trust his source, the dream, by allowing his unconscious to drive the process. When images surfaced, he accepted the ideas without judgement and explored how they might form themselves onstage.  

Gotanda notes that when he wrote the Dream of Kitamura in 1981, “I was a young artist, I was a young Asian American artist, still inventing a theatrical sense of what that would mean for the stage.”  The dream, the unconscious fused with the conscious struggle to find home in America, provided a reservoir of source material: Butoh, The Three Stooges, martial arts movies, Japanese fashion mash-up, Spaghetti Westerns and Gagaku ceremonial Japanese court music.

Fittingly, and perhaps inevitably, the Dream of Kitamura has a non-linear structure, with a narrative that is presented through both text and ritualized movement. In TDPS’s production, Katie Faulkner’s choreography is integral to the story telling. “I’ve always been intrigued by Katie’s pieces at TDPS, letting her know how much I’ve enjoyed them,” says Gotanda. “Now we’re working closely together on Kitamura, which has a highly visual movement vocabulary. The moving pictures without text are just as important as the text-driven scenes, telling a story that is immersive and inhabiting a dreamscape.”

An early work by Gotanda, the Dream of Kitamura is more experimental than most of his canon, and had its first production at San Francisco’s Asian American Theater Company in 1981, directed by David Henry Hwang. It pushed the boundaries of what defined Asian American theater, as realism held sway as the correct form of telling “community” stories. The play was further developed at East West Players, directed by Mako, followed by a collaboration at New York’s Theater of the Open Eye with Joseph Campbell, Isamu Noguchi, and Jean Erdman, which toured it around the Hawaiian Islands and the West Coast.   

Gotanda is excited to be revisiting the Dream of Kitamura again after many years away from the play. For the TDPS production, he is working with a culturally and racially diverse student cast – Korean, Native, Black-South Asian, Irish, Latinx, White, Guatemalan, Filipino, Costa Rican – a change from previous productions where the cast was exclusively Asian. Gotanda sees this production as a strong learning opportunity for the mixed group of actors—and for himself. “Although it is the same script, my approach now is different,” Gotanda shares. “How I engage the world now is quite different. How I think about American Theater is different, in particular as seen through the practice of teaching at the University. the Dream of Kitamura at TDPS is a new play.”

View the press release.

METAMORPHOSES

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.

NEW PLAY READING SERIES: “DUMB PUPPY” BY ELIZABETH SPREEN

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.