La Futura: a lecture presentation by Argentine dance theater maker Mayra Bonard

Argentine dance theater maker Mayra Bonard will speak about Argentine dance theater, her body of work and her artistic process and artistic derivations.

Mayra Bonard is a dancer, performer, choreographer, director and studied classical and contemporary dance, theatre, playwrighting, martial arts, music, photography and philosophy. She is a founding member of El Descueve, an independent, prestigious and influential collective group of dance theater makers in Buenos Aires. Their work has had a strong impact on contemporary dance internationally as well as experimental local theater. Her interest has always resided in creating original work rather than performing preexisting works. Her pieces are a stellar example of a true blending of dance and theater. The pieces mix elements of contemporary dance, music, dance, theatre, and performance art.  Her work is sensual, at times, comic, but, also very transformative in its emotionalism.


CHECK OUT OTHER ARTIST EVENTS THIS FALL DURING MAYRA BONARD’S RESIDENCY  

Dance Theater Workshop at the Joe Goode Annex
November 14 & 15 | Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco | For more info and to register, click HERE

 

Selections from Bonard’s works “Cariño” and “Selección Natural”
November 20 & 21, 8:00 PM | Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco | $30 | Purchase tickets HERE

 

 

Exploration of Forms: Gaga Workshop with James Graham

$5 for UC Berkeley participants (please bring ID); $10-20 sliding scale for the general public


 

“Gaga is the name of the movement that the [Batsheva] company is trained in daily. With Gaga we discover our movement patterns, and we become attuned to our weaknesses and to the places of atrophy in our bodies. We become more efficient in our movement and it allows us to go beyond familiar movements. We connect to our joy of dance and to our explosive power.”

—Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company

In Gaga we will:

….open our inner passageways
….increase our senses and connect them to our pleasure
….be groovy
….connect to our strength and power
….learn how to move with any injuries
….become more aware of how we move and our habits
….sweat!

 

James Graham is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Graham is currently on faculty at UC Berkeley, the Dominican University/LINES Ballet B.F.A. Program, and at the SF Conservatory of Dance where he teaches GAGA People classes on Tuesday evenings. Graham was chosen by Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company) to be a Certified Gaga Instructor and to take part in his pilot training program of international Gaga teachers. He has taught extensively on the West Coast, the Midwest, as well as Canada, South Korea, and Israel.

He presents his choreographic work through his company James Graham Dance Theatre, while also curating the work of others, namely in Dance Lovers, his annual Valentine’s show of duets. He will be premiering “Homeroom” an evening-length show looking at male relationships at ODC December 10-12, 2015. This year he won an IZZIE award for Outstanding Achievement in Individual Performance (for his Entire Season) and was nominated for an IZZIE award in Choreography (“Guilty Survivor”). Graham received an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University in 2010, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2005 where he Majored in Theater and Minored in Dance. www.jamesgrahamdancetheatre.com

“The Aftermath: Reflections on Terror and Performance,” a talk by Rustom Bharucha

Drawing on his recently published book Terror and Performance (Routledge 2014), Rustom Bharucha will probe the modalities and enigmas of the dangerous liaisons between terror and performance. To what extent can performance counter its complicities within the larger narrative of terror?  Is non-violence viable in an age of terror?  Can justice exist beyond – and against – the law?  These are some of the critical questions that will be raised in the lecture, which attempts to provide a reflective framework on the terror of our times from a non-Eurocentric perspective, seeking alternatives to violence and brutality through a renewed understanding of what it means to be human.

In this lecture, the idea of performance will extend beyond theatre practice to encompass four primary sites of investigation:  ‘September 11’, Islamophobia, Truth and Reconciliation in the larger contexts of post-apartheid South Africa and post-genocide Rwanda, and Non-Violence vis-a-vis the political practice and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.  

Rustom Bharucha is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies in the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.  A leading interlocutor in the fields of interculturalism, secularism, and oral history, he has written a number of books including Theatre and the World, The Question of Faith, In the Name of the Secular, The Politics of Cultural Practice, Rajasthan: An Oral History, Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin and Terror and Performance.   In recent years, he has worked as a dramaturge for the Tangencya public art project in Durban, South Africa, on the politics of touch; as Project Director for Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan on traditional knowledge systems; as Artistic Director of the Inter-Asia Ramayana Festival at the theatre laboratory Adishakti in Pondicherry; and, most recently, as Curator of an international conference on Rethinking Labor and the Creative Economy: Global Performative Perspectives organized jointly by the School of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU and Performance Studies international (PSi).

Carey Perloff talks Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater with Philip Gotanda + Book Signing

Carey Perloff joins TDPS Professor and playwright Philip Gotanda to celebrate the publication of her lively, revealing and thought-provoking memoir Beautiful Chaos: A Life in Theater. Perloff, who became Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in 1992, shares her provocative and impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today’s technology-infused world, as well as a passionate plea for more female involvement in the theater’s behind-the-scenes roles. Historically, directing, producing, and other managerial jobs in the theatrical profession have been male-dominated. Perloff puts forth a persuasive argument for why this must change if the theater is to maintain its vibrant culture and diverse appeal long into the future.

The conversation will include a Q&A with the audience followed by a book signing in the lobby. Beautiful Chaos will be available for purchase at the event.


In Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater (City Lights, March 2015), Carey Perloff, Artistic Director of San Francisco’s legendary American Conservatory Theater, has penned a lively and revealing memoir of her twenty-plus years at the helm, and delivered a provocative and impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today’s technology-infused world. Perloff’s personal and professional journey—her life as a woman in a male-dominated profession, as a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change—is a compelling, entertaining story for anyone interested in how theater gets made. She offers a behind-the-scenes perspective, including her intimate working experiences with well-known actors, directors, and writers including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Robert Wilson, David Strathairn, and Olympia Dukakis. Whether reminiscing about her turbulent first years as a young woman taking over an insolvent theater in crisis and transforming it into a thriving, world-class performance space, or ruminating on the potential for its future, Perloff takes on critical questions about arts education, cultural literacy, gender disparity, leadership, and power.

Artistic Director Carey Perloff. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Artistic Director Carey Perloff.
Photo by Kevin Berne.

Carey Perloff is an award-winning playwright, theater director, and the Artistic Director of the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco since 1992. She was born in Washington, DC, the daughter of Joseph Perloff, a pediatric cardiologist from New Orleans, and Marjorie Perloff, a literary critic and Austrian refugee. Her dream from a young age was to become an archaeologist and discover the next Troy; this led her to study ancient Greek at Stanford and then to migrate to the theater, where she first learned to direct by staging Greek tragedies outdoors while studying theatrical modernism with Martin Esslin. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature in 1980, went on a Fulbright Fellowship to Oxford—where she met her British husband, Anthony Giles—fell in love with the work of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, and moved to New York to begin her directing career.  At age twenty-seven, she was hired to run Classic Stage Company, which she saved from financial ruin by staging vigorous productions of unusual classics and new work with major actors, including the American premieres of Pinter’s Mountain Language and Tony Harrison’s Phaedra Britannica, the world premiere of Ezra Pound’s Elektra, and many others. Perloff was the youngest person ever to be hired to run a major LORT theater when A.C.T. chose her in 1992 to become its third artistic director. She took over a ruined building and a demoralized and broke institution and set about bringing it back to life. She’s had deep collaborations with Tom Stoppard, Philip Kan Gotanda, Robert Wilson, Frank Galati, and Timberlake Wertenbaker; with major actors such as Bill Irwin, David Strathairn, BD Wong, and Olympia Dukakis; and with other notable artists from around the world, making A.C.T. a true destination for passionate, literate, and diverse theater. In addition, Perloff has written a number of award-winning plays, including Luminescence Dating, Higher, and Kinship; has taught for many years in A.C.T.’s acclaimed M.F.A. Program and at universities around the country; and has directed dozens of major reinterpretations of classical plays, from Hecuba to ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, as well as world premieres of new work. She helped rebuild A.C.T.’s Geary Theater after it suffered massive damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and is now involved in opening The Strand, a new performing venue and a long-dreamed-of second stage for A.C.T. Perloff writes and lectures regularly about the American theater and about issues in culture and contemporary life that are close to her heart. She and her husband have two children: Alexandra, who graduated from Harvard in art history and worked in Paris for three years before attending Yale Law School, and Nicholas, who attends Columbia University and is perhaps best known as the electronic music producer Flaxo.

“Imaginary Activism: The role of the artist beyond the art world” — A spoken word monologue by Guillermo Gómez Peña

/// Due to high demand, this performance is SOLD OUT ///

Guillermo Gómez Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and artistic director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. In recent years, he has explored two distinct territories in his solo work: the ongoing rewriting and reenactment of some of his classic performances (he calls this his “living archive”), and writing and testing brand new material dealing with radical citizenship and what he terms “imaginary activism.” In both cases, the artist’s unique format for revealing to an audience the process of creating, languaging and performing material becomes the actual project. It is precisely in his new solo work where his literature, theory, pedagogy & live art come together in a wonderfully strange mix. Not one solo performance is ever the same.

Gómez Peña has spent many years developing his unique solo style, “a combination of embodied poetry, performance activism and theatricalizations of postcolonial theory.” In his ten books, as in his live performances (with his troupe La Pocha Nostra), digital art, videos and photo performances, he pushes the boundaries still further, exploring what’s left for artists to do in a repressive global culture of censorship, paranoid nationalism and what he terms “the mainstream bizarre.” Gómez Peña examines where this leaves the critical practice of artists who aim to make tactical, performative interventions into our notions of culture, race and sexuality. Most recently, he has also been exploring the poetic and activist use of new technologies and social media.


Opening remarks by Prof. Laura E. Peréz, Department of Ethnic Studies
Questions? Check out the Facebook event or email pochaberkeley@gmail.com.

Presented by the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies in collaboration with the Center for Race and Gender and UC Berkeley’s Arts Research Center. Organized by Marco A. Flores and Stephanie Sherman.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies, Center for Latino Policy Research, Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures, English Department, Ethnic Studies 5th Account, Gender & Women’s Studies Department, History of Art Department, Queer & Transgender Advocacy Project (QTAP) at Graduate Assembly, Spanish Department, Teatro Project at UC Berkeley and the Townsend Center for Humanities.

Photo credit: Photo by Piero Viti, 2014


Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. Born in Mexico City, he moved to the US in 1978. His performance work and 11 books have contributed to the debates on cultural & gender diversity, border culture and US-Mexico relations. His artwork has been presented at over nine hundred venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia. A MacArthur Fellow, Bessie and American Book Award winner, he is a regular contributor for newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT). Gómez-Peña is a Senior Fellow in the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a Patron for the London-based Live Art Development Agency and in 2012 he was named Samuel Hoi Fellow by USA Artists.

A Murder of Crows

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.

*The 2:00 performance on Saturday, November 21 will be followed by an interview with playwright Mac Wellman and Carey Perloff, Artistic Director of ACT in San Francisco.


Written by Mac Wellman
Directed by Peter Glazer
ONE WEEK ONLY! Nov 19-22, Durham Studio Theater

A caustic apocalyptic comedy

Exploring environmental destruction, rampant consumerism, economic disparity and the rise of xenophobia, A Murder of Crows hilariously exposes humanity’s hypocrisy and its poisonous effects.

In an America gone grotesque with pollution, rebellious young Susannah reels after her father’s untimely death under a pile of radioactive chicken droppings. With her war veteran brother turning into a golden sundial in the front yard and the rest of her dysfunctional family growing ever more noxious, Susannah latches on to her certainty that the weather is changing…

This show contains strong themes and language intended for mature, respectful audiences.

Read the press release

 

May Alumnus Spotlight: James Graham, ’05

James Graham is a performer, choreographer and teacher. During 2014-15, he taught both the introductory and advanced levels of Modern Dance Technique in TDPS, and was also featured in our 2015 Alumni Panel. [See bottom of page for full bio.]

Photo: Lance Iversen

Photo: Lance Iversen

Can you briefly talk about your career journey from graduation until now?

After graduation, I lived in SF for a couple years, dancing project to project, living in the Haight and working at a raw food restaurant. I wanted to continue my studies, so I went to The Ohio State University from 2007-10 for an M.F.A. in Dance. I returned to SF, working with Joe Goode, Lizz Roman, and started to make my own work professionally. In 2011, I moved to Tel Aviv, Israel for a year and studied with Ohad Naharin/ Batsheva Dance Company to pursue becoming a Certified Gaga instructor. In the Fall of 2012, I moved back to SF and began teaching Gaga, making more of my own work through my company, James Graham Dance Theatre, and dancing with Hope Mohr Dance and Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts. I have also been on faculty at Dominican University (LINES Ballet BFA Program), Shawl-Anderson, SF Conservatory of Dance, and right here at UC Berkeley.

You majored in Theater and minored in Dance but actually ended up using more of your dance background in your current career. What drew you to major in Theater, and how has that course of study also informed what you do today?

I was drawn to study theater at UC Berkeley because of the performance studies aspect of the department.  I loved that I could take Classics, Rhetoric, Film, Queer Studies, Dance, and Theater courses in one major. As a Theater and Performance Studies major, it only took me one semester to find dance.  I loved it and, with great encouragement from former Lecturer Christopher Dolder, started to pursue dance seriously.

Being able to speak in front of a room, talk about my choreography in a clear and easily understandable way, and be in charge of a dance technique class—ready to set the tone or atmosphere—all come directly from my theater skills.  I know that using my voice and understanding movement and human behavior has fed and imbued my dancing with qualities that are compelling. Being a well-rounded dancer (one who can speak or act) or actor (one who can move or act with their whole body) is incredibly valuable.

Congratulations on your recent Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Individual Performer for your entire season of performance with James Graham Dance Theatre (which is a great honor since usually people are just nominated for one piece), as well as your nomination in the area of Choreography for “Guilty Survivor.” Can you tell us more about “Guilty Survivor” and how it came to be?

Thank you!  It is a great honor to be recognized in this way.  I presented “Guilty Survivor” at the Joe Goode Annex in the Fall of 2013. The piece deals with paying homage to the gay men who died of AIDS, feeling their presence in the city, and honoring those who helped these men (nurses, families, clergy).  I had been feeling this energy and the need to create something from these ideas since I moved to the city in 1999. I was finding my way as a young gay man, but had the intense awareness of something great and huge just occurring in this place, these streets, those homes. It was out of my reach, I had just missed the “party.” Men my age, who grew up roughly in the 1980’s, sometimes have an odd relationship with HIV/AIDS. It shaped us as children, into our coming of age years, and once we found ourselves as adults, we had few if any mentors around us, and felt a sense of guilt for being alive, a sense of “I’m sorry.”

These issues of being a gay man and what it is to deal with self-perception, interpersonal relationships, history, gender, and American culture continue to be central to my artistic and choreographic focus today.

Can you share a favorite memory of your time in TDPS?

Dancing in Janice Garrett’s “Hither Thither” in 2013-2014. Up until this point, I hadn’t thought of myself as a dancer.  I was not confident in counting while dancing. I did not have as much experience as everyone else in this piece.  However, after rehearsing for the entire year, when it was in my body and I didn’t have to think so hard about every single movement or count, it was one of the most exhilarating, joyful dances I have ever been in.  So much so that I think Janice had to ask me to tone it down.

What advantages did your TDPS education give you?

I left Cal and TDPS feeling full. I knew something about Shakespeare and Greek Tragedies, Martha Graham, Augusto Boal, myself as an artist and a thinker. I had a relationship to my moving body that was positive and brimming with curiosity. The world was clearer because of my education. And I had connections with people that would serve me in my future. A degree from Cal opens doors.

 

James Graham is a performer, choreographer and teacher. Graham is currently on faculty at UC Berkeley, the Dominican University/LINES Ballet B.F.A. Program, and at the SF Conservatory of Dance where he teaches GAGA People classes on Tuesday evenings. Graham was chosen by Ohad Naharin (Batsheva Dance Company) to be a Certified Gaga Instructor and to take part in his pilot training program of international Gaga teachers. He has taught extensively on the West Coast, the Midwest, as well as Canada, South Korea, and Israel. He presents his choreographic work through his company James Graham Dance Theatre, while also curating the work of others, namely in Dance Lovers, his annual Valentine’s show of duets. He will be premiering “Homeroom” an evening-length show looking at male relationships at ODC December 10-12, 2015. This year he won an IZZIE award for Outstanding Achievement in Individual Performance (for his Entire Season) and was nominated for an IZZIE award in Choreography (“Guilty Survivor”). Graham received an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University in 2010, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2005 where he Majored in Theater and Minored in Dance. www.jamesgrahamdancetheatre.com.

 

May 2015

April Student Spotlight: Heather Rastovac

Heather is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexualities. Her work extends upon 15 years as a dancer, choreographer and artistic director among diasporic Iranian communities in the U.S.

Rastovac_SkinOfLimes1_cropHeather Rastovac, a dance artist, dance scholar and graduate student in Performance Studies, was recently awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for The Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) by the Graduate Division. The award criteria includes innovation in teaching, ability to motivate students, and exceptional engagement in departmental and campuswide activities that promote teaching and learning. Heather’s response to learning the news: “I feel so honored and lucky at this moment.”

Of course, luck has little to do with it. Time and again, Heather has proven herself to be a dedicated instructor to undergraduate students, as well as a community member committed to inclusivity who generously contributes her time and expertise to TDPS. For the upcoming Cal Day on April 18th, Heather is once again giving her time; she will facilitate a workshop entitled “Experimenting with Embodied Histories: Social Memory as a Source for New Dance Techniques.” The workshop is from 2:30-3:30 PM in Bancroft Dance Studio and she invites all community members and alumni to participate, regardless of their movement background.

Heather’s CalDay workshop is modeled after, and informed by, the course of the same name that she developed and is teaching this semester. The course involves both practice and theory and invites students to see dance as related to the world outside the studio, and the format is inclusive of all dance forms and the varying movement backgrounds that students bring with them into the classroom. Explains Heather, “The course honors students’ diverse dance lineages while facilitating experimentation based on these lineages and other inherited ways of moving in the world.” Through readings and practice, she also asks the students enrolled in Experimenting with Embodied Histories to “interrogate the hierarchies historically constructed between Western dance forms and those categorized as ‘Ethnic’.” The responsiveness of the students is satisfying. “I feel privileged that I’ve had the opportunity to teach at UC Berkeley,” says Heather. “I am always amazed by the students, their openness, and how willing they are to put themselves out there. I gain so much through watching their growth.”

Heather began dancing in her late teens, taking every type of dance class she could find, from ballet to hip-hop. “My interest in dance practice and performance has always been one that approaches dance holistically,” Heather says. “I’m interested in more than a technique or representation of a form, but rather how any given form is rooted in multifarious contexts, histories, and relations of power.” In her dance practice,  Heather traveled internationally to study various dance forms, and her interest in Middle Eastern languages, poetry, literature and politics eventually led to intensive study of Middle Eastern dance forms.

“Dance was really my entry into an international involvement and study of the Middle East as an academic field,” says Heather. Following the events and aftermath of September 11, Heather’s engagement with the field deepened, she explains, as “a response to this disconnect between this community I was so privileged to be involved in, and the rampant racial profiling of that community that I observed.” Heather began taking community college classes at age 24, then transferred to the University of Washington where she studied Persian Languages and Literature, as well as narrowed her dance performance practice to an Iranian focus. Simultaneously, she enjoyed a semi-professional career in dance, co-directing and performing with various companies, including Delshodeh Dance Ensemble, until she left Seattle to attend graduate school at UC Berkeley in 2009.

Despite her intense study of Iranian dances and her work as a professional dancer of these forms, for years Heather regarded herself as a guest to the form. As she continued to study Iranian dance during her graduate coursework, questions of the style, the marketing of the style and her representation of, and participation in, the style became amplified. However, she eventually found the focus of her dance practice shifting. “Rather than statically representing a form, I am increasingly interested in conceptual questions about how embodied histories are animated and reconfigured in the present, or, more simply, how to experiment with tradition,” Heather says. “I am exploring how these questions can manifest themselves in emergent movement forms that simultaneously nurture the forms in which I’ve been trained and the communities of which I’ve been part.” Thus, through her doctoral research, she is able to remain closely involved with Iranian communities and dancers, many of whom she considers to be extended family.

Currently, Heather is working on an article for a special edition of the Islamophobia Studies Journal that focuses on issues of race, gender and sexuality. In the article she explores ways in which Iranian artists in France are situated in what she refers to as ‘a hierarchy of benevolence.’ “Because of the ban on public dance performance in Iran, I suggest that French media construct Iranian dancers as what transnational feminist scholar Inderpal Grewal calls ‘objects of rescue’.” says Heather. “I am drawing parallels between Euro-American ‘imperatives to save’—which we’ve seen through the West’s missions to ‘save’ the veiled Muslim woman—but I’m thinking about it through the case of Iranian dancers. My concern is how these saving narratives surrounding émigré Iranian dancers become a means of upholding the neo-colonial narrative of the West as the beacon of exceptionalism, freedom, and benevolence.” As in the rest of her research, she also examines representations of these artists’ works through the lenses of race, gender and sexuality.

Heather is also hard at work on her dissertation, “Performing Iranianness: The Choreographic Cartographies of Diasporic Iranian Dancers and Performance Artists.” In it, she looks at the work of Iranian dancers and performance artists in North America and France and analyzes the ways in which geopolitical landscape impacts their lives and artistic works. This fall, Heather will focus on finishing her dissertation and entering the job market, with a goal to work as a professor at either a research or teaching institution. Ultimately, she hopes that her work with diasporic Iranian dancers and performance artists makes critical contributions toward the fields of Dance and Performance Studies, as well as in other interdisciplinary fields such as Gender and Women’s Studies. If Heather’s tenure at UC Berkeley is any indication, she will certainly succeed in the goals she has set for herself.

 

April 2015

March Alumnus Spotlight: Cherie Hill, Class of ’06

Cherie Hill (2006) will share more about her work in person at the TDPS Alumni Panel on April 16, but here’s an exciting preview:

Photo: Alan Kimara Dixon

Photo: Alan Kimara Dixon

TDPS Alumnus Cherie Hill (’06) describes herself as a dancer/choreographer/performer/scholar/teacher/artist. The multifaceted description is fitting, a perfect way to encapsulate her varied, yet connected, interests. After earning a BA in Dance & Performance Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Choreography and Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Cherie is now back in Berkeley and juggling an abundance of projects that explore those many artistic sides and how they connect.

When asked about her current projects, Cherie first focuses on her work experimenting with contemporary dance, African aesthetics and improvisation. “Creative dance tends to be very conceptual and deals with ideas of space, time and energy,” she explains. “The project started several years ago because I wanted to explore how African dance can be translated into those same ideas. A lot of times African dance is a cultural form that is taught through steps and traditions; I was interested in analyzing it for its more universal dance concepts.” Cherie looked at different African dances and came up with several core concepts, including contracting and expanding, undulation, waves of energy and tempo. Now she’s using improvisation to explore and further refine those concepts.

Cherie grew up taking modern dance, jazz dance and other Western styles of dance. After she graduated from UC Berkeley, she started taking classes in Caribbean and African dance to get closer to her ancestry and heritage. “Then I kept getting asked to teach Caribbean and African dance,” Cherie recalls. “Even though I have that knowledge and have danced in companies that focus on those styles, it really isn’t MY roots, where I’ve grown up from. It’s not my most comfortable language.” What Cherie is trying to do now, as a self-identified modern/contemporary dancer, is find a way to share essences of African and Caribbean dance in a way that feels authentic to her and her background.

Over the past several years, Cherie has explored this topic through an academic lens, publishing her article “Creative Movement and the African Aesthetic” in InDance Magazine and presenting a sample unit at a national dance education conference. Now she’s ready to move it into an artistic and choreographic realm. Cherie recently held auditions at Luna Dance Institute (where she also teaches) for a new piece exploring African aesthetics that will premiere on April 4th at Temescal Arts Center in Oakland as part of a show titled “Perform: Education.”

Cherie hopes that working with a team of dancers and going through the choreographic process will help her build her dance vocabulary. “I think I have my own distinct movement style, or movement tendencies,” she shares, “but I don’t feel like I am at the point where I can definitively say ‘This is my dance vocabulary’ or ‘This is my personal dance language.’ However, I do feel like this process could help establish a strong base for that vocabulary that describes who I am as a choreographer.”

Other artistic projects that Cherie has on her plate include: teaching creative dance at Luna Dance Institute, teaching ‘family dance’ with families in Oakland that are going through a process of reunification, creating a YouTube dance film series called Dub Dance Project that interprets Dub music effects (ex: echo, reverb and time-lapsing) into dance, and assisting renowned hip-hop artist Rennie Harris with his book on the history of hip-hop.

Cherie met Rennie during her masters studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She later volunteered to help him with research and, last spring, traveled to New York City to interview such dance pioneers as Emilio Buddha Stretch, Raymond Specks, Don “Campbellock” Campbell and Popin’ Pete. Cherie finds the research process fascinating: “I am learning about hip-hop dance firsthand, from artists who were at the forefront of the movement. It’s wonderful to be part of history, really, while I continue to try to make my own work.”

Cherie associates her love of research with her time as a student at UC Berkeley. “Roots were planted for me at UC Berkeley,” she says. “I loved going to Berkeley. I think it’s one of the best schools in the world and, for me, all the research I did there has been extremely influential on the work I am doing now.” As a McNair scholar and Hass scholar, Cherie had the opportunity to pursue an honors thesis about Jawola Zollar, the founder of Urban Bush Woman, and her work. “That process grounded me in theoretical perspective and allowed me to explore black female history in the west and identity,” Cherie says, themes that she continues to explore today.

Additionally, winning the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize allowed Cherie to travel to Jamaica after graduation where she studied Jamaican dance and her ancestry. She then created her first non-student work. “I had my first audition for dancers, I was able to pay them, I was able to put on my first show, all because of that award,” Cherie recalls. As an emerging artist, that show was extremely valuable because it helped Cherie establish herself an independent artist and choreographer in the community.

While research, awards and scholarships certainly influenced Cherie’s post-graduate trajectory, she also credits the strong mentorship she experienced within the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, and the university as a whole, with her continued drive. “My mentors instilled in me a lot of confidence,” Cherie says. “They encouraged me to continue my work and go further with it. I feel like their support is part of why I’m still going.”

 

 

March 2015

March Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Catherine Cole

Catherine Cole is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. She is the author of Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition and Ghana’s Concert Party Theatre.

South Africa recently marked the twentieth anniversary of its first democratic elections and the momentous passage of one of the great leaders who made this political transition possible, Nelson Mandela. His passage last year inspired a great outpouring of grief, reverence, and reflection, including a call from Chancellor Nicholas Dirks for Berkeley to host events honoring Mandela. TDPS Chair Catherine Cole has been instrumental in organizing a Spring 2015 event series entitled “South Africa in the West” that explores the realities of the post-apartheid era. See the full list of events here. Dr. Cole sat down with TDPS staff to discuss her interest in and research about South Africa, as well as her role in putting “South Africa in the West” together.

19_Mandela_gebruederbeetz_0How and why did you begin studying South Africa?

Like many Americans, I feel an affinity—rightly or wrongly—with South Africa and its story of racial segregation. I feel it particularly acutely as a white woman who grew up in an all-white suburb right outside Detroit during a very tumultuous time of Detroit’s history, with the riots in the 60s. I think there are many interesting synergies between Detroit and Johannesburg, that I feel implicitly.

I’ve also always been drawn to theater of the apartheid, which includes such famous works as Boesman and Lena, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, and Woza Albert! These are shows incubated in a crucible of political adversity. In South Africa at the time these shows were created, just coming together in a room to make theater could mean breaking laws. For me, there is something riveting about art, and especially theater, made under such conditions because it depends on presence and community forged in a situation where neither can be taken for granted.

I just happened to have tickets to see Woza Albert! in a church in Manhattan the very night that Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990. The South African community in Manhattan descended on the performance that night, and it was a truly life-transforming experience.

When I looked for a topic for my second book [the first was on West Africa], I was aware of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [TRC], which was convened at the end of apartheid to deal with the fact that the legal system did not have the capacity to hold people accountable for the full scope of crimes committed under apartheid. This quasi-legal structure was inherently public, unlike many trials dealing with human rights violations in the 20th century, with hearings happening on stages, in front of audiences. As I watched the TRC unfold in the ’90s as a performance studies and theater scholar, I just knew that there was a deeper story of what was happening that our discipline was uniquely positioned to analyze. Though many people noted that the TRC was like theater or had theatrical elements, no one was going deeper. So that became the subject of my book Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition that was published in 2010.”

How are you involved in “South Africa in the West” this Spring?

After Mandela passed away in December of 2013, the Chancellor put out a call to the campus asking for programming proposals to honor his legacy. I was part of that committee and spearheaded several of the events that will occur this Spring as part of “South Africa in the West.”

As department chair, I actively work to build strong collaborative connections with other units on campus. The “South Africa in the West” project includes robust collaborations with Cal Performances, The Townsend Center for the Humanities, The Center for African Studies and the Pacific Film Archive, as well as with faculty experts in the departments of TDPS and Geography. “South Africa in the West” is designed in a way that maximizes the impact of all programming by having units work in coordination and with deep collaboration at the generative stage of program design. This is a high value for me, personally, as a leader of our department, especially as the campus must find ways deliver high quality programming in a fiscally constrained environment.

Tell us more about that “generative stage of program design” you mentioned. What were some considerations in the process?

During this process of putting together “South Africa in the West,” my core collaborator was Gillian Hart, a UC Berkeley geography professor. We searched for programming that moves beyond facile assumptions of reconciliation in a post-apartheid period. There is a joyousness, of course, related to the end of apartheid and advent of democracy—South Africa just celebrated 20 years of democracy—and yet there is much that remains from the apartheid era, including tremendous inequality and a legacy of violence.

We were worried that celebrations of Mandela could lead to a simplification of the story. Mandela is such a towering figure and he lived a very long time, so reflecting on him, by definition, takes us easily into a nostalgic mode. We really wanted to bring a depth of reflection to our programming, as well as bring a more forward, future-oriented reflection. We’ve organized events that incorporate a range of voices of artists, scholars and journalists, including people who have come of age since the advent of democracy to look at South Africa after Mandela.

A scene from “Ubu and the Truth Commission.” Photo: Handspring Puppet Company.

What can you tell us about the artists in residence who will be coming to UC Berkeley?

Later in the semester, in late April and May, South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company is bringing a revival of their production of Ubu and the Truth Commission to campus. That production came about through collaborations with Cal Performances. One of the first things I did as department chair was reach out to Cal Performances Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky and say, “Let’s inaugurate our relationship of working together. What can we do together?” They were considering a South African play at the time and, for various reasons, I put forward Ubu and the Truth Commission as a suggestion. So that actually fell into place even before Mandela had passed away. It’s a fantastic collaboration and we’re thankful that Cal Performances is able to bring Handspring here.

It’s also a tremendous opportunity for our students. Personally, I think it’s thrilling that this show incorporating puppets is happening at the end of an academic year when TDPS put on Rhinoceros in the fall. There’s a full cohort of students that engaged in making and animating those rhinoceroses who are going to have a whole new insight into what Handspring does.

We’re going to do a series of collaborations with the artists of Handspring, who have become well-known over the years, especially for War Horse. The puppeteers will be hosting workshops with the students in Theater 60, and we’re also setting up a workshop with design students. The playwright of Ubu and the Truth Commission, Jane Taylor, will also be in residence that whole month at the Townsend Center as an Una Scholar, and students (even undergraduates) can enroll in her 1 unit class on “Neither Locke nor Diderot: Sincerity, Toleration and a Theory of Acting.” There’s also going to be a day-long symposium on May 2nd, with panels featuring both Handspring artists and Jane Taylor, as well as scholars of South Africa and puppetry. So there will be many, many opportunities for students to engage.

What are you working on next?

I am currently working on a book about human rights and performance. The working title is ‘Just Theater: The Alchemy of Human Rights and Performance.’ It follows up on ideas from the Truth Commission book, but widens the frame to look at a number of geographic sites and performances both in and outside of Africa. I’m interested in the aesthetic choices that theater artists make when dealing with content that is inherently unmanageable, such as apartheid, the Rwandan genocide and other conflicts in sites across the globe.

###

See the full list of “South Africa in the West” events here.

 

March 2015

March Alumnus Spotlight: Cherie Hill, Class of ’06

Cherie Hill (2006) will share more about her work in person at the TDPS Alumni Panel on April 1, but here’s an exciting preview:

TDPS Alumnus Cherie Hill (’06) describes herself as a dancer/choreographer/performer/scholar/teacher/artist.  The multifaceted description is fitting, a perfect way to encapsulate her varied, yet connected, interests. After earning a BA in Dance & Performance Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Choreography and Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Cherie is now back in Berkeley and juggling an abundance of projects that explore those many artistic sides and how they connect.

When asked about her current projects, Cherie first focuses on her work experimenting with contemporary dance, African aesthetics and improvisation. “Creative dance tends to be very conceptual and deals with ideas of space, time and energy,” she explains. “The project started several years ago because I wanted to explore how African dance can be translated into those same ideas. A lot of times African dance is a cultural form that is taught through steps and traditions; I was interested in analyzing it for its more universal dance concepts.” Cherie looked at different African dances and came up with several core concepts, including contracting and expanding, undulation, waves of energy and tempo. Now she’s using improvisation to explore and further refine those concepts.

Cherie grew up taking modern dance, jazz dance and other Western styles of dance. After she graduated from UC Berkeley, she started taking classes in Caribbean and African dance to get closer to her ancestry and heritage. “Then I kept getting asked to teach Caribbean and African dance,” Cherie recalls. “Even though I have that knowledge and have danced in companies that focus on those styles, it really isn’t MY roots, where I’ve grown up from. It’s not my most comfortable language.” What Cherie is trying to do now, as a self-identified modern/contemporary dancer, is find a way to share essences of African and Caribbean dance in a way that feels authentic to her and her background.

Over the past several years, Cherie has explored this topic through an academic lens, publishing her article “Creative Movement and the African Aesthetic” in InDance Magazine and presenting a sample unit at a national dance education conference. Now she’s ready to move it into an artistic and choreographic realm. Cherie recently held auditions at Luna Dance Institute (where she also teaches) for a new piece exploring African aesthetics that will premiere on April 4th at Temescal Arts Center in Oakland as part of a show titled “Perform: Education.”

Cherie hopes that working with a team of dancers and going through the choreographic process will help her build her dance vocabulary. “I think I have my own distinct movement style, or movement tendencies,” she shares, “but I don’t feel like I am at the point where I can definitively say ‘This is my dance vocabulary’ or ‘This is my personal dance language.’ However, I do feel like this process could help establish a strong base for that vocabulary that describes who I am as a choreographer.”

Other artistic projects that Cherie has on her plate include: teaching creative dance at Luna Dance Institute, teaching ‘family dance’ with families in Oakland that are going through a process of reunification, creating a YouTube dance film series called Dub Dance Project that interprets Dub music effects (ex: echo, reverb and time-lapsing) into dance, and assisting renowned hip-hop artist Rennie Harris with his book on the history of hip-hop.

Cherie met Rennie during her masters studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She later volunteered to help him with research and, last spring, traveled to New York City to interview such dance pioneers as Emilio Buddha Stretch, Raymond Specks, Don “Campbellock” Campbell and Popin’ Pete. Cherie finds the research process fascinating: “I am learning about hip-hop dance firsthand, from artists who were at the forefront of the movement. It’s wonderful to be part of history, really, while I continue to try to make my own work.”

Cherie associates her love of research with her time as a student at UC Berkeley. “Roots were planted for me at UC Berkeley,” she says. “I loved going to Berkeley. I think it’s one of the best schools in the world and, for me, all the research I did there has been extremely influential on the work I am doing now.”  As a McNair scholar and Hass scholar, Cherie had the opportunity to pursue an honors thesis about Jawola Zollar, the founder of Urban Bush Woman, and her work. “That process grounded me in theoretical perspective and allowed me to explore black female history in the west and identity,” Cherie says, themes that she continues to explore today.

Additionally, winning the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize allowed Cherie to travel to Jamaica after graduation where she studied Jamaican dance and her ancestry. She then created her first non-student work. “I had my first audition for dancers, I was able to pay them, I was able to put on my first show, all because of that award,” Cherie recalls. As an emerging artist, that show was extremely valuable because it helped Cherie establish herself an independent artist and choreographer in the community.

While research, awards and scholarships certainly influenced Cherie’s post-graduate trajectory, she also credits the strong mentorship she experienced within the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, and the university as a whole, with her continued drive. “My mentors instilled in me a lot of confidence,” Cherie says. “They encouraged me to continue my work and go further with it. I feel like their support is part of why I’m still going.”

March Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Catherine Cole

Catherine Cole is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. She is the author of Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition and Ghana’s Concert Party Theatre.

South Africa recently marked the twentieth anniversary of its first democratic elections and the momentous passage of one of the great leaders who made this political transition possible, Nelson Mandela. His passage last year inspired a great outpouring of grief, reverence, and reflection, including a call from Chancellor Nicholas Dirks for Berkeley to host events honoring Mandela. TDPS Chair Catherine Cole has been instrumental in organizing a Spring 2015 event series entitled “South Africa in the West” that explores the realities of the post-apartheid era. Dr. Cole sat down with TDPS staff to discuss her interest in and research about South Africa, as well as her role in putting “South Africa in the West” together.

19_Mandela_gebruederbeetz_0How and why did you begin studying South Africa?

Like many Americans, I feel an affinity—rightly or wrongly—with South Africa and its story of racial segregation. I feel it particularly acutely as a white woman who grew up in an all-white suburb right outside Detroit during a very tumultuous time of Detroit’s history, with the riots in the 60s. I think there are many interesting synergies between Detroit and Johannesburg, that I feel implicitly.

I’ve also always been drawn to theater of the apartheid, which includes such famous works as Boesman and Lena, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, and Woza Albert! These are shows incubated in a crucible of political adversity. In South Africa at the time these shows were created, just coming together in a room to make theater could mean breaking laws. For me, there is something riveting about art, and especially theater, made under such conditions because it depends on presence and community forged in a situation where neither can be taken for granted.

I just happened to have tickets to see Woza Albert! in a church in Manhattan the very night that Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990. The South African community in Manhattan descended on the performance that night, and it was a truly life-transforming experience.

When I looked for a topic for my second book [the first was on West Africa], I was aware of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [TRC], which was convened at the end of apartheid to deal with the fact that the legal system did not have the capacity to hold people accountable for the full scope of crimes committed under apartheid. This quasi-legal structure was inherently public, unlike many trials dealing with human rights violations in the 20th century, with hearings happening on stages, in front of audiences. As I watched the TRC unfold in the ’90s as a performance studies and theater scholar, I just knew that there was a deeper story of what was happening that our discipline was uniquely positioned to analyze. Though many people noted that the TRC was like theater or had theatrical elements, no one was going deeper. So that became the subject of my book Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition that was published in 2010.”

How are you involved in “South Africa in the West” this Spring?

After Mandela passed away in December of 2013, the Chancellor put out a call to the campus asking for programming proposals to honor his legacy. I was part of that committee and spearheaded several of the events that will occur this Spring as part of “South Africa in the West.”

As department chair, I actively work to build strong collaborative connections with other units on campus. The “South Africa in the West” project includes robust collaborations with Cal Performances, The Townsend Center for the Humanities, The Center for African Studies and the Pacific Film Archive, as well as with faculty experts in the departments of TDPS and Geography.  “South Africa in the West” is designed in a way that maximizes the impact of all programming by having units work in coordination and with deep collaboration at the generative stage of program design. This is a high value for me, personally, as a leader of our department, especially as the campus must find ways deliver high quality programming in a fiscally constrained environment.

Tell us more about that “generative stage of program design” you mentioned. What were some considerations in the process?

During this process of putting together “South Africa in the West,” my core collaborator was Gillian Hart, a UC Berkeley geography professor. We searched for programming that moves beyond facile assumptions of reconciliation in a post-apartheid period. There is a joyousness, of course, related to the end of apartheid and advent of democracy—South Africa just celebrated 20 years of democracy—and yet there is much that remains from the apartheid era, including tremendous inequality and a legacy of violence.

We were worried that celebrations of Mandela could lead to a simplification of the story. Mandela is such a towering figure and he lived a very long time, so reflecting on him, by definition, takes us easily into a nostalgic mode. We really wanted to bring a depth of reflection to our programming, as well as bring a more forward, future-oriented reflection. We’ve organized events that incorporate a range of voices of artists, scholars and journalists, including people who have come of age since the advent of democracy to look at South Africa after Mandela.

A scene from “Ubu and the Truth Commission.” Photo: Handspring Puppet Company.

What can you tell us about the artists in residence who will be coming to UC Berkeley?

Later in the semester, in late April and May, South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company is bringing a revival of their production of Ubu and the Truth Commission to campus. That production came about through collaborations with Cal Performances. One of the first things I did as department chair was reach out to Cal Performances Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky and say, “Let’s inaugurate our relationship of working together. What can we do together?” They were considering a South African play at the time and, for various reasons, I put forward Ubu and the Truth Commission as a suggestion. So that actually fell into place even before Mandela had passed away. It’s a fantastic collaboration and we’re thankful that Cal Performances is able to bring Handspring here.

It’s also a tremendous opportunity for our students. Personally, I think it’s thrilling that this show incorporating puppets is happening at the end of an academic year when TDPS put on Rhinoceros in the fall. There’s a full cohort of students that engaged in making and animating those rhinoceroses who are going to have a whole new insight into what Handspring does.

We’re going to do a series of collaborations with the artists of Handspring, who have become well-known over the years, especially for War Horse. The puppeteers will be hosting workshops with the students in Theater 60, and we’re also setting up a workshop with design students. The playwright of Ubu and the Truth Commission, Jane Taylor, will also be in residence that whole month at the Townsend Center as an Una Scholar, and students (even undergraduates) can enroll in her 1 unit class on “Neither Locke nor Diderot: Sincerity, Toleration and a Theory of Acting.” There’s also going to be a day-long symposium on May 2nd, with panels featuring both Handspring artists and Jane Taylor, as well as scholars of South Africa and puppetry. So there will be many, many opportunities for students to engage.

What are you working on next?

I am currently working on a book about human rights and performance. The working title is ‘Just Theater: The Alchemy of Human Rights and Performance.’ It follows up on ideas from the Truth Commission book, but widens the frame to look at a number of geographic sites and performances both in and outside of Africa. I’m interested in the aesthetic choices that theater artists make when dealing with content that is inherently unmanageable, such as apartheid, the Rwandan genocide and other conflicts in sites across the globe.

February Alumnus Spotlight: Melanie Anne Padernal, Class of ’11

TDPS Alumnus Melanie Anne Padernal (’11) recently traveled to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah for the second time as Executive Producer and Host of Cal at Sundance, an annual interview-based web series that profiles and celebrates UC Berkeley alumni and affiliate filmmakers participating in the renowned festival. The series aims to showcase Cal Bears in the arts and entertainment as well as to build a community between these artists and other UC Berkeley students and alumni interested in film.

“As a student, I knew there were Cal alumni being accepted into Sundance and I wanted to learn from them and better understand what steps they took to propel their careers,” Melanie explains. After graduating, she pitched her interview series idea to Duc Bieu Pham and Jigar Mehta, founders of Cal at Sundance [event] and the Cal Alumni Association. They all shared her excitement for the project, so in 2013 she borrowed her mom’s Nikon camera and interviewed several UC Berkeley-Sundance alumni like TDPS Professor Philip Kan Gotanda and Tiffany Shlain ‘92. Melanie found these experiences valuable, but realized her presence at the festival itself was key to gaining access to a wider variety of interviewees.

In 2014, with the support of funders (including UC Berkeley alumni-owned businesses Tieks by Gavrieli and Modify Watches), she and director/cinematographer Linh Phung ’13 traveled to the festival for the first time. “I’m extremely thankful to each and every person who has donated and contributed to our web series throughout the years,” Melanie says. “Because this is a passion project not directly funded by the university, we participate in grassroots fundraising and depend on individual supporters.” For Cal at Sundance: 2014, Melanie managed to interview 9 of the 13 Cal filmmakers premiering their work at the festival. It is worth noting that, while many films shown in the festival do not get picked up for distribution, all of Melanie’s interviewees’ projects were bought by larger studios and distribution companies.

This year, with the help of a more robust web team of current Cal students and young alumni, Melanie and her team highlighted over 18 UC Berkeley affiliated projects. She interviewed TDPS alumni and actors Chris Pine, ’02 (Z for Zachariah), Star Trek’s John Cho, ‘96 (Zipper), and Quinn Nagle, ’14 (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), as well as a slew of award-winning UC Berkeley directors, producers, and editors. Melanie’s Cal at Sundance: 2015 interviews can be seen at the Cal at Sundance YouTube channel.

Melanie credits her time at UC Berkeley with preparing her for an artistic career as a producer and actress. Her undergraduate coursework, drawn not only from TDPS but also the Haas School of Business and a summer program in Entertainment Marketing and Management at UCLA, was instrumental in her development as an artist, as was faculty guidance. Says Melanie, “TDPS really helped me find confidence in myself and the courage to pursue a career that not many people think is possible.”

After graduating in 2011 with a dual degree in Theater & Performance Studies and Global Media Management, Melanie dove headlong into the entertainment industry. A fellow alum helped her gain an interview with actress Zooey Deschanel’s talent management company, where she was hired as an intern and then, within a few months, promoted to Executive Assistant. After developing a better understanding of the business side of the entertainment industry, Melanie transitioned to feature film production. She was hired by Pixar Animation Studios as an intern, then asked to stay on as a Production Assistant. At the same time she started developing Cal at Sundance and creating her own comedy content.

Melanie has appeared in a number number of independent film and web series projects, commercials (Disney, NIKE), and music videos (Taylor Swift, Avicii). She currently has several exciting acting projects in the works; though she can’t share details right now, she promises to announce them soon on her personal website. “It is a great time to be in entertainment,” Melanie says, especially because “right now we are seeing this great shift where there’s more diverse storytelling on screen and more web-based platforms for content distribution.” Melanie hopes to start a production company in the near future that focuses on female-driven TV shows and films.

When asked what advice she has for current students and recent grads, Melanie shares, “If you really want something, give it all you’ve got. Don’t expect people to hand you anything. Come from the position of – how can I help? Reach out to those who inspire you. Don’t be afraid of being rejected or failing – it’s inevitable and character building. Know your worth and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s important to find your own creative voice and constantly challenge yourself to be a better person and artist.”

MelaniePadernal_small1-1

Picture 1 of 4

Alumnus Spotlight: Melanie Anne Padernal, Class of 2011

TDPS Alumnus Melanie Anne Padernal (’11) recently traveled to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah for the second time as Executive Producer and Host of Cal at Sundance, an annual interview-based web series that profiles and celebrates UC Berkeley alumni and affiliate filmmakers participating in the renowned festival.  The series aims to showcase Cal Bears in the arts and entertainment as well as to build a community between these artists and other UC Berkeley students and alumni interested in film.

“As a student, I knew there were Cal alumni being accepted into Sundance and I wanted to learn from them and better understand what steps they took to propel their careers,” Melanie explains. After graduating, she pitched her interview series idea to Duc Bieu Pham and Jigar Mehta, founders of Cal at Sundance [event] and the Cal Alumni Association. They all shared her excitement for the project, so in 2013 she borrowed her mom’s Nikon camera and interviewed several UC Berkeley-Sundance alumni like TDPS Professor Philip Kan Gotanda and Tiffany Shlain ‘92. Melanie found these experiences valuable, but realized her presence at the festival itself was key to gaining access to a wider variety of interviewees.

In 2014, with the support of funders (including UC Berkeley alumni-owned businesses Tieks by Gavrieli and Modify Watches), she and director/cinematographer Linh Phung ’13 traveled to the festival for the first time. “I’m extremely thankful to each and every person who has donated and contributed to our web series throughout the years,” Melanie says. “Because this is a passion project not directly funded by the university, we participate in grassroots fundraising and depend on individual supporters.” For Cal at Sundance: 2014, Melanie managed to interview 9 of the 13 Cal filmmakers premiering their work at the festival. It is worth noting that, while many films shown in the festival do not get picked up for distribution, all of Melanie’s interviewees’ projects were bought by larger studios and distribution companies.

This year, with the help of a more robust web team of current Cal students and young alumni, Melanie and her team highlighted over 18 UC Berkeley affiliated projects. She interviewed TDPS alumni and actors Chris Pine, ’02 (Z for Zachariah), Star Trek’s John Cho, ‘96 (Zipper), and Quinn Nagle, ’14 (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), as well as a slew of award-winning UC Berkeley directors, producers, and editors. Melanie’s Cal at Sundance: 2015 interviews can be seen at the Cal at Sundance YouTube channel.

Melanie credits her time at UC Berkeley with preparing her for an artistic career as a producer and actress. Her undergraduate coursework, drawn not only from TDPS but also the Haas School of Business and a summer program in Entertainment Marketing and Management at UCLA, was instrumental in her development as an artist, as was faculty guidance.  Says Melanie, “TDPS really helped me find confidence in myself and the courage to pursue a career that not many people think is possible.”

After graduating in 2011 with a dual degree in Theater & Performance Studies and Global Media Management, Melanie dove headlong into the entertainment industry.  A fellow alum helped her gain an interview with actress Zooey Deschanel’s talent management company, where she was hired as an intern and then, within a few months, promoted to Executive Assistant. After developing a better understanding of the business side of the entertainment industry, Melanie transitioned to feature film production. She was hired by Pixar Animation Studios as an intern, then asked to stay on as a Production Assistant. At the same time she started developing Cal at Sundance and creating her own comedy content.

Melanie has appeared in a number number of independent film and web series projects, commercials (Disney, NIKE), and music videos (Taylor Swift, Avicii). She currently has several exciting acting projects in the works; though she can’t share details right now, she promises to announce them soon on her personal website. “It is a great time to be in entertainment,” Melanie says, especially because “right now we are seeing this great shift where there’s more diverse storytelling on screen and more web-based platforms for content distribution.” Melanie hopes to start a production company in the near future that focuses on female-driven TV shows and films.

When asked what advice she has for current students and recent grads, Melanie shares, “If you really want something, give it all you’ve got. Don’t expect people to hand you anything. Come from the position of – how can I help? Reach out to those who inspire you. Don’t be afraid of being rejected or failing – it’s inevitable and character building.  Know your worth and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s important to find your own creative voice and constantly challenge yourself to be a better person and artist.”

Stage Makeup Basics

Picture 1 of 9

Paola Diaz Espiritu as "Little Red" — final

 

Informal Showing with Guest Artist Dai Jian

Dai Jian will share excerpts of solo dance work and recent improvisational structures. This will be followed by a discussion about his artistic process and creative inquiries.

 

 

Artist Bio:
Dai Jian is an artist from China with roots in contemporary dance, classical dance, and wushu art. Along with making dance work he creates improvisations, performance installations, and visual art. He began dancing with New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2005 and started dancing with Trisha Brown Dance Company in 2008. He served as Shen Wei’s assistant for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has choreographed for Guang Dong Modern Dance Company. Dai Jian has a deep history of collaboration including creating work with Kirstie Simson and Michael Schumaker, filmmaker Katrina McPherson, visual artist Kimberly Mayhorn, video artist Mimi Gerrard, Yin Mei, and Hou Ying.

Somatics, Scholarship, Somatic Scholarship: Materiality and Metaphor

The one-day event will convene scholar-practitioners Marianne Constable (Rhetoric, UC Berkeley), Galen Cranz (Architecture, UC Berkeley), Michael Lucey (French & Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley), and Petra Kuppers (English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), to share their reflections on the relationship between their involvement in body-mind practices and their scholarly, learning, and teaching practices. This event will generate critical conversation around ways to expand explorations of how putative divides such as mind/body, writing/moving, inner/outer, subject/object shape and are shaped by our embodied practices of thinking, researching, writing, and moving.

The day will begin with morning practical workshops in Iyengar yoga (Professor Lucey), the Feldenkrais Method (Professor Constable), The Alexander Technique (Professor Cranz), and social somatics/participatory performance (Professor Kuppers). In the afternoon, following a roundtable discussion with graduate students, we will hold a panel discussion and Q&A with the symposium participants. The event will culminate in a catered reception. The morning workshops are open to the Berkeley campus community (pre-registration required due to participant cap), and the panel discussion and reception are open to the broader Bay Area community. All events are free.

Co-sponsored by the Townsend Center for the Humanities, Departments of Art Practice, Comparative Literature, English, French, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Rhetoric, as well as the Townsend Center Dance Studies working group.

Schedule of Events

10:00-12:00 Practical workshops in Iyengar yoga, The Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, and Olimpias social somatics/participatory performance  |  Bancroft Studios-UC Berkeley students only; pre-registration required

12:30-1:30 Roundtable discussion/lunch  |  Dwinelle Annex 126-graduate students only

2:00-4:00 Panel Discussion with Q&A  |  Durham Studio Theater-open to campus and wider community

4:00-5:00 Reception  |  Durham Studio Theater-open to campus and wider community

Sign Up for Morning Sessions

Participant Bios

Marianne Constable is Professor of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley, where she specializes in legal rhetoric and philosophy. She is currently spending her sabbatical at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, where she is writing a book on the “new unwritten law” that ostensibly exonerated most women who killed their husbands in Chicago at the turn of the 19th-20th century. She has received both undergraduate and graduate mentoring awards and received her certification as a Feldenkrais Method (R) practitioner in 2005.

Galen Cranz integrated sociology, architecture, and the Alexander Technique to write The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body and Design. She is Professor of Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, a Ph.D. sociologist from the University of Chicago, and since 1990 a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Professor Cranz teaches social, cultural, and somatic approaches to architecture and urban design. Emphasizing ethnography as a research method, she focuses on users’ experiences of buildings and places. Professor Cranz wants to help students become better artistically by helping them feel and interpret social forces, so she emphasizes experiential learning. She is passionate about bringing experience of the unified self back into the classroom and workplace.

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor at the University of Michigan. She also teaches on Goddard College’s Low Residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. She leads The Olimpias, a performance research collective (www.olimpias.org). Her Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape (Palgrave, 2011, paperback 2013) explores The Olimpias’ arts-based research methods. She is the author of a new textbook, Studying Disability Arts and Culture: An Introduction (Palgrave, 2014). Her books include Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (Routledge, 2003), The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performance and Contemporary Art (Minnesota, 2007) and Community Performance: An Introduction (Routledge, 2007). Edited work includes Somatic Engagement (2011), and Community Performance: A Reader (2007).

Michael Lucey is Professor of French and Comparative Literature. Professor Lucey specializes in French literature and culture of the 19th- and 20th-centuries. He also teaches about social, literary, and critical theory, sexuality studies, 19th- and 20th-century British literature and culture, and 20th-century American literature and culture. He has written on authors such as Gide, Balzac, Proust, Colette, Genet, Beauvoir, Leduc, and Duras. Having recently completed his fourth book, Someone, he is now at work on a new project with the title “Proust, Sociology, Talk, Novels: The Novel Form and Language-in-Use.” Professor Lucey stumbled into an Iyengar yoga class in England in 1982, while he was a student at Oxford, and from his very first class has been fascinated by the many ways yoga can transform your relation to your body, mind, and breath. A certified Iyengar teacher, he has made eight trips to India to study with Iyengar family. He teaches at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco and is also currently the President of the Board of Directors of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States.

Departmental Suppertime Review: “Encountering Rhinoceros and its Affective Engagement”

Facilitated by Kim Richards, Sage Bradley and Michael Mansfield

The Suppertime Review is your chance to discuss artistic responses to Rhinoceros, how we assign meaning to animals through imagery, and how the engagement materials reflect the issues explored in the production. These critical discussions, led by Professor Mel Chen (Gender and Womens’ Studies) and facilitated through the lens of affective engagement, will lead us into a conversation about the broad artistic and academic outcomes of working in a theater company and how we—as actors, designers, technicians, students, staff, and teachers—make meaning together on stage. There will be time for compliments, questions, and suggestions. Animal crackers will be served.

Encountering Rhinoceros

FROM THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT TEAM
A team of undergraduate and graduate students: Sage Bradley, Tomas Mournian, Jin Ah Lee, and Kimberly Richards, along with Michael Mansfield

 

Since Eugene Ionesco wrote Rhinoceros in 1959, his rhinoceros have been used for a wide range of ideological metaphors; to review the performance history of this play is to see humans craft an animal’s cultural construction. But this TDPS production asks us to ponder what rhinocerosos actually are, rather than what they can be taken to mean.

We know that rhinoceros are some of the largest remaining megafauna. We know that humans have hunted them for their horns, which continue to be sold on black markets around the world. We also, sadly, know that several rhinoceros species are close to extinction. Last month, the second-to-last male northern white rhinoceros died at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, leaving only six northern white rhinos on earth. How do we respond as artists and as critical thinkers to what we know?

We invite you to share how you encounter rhinoceros physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, as well as metaphorically and imaginatively. We ask you to learn about rhinoceros existence and extinction, and to then creatively and critically question the division between human and animal. What happens if you engage rhinoceros as animals first and metaphors second? How could you return to the rhinos some of their radical otherness? How might you, even temporarily, become more animal – more rhinoceros?

There are abundant ways to engage with Rhinoceros, before, during and after your time at the theater:

BEFORE THE SHOW OPENS

Friend “Baby Rhino” on Facebook
Visit www.facebook.com/SaveBabyRhino for insight and information about rhinoceros, and watch short documentary videos with the director, dramaturg, UC Berkeley faculty, designers and students involved in the production.

Make a Video Response
Respond artistically to the play and its surrounding public engagement activities by submitting a short video (30 sec-2 min) that will be played in the Durham Studio Theater lobby during the run of  Rhinoceros. For inspiration check out the videos posted on the “Baby Rhino” Facebook page or our YouTube video channel. Artistic responses could include reading a personal monologue, sharing a choreographed dance, creating a soundscape, performing a dramatic reading–use your imagination! Share your video by Nov. 22 in one of two ways:

  1. Upload on the Baby Rhino Facebook page
  2. Upload to your personal YouTube or Vimeo account, then send us an email at calpublicengagement@gmail.com that includes the link to your video.

Star in our Film Project
Thursday, November 6  |  4:30 – 6:00 PM  |  Durham Studio Theater
We’re making a short film to accompany Rhinoceros—and we need your help! Students, staff and faculty are invited to come by the Zellerbach Playhouse Lobby for a few minutes between 4:30-6pm on Nov. 6 to film a cold-reading “audition” that may be incorporated into the film. No preparation necessary! We’ll provide a short script, and promise to keep it fun. Whether you want to practice your cold-reading and audition technique, or just want to have fun, we’d love to see you. We especially encourage all speech and acting classes (5, 10, 11, 110A, 111, 114) to come “audition”!

Join the Roundtable
“Textual Intimacies: Performing, Translating & Teaching RHINOCEROS”
Convened by Martha Herrera-Lasso and Églantine Colon
Co-sponsored by Cal Performances and the Department of French
Friday, November 7  |  12:00 – 2:00 PM  |  Dwinelle 370
This roundtable, prompted by Gayatri Spivak’s contention that “translation is the most intimate form of reading,” will explore the ways in which varying perspectives on a theatrical text participate in creating different kinds of translation, each of them supposing specific intimacies. Join us for a conversation around these varied forms of textual intimacy in an interdisciplinary discussion of Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. Panelists include: Rachel Shuh (French), Matthew Smith (French), Martha Herrera-Lasso (TDPS), Joshua Williams (TDPS) and Christophe Lemaire (Théâtre de la Ville). The conversation will be moderated by Églantine Colon (French).

Have Lunch with Dramaturg Martha Herrera-Lasso
“Rhinos and the Rehearsal Room”
Facilitated by Kim Richards
Monday, November 10 | 12:00–1:00 PM  |  Dwinelle Annex 126
Pack your lunch and dine with Martha Herrera-Lasso, the dramaturg for Rhinoceros. We’ll discuss what dramaturgy is, and how a dramaturg can assist a director, actors, and the creative team with their understanding of a play-text. You’ll also get to hear behind-the-scenes stories about Rhino’s rehearsal process and learn about Martha’s research on the space of the rehearsal room.

Attend the Symposium
“Acting the Goat: Critical Perspectives on Art and Animality”
Convened by Joshua Williams
Friday, November 14  |  3:00 – 6:00 PM  |  Dwinelle 370
Join a group of scholars and arts practitioners for a symposium on the role of animals and animality in contemporary art-making. Our guests will use TDPS’ production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros as a jumping-off point for their interventions into this exciting new area of social, political and artistic enquiry. Panelists include: Vasile Stanescu (Stanford), Nina Varsava (Stanford), Amanda Eicher (Art Practice) and Joshua Williams (TDPS).

IN THE THEATER

Engage with our Lobby Installations
In the lobby, take a moment to consider a few questions raised by the creative and engagement teams. See what other people are sharing, and then attach your own answers to the board.  Also, don’t forget to let us know who you are using our interactive “Friends of Baby Rhino” display; this will let us learn about our audience and continue improving programming.

Stay for the Sunday Matinee Talkback
Facilitated by Peter Glazer
Sunday, November 16 | Following the 2:00 PM matinee (approx. 4:30 PM)
Join us for a 20-minute post-performance discussion to learn about the performance history of the play, discuss the artistic choices of the production, and gain insight into the process of staging Rhinoceros. Panelists include: Joshua Williams (director), Martha Herrera-Lasso (dramaturg), James Lewis  (actor), Marisa Darabi (actress) and Matthew Smith (PhD student).

AFTER THE SHOW CLOSES

Be part of the Departmental Rhinoceros Suppertime Review
“Encountering Rhinoceros and its Affective Engagement”
Facilitated by Kim Richards, Sage Bradley and Michael Mansfield
Monday, November 24 | 5:00-6:30 PM | Dwinelle Annex 126
The Suppertime Review is your chance to discuss artistic responses to Rhinoceros, how we assign meaning to animals through imagery, and how the engagement materials reflect the issues explored in the production. These critical discussions, facilitated through the lens of affective engagement, will lead us into a conversation about the broad artistic and academic outcomes of working in a theater company and how we—as actors, designers, technicians, students, staff, and teachers—make meaning together on stage. There will be time for compliments, questions, and suggestions. Animal crackers will be served.

TDPS Presents Eugène Ionesco’s Absurdist Drama Rhinoceros

“There are many sides to reality. Choose the one that’s best for you. Escape into the world of imagination.”
-Daisy from Rhinoceros by Eugène Ionesco

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Berkeley, CA – UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) continues its 2014/2015 season with Rhinoceros, the absurdist drama from avant-garde playwright Eugène Ionesco, translated by Martin Crimp. When, one by one, the inhabitants of a provincial French town transmogrify into rhinoceroses, eventually only everyman Bérenger is left to choose: defend his humanity, or follow the popular movement? Ionesco’s absurdist tale brings big laughs–and bigger ideas–to the UC Berkeley stage. Directed by TDPS graduate student Joshua Williams, Rhinoceros will be performed in the Durham Studio Theater, November 14-23, 2014.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm.

Ionesco claims the idea of Rhinoceros, which premiered in 1960, was partly inspired by writer Denis de Rougemont’s recounting of attending a Nazi rally, where the mass hysteria surrounding Hitler’s arrival forced Rougemont to rebell mentally and, in his view, singularly.  Says director Williams, a PhD in Performance Studies candidate, “Rhinoceros is a fable born out of a political moment–the rise of totalitarianism, and how alienation helped sustain that movement.” Undoubtedly, the playwright was also influenced by his own experience in Romania under Ceauşescu. However, while Rhinoceros may have been inspired by history, it still has bite and offers plenty of room for exploration. According to Williams, “We are approaching this play with no prescribed ideology; instead, we are asking questions and really investigating what it means to be a rhinoceros, and what it means to be a human.”

TDPS’s fresh take on Rhinoceros is aided by a new translation, written by Martin Crimp in 2007. Previously, most productions used the 1960 translation so audience members familiar with this story have likely experienced it with dated language. “Hearing dialogue that is current and witty will offer a new perspective,” Williams says, as will the production’s unique design that combines abstraction and materialism with a sense of whimsy.

Rhinoceros straddles the line between rich texture and abstraction, affording a diverse cast of 13 UC Berkeley student actors the opportunity to work in a non-realistic acting style that emphasizes movement. “I’m asking the actors to step outside their comfort zone–to stretch the boundaries of Realism and expand it to create a new form,” explains Williams. “Even professional actors can find that challenging, but these students are tremendously open and courageous in how they approach the material. This artistic generosity toward the style will result in a great performance.”

Ticket Prices:
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.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at tdps.berkeley.edu and at the door one hour before the performance.

Supporting Symposiums:
In conjunction with its Nov. 14-23 production of Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist classic Rhinoceros, the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley is sponsoring two interdisciplinary symposiums.Both events are free and open to the public.    

1. “Textual Intimacies: Performing, Translating and Teaching Ionesco’s Rhinoceros

Friday, November 7 | 12-2pm | Dwinelle Hall, Room 370

This roundtable, prompted by Gayatri Spivak’s contention that “translation is the most intimate form of reading,” will explore the ways in which varying perspectives on a theatrical text participate in creating different kinds of translation, each of them supposing specific intimacies. Join us for a conversation around these varied forms of textual intimacy in an interdisciplinary discussion of Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, moderated by Églantine Colon of the UC Berkeley Department of French.

Roundtable participants: Rachel Shuh, UC Berkeley Department of French; Matthew Smith, UC Berkeley Department of French; Joshua Williams, Director of TDPS production of Rhinoceros; Martha Herrera-Lasso, Dramaturg of TDPS production of Rhinoceros; Christophe Lemaire, Assistant Director at Théâtre de la Ville, visiting company at Cal Performances

2. “Acting the Goat: Critical Perspectives on Art and Animality”

Friday, November 14 | 12-1 pm | Location TBA

Join a group of scholars and arts practitioners for a symposium on the role of animals and animality in contemporary art-making. Our guests will use TDPS’ production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros as a jumping-off point into this exciting new area of social, political and artistic inquiry. What are the stakes of imagining animals the way we have, the way we do, the way we might?

Panelists include Vasile Stanescu (Stanford), Nina Varsava (Stanford), Amanda Eicher (Art Practice) and Joshua Williams (TDPS).

Contact:
Marni Davis
marni@berkeley.edu
510-642-9925

SUMMERTIME ENGAGEMENT – DEPARTMENTAL SUPPERTIME REVIEW: ACTING AND LIVING AS A STUDENT ACTOR OR TECHNICIAN

Facilitated by Kim Richards and Sage Bradley
Iced Tea and Lemonade will be served

Let’s look at the broad artistic and academic outcomes of working in a company, with a text, and with a director and designers, as well as how we–as actors, designers, technicians, artists, students, staff, and teachers–make meaning together. Followed by a discussion through the lens of affective engagement.

A Note from the Public Engagement Team aboutSummertime

A team of undergraduate and graduate students: Sage Bradley, Tomas Mournian, Jin Ah Lee, and Kimberly Richards, along with Michael Mansfield, are rethinking the theatrical realization of dramatic texts through the lens of creating and delivering public engagement to accompany the TDPS season.

To engage is to capture.
To engage is to captivate.
To engage is to connect, interlock, enmesh, and bind two or more parties to each other.

In fencing it’s the point in which two combatants are physically close enough to touch blades and launch attacks.
It can mean entering into combat, entering into a contract, making a promise.
It’s more than an intellectual experience:
it’s an embodied experience, an emotional experience.

This season we are working to engage you affectively, emotionally, socially and politically before, during, and after the performances. We are reaching out to engage all the constituents of our communities— undergraduate and graduate students, TDPS staff and faculty, and members of the wider campus and Bay Area communities—in a series of intergenerational education and public engagement events and activities.

This production of Charles Mee’s Summertime presents many rich subjects for us to explore together. We want to have public conversations about serious issues. We also want to enrich what promises to be a lovely night out at the theatre. We’re going to talk about performing queer, the politics of casting gay men in gay roles, and the ongoing efficacy of the effeminate gestures. Let’s chat with the extraordinary set and costume designers of Summertime and learn about how they envisioned the show. Let’s remember the faces of Summertime and the stories they inspire us to share; let’s laugh together online. Let’s gather and hone our comic acting or design skills through five mini- workshops offered by Summertime’s designers and directors.

We really want to get to know you better. How will you engage?

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

“Faces of Summertime” on Facebook
Join our artist-and-audience-generated, photo-inspired discussions about integral themes within Summertime: love, summers, and relationships. Participate in the Summertime Photo Booth while at the theater (look for it in the lobby!), then find us online at facebook.com/FacesOfSummer.

Tour and Discussion
Sunday, October 19 | Following the 2:00 PM matinee (approx. 4:00 PM)
Join us onstage for iced tea, then enjoy a student-guided tour through set and costume design sketches. Gain in-depth insight into the technical production process, as well as the unique questions and considerations that Summertime presents.

Playshops with Designers and Directors
Sign-up in the Zellerbach Playhouse Lobby or at facebook.com/FacesOfSummertime | Meet in Zellerbach Playhouse Lobby
“Comic and Improvisational Techniques in the Theater” with Jeff Crawford | Oct 20 | 4:00-4:45
“Clues for Constructing Character” with Adam Niemann | Oct 20 | 4:00-4:45
“Directors and Designers: Form and Meaning in Set Design” with Chris Herold and Mikiko Uesugi | Oct 20 | 4:00-4:45
“Entering the World of Costume” with Wendy Sparks | Oct 22 | 10-10:45 AM
“Lighting Summertime” with Jack Carpenter | Oct 22| 4:00 – 4:45

Summertime Suppertime Review: Acting and Living as a Student Actor or Technician
Facilitated by Kim Richards and Sage Bradley
Dwinelle Annex 126 | Monday, October 27, 2014 | 5:00-6:00 PM
Iced Tea and Lemonade will be served

Let’s look at the broad artistic and academic outcomes of working in a company, with a text, and with a director and designers, as well as how we–as actors, designers, technicians, artists, students, staff, and teachers–make meaning together. Followed by a discussion through the lens of affective engagement.

WORKSHOP READING: THE JAMAICAN WASH by PHILIP KAN GOTANDA

Join us for a workshop reading of The Jamaican Wash, a new play by Philip Kan Gotanda about the failing marriage of two immigrants with previously compatible traditional values—and the opposing marital advice offered by their two adult daughters. The Jamaican Wash is an adaptation of Gotanda’s acclaimed 1985 drama The Wash, with the original Japanese American family reset as Jamaican immigrants.

This free public reading is a collaboration between the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, playwright Philip Kan Gotanda and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. It is directed by Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Artistic Director Steven Anthony Jones and features well-known actor Carl Lumbly, as well as professional and student actors.  The Jamaican Wash is scheduled for production with the Lorraine Hansberry Theater Company in the 2015-2016 Season.

Playwright and Director Luis Valdez Presents Keynote Lecture “The Power of Zero” on November 18

Luis Valdez, Photo by Juan David Correa

The Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley along with its co-sponsoring partners of the Departments of Ethnic Studies, English and the Chicana/Latino Student Development Office, will host “The Power of Zero,” a keynote lecture by internationally recognized playwright and director Luis Valdez on Tuesday, November 18th at 5:00pm in Zellerbach Playhouse.

Best known as the founder and long-time artistic director of El Teatro Campesino, Mr. Valdez is recipient of the prestigious UC Regent’s Lectureship for his local and global contributions to the arts.

From the central valley of California, El Teatro Campesino became a major force in the transformation of American theater of the 20th century. Born out of the Chicano civil rights movement, the work of Luis Valdez extends for half of a century in the formation of a local and continental philosophy of cultural expression and activism.

As El Teatro Campesino prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2015, this is an extraordinary opportunity for the Berkeley campus and the Bay Area community to hear from and interact with Mr. Valdez. We honor his vital contributions to the arts in our region and worldwide.

ABOUT LUIS VALDEZ:

An award-winning producer and theater artist, Valdez earned an Obie, the Presidential Medal of the Arts and his induction into the College of Fellows of the American Theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 1994, Valdez was honored with the Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca,(Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle), the highest decoration granted by the Mexican government to foreign nationals. Valdez’s acclamations also include honorary doctorates at over five universities and colleges in the US, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, several Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, an Emmy for directing, a San Francisco Bay Critics Circle Award, and the California Governor’s Award, among others.

Central to his work as director of El Teatro Campesino, Valdez writes the stories of the life and labor of not only farmworkers, but also urban youth, the poor and working middle class. In his landmark play, Zoot Suit, Valdez dramatized the true story of Chicano youth framed in the 1942 murder trials of Sleepy Lagoon and the Zoot Suit Riots that followed in the city of Los Angeles. Zoot Suit became the first Chicano play to be staged on Broadway. As Sean San José of Campo Santo Theater Company said, “If you want to understand modern Latino theater, you have to know that Luis was the start. Everything that came after him was informed by him.”

Valdez’s most recent production of Valley of the Heart (2013) was entirely sold out within weeks of its announcement, drawing audiences from across the country to the El Teatro Campesino home in the small town of San Juan Bautista. Currently, Valdez is developing work on the most pressing issues of our time in climate change and global warming with the city of Monterey, California.

ABOUT EL TEATRO CAMPESINO:

Initially using theater to raise consciousness among farm workers during the Delano grape strike of 1965, El Teatro Campesino created improvisational works called actos, or short sketches that were performed on the picket lines, at rallies and at organizing events to support the farmworker’s movement. The actos brought attention to the exploitation of workers in the fields in a theater by and for farmworkers. It exposed the dynamics of the agricultural industry and law enforcement corruption in a theater imbued with humor and creativity. Their work continued through dozens of original staged productions, trainings and the development of a philosophy of Chicano theater based on a genealogy of Mayan and Aztec world-view and performance, community and intergenerational kinship. The work of El Teatro Campesino catalyzed the Chicano Power Movement of the 1960s and 70s, and has continued to inspire generations of theater practitioners dedicated to theater of political and social change.

ABOUT THE UC REGENT’S LECTURE FELLOWSHIP:

The purpose of Regent’s Lectureship is to bring to the University distinguished persons whose careers in arts, letters, sciences, or business have been substantially outside the academic profession. This prestigious award has honored distinguished speakers such as James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Sandra Day O’Connor. For more information about the UC Regent’s Lecture Fellowship contact Yasya Goretsky, (510) 642-7742 or yasyavg@berkeley.edu.

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF THEATER, DANCE AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES:

The Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies teaches performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression and public engagement. Through performance training and research, we create liberal arts graduates with expanded analytical, technical and imaginative capacities. As a public institution, we make diversity and inclusion a key part of our teaching, art making and public programming.

This event is co-sponsored by Alianza; Chicano Latino Studies Program/Ethnic Studies Department; Performance Colectiva and UC Teatro; Department of English; Center for Latino Policy Research; Center for Latin American Studies; Ethnic Studies Library; Queer Transgender Advocacy Project, Graduate Assembly; Graduate Minority Outreach, Recruitment and Retention Project, Graduate Assembly; Multicultural Community Center, Multicultural Student Development – Chicana Latino Student Development, Asian Pacific American Student Development, African American Student Development, Cross Cultural Student Development, Native American Student Development; Arts Research Center, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair, and Latinos Unidos de Berkeley.

Patrons with special accommodation needs or questions may contact our ticket services manager at 510-642-8827 or tdpsboxoffice@berkeley.edu at least one week before your visit. All TDPS performance venues are wheelchair-accessible. Service animals are allowed in our venues. Please see http://access-guide.berkeley.edu/ for more information.

CONTACT:

Professor Angela Marino at angela.marino@berkeley.edu, or (347) 622-9263.
Marni Davis, Communications and Development Manager at marni@berkeley.edu or (510)-642-9925

INFORMATION:

Luis Valdez Regents Lecture, “The Power of Zero”
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 5:00pm.
Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley campus
Admission is free. Event is open to the public.

Krista DeNio

Krista DeNio an interdisciplinary choreographer, director, performer, writer and educator, committed to developing new forms of performance work and evolving interdisciplinary thinking and creation between the fields of dance and theater. From original s​olo t​heater work, to e​nsemble d​ance t​heater, i​nterview -based plays and ​theater projects and audience-interactive, ​site-specific performance, she is invested in the form that best serves the content.

The work seeks to investigate the interrelationship between socio-political issues and our intimate personal lives, while celebrating the wonder, mystery and humor of the​ human condition. Krista has lived and worked in the Bay Area, California, New York City​, New Mexico, Western Massachusetts, Colorado and was recently ​the Executive Artistic Director of Earthdance from 2009 – 2013. Current work and research include the CONACT project, bringing together mixed ensembles of veterans and war and non-veteran civilians, to create audience-interactive performance work; Edith and me, a solo theater piece inspired by Edith Piaf; several writing projects; and research on the translation of solo to ensemble theater making methodologies. She received her BA in Dance/Dramatic Art and Interdisciplinary Field Studies Major with a focus on Development and Human Rights from U.C. Berkeley and her MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance from Naropa University.

Acting the Goat: Critical Perspectives on Art and Animality

Join a group of scholars and arts practitioners for a symposium on the role of animals and animality in contemporary art-making. Our guests will use TDPS’ production of Rhinoceros as a jumping-off point for their interventions into this exciting new area of social, political and artistic inquiry. Free and open to all.

Domenique Lozano

Ms. Lozano is a Bay Area based Director, Educator and Actress. She has been a Resident Artist with the American Conservatory Theater, (ACT), for 15 years, where she directs the main stage production of A Christmas Carol. She also served as a core faculty member in the MFA Program, and a teacher in the Young Conservatory and Studio ACT Programs. Other directing work at ACT includes MFA Productions of Fuente Ovejuna, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Sueno, Happy to Stand, Saved, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Richard III, Caught with Her Trance Down, as well as productions of Twelfth Night, Othello, and The Comedy of Errorsf or the Will on Wheels tour; and thirteen graduate showcases. Her work with the Young Conservatory includes two international exchanges, one with the Zurich School of Music, Drama and Dance of Paul Steinman’s Only Victory; as well as Jodie Marshall’s A Stone’s Throw, with the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Other YC directing credits include the world premieres of Staying Wild book by Janet Allard, music and lyrics by Creighton Irons; Home Front book by Craig Slaight, music and lyrics by Creighton Irons; Sarah Daniel’s Dust and Constance Congdon’s Nightingales; West Coast premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Korczak’s Children; Wendy MacLeod’s School Girl Figure; and Darling, book by Brett Rybeck, music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver; as well as the American premiere of Sharman MacDonald’s After Juliet.

Ms. Lozano was an Associate Artist with the California Shakespeare Theater, where she performed leading roles in over 20 productions, most recently the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. She also served as Master Vocal Coach on numerous productions, including Hamlet, Henry IV pts 1 and 2, Othello, the Tempest, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Additional Bay Area directing credits include The Drawer Boy, Welcome Home Jenny Sutter and the critically acclaimed Orlando with TheatreFirst; The Countess with Center REPertory Theatre; Two for the Seesaw with Marin Theatre Company; Inspecting Carol and the West Coast premiere of Jane Martin’s Anton in Show Business with San Jose Stage Company; and The Norman Conquests, Holiday, The Real Thing, and She Loves Me with Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, of which she was a founding member and associate artistic director. Additional acting credits include work with the American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ms. Lozano has taught throughout the Bay Area at such institutions as UC Davis, Saint Mary’s College, Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Las Positas and Solano Colleges. She also translated Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which premiered at the American Conservatory Theater in 2010, and Schiller’s Don Carlos, which premiered in the 2018 New Strands Festival.

Mina Morita

Mina Morita is the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Rep and its center for creation and development of new work, The Ground Floor. During its inaugural lab in 2012, 100 artists were brought in from across the U.S. to workshop 13 projects, of which she directed two. In 2014, we will be developing 17 new plays with notable artists such as Anna Deavere Smith, John Leguizamo, PearlDamour, Jiehea Park, and Dave Malloy. During her time at Berkeley Rep, Mina has curated and line-produced the Fireworks Festival, directed Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again, and directed a staged reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. As assistant director there, she has worked with Tony Taccone on Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide and Itamar Moses’ Yellowjackets; with Les Waters on Todd Almond’s Girlfriend, Naomi Iizuka’s Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West, and Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room (which received a Tony nomination); with Jonathan Moscone on Tony Taccone’s Ghost Light.

As a freelance director, she has worked at Shotgun Players (By and By, The Great Divide, and The Norman Conquest’s Round and Round the Garden), Just Theatre (Underneath The Lintel), Sleepwalkers Theatre (The Nature Line), Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, Playwrights’ Foundation, Campo Santo, Precarious Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, and Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT). In 2012, Mina worked with Anna Deavere Smith as the artistic coordinator for her play, On Grace. Most recently, she directed Min Kahng’s adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon with BACT. Up next is the world premier of Lauren Gunderson’s Fire Work with TheatreFIRST.

Mina also serves as the Board President for Shotgun Players and is one of the original founders of BACT where she served as interim Executive Director in 2011. This year she joins Ferocious Lotus, a new Asian-American theatre company as one of its core company members and begins her three-year tenure on the Zellerbach Family Foundation’s Community Arts Panel. Mina holds a degree in directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, was awarded the Bret C. Harte Fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, received the National Arts Strategies Future Leadership Fellowship, and participated as a member of the 2014 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab.

 

Photo: Cheshire Isaacs (www.cheshiredave.com)

 

TDPS History

Even before the formation of the Department of Dramatic Art (now the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies) in 1941, the UC Berkeley campus was host to numerous theatrical productions and guest artists, and educated some of the most prominent theatrical artists of our time. Great actors, such as Irving Pichel, Everett Glass, Gloria Stuart, and Gregory Peck, performed in UC Berkeley productions and the campus produced such well-known playwrights and writers as Sidney Howard, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for They Knew What They Wanted and wrote the screenplay for Gone With the Wind. In 1941, the Department of Dramatic Art was formed and, throughout the years, has trained distinguished actors, dancers, and other professionals in the field of performance including: film and television actors Stacy Keach, Harry Hamlin, Karen Grassle, Joe Spano, Bill Bixby, Michael Lerner, Roxann Dawson, Brett Dalton and Chris Pine; choreographers Daniel Ezralow and Ben Levy; repertory theater actors Maureen McVerry and Lorri Holt, and many others.

AUSPICIOUS BEGINNINGS

The first production by the University of California on record took place two years after the University was founded, during its second semester of instruction. Staged in Oakland by the University Dramatic Association on May 20, 1870, a performance of a romantic Italian Drama in three acts entitled Marco Spada was followed by a “laughable farce, Hob-nob-ing.” Theatrical performance has been a constant on the Berkeley campus ever since.

Performance was generally undertaken by student groups in the early years of the University. Two student organizations, the Durant Rhetorical Society, a carry-over from the College of California, and the Neolaean Literary Society, organized in 1871, met at private homes for literary or musical evenings. The University Dramatic Society was founded in April, 1877, and the Berkeley Dramatic Club in 1878. In 1891, when public transportation to the campus had improved and a town had begun to grow around the University, three faculty members, William Carey Jones, William Dallam Armes, and George M. Richardson, sponsored the Berkeley Athenaeum, “to furnish the best possible entertainment in letters, music, and art to the University and to the people of Berkeley, by drawing to the University the best talent coming to the State.” In 1892, Louis DuPont Syle, a serious student of the theater, joined the English Department faculty. Under his direction, students produced full-length plays and presented them in rented halls in Berkeley and Oakland.

William Randolph Hearst’s Greek Theater gave a new prominence to drama on campus. Built in 1903 in the Ben Weed amphitheater, itself the scene of outdoor productions since 1894, the Greek Theater rapidly took its place among the leading stages dedicated to the new art-theatre movement in the United States. The Greek Theater opened with a production by students of Aristophanes’ The Birds on September 24, 1903, under the direction of James T. Allen. Thereafter, under the management of a music and drama committee headed by William D. Armes, it presented many student productions; the Theater also drew professional performers, including Sarah Bernhardt, Maude Adams, Nance O’Neill, Robert B. Mantell, Margaret Anglin, and the Ben Greet Players. In 1906, the English Club, at the suggestion of Professor Charles Mills Gayley, produced the first of an annual series of Elizabethan plays in the theater. Student productions continued under the direction of Professor Charles D. von Neumayer, and by the English Club, under the direction of Garnet Holme. In 1920, the Greek Theater Players, directed by Samuel J. Hume, and assisted by the talented young actor Irving Pichel, replaced the English Club productions. Hume, a former University student who had returned to Berkeley from Detroit, where he had launched an important little theater at the Detroit Art Institute, also developed student dramatic talent through the organization of the Wheeler Hall players who gave indoor performances of modern plays.

Student sponsorship of plays began in 1922 with a production in Hearst Gymnasium of Harley Granville Barker’s Prunella, directed by Morris Ankrum. For the next twenty years, University audiences were offered a wide variety of classical and modern plays by young performers, some of whom later became luminaries of professional theater and film: Irving Pichel, Everett Glass, Gilmore Brown (who later became the head of the Pasadena Playhouse), Michael Raffetto (star of radio’s One Man’s Family), screen star Gloria Stuart, Barton Yarborough, Nestor Paiva, Frank Ferguson, Baldwin McGaw, Lloyd Corrigan, Carol Eberts Veazie, and Walter Plunkett (chief costume designer for RKO studios). Berkeley also produced several known playwrights, including Sidney Howard, Dan Totheroh, and Richard Walton Tully.

In later years, the campus theater provided a training ground for actors such as Gregory Peck, Barry Nelson, Augusta Dabney, Jane and Gordon Connell, Kenneth Tobey, Elizabeth Berryhill, Lawrence Hugo, Maryester Denver, Geoffrey Horne, Jack Aranson, Crahan Denton, Stacy Keach, Karen Grassle, Joe Spano, Robert Hirschfeld, Michael Lerner, Harry Hamlin, Bill Bixby, Duke Stroud, Lorri Holt, Maureen McVerry, Roxann Dawson, Bill Kalmenson, Ruth Silveira, Sanaa Lathan, Jonathan Cho, among others. Berkeley graduates have also been drawn to related performance fields: television producer Mark Goodson, Art Linkletter, Ralph Edwards, writer Robert Emmett, composers Nathan Scott, Harold Swanton, and George Prideaux, lyricist William Engvick, newscaster Grant Holcomb, television columnist Terrence O’Flaherty, and Newsweek columnist John Horn.

In 1931, campus theatrical activity was concentrated in the Little Theater under the direction of Edwin Duerr, with additional productions sponsored by the Mask and Dagger, Thalian, and Hammer and Dimmer Societies. Duerr’s work on campus was of unusually high professional quality. Most at home in twentieth century theater, he gave the campus an opportunity to see excellent productions of modern plays during the Depression period, when few companies toured. Under his direction, campus actors produced the English language premiere of Jean Giraudoux’ Intermezzo, the world premiere of Robinson Jeffers’ s Tower Beyond Tragedy, Maxwell Anderson’s Elizabeth the Queen, and many other plays. Duerr’s Mask and Dagger Revues were eagerly awaited each year, and, under his sponsorship, student writers, directors, and actors received a thorough, if informal, training in all aspects of the theater. Duerr left the University to undertake the direction of the Henry Aldrich Show on radio, and later, on television.

FORMATION OF THE DEPARTMENT

Before 1941, instruction in theater and drama was included in the program of the Department of Public Speaking, under the direction of Professors Sara Huntsman Sturgess and Alan R. Thompson. In 1941, the academic study and performance of theater was given a curricular home in the new Department of Dramatic Art. Under the chairmanship of Professor Benjamin H. Lehman, and later, of Professor Fred Orin Harris, the Department developed a serious instructional curriculum, and, with its production arm, the University Theater, offered a series of distinguished performances of plays from around the world. Among these were memorable presentations of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Aeschylus’ Oresteia, and Eugene O’Neill’s Lazarus Laughed, all under Harris’s direction. On the campus teaching staff during Professor Harris’s chairmanship were Margaret P. McClean, the eminent teacher of speech, directors Henry Schnitzler, who staged the world premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s Private Life of the Master Race at Berkeley, John Barton, Alwin Kronacher, and Alexander Koiransky, who provided a direct link with the Moscow Art Theatre and the teaching of his friend, Konstantin Stanislavski.

GRADUATE PROGRAM

Little by little, the departmental course offerings were further developed into a significant graduate discipline. By 1960, the Department had grown sufficiently so that, under the chairmanship of Professor Travis Bogard, it was approved to offer the Master of Arts, and within a year became the first campus in the University of California system to offer the Ph.D. in drama and theater studies. At that time, the graduate program concentrated on the training of stage directors, offering a wide variety of courses in technical play production and in theater history and dramatic literature and criticism, in an effort to capitalize the new alliance of professional theater groups and universities evolving throughout the country at the time. The Department attracted theater and dance professionals such as Henry May, who assumed the department chairmanship in 1968 and who was executive Art Director for the CBS Television series, Omnibus. David Wood, an alumnus of the Berkeley campus who worked for fifteen years with the Martha Graham Company as a dancer and rehearsal director, was recruited to the campus with his wife Marni Thomas Wood, also a Graham dancer, and teacher at the Graham school (she became chair from 1982-90). The Woods instituted a dance curriculum on campus in 1968, and the dance program has played a crucial role in the Department ever since. Robert Goldsby (chair 1973-77) long associated with the American Conservatory Theater as an actor, director and head of the ACT training program, was recruited to the faculty, as were award-winning playwrights William I. Oliver (chair 1977-79) and Marvin Rosenberg. Given its place in the premiere public research university in the United States, it was also crucial for the Department to recruit an adept scholarly faculty, capable of training an emerging generation of scholars. Doctoral studies in theater and drama were led by Travis Bogard, the major scholar of Eugene O’Neill, Marvin Rosenberg, whose series of books on the stage history of Shakespeare’s plays have been central to Shakespeare studies, and Dunbar Ogden, a crucial figure in the study of the medieval theater. In later years, younger scholars like Charles Lyons (later Chair of the Drama Department at Stanford), Lorne Buchman (chair 1990-93) and David McCandless came to Berkeley. Faculty from other departments, notably Don Friedman, Professor of English (chair 1979-82) contributed to the Department’s success as well. The Department’s record of training a new generation of theater and performance studies scholars is exceptional, and many of the leading figures in the field today–Margaret Wilkerson (UCB and Ford Foundation), Sue-Ellen Case (UCLA), Harry Elam (Stanford), Leigh Woods (Michigan)–pursued doctoral studies at Berkeley. Berkeley’s graduate program also sent important artists back into the sphere of professional theater, including Artistic Director of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre Tony Taccone.

On campus, the University Theatre continued its long tradition of student performances, often stimulated by the work of visiting professionals including directors Margaret Webster, Jan Kott, and Greek National Theatre Director Takis Muzenidis. Faculty-directed productions included such experiments in programming as cycles of plays devoted to a common subject, author, or style of theatre; for example, a bill of three plays on the Don Juan story, the Shakespeare Quadricentennial program of five Shakespeare plays, a season of Chekhov, and the French Neoclassical repertory. Student-directed workshop productions ranged throughout the literature of Western European drama. The Department expanded the role of dance on campus, not only offering the annual University Dance Theater concert, but developing a touring company of advanced dance students, the Bay Area Repertory Dance Company.

RESTRUCTURING OF THE DEPARTMENT

The Department suffered difficult times with faculty retirements and the California budget crisis of the mid 1990s. Thanks to the efforts of the faculty from across the campus, the Department was reorganized–under the leadership of Don McQuade (chair 1993-95, now Vice Chancellor for University Relations), Margaret Wilkerson, Professor of African American Studies (chair 1995-97), and then of Mark Griffith, Professor of Classics (chair 1997-99)–as an academic Department accompanied by a production unit, the Center for Theater Arts. This reorganization helped to preserve the Department’s relationship with a number of professional artists who continue to provide exemplary teaching and artistic leadership: Marty Berman, Deborah Sussel, and Lura Dolas in acting; David Elliott and Kate Edmunds in design; and Stan Kramer and Roberta (Vance) Lemons in our shops. This reorganization also enabled a reconception of the Ph.D. program designed to make the professionalization of doctoral students and their preparation for academic careers both more successful and more consistent with UC Berkeley’s position as a premier research institution. As part of this reorganization, the department was awarded three faculty positions, which were quickly filled: by Peter Glazer, Ph.D. in Performance Studies and an eminent director and adapter of nondramatic works for the stage; by Shannon Jackson, also Ph.D. in Performance Studies, a performance artist whose scholarship focuses on the interface of performance, history, and historiography; and W. B. Worthen, Ph.D. in English, who writes about dramatic and performance theory and history. Professor Worthen became Acting Chair and then Chair of the Department in January 2000, and instigated a name change that would restore a single name to the Department and express the Department’s multiplex investment in different forms of performance, and in the academic study of performance as well. As of July 2001, we are The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, and the Graduate Group in Performance Studies.

GROWTH AND GALVANIZATION

The Department has made enormous strides since its near demise in the mid 1990s. We have been able to add new staff, both to the production and academic operations, staff who have enabled the Department to function more efficiently and professionally. The new faculty and reorganization of the graduate program and of the academic aspect of the undergraduate program have brought renewed and expanded energy to the formal study of performance in all its forms. The addition of Professor and renowned choreographer Joe Goode to the faculty in 2001 brought a new level of artistic distinction, and signaled our effort to integrate the study of dance with the study of theater, given the interdisciplinary character of Goode’s work. We reorganized the curriculum to place “performance studies” at the academic center of all our majors’ activities, alongside the unrivaled training in dance and choreography, and in acting, directing, design, and technical theater we provide. Our Ph.D. program almost immediately become among the most competitive in the nation, recruiting a superb cohort of doctoral students from around the world. Our Ph.D. students remain competitive in a very competitive market for academic appointments, and recent undergraduate students have been admitted to the most prestigious professional training and MFA programs in the country, including Juilliard, ACT, NYU, Yale, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, and many more. Additionally, our annual production season involves a distinguished series of visiting artists and lecturers, such as Rhodessa Jones, Cherríe Moraga, former Berkeley Ph.D. student Stan Lai, Tadashi Suzuki, the Split Britches Company, Tim Miller, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Carmelita Tropicana, Peggy Phelan, and members of The Gate Theatre of Dublin, among many others. We recently hired two new faculty in the fields of Asian Performance and African American Performance who will help to fulfill our commitment to a wide-ranging and diverse study of the forms and practices of theater and dance. We have been galvanized by a renewed commitment to maintaining contact with our alumni, and to fostering a more meaningful dialogue between our current students and students who have gone on to success in the arts and humanities as well as in the professions. We continue to rebuild a new department, the kind of department that suits Berkeley best: at the cutting edge of theater, dance, and performance studies.

2012/13 Season

Mainstage

From the Field to the Table: 
An Urban Bush Women Leadership Institute Project

Led by Paloma McGregor, Amara Tabor-Smith and Lisa Wymore
October 12-14, 2012
Zellerbach Playhouse

The Leadership Institute of New York’s acclaimed Urban Bush Women will guide TDPS students and community members in the creation of a collective piece centered around issues of industrialized food production, rising food costs, and diminishing natural resources. The end result will be a performance event sure to move you.

The final performance will feature a pre-show discussion with Urban Bush Women Founder and Artistic Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

Follow the creation of the piece at http://fromthefieldtothetable.blogspot.com!


Woody Guthrie’s American Song

Songs and Writings by Woody Guthrie
Conceived, Adapted and Directed by Peter Glazer
Orchestrations and Vocal Arrangements by Jeff Waxman
November 9-18, 2012
Durham Studio Theater

In 1933, Woody Guthrie begins a two-decade journey through America, witnessing the Great Depression, the dustbowl migrations, and a World War. Along the way, he learns the stories he’ll turn into his legendary songs about the beauty and struggles of this country. Follow him as he finds the voice he’ll lend to the American spirit, inspiring generations. Peter Glazer’s musical uses Guthrie’s own powerful words and over two dozen songs.


The Ruling Class

By Peter Barnes
Directed by Christopher Herold
March 8-17, 2013
Zellerbach Playhouse

Jack Gurney just inherited his father’s lordship, money, and seat in the British Parliament. Jack should be using his power to advance his family’s position and finances, but there’s a problem. He believes he’s the “God of Love” and should be helping the poor with his money. Jack’s aristocratic family resorts to brutal tactics to correct his liberalism, with hilarious and terrifying results. Peter Barnes’ 1968 black comedy stunningly parallels and predicts today’s clash of class and partisan politics.


Berkeley Dance Project 2013: Aperture

April 19-28, 2013
Zellerbach Playhouse

“How can we imagine our future?” Ansel Adams tried to answer this question when he took thousands of photos of the University of California from 1964-1968 in a project called “Fiat Lux.” This year’s Berkeley Dance Project tackles the same question, responding to Adams’ vision and presenting its own snapshot of modern life. “Aperture” brings new perspectives into focus through four works by Lisa Wymore, Katie Faulkner, Scott Wells, and Chia-Yi Seetoo.


Workshops

The Maids

By Jean Genet; directed by Paige Johnson
Claire and Solange have a game they like to play when Madame is out of the house. They like to pretend they are Madame and order one another around. It’s a harmless little game. No one could get hurt… right? Jean Genet’s absurdist masterpiece – with a twist.
Zellerbach Room 7 • October 25-27, 2012
Thursday & Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm
Admission $8


Lab Run

original works by Ph.D. students in Performance Studies; supervised by Joe Goode
Our experimental performance series continues as our first-year students in our Graduate Program in Performance Studies take the stage for a night of pushing limits. We can’t tell you what you are going to see – since we don’t know either – but past productions have been riveting or repulsive, inspiring or shocking, boring or beautiful, and always fascinating. We guarantee you’ll be talking about them long after you’ve left the theater.
Zellerbach Room 7 • November 29 – December 1, 2012
Thursday & Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm
Admission $8


Fall Choreography Showcase

original works by student choreographers; supervised by Joe Goode
Students in our Advanced Choreography course present their original work, guided by Professor Joe Goode. Take a night and come see the future of dance.
Zellerbach Room 7 • December 6-7, 2012
Program A: 5pm Dec. 6 and 8pm Dec. 7
Program B: 8pm Dec. 6 and 5pm Dec. 7
Admission $5 per performance.

Seating is limited. No late seating.


American Shakespeare Riot

Written & Directed by Eli Wirtschafter

New York, 1849: State militia fired into a crowd, killing over twenty rioters, protesters, and spectators. What sparked the riot? Two rival productions of Macbeth: one playing to unruly working-class audiences, the other to the city’s wealthy elite. At stake was the young nation’s cultural independence and the future of theater in a society increasingly divided by class. This new undergraduate work inspired by the Astor Place Riot asks what you would do if someone challenged your right to see Shakespeare.

Zellerbach Room 7 • April 4-6, 2013
Thursday & Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm
Admission $8

SOLD OUT – Limited wait-list tickets may be available at the door. No late seating.


Directors’ Showcase

A showing of scenes by students in the TDPS Stage Directing classsupervised by Peter Glazer
Our annual showing of scenes by students in the TDPS Stage Directing Class. This two-day event is one of the best opportunities of the year to see some of the hot new talent coming the to the theater scene.
Durham Studio Theater • May 9-10, 2013
Admission is free; seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis


Playwrights’ Showcase

New works by TDPS students; supervised by Philip Kan Gotanda
Students this year will have a fantastic opportunity to study playwriting with acclaimed artist Philip Kan Gotanda. Come hear their voices in a series of readings of their work, under the guidance of a modern master.
May 2013


 

Lectures & Events

August 30: New Play Reading Series
September 20: New Play Reading Series
September 30: Studio Set at Fall Free for all
October 4: Jennifer DeVere Brody
October 18: New Play Reading Series
November 9-10: Virtual Venues
November 14: Amir Baradaran
November 15: New Play Reading Series
January 24: New Play Reading Series
January 25: Qing Qing
January 31: Chinese Contemporary Dance Festival
February 1: Panel: Moving Time
February 6: Stan Lai in conversation with Philip Kan Gotanda
February 15: UndocuNation
February 15-17: Anna Halprin at BAM/PFA: Parades and Changes
February 21: New Play Reading Series
March 14: New Play Reading Series
March 11: Diana Taylor
March 21: “An Academic Mixtape: Roshanak Kheshti and Tavia Nyong’o on Performance”
April 11: New Play Reading Series


Studio Set at Fall Free For All 
September 30, 2012
2pm & 4pm
Bancroft Studio
Free

TDPS acting and dance students, along with the UC Jazz Ensembles, will present a program of informal performances as part of Cal Performances’ annual free day of the arts, featuring a Brazilian music and dance grand finale!

More Fall Free For All information »


New Play Reading Series
Durham Studio Theater
August 30, 2012
September 20, 2012
October 18, 2012
November 15, 2012
January 24, 2013
February 21, 2013
March 14, 2013
April 11, 2013
5pm
Free

Hear new work by up-and-coming playwrights in an intimate setting, read by our student actors. Each semester, we’ll have a launch event followed by a set of Thursday evening readings and discussions. Don’t pass up this opportunity to engage with the theater of tomorrow, read by the actors of tomorrow! Presented in partnership with the Townsend Center Contemporary Drama Working Group.


Jennifer DeVere Brody, Stanford University
Precarious Performance
Dwinelle Hall, Room 370
October 4, 2012, 4pm
Free

In what ways can we think about performance as a precarious venture? How does performance address the socio-political movements of precarity? Is there a relationship between the vicarious and the precarious? Professor Brody (Stanford) explores these questions with reference to recent world-historical events such as the Occupy Movement among other artistic performances.


Virtual Venues: Exploring materiality and gesture within live streaming events
Zellerbach Rooom 170
November 9-10, 2012
Free

For two days, Friday November 9th and Saturday, November 10th, two campuses within the University of California system will be showcasing the Virtual Venues concept and hosting a symposium to discuss the future of networked real time collaboration within the UC System. The two participating labs are the Embodied Media and Technology Lab (UC Irvine, within the Department of Dance), and The Z-Lab (UC Berkeley, within the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies). NYU is also participating in networked performances between the UC Irvine site in conjunction with the symposium. Each site has worked extensively over the past two years to create an enlivened and participatory virtual/real space that utilizes video and audio data shared and layered in real time.

November 9th Performance and Discussion
Location: Z-Lab (Zellerbach Room 170)
5:30pm Reception and Open Studio
6:00-8:00pm Four multi-site performances streaming in real time between UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. Choreographers are MFA students from the UC Irvine Department of Dance working with TDPS undergraduate students. Discussions take place after each piece is performed.
November 10th Demonstration, Discussion, and Workshop
Location: Z-Lab (Zellerbach Room 170)

11am Renee Rhodes shares work on mapping and interactivity in real time.
12-1pm Brown bag lunch and discussion between participants located at UC Irvine and UC Berkeley.
1-2pm Workshop utilizing real time video layering techniques between multiple sites.


Amir Baradaran – new media performance artist (NYC)
Lecture: FutARism: The Possibilities of Augmented Reality in Art Making

Wednesday, November 14, 6 – 8 PM
Lecture will be followed by a reception
BCNM Commons, 340 Moffitt Library
Free and open to the public

Amir Baradaran will discuss his past and current artistic works involving Augmented Reality (AR) and pose critical questions for the future of AR and art practice. AR as a form of new media offers a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Under the title FutARism, Baradaran suggests that AR presupposes significant conceptual shifts, as it expands our definitions of ownership and trespassing while triggering dialogue about a new medium for interactive installations. The experiential, conceptual, and legal shifts presupposed by the advent of AR connect to Baradaran’s interest in radical subjectivities, failed utopias, and mysticism. His AR installations have included the commissioned work WeARinMOMA in the NY MOMA and a guerilla installation in the Louvre, Frenchising Mona Lisa.

Interactive Performance: Marry Me to the End of Love
U.S. Premiere
Thursday, November 15, 6 – 9 PM*
Subterranean Art House, 2179 Bancroft Way – Berkeley, CA
*Because of the nature of this interactive performance, audience members may come and go as they please.
Free and open to the public

Following its Paris premiere in June 2012 at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Baradaran’s performance of Marry Me to the End of Love will make its U.S. debut during his UC Berkeley campus visit. In this interactive performance, Baradaran will marry anyone he can convince to enter a temporary marriage. This playful, performative act of marriage draws from the Shi’a Islamic tradition of temporary marriage (Sigheh) and attempts to introduce these traditions into the performance art lexicon. This performance piece also critically questions the recent and perplexing push by “progressives” to “include” same-sex couples in the definition of marriage. Baradaran’s play with temporary marriage recognizes that love and desire are temporal, shifting, transactional, and always changing. Marry Me to the End of Love builds on past projects such as Frenchising Mona Lisa, which was critiqued by Forbes magazine for using “guerrilla tactical maneuvers” to cover the daVinci painting in a digital “augmented reality” hijab made of the French flag. The paradox is that Amir Baradaran reintroduces the progressive concept back into the queer conversation by way of “backwards” Islamic customs and costumes, such as hijab and temporary marriage. Baradaran first introduced the idea of Sigheh when he infiltrated Marina Abramovic’s live sculpture, The Artist is Present at the New York MoMA, thereby creating his own guerilla performance, The Other Artist is Present, and proposing marriage to her: “I love your bodies of work… and I would love to be wedded to this body, here and now.”.

Co-sponsors:
Townsend Center for the Humanities
Berkeley Center for New Media
Center for Race and Gender
Arts Research Center
Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Muslim Identities and Cultures Working Group
Program in Comparative Ethnic Studies
Dept. of Gender & Women Studies
Dept. of Art Practice


Qing Qing lecture
“The State of Contemporary Dance in China

January 25, 3pm
Dwinelle Annex, Room 126
Qing Qing, Associate Research Fellow at the Dance Research Institute, National Arts Academy, China & Visiting Scholar in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley. Chinese contemporary dance is increasingly gaining attention in the international dance world. In this presentation, Chinese dance scholar and critic Qing Qing gives an introduction to the state of contemporary dance in China, with screenings of selected video clips for a range of examples. Discussion and Q & A follow. Possible reading, TBA.


Chinese Contemporary Dance Festival
January 31, 2013
Contemporary dance in China is flourishing. Two emerging choreographers, nunu kong (AKA Wu Yan Dan) from Shanghai and Dai Jian from Beijing, will lead workshops at UC Berkeley and present their work in a free public showing. This event is co-sponsored by the Dance Studies Working Group, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Arts Research Center, and Center for Chinese Studies.

Please email chiayijessiec2@gmail.com to reserve a spot to attend any workshops. Note: There will be five spots for physical participation, and ten spots for observation in each of the workshops listed below.
Workshops: 
11am-12:30pm, Zellerbach Hall, room 170:
 in SanSan Kwan’s course on Choreographies of Space, nunu kong will lead a workshop
1-3:30pm, Bancroft Studio: in Lisa Wymore’s Choreography class, Dai Jian will lead a workshop
Public Showing:
4-6pm, Bancroft Studio:
 nunu kong and Dai Jian will present a free public showing of their work


Panel: Moving Time
February 1, 2013, 12:50pm
Museum Theater, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2621 Durant Avenue (access via the Sculpture Garden)

nunu kong and SanSan Kwan will discuss Chinese contemporary dance in relation to nunu’s and other art practices, moderated by Chia-Yi Seetoo.

Part of the Arts Research Center’s Temporal Shifts: Time Across Contemporary Chinese and Taiwanese Art Practices symposium. For more info please see http://arts.berkeley.edu/events/temporalshifts.html


Stan Lai in conversation with Philip Kan Gotanda
February 6, 2013, 5:30pm
Durham Studio Theater

Leading Asian-American playwright Philip Kan Gotanda will speak with Avenali Resident Fellow Stan Lai about his creative process, and the influence of his years at Berkeley – both as a graduate student in the 1980s and as a Regents Lecturer in 2000 – on his artistic development.


UndocuNation
February 15, 2013

9am-5pm, Symposium, campus Multi Cultural Center
The Center for Race and Gender (CRG), CultureStr/ke and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) is thrilled to announce this upcoming year’s UndocuNation at UC Berkeley. We will be bringing together artists, community members, students, faculty and staff from California and the nation focusing attention on critical issues affecting undocumented immigrant communities.

9-9:30am Registration, breakfast and mingling (MCC) [Breakfast]
9:30-9:45am Welcoming remarks by Prof. Evelyn Nakano Glenn (Director, CRG)
9:45-10am Spoken Word Performance
10-11:15am Panel #1: Building Resistance: The Politics of the Immigrant Rights Movement (MCC)
Invited panelists: Cecilia Menjivar and Leisy Abrego (legal violence), Kathryn Abrams (SB1070 and Arizona; law and emotions) and Hiroshi Motomura (DREAM Act youth as Americans in waiting); Arely Zimmerman (use of social media and undocuqeer activism)
11:15-11:30am Performance
11:30-12:15pm Lunch
12:15-1:30pm Panel #2: Insurgent Migrations (MCC)
Invited panelists: Evelyn Nakano Glenn (insurgent citizenship and the DREAM Act movement), Juana Maria Rodriguez (queerness/sexuality), Trinh Minh-Ha, Laura Perez (performance art/spirituality), Paola Bacchetta, Martin Manalansan (queer diaspora)
1:30-1:45pm Performance
1:45-3pm Panel #3: Higher Learnings: Undocumented Student Experiences on and off campus (MCC)
Invited panelists: Veronica Terriquez and Caitlin Patler (USC survey); Kevin Escudero (UC Berkeley Haas Innovation Grant), Roberto Gonzales and Shannon Gleeson (differences in the socialization of undocumented,,adults and youth) 3-3:30pm Break (mingling, give folks a chance to take a look around the exhibit, etc.)
3:30-5pm Panel #4: Institutional Social Change: Campus/Community Roundtable (MCC)
Invited panelists: Graduates Reaching a DREAM Deferred (GRADD) student members; Immigrant Student Issues Coalition (ISIC) – Jere Takahashi, Alberto Ledesma and Lupe Gallegos-Diaz; SLAS/EOP office – Fabrizio Mejia and Meng So; AB540 Coalition Reps – Ju Hong, Beto Ortiz, Kiki Vo, May Liang
5:15-5:30pm Performance

7pm-10pm, Performance , International house
Hosted by Bay Area artist Favianna Rodríguez, UndocuNation is an evening of culture jamming, visual art, and performances addressing the devastating consequences of our country’s broken immigration system. Artists from different racial and sexual backgrounds, immigration history and documentation statuses will be sharing artwork and cultural interventions about the current immigration crisis through performances, film excerpts, installations, music and readings. The collaboration of these creative artists attempts to use images and stories to facilitate dialogue that can inspire. UndocuNation is also part of a series of workshops that have been taking place nation-wide has been presented in major U.S. cities, including at our own Bay Area Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

The event itself is comprised of a collage of artistic performances that allow creative cultural workers to speak about their art to shift today’s understanding of what “America” looks like. The UndocuNation event at UC Berkeley will have a particular focus on undocumented immigrant communities and the connections between the politics of immigration, education and creative expression.


Diana Taylor: “Saving the ‘Live’: Re-Performance and UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage”
March 11, 2013, 4:30pm
Durham Studio Theater
“It’s a widespread fantasy— one shared by individual artists such as Marina Abramović and world organizations such as UNESCO—that specific performances (or ICH, ‘intangible cultural heritage’) can be kept alive, separated from their moment of knowing and being, and safeguarded, protected, for other audiences at another moment. What does safeguarding performance entail? Is re-performance different from performance, always “twice behaved behavior” according to Richard Schechner, “never for the first time”? How does the now of one particular performance extend beyond its own initial temporality and context? Why attempt it? For whom? Who selects? Who decides? This talk looks at what it might entail to consciously ‘preserve’ performance and keep specific acts ‘alive’ by looking at two projects— UNESCO’s Intangible Culture Heritage convention of 2003 and Marina Abramović’s blockbuster show at MoMA in 2010, The Artist is Present.”

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Lecturer Dr. Diana Taylor is Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. Her visit is made possible by Phi Beta Kappa and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.


6th Annual Performance Studies Speaker Series
“An Academic Mixtape: Roshanak Kheshti and Tavia Nyong’o on Performance”
March 21, 2013, 5pm
Durham Studio Theater

We made you a mix-tape. Hopefully you’ll like it! Join esteemed professors Tavia Nyong’o (NYU) and Roshanak Kheshti (UC San Diego) for an improvisatory dialogue on the concepts and issues underlying the globalized production and circulation of music. Profs. Nyong’o and Kheshti are both on the cutting edge of contemporary debates about queerness, globality, sound, race, performance and affect, so there’s bound to be a lot in the mix.


Special Performance Event:

Anna Halprin at BAM/PFA
February 15-17, 2013, 7:30pm
UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

World-renowned postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin returns to UC Berkeley to present a weekend of dance, including the final performance of her revolutionary 1965 work “Parades and Changes” as part of BAM/PFA’s L@TE program, as well as a showing of her community-empowering “Planetary Dance” featuring TDPS dance students. Check the BAM/PFA website for schedule and updates: bampfa.berkeley.edu

Tickets: $7 general admission; free for UC Berkeley staff, students, and faculty
BAM/PFA: 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Marin Theatre Company Seeking Interns

Marin Theatre Company is still searching for strong candidates for their Theater Management, Production Management, Theatre Arts Education, and Artistic Production internships. They are looking for enthusiastic, organized young theatre artists interested in pursuing these aspects of the industry and in working on the administrative staff of a regional theater.

Start Date: August 11, 2014
End Date: June 19, 2015

Time Commitment:
– Full Season (10 months)
– 35 hours per week
– Daily office hours between 9a-5p, some nights and weekends as needed
– Hours may increase during technical rehearsal/preview weeks and youth performances

Requirements:
– Reliable transportation
– A minimum of four years of college or advanced training post high school
– B.A./ B.F.A or equivalent experience preferred
– Some experience in area of application

Compensation:
This is an unpaid internship. There are opportunities for supplemental paid work through Front of House and the Education department for qualified applicants. Hours will be set and remain steady so that interns can acquire outside employment nights and weekends.

Housing:
MTC does not provide housing but has affordable furnished housing available for rent. The housing available is an apartment with shared rooms in a co-ed living environment. Rent is $600 per month and includes utilities. There is a one-time $500 non-refundable move in fee.

Supplemental Income:
Part-time paid positions may be available to participants of the Internship Program, based on need and qualifications. Possible positions include: Box Office, Café staff and After School Drama Teacher.

To Apply:
Register and submit resume materials and references online at: http://marintheatre.org/education/interns/ by June 3rd.

Arts Leadership Training Program: Theater Management
The Theater Management internship is designed to introduce individuals to all aspects of the administration and management of a nonprofit regional theater. In the context of board/management and artistic/management relationships, and working directly with the theater’s management departments – including the Managing Director, General Manager, Marketing Department, and Development Department – the Theater Management intern will participate in finance, budgeting, season planning, development, marketing, strategic planning, human resource management, best practices policymaking, and collective bargaining. Daily tasks include financial analysis, development and marketing writing, contract drafting, and attendance at board committee meetings. Long range projects include grant writing, special event coordination, and identification of operational efficiencies. This internship is ideal for candidates interested in pursuing a career as a general manager or managing director for a nonprofit theater.

Arts Leadership Training Program: Production Management
The Production Management Internship is an opportunity for burgeoning artisans to be involved in all aspects of production at a professional regional theater. Working directly with the Production Manager, the intern will receive on-the-job training and instruction while also being assigned tasks and projects to complete independently. The intern will be integrated fully into the MTC staff, working directly with the production staff by attending production meetings; observing the rehearsal process; participating in strike, change-over, and technical rehearsals; and shadowing his/her supervisors in day-to-day operations. Adjustments will be made to the structure of the internship based on the individual’s skill level and personal goals for the experience.

Arts Leadership Training Program: Theatre Arts Education
The Arts Education Internship is ideal for a candidate who is interested in producing programing for youth, families and the community. Working directly with the Director of Education and Education Coordinator, the intern will assist in all administrative components of the education, outreach and audience engagement programming. Throughout their tenure, the intern will learn about curriculum development, producing techniques, fundraising, season planning for TYA selections and main stage audience engagement. Dependent upon experience and interest level, teaching opportunities are available. This position is ideal for a candidate interested in pursuing a career as an Education Director or Teaching Artist.

Arts Leadership Training Program: Artistic Production
The Artistic Production intern will work directly with the Director of Education on all Audience Engagement, Creative Learning Residencies and Outreach programming. The Community Engagement Intern will foster new relationships, conduct research on the latest trends, topics and interactive engagement for Audience Engagement. The Intern will also be integral in producing events such as Community Days, Teacher’s Night Outs, Teen Nights, and Pre-and Post-show engagement as well as performance events for Education and Theatre for Young Audiences. The Community Engagement Intern will assist in the administration of the Creative Learning Residency Program and assist in building relationships with new community groups in underserved communities. This position is ideal for candidates interested in Community Arts.

If you have any questions regarding the internship program, email Daunielle Rasmussen, Director of Education, or call 415-388-5200 ext. 3310.

ART SUBMISSIONS WANTED FOR UCB JOURNAL

CALL FOR VISUAL MEDIA AND COVER ART CONTEST
Submit art to this year’s issue of NSN, the UCB Department of Ethnic Studies Journal. 

THEME: ”Across Difference”
This issue of NSN will include work that critically engages with a wide array of topics (i.e., gender, race, class,sexuality, (dis)ability, pedagogy, colonialism). Serious consideration will be given to figurative or abstract artwork that transgresses genres and mediums, pushes boundaries, and specifically labors to build coalitions in the spirit of solidarity.

What kind of artwork to enter?
All artwork and visual media must speak to the theme of the journal and be submitted by the June 1st deadline for consideration in the fall 2014 issue of nineteen sixty nine (NSN). Submissions can be in any format including (jpg, pdf, mov, asf, and psd). The top 5 submissions will be featured, with one winning piece chosen as the “official” cover art for this year’s publication.

Types of work we invite include but are not limited to:
Photography, Film, Painting, Graphic Art, and Digital Art.

Judges:
The artwork will be judged by the NSN Planning Committee on artistic merit and relevance to this year’s theme: “Across Difference,” a motif commemorating over four decades of activism, art, and scholarship.

Who is eligible?
Anyone may apply. We invite submissions from artists, activists, scholars, and community members.
Please also include:
Name
Mailing Address
Email
Phone #
Artist Statement

Artists may email their submission to: klmcnair@berkeley.edu. Entry Deadline: June 1st, 2014 (11:59 pm PST)

For more information, visit http://escholarship.org/uc/ucb_es_nsn.

Transgender Studies Matters Symposium

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society – LGBTQ Citizenship Cluster, Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures, and Department of Gender & Women’s Studies presents:

TRANSGENDER STUDIES MATTERS
Friday, April 18th, 2014
132 Boalt Hall*, UC Berkeley

What are the objects and inquiries of contemporary Transgender Studies? Explore the state of the field in this one-day symposium featuring a new generation of emerging transgender studies scholars speaking on such topics as experimental method, the place of surgery, environment, and citizenship. The talks will be paired with responses by UC faculty.

PANEL ONE – 10am to 12pm

Queer Lovers, Hateful Others, and Injured Trans People: Queer Regenerations of Race, Space and the Urban Environment
Jinthana K. Haritaworn, Environmental Studies, York University w/ Paola Bacchetta as respondent (Gender & Women’s Studies, UCB)

What kinds of queer regenerations are possible within the rapidly changing environment of the gentrifying inner city? What bodies and intimacies are vitalized through the globalizing moral panics over homo/transphobic Black and brown people, who form the constitutive outside of the newly queer-friendly community? Breaking with a western tradition of punishing, pathologizing and concealing queer intimacy, gay kisses have recently begun to come out in public. These coming outs occur in a fertile racialized terrain and are neither universal nor incidental: while some sexually and gender non-conforming bodies emerge as deserving of protection in the inner city, low-income racialized bodies are erasable regardless, albeit in gender and sexually specific ways. This lecture traces valuable and pathological queer and trans bodies through queer/friendly counter/publics in Berlin – a site of queer migration and capital investment whose geopolitical and biopolitical configurations are increasingly transnational. Besides as kissing, ‘queer’ bodies are also visibilized and valorized as injured. The spectacular vulnerability required to humanize the homonormative subject ironically enables transgender actors to enter a bigger stage for the first time. This lecture interrogates how the transnormative subject in Berlin has emerged as a victim subject worthy of protection and coalition in the co-presence of Queer Lovers and Hateful Others (Haritaworn 2015).

Trans- Surgery Matters
Eric Plemons, Anthropology, University of Michigan w/ Marcia Ochoa as respondent (Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz)

In the essay typically thought to mark the emergence of trans-studies, Sandy Stone advocated a refusal of the medical—and especially surgical—narratives that had long dominated discourses on trans-bodies and lives. This refusal has become somewhat of a political imperative: we don’t talk about surgery. While undoubtedly supporting one kind of social good—witness Laverne Cox’s much lauded recent appearance on The Katie Couric show—politically-oriented refusals to talk about trans- surgery contribute to a general lack of knowledge about what surgeons are doing in operating rooms across the US and around the world when they work to “change sex.” In this talk Plemons draws on his ethnographic work with trans- surgical specialists to argue for a robust and sustained engagement with surgery in trans- studies—not as an ideal or as a foil, but as a collection of ongoing and situated practices that literally give shape to the bodies that many trans- people desire and come to inhabit.

PANEL TWO 2pm – 4pm

Jorgensen’s Shadows
C. Riley Snorton, Communication Studies, Northwestern University w/ Juana Maria Rodriguez as respondent (Gender & Women’s Studies, UCB)

While numerous scholars have written about the implications of Christine Jorgensen’s rise to celebrity in the early 1950s, suggesting that Jorgensen’s visibility ignited a public discussion about science and sexuality in postwar America, Snorton turns to a series of media stories circulating primarily in the black press to provide a textured account of how blackness and transness are enacted upon in order to work through what it means to be(come) “American” in the mid-20th century. While this talk examines the appearance and disappearance of figures, such as Lucy Anderson Hicks, James McHarris, and Georgia Black from public conversations leading up to and in the wake of the atomic bomb, the Korean War, and the “red scare,” African American shake dancer Carlett Brown takes center stage. In 1953, Brown renounced her US citizenship in order to receive sexual reassignment surgery from Jorgensen’s Europe-based surgeon only to be detained by the state for owed taxes. By juxtaposing Jorgensen and Brown, this talk opens different lines of inquiry for examining postwar fascinations with transsexual bodies, figuring Brown at the center of questions of national identity, race, sexuality, gender, class and performance.

Reframing Agnes
Kristen Schilt, Sociology, University of Chicago and Chase Joynt, Visiting Artist, University of Chicago w/ Raka Ray as respondent (Sociology, UCB)

This paper results from a year-long collaboration between an artist and an academic. In 2013-2014, Joynt, a multi-media artist, and Schilt, a professor of sociology, have done a series of installations and screenings that focus on the authority of narrative construction and attempts at queer collaboration, with specific focus on transgender identities. At the center of this work is the 1967 case study of Agnes. Broadly understood as the first modern case study of a transgender person in sociology, the mythology and folklore surrounding Agnes – as both a person and an idea – has been taken up by social scientists, queer theorists, and trans scholars alike. Joynt and Schilt utilize this case to interrogate methods of public authority by placing Schilt’s sociological methods in conversation with Joynt’s artistic interventions. This hybridized and experimental paper is the first step in this endeavor. They draw on archival documents, analysis of case studies, and personal experiences and history.

Event sponsored by: The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society – LGBTQ Citizenship Cluster, the Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures, and the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies – Chau Hoi Shuen Program in Gender and Science

Co-sponsored by: The Center for Race and Gender, Berkeley Law

This event is free and open to the public.

*DIRECTIONS TO 132 BOALT HALL:
With the latest renovations to the Law School, the building can be a bit tricky to navigate.

Via stairs: When facing east, looking at the west side of Boalt Hall, proceed up the stairs which run along the right side of the building. Go up two sets of stairs. There will be a courtyard on your left. Enter the building via the NE door (to Cafe Zeb). Room 132 is the first room on the right just before the cafe.

Via elevator: When facing east, looking at the west side of Boalt Hall, enter the door farthest to the left, under the huge quotes. Proceed to the end of the hall, then take the elevator to your left. Get out at the first floor and go left. You’ll see a hallway on your right (I believe room 123 is the last room before the hallway), with a staircase going down. Proceed down that hallway (ignoring the stairs and the cafe), and 132 will be at the end of the hall.

ReOrient Festival Submissions Deadline Extended to May 1, 2014

Golden Thread Productions – Call for Plays
ReOrient Festival Submissions Deadline Extended to May 1, 2014

The ReOrient Festival of Short Plays was inaugurated in 1999 to present alternative perspectives of the Middle East, showcasing the diversity of artistic voices and styles from the region, and gathering various segments of the community together for an evening of distinctive–yet shared–narratives.

Eligibility

  • Plays by playwrights of Middle Eastern heritage writing about any topic
  • Playwrights of all backgrounds writing about the Middle East
  • Plays must be written in English
  • 10-30 minutes long

Thematic Areas of Interest

  • Comedies of all sorts, particularly political satire
  • Adaptations of classical texts and/or historical figures
  • Exploration of Middle Eastern performance traditions
  • Experiments with non-realistic forms

Submission Guidelines: Please email play, resume & cover letter to GTPSubmissions@gmail.com. Specify ReOrient Festival in the subject line.

Visit www.goldenthread.org for more information.

Professor Shannon Jackson Receives Guggenheim Fellowship in Humanities

Shannon-Headshot-20101

The Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded Professor Shannon Jackson a 2014/15 Humanities Fellowship in the area of Theater Arts. 

 

Jackson is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies as well as Director of the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley. She is a scholar whose research and public service focus primarily on facilitating cross-arts dialogue and experimentation, with an eye toward exploring and advancing the role of the arts in projects of social change. She serves as a board member of Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Cal Performances, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Berkeley Center for New Media, and English Institute. » read more »

TDPS appoints Philip Kan Gotanda as Professor

Philip Kan Gotanda

Philip Kan Gotanda

Prominent Asian American Playwright Plans to Create Nationally Known Playwriting Program at UC Berkeley

Prolific playwright Philip Kan Gotanda has been appointed a Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. A groundbreaking figure in American Drama and a champion of stories of marginalized and under-represented communities in America, Gotanda’s works are produced and studied throughout the US and abroad. » read more »

Fellowships at American Conservatory Theater

FELLOWSHIPS AT AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER

American Conservatory Theater fellowships provide advanced, hands on training in theater production and administration. It is through this exposure to professionals at work—and to their audiences—that our fellows learn what drama means to the life of a community, and how the life of a community enriches its theater. A.C.T. fellowships provide a springboard to a professional life in the theater: our fellows have gone on to attend renowned graduate programs, to work in major regional theaters, and to freelance as directors, designers, and stage managers.

Fellows are a vital part of the thriving circle of artists that make A.C.T. one of the nation’s most respected arts institutions. Each fellow’s experience is nurtured and developed with the guidance of a staff mentor, and fellows are encouraged to draw from the diverse resources and collective knowledge of A.C.T.’s resident artists, designers, and administrators.

A.C.T. fellows have access to a variety of benefits designed to integrate them into the artistic life of the company and the community. Through daily exposure in their primary field of interest and monthly group sessions, fellows develop individual, specific projects resulting in the creation of work that will broaden and strengthen their professional and personal skills and abilities.

In 2014-2015, we expect to offer fellowships in artistic, costume rentals, costume shop, development, education, general & company management, graphic design, marketing/public relations, media, production, properties, publications, stage management, and web development.

HOW TO APPLY: A completed application includes an A.C.T. cover sheet, personal statement, resume, three letters of recommendation. Some departments require a writing sample, portfolio, and/or a sample lesson plan. Please visit www.act-sf.org/fellowships for full information on how to apply. The deadline for 2014–15 season fellowships is March 30, 2014. We hope to notify all applicants of our decisions no later than May 9, 2014.

 

Gretchen Margaroli

 

Producing Associate

American Conservatory Theater

 

30 Grant Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94108-5834

 

415.439.2416/415.834.3300 fx

gmargaroli@act-sf.org

 

Perseverance Theatre in Alaska – Housing and Stipend Provided

Perseverance Theatre is seeking internship applicants for the 2014-2015 Season. We are looking for your help in recruiting students at your university who might be interested in this program. This is an excellent opportunity for post-college advancement for those interested in the theatre. Below is the information for our season-long and summer internship programs.

Season-Long Internships
PERSEVERANCE THEATRE, an Alaskan professional theatre, is seeking highly trained interns for our 2014-2015 season. We are looking for interns in the following areas: artistic, technical direction (carpentry, electrics, paints, props), stage management, production management and arts management. Perseverance prides itself on collaboration and hands-on learning. Internships generally run August through May. A stipend and housing will be provided.

For more information, visit our website at www.perseverencetheatre.org <http://www.perseverencetheatre.org> . Applications should include: resume, cover letter and two letters of recommendation. E-mail applications to Shona Strauser, shona@perseverancetheatre.org. Application deadline: April 15, 2014

Education Internship
PERSEVERANCE THEATRE, an Alaskan professional theatre, is seeking highly qualified candidates for a summer education internship. This person works with our director of education on summer programming including STAR (youth program) and ASTI (adult program). The education intern will begin in May and work through the end of August. Perseverance prides itself on collaboration and hands-on learning. A stipend and housing will be provided.

For more information, visit our website at www.perseverencetheatre.org <http://www.perseverencetheatre.org> . Applications should include: resume, cover letter, and two letters of recommendation. E-mail applications to Shona Strauser, shona@perseverancetheatre.org. Application deadline: March 15, 2014

Erin Tripp

Artistic Intern

Perseverance Theatre

(907) 364-2421 ext 221

TDPS presents Philip Kan Gotanda’s After the War Blues from March 7-16

UCB_ATW0122

The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies continues its 2014 Main Stage season with Philip Kan Gotanda’s After the War Blues, running March 7-16 in Zellerbach Playhouse.

War does many things to us – it can make us question our government, question what it means to be an American, and question where we belong. After the War Blues takes place in the aftermath of World War II, when several communities intersected in San Francisco’s Western Addition District: Japanese-Americans returning from internment camps, African-Americans who had come to San Francisco looking for work, White southern migrants looking for economic opportunity and Russian Jews arriving in this country in the wake of the war. During a time when resources were limited, the characters struggle to get along and find their place in this new cultural mix. Says Gotanda, “The play asks – how do you begin to bridge all these different communities, and ultimately, can you?” » read more »

Teaching Resources for Fall 2014 Programming

This page will provide links to support materials for instructional use by UC Berkeley Faculty who wish to integrate TDPS programming into coursework. When possible, play scripts will be made available as well as dramaturgical materials and/or statements from playwrights, directors or other artistic collaborators.

Coming soon!

Steven Anthony Jones

Steven Anthony Jones is the artistic director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, the premiere African American theater company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, he directed eight of the ten titles in LHT’s 2012-13 Bringing the Art to the Audience staged readings series, as well as the workshop production of Philip Kan Gotanda’s Jamaican Wash Project. He has worked professionally on stage, television and in film for 37 years. He has performed in the works of Wilson, (Charles) Fuller, Fugard, Stoppard, (Philip) Gotonda, Becket, Pinter, Moliere, Shakespeare, Chekhov and others. He was in the original cast of A Soldier’s Play produced by the Negro Ensemble Company, which won an Obie Award for ensemble acting and the Pulitzer Prize for best drama. He performed, taught and directed at the American Conservatory Theater for 22 years as a member of the core acting company. His many film and television credits include two seasons of Midnight Caller and a recurring role on the NBC series Trauma. Mr. Jones received his early theatre training at Karamu House in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of Yankton College in South Dakota. Other experience includes the Cleveland Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, among others.