TDPS presents modern take on Moliére's daring comedy 'Tartuffe'

September 18, 2018

UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) continues its 2018–19 season with Tartuffe, a daring and witty comedy that tells the story of a crafty trickster who uses religion as a guise to flatter the vulnerability of a wealthy patriarch. Initially censored following its 1664 premiere, the play is one of Molière’s most famous works and will be presented at the Zellerbach Playhouse stage on the UC Berkeley campus. Translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur, and directed by Domenique Lozano, Tartuffe runs November 9–18. Tickets are $13 to $20...

Berkeley Dance Project fosters communities during annual showcase

February 26, 2020

On Saturday, the Berkeley Dance Project staged the third performance of its annual showcase of Bay Area dance talent. The showcase, which took on the theme of community, pulled from a variety of sources, from student dance groups — such as Maya at Cal and the Fei Tian dancers — to campus theater, dance and performance studies, or TDPS, students, alumni and faculty.

UC Berkeley stages Brecht’s fiery ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’

November 19, 2019

Ensconced in the center of the Zellerbach Playhouse is a vertiginous stage, stained in aquamarine, licorice red and pale salmon. Floating around the arena are knee-high tables, an assortment of chairs and a monumental amount of tapestries, ranging from the typical pillow sham to the ones draped across a college student’s window. To the side is a nook resembling a backyard concert. It’s an array of set dressing which magnetizes in service of the story. At the convergence of the UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, or TDPS, program...

In ‘La Miguelito,’ a street artist’s murder mirrors Bay Area gentrification

October 18, 2019

When Daniela Cervantes first heard about the play, Who Shot la Miguelito?, presented by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, she knew she had to be a part of it.

“As a person of color, I wanted to be involved in a production that uplifts the voices that belong to people who look like me, who are stereotyped the way that I’m stereotyped,” says Cervantes, a third-year student majoring in ethnic studies, with a minor in theater and performance studies. “I wanted to bring those voices to a platform where they could be heard.”

Who Shot la...

UC Berkeley’s Theater, Dance and Performance Studies department burns down the house with lively performance of ‘The Arsonists’ (The Daily Californian)

March 17, 2020

There is a fine line that has to be walked when performing “The Arsonists,” Max Frisch’s 1953 play. Originally written for radio, the play is a comedy — it needs to bring up its own zaniness to make its audience laugh. At the same time, it needs to bring a clarifying realism to its sobering themes and content. This line was acknowledged but shifted by UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, or TDPS, whose take on the play about complicity and ideology tends toward the comedic but faces some uneven tonal shifts.

'Snowflakes, or Rare White People' evokes self-conscious laughter (Theatrius)

May 13, 2020

Set in Nueva, New York in the late 23rd century, Dustin Chinn’s Radio Play, featuring CAL students under the direction of Mina Morita, imagines a world where Caucasians, nearing extinction, survive under federal protection. They live on preservation farms and perform their “caucasity” for a curious public.

In this near white-less future world, Chinn wittily shows two arrogant Caucasians who disrupt the prevailing ethnic diversity. Even in a world where Caucasians are critically endangered, their white voices carry weight.

TDPS presents 'The House of the Spirits,' Isabel Allende’s magical family drama, in a poetic re-imagining by Caridad Svich

March 1, 2019
UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) will cap off its 2018–2019 season with The House of the Spirits, a play by Caridad Svich based on the best-selling novel by Isabel Allende. Directed by Michael Moran, this poetic adaptation with Svich’s original songs runs April 26 through May 5 in the Playhouse at Zellerbach Hall. Patrons may purchase tickets for $13–20 through the TDPS online box office or at the door.

Beckett / Fornés / Pinter: Student-directed one-act plays confront issues of loss, communication, memory

February 14, 2019
UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) presents Beckett / Fornés / Pinter: Student-Directed One-Act Plays. The showcase of unconventional, modernist plays will include Footfalls by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, Silence by British playwright Harold Pinter, and Springtime by Cuban American playwright María Irene Fornés. The show opens Thursday, March 14 and continues through Sunday, March 17 in Durham Studio Theater at UC Berkeley.

TDPS 2019–2020 Season explores complexities of modern society, community building

June 4, 2019
The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) at the University of California, Berkeley will present five main stage productions in its 2019–2020 Season. The season, which broadly explores the complexities of modern society and community building, includes two classics of modern theater, two new plays with local roots, and a highly collaborative iteration of Berkeley Dance Project, the annual TDPS dance concert.

Mina Morita, director of ‘Snowflakes, or Rare White People,’ addresses changing production’s format (The Daily Californian)

May 29, 2020

Mina Morita has been the artistic director of San Francisco’s Crowded Fire Theater for five years. Earlier this year, she began working with UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) to bring Dustin Chinn’s play “Snowflakes, or Rare White People” to the stage.

As was the case for many working in and around Berkeley, everything changed March 9, when the chancellor’s office announced the suspension of in-person classes at UC Berkeley due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Morita said, she had a sore throat and was directing rehearsals from home,...