Undergraduate Advising

Students are encouraged to meet with the Undergraduate Academic Advisor at least once a semester to create an academic program plan and track educational progress. The goal of advising is to create the optimum educational and artistic experience, and prepare you for whatever path you choose to take.

Laxmi Kumaran, Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Laxmi Kumaran

Office Hours: Schedule An Appointment

Email: laxmik@berkeley.edu

Current or prospective students may contact Laxmi about course requirements, declaring a major or minor, capstone courses, or any questions related to TDPS undergraduate programs.

Peer Advisors

Peer Advisors are TDPS majors who are familiar with the department, actively use student advising, take advantage of the opportunities and courses offered here, and are willing to talk about their TDPS experience. They are available to email, video chat, or talk on the phone with current or prospective students.

Lilea Alvarez, Peer Advisor

Lilea Alvarez

Major: Theater & Performance Studies
Email: lilea@berkeley.edu

The artistic world of Dance and Theater is dear to my heart and something I have been pursuing for some time now. I am so pleased to now be of service to the wonderful Community at Cal; as well as to those who are interested in being a part of it. This will be my second year here at UC Berkeley, being a transfer student, and although it was intimidating to be new, I have come to find that the TDPS department is a welcoming creative environment. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a couple productions in the department as well as some of the student films. Feel free to reach out to me regarding theater, acting, directing, and study abroad. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have! ¡Se Habla Español!

Lauren Chang, Peer Advisor

Lauren Chang

Majors: Theater & Performance Studies / Public Health
Pronouns: she/her
Email: lauren.chang@berkeley.edu

I came to Cal in the midst of a pandemic with a list of eleven majors I wanted to pursue, and despite it being exclusively online, I found the TDPS community to be incredibly helpful in making my decision to have Theater & Performance Studies as one of my majors. I have since found amazing mentors in the department who have helped me grow in stage management and technical theater, as well as a supportive peer community. I’m happy to answer any questions, including those about double-majoring, studying abroad, studying technical theater, and choosing TDPS overall. 

Diane Chen, Peer Advisor

Diane Chen

Majors: Theater & Performance Studies / Art Practice
Pronouns: they/them
Email: meixichen@berkeley.edu

Trained and having performed as a TV child actor, I've never lived my life far from the theater. When I started my journey at TDPS as a freshman, I was fascinated by the variety of classes! I'm confident that there is something for everyone at TDPS, and the inspiring mentors have helped me see the world in a new and exciting way, as performance studies are related to so many aspects of our lives. I am personally interested in acting, public speaking, performance historiography, global performance traditions, as well as the representations of different groups of people in theater, language, and media. Feel free to contact me in Mandarin, Korean, Cantonese, or (some) Japanese, as well as English!

Ítarala Gamboa Cayetaño García, Peer Advisor

Ítarala Gamboa Cayetaño García

Majors: Theater & Performance Studies / Sociology 
Pronouns: she/they 
Email: itaralakgamboacayeg@berkeley.edu

Growing up, I was acting in church programs and in school, but I did not realize until auditioning for a college’s theater program that I wanted to seriously pursue acting as a career. Coming to Cal as a transfer, I got to work from the ground up, getting into the upper division acting classes, being in TDPS productions, an ANTI production, and getting the opportunity to get some screen time in short films with the clubs on campus. I have been able to expand my knowledge of both on-stage and on-camera acting as well as working on various projects and playing characters that I never thought that I could embody in my college career. While I love the acting aspect of theater, TDPS has a plethora of courses that reach from being on the stage, to creating the scenes and lighting, and directing productions. There are many amazing, hands-on classes that have shifted my view of behind-the-scenes work. If you have any questions on the audition process for either shows or classes, questions about the clubs and how to get some screen work for your resume, or any other questions involving the department, please feel free to contact me!

Bailey Garon, Peer Advisor

Bailey Garon

Major: Theater & Performance Studies
Email: baileygaron22@berkeley.edu

My interest in theater didn’t take root until my freshman year of high school. I was able to work in the scene shop, in the booth, and backstage in a multitude of roles. After I graduated from high school I thought I would take community college to explore other subjects and possibilities for my career path but realized I wanted to return back to theater and performance work. Since schools went online I took a year off and was able to work as a Production Assistant on multiple TV sets and quickly realized I preferred theater work over TV shoots. I figured a good way to get back into the swing of theater after being absent for so long was to go to school for it. I was nervous at first about transferring into Berkeley and worried I wouldn’t get along with folks or that everyone was already in their friend groups. However, the department is very welcoming and the sense of community that theater brings is present here at Berkeley. Everyone is also always friendly and happy to impart their knowledge onto others and I have learned a great deal from everyone. If you have any questions about the department, mainly with the technical sides, transferring, or just Berkeley as a whole—please reach out! I would be more than happy to help answer any questions I can!

Rebekah Joy, Peer Advisor

Rebekah Joy

Major: Dance & Performance Studies
Pronouns: she/he/they
Email: zjoy0225@berkeley.edu

I discovered my love of dance while in community college over ten years ago! It took me a while to finally get here and now that I have I'm excited to assist others in everything from deciding whether this department is a good choice for them to connecting others to resources. I'm very interested in dance film and equity among the professional dance world. Feel more than welcome to contact me with questions regarding Dance and Performance Studies, being a transfer student, being a re-entry student, relocating from SoCal, or anything at all! ¡Se habla Español!

Gil Martinez, Peer Advisor

Gil Martinez

Majors: Dance & Performance Studies / Chicanx Studies
Pronouns: he/them
Email: gilmtzm@berkeley.edu

I'm a Chicanx Queer male-identifying artist. I came to Cal in pursuit of knowledge on my journey into teaching in higher education. I have always been involved in the arts since I was little but transitioned into dance towards my high school era. Afterwards, I taught in public education through competition dance groups and classes around the Central Valley. I made the tough decision to pause my teaching capacity to better understand all aspects of theater through Cal. I am now involved in a plethora of avenues like stage management, lighting design, and scenic design. However, I am still growing my portfolio by creating works through local companies and fellow peer projects. I am an open book with welcoming arms. I'm happy to respond to any questions, comments, and concerns, especially those about double-majoring, studying abroad, theater knowledge (especially in dance), Cal, and TDPS overall. Welcome to our Cal family—I can't wait to meet you!

Kelly Mou, Peer Advisor

Kelly H. Mou

Major: Theater & Performance Studies 
Pronouns: she/her
Email: kellyhmou@berkeley.edu

I've wanted to be an actor since I was eight. I would put on my mother’s fanciest dresses and pose for the stuffed animal paparazzi on the living room couch. My path to stardom continues, but instead of amusing my mother, I now spend hours upon hours in a black box theater with my scene partner, trying to figure out how to raise the stakes in our scene. I believe that acting is a process of discovery and questioning. I almost quit acting due to a speech impediment called cluttering, but something keeps drawing me back. Reach out whether you have questions or not—we can grab coffee! If you feel intimidated, just know that I constantly memorize my monologues the night before performing.