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Last chance to see 'Tongues' before Washington, D.C. festival


From left: Justin Sharlman, Kate Pinedo and Mickey Kay (Photo: Ben Ailes)

  • April 1, 2009

“Tongues,” a one-of-a-kind blend of theatre, dance and music, will perform one more time at California State University, East Bay before heading to Washington, D.C. in mid-April where it has been selected to be one of four college/university productions in this year’s prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

The Cal State East Bay performance will be at 8 p.m. on Easter, Sunday, April 12 in the University Theatre, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. On the East Coast it will be performed twice: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16 and 11 a.m. Friday, April 17 at the 324-seat Kennedy Center Family Theater.

“Tongues” has been under development by Eric Kupers, director/choreographer and assistant professor of theatre and dance, and a cast of 20 CSUEB students/staff/faculty and five persons who are CSUEB alumni and/or members of his private Dandelion Dancetheater. It previewed last spring, performed on campus in the fall, and was selected to be among 56 productions in eight KCACTF regional festivals in February.

This is only the second time a CSUEB production has reached the national stage. The first was in 1982 when Director Edgardo De La Cruz had a similar invitation for “Oedipus Rex.”

Written by Sam Shephard and Joseph Chaikin, the CSUEB interpretation is created and performed with a multi-racial, intergenerational, physically integrated cast of dancers, actors and musicians, with and without disabilities.

The script is a collage of views, memories and interpretations on dying, all told through stories flashing through the mind of one dying man.

“We intend it as a vehicle toward greater acceptance of the birth/death cycle for all who see/hear it, as it has been for us making it,” said Kupers.

“See ‘Tongues’ and you will discover more evidence that disability is no barrier to artistic performance,” said Thomas Hird, professor and chair of theatre and dance.

Tickets to the CSUEB performance are $10 general, $7 youth (age 3-18), seniors (55+) and alumni, and $5 for CSUEB students. They may be reserved at, or by calling 510-885- 3118. Proceeds will pay for faculty and staff to travel to the Washington, D.C. performance.

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor at 510-885-3118 at least two weeks in advance if accommodation is needed.

For tickets to the April 16-17 performances in Washington, D.C. go to

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