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Fall arts events present fresh takes on classics


A scene from Fusion 2009. (Photo: Rob Kunkle)

  • September 3, 2009

Contemporary twists on long-standing traditions will dominate leading arts offerings at California State University, East Bay during fall quarter. From an original play informed by Shakespearean influences to modern teaware vessels inspired by 500-year-old Chinese pottery production methods, expect a fresh take on classic approaches from the university’s students and faculty members.

In August 2002, four soldiers returned to Fort Bragg, N.C., from active duty in Afghanistan. Within five weeks, each had murdered his wife. Cal State East Bay will open the fall 2009 theatre and dance season Nov. 13 with "The Iago Syndrome,” an original drama by Assistant Professor Marc Jacobs exploring how stress and jealousy can turn deadly, a contemporary parallel to the behavior of Iago in Shakespeare’s “Othello.”

“We offered a classical production last summer with ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ now we take a contemporary look at a Shakespearean theme,” said Thomas Hird, chair of theatre and dance.

CSUEB theater production choices are based on student needs and customarily rotate between contemporary, experimental and classical approaches, Hird explained.

Later in the season, “Ice,” an annual preview of senior project pieces for the first time will include contributions by music-theatre students, as well as those in dance and drama. “Ring the Bells for Change,” another original work, will wrap up the fall season with whimsical stories of kindness, compassion and forgiveness in the annual pre-holiday youth theatre show that opens Dec. 11 and is available for daytime, group bookings between Dec. 14 and 18.

In the Cal State East Bay Art Gallery on the Hayward Campus, glimpse a collection of 60 never before exhibited pottery pieces in "Spiritual Vessels: Chinese Teaware by Modern Masters of the Zisha Tradition, a Selection of Masterpieces from Major American Collections." The exhibition will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20.

The pieces were created from exceptionally porous purple Zisha sand found only in the Dingshu area of Yixing, 120 miles northwest of Shanghai. Zisha masters are considered national treasures in China, where they follow a Ming Dynasty tradition dating back five centuries. The handmade vessels absorb a tiny amount of tea with each use, eventually developing a coating that retains the flavor of the tea.

"In East Asia, tea is considered a gift from heaven, and thus deserving of considerable respect," said Lanier Graham, art gallery director. "The goal of the Zisha teapot maker is not merely to make a fine pot, but to encourage each drinker, with each sip, to recall the intimate spiritual relationship that we have with the natural world."

Concurrently, "German Expressionist Prints, from the collection of Roy Kahn" will be shown in the satellite gallery at the back of the main gallery. Graduate student Rachel Bush, A museum studies major from Fremont, will curate the exhibition.

For details about music, dance, theatre and art on tap this fall through the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, review the following listings. Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held on the Hayward Campus at 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

  • East Bay Chamber Singers Fundraising Concert will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 166 West Harder Road, Hayward. Suggested donation: $10 per person. Proceeds will benefit the East Bay Chamber Singers tour to Lithuania later in October.
  • "Spiritual Vessels: Chinese Teaware by Modern Masters of the Zisha Tradition - a selection of Masterpieces from Major American Collections" plus "German Expressionist Prints from the collection of Roy Kahn" will open from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 20 in the University Art Gallery, Art and Education Building – east side of campus. The exhibitions will be open 12:30-3:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, except holidays, through Dec 3. Free.
  • Lawrence Granger Memorial Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in Music Building1055. Free.
  • Symphonic Band Concert, conducted by Wesley J. Broadnax, will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the University Theatre. Tickets will be $7 general, $5 for seniors, youth and alumni, and free with a CSUEB ID.
  • 23rd Annual Instrumental Music Festival Concert, directed by Wesley J. Broadnax will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 in the University Theatre. Tickets will be $7/$5/free with CSUEB ID.
  • The world premiere of The Iago Syndrome, a play written and directed by Marc Jacobs, with choreography by Nina Haft and original music by Rafael Hernandez, will perform at 8 p.m. Nov.13-14 and 20-21 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in the University Theatre. Admission will be $15 general; $10 youth (3-18), seniors (55+), and alumni; and $5 for CSUEB students.
  • Jazz Improv Ensembles, directed by Johannes Wallmann and Dann Zinn, will perform at noon Nov. 17 and Nov. 19 in MB1039. Free.
  • Trombone Day 2009 will hold clinics, master classes, performances and demonstrations from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 21 in MB1055 with Bill Watrous and the CSUEB Jazz Ensembles; and guest artists Tim Higgins, David Ridge, and Paul Welcomer with the CSUEB Trombone Ensemble, David Ridge, director. 
  • Student Composers Recital will be at noon Nov. 24 in MB1055. Free.
  • Symphonic Band Concert, Wesley J. Broadnax, conductor, will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24 in the University Theatre. Admission will be $7/$5/free with CSUEB ID.
  • Art Songs and Opera Excerpts Opera Workshop, Allen Shearer and Pamela Hicks, directors, will be at noon Dec. 1 in MB1055. Free.
  • Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop Concert with Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer Lily Maase,  Johannes Wallmann, director, will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the University Theatre. Admission will be $7/$5/free with CSUEB ID.
  • Percussion Ensemble Recital, Arthur Storch, director, will be at noon Dec. 3 in MB1039. Free.
  • Symphony Orchestra, Buddy James, conductor, will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in MB1055. Admission will be $7/$5/free with CSUEB ID.
  • Ice, a dance and song extravaganza produced by Nina Haft, Eric Kupers, and the CSUEB dance faculty with the Show Choir produced and directed by Darryl V. Jones, will perform three times: Program A: 7 p.m. Dec. 4, Program B: 4 p.m. Dec. 5, and Program C: 8 p.m. Dec. 5, all in the Dance Studio (PE 140). Admission will be $5 general, or $3 to CSUEB students.
  • Dona Nobis Pacem: The CSUEB Holiday Concert by The East Bay Singers, Chamber Singers, and Oratorio Society, Buddy James, conductor will be presented at 4 p.m. Dec. 5 in MB1055. Admission will be $7/$5/free with CSUEB ID.
  • Ring the Bells for Peace, original works by local and student playwrights, directed by A. Fajilan and Eric Kupers, performs at 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in the University Theatre. Admission will be $10 general; $6 children (12 and under), seniors (55+), alumni; and $5 for CSUEB students. Call for special family rate.

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CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor well in advance if accommodation is needed.

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