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Critically acclaimed ‘Tongues/Gather’ on stage at CSUEB University Theatre May 9-11


Eric Kupers said the Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble is an unusual performing ensemble. (Photo: Ben Ailes)

  • March 19, 2014

The Cal State East Bay Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Tongues/Gather,” a performance of original and adapted dance and musical works “exploring impermanence, death, birth, transformation and diversity." The show will be presented May 9-11 in the University Theatre on CSUEB’s Hayward campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

Shows will be presented Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with Saturday (May 10) and Sunday (May 11) matinees beginning at 2 p.m.. The Saturday matinee will have American Sign Language interpreters to assist any audience members requiring those services.

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for CSUEB faculty, staff, alumni, seniors 60 and older, non-CSUEB students and members of the military; and $5 for CSUEB students with ID. This special engagement has limited seating. To purchase tickets for Tongues/Gather, visit Seating is limited for all evening and matinee performances.

Directed by Eric Kupers, “Tongues/Gather” was created through the university’s Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble class. The performance includes special guest artists Ysaye M. Barnwell, Melanie DeMore, Shira Cion, Bandelion, Kumu Kau’I Peralto, Trina Nahm-Mijo and CSUEB faculty member Laura E. Ellis. Performing alongside the ensemble are Bandelion, Cion, Ellis and Peralto.

It brings together dance and musical forms from the diverse backgrounds of the 40-person ensemble, including African American, Eastern European Jewish, Maori, Hawaiian, Japanese, Finnish, and Latin American cultures. Included are performers with and without disabilities who are from many different walks of life.

“The ‘Gather’ portion of the show will explore the nature of birth, complementing the ‘Tongues’ investigation of facing one’s death,” said Kupers, a member of the CSUEB Theatre and Dance faculty. “It will be a piece completely reliant on the body itself, using no props, instruments or set pieces.”

Kupers noted that the Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE) “is an unusual performing ensemble.  There are bright young students who are just beginning their artistic careers working alongside accomplished professional artists, as well as people who never even knew they wanted to perform before they stumbled into dance classes at CSU East Bay.”

He said the performers are people with extremely varied abilities and disabilities, of all sizes, ages, and gender identities.

‘Tongues’ was previously performed to critical acclaim by IIE and Dandelion Dancetheatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National competition in April 2009.

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Persons needing special accommodation should notify the event sponsor by calling (510) 885-3118 in advance. Additional information about the show is available by calling the same phone number.

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