2016 Theatre Archive

Performances were March 4, 5, 11, 12 & 13, 2016

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn

Directed by Marc Jacobs

Musical Direction by Sierra Dee

Choreography by Laura Elaine Ellis

There are six unique 12-year-olds ferociously competing to be crowned spelling bee champs while being barely reined in by three madcap adults. In a comical and unusual twist, some audience members are brought on stage to compete as spellers, inviting moments of improvisational hilarity.

The six competitors are all outcasts or nerds in their own way. Some, like William Barfee, are overcome by hyper-competitiveness and parental pressure to succeed. Others, like Olive Ostrovsky, suffer from parental neglect or disaffection. They are all united, however, by their love of spelling. Each child eventually comes to a realization about their own values and self-worth, exiting the bee as champions of a different sort.

spelling bee contestants

spelling bee 2

spelling bee contestants

spelling bee contestants

In The Beginning, God Created Difference

  • Spring 2016

Cal State East Bay’s Department of Theatre and Dance will presented “In the Beginning, God Created Difference” on April 29-30 and May 6-7 at 8 p.m. at the University Theatre on the Hayward campus. A matinee performance of the show, which is directed by Assistant Professor of Dance Eric Kupers, was held May 8 at 2 p.m. 

“In the Beginning, God Created Difference” is a dance/theater/music performance that represents the culmination of more than three years of in-depth exploration with the Cal State East Bay Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (IIE) and other guest artists.

“Director Eric Kupers has woven together a non-linear journey through creation from multiple perspectives at once, examining who we are as human beings, why we are alive, and how we connect to our ancestors, each other and future generations,” said Sierra Dee, instructional support assistant for CSUEB’s Department of Theatre and Dance. “The production is based on creation myths from diverse cultures, along with personal creation stories, vocal compositions by Ysaye Maria Barnwell, and dance and music created collaboratively by all the artists involved in the production.”

“In the Beginning, God Created Difference” incorporates IIE, which brings together CSUEB students, alumni, community members, and professional performing artists to experiment with methods for embracing diversity through the performing arts. This year, IIE has added two components to this particular production:

  • DanceSing Drum Company, which gathers the IIE participants’ performance experience to engage in a more intricate and fast-moving sequence of images, stories, sounds and movement.
  • Creativity Lab, which gathers IIE participants on the autism spectrum and their allies who are not drawn to performing but want to focus on visual arts, writing and behind-the-scenes technical skills.

The performance will also feature guest artists Masashiro Fukuizumi (Taiko drumming composer and instructor), Caitlin Tabancay-Austin (vocal teacher and choral director) and Corissa “Reese” Johnson (guest choreographer and alumna).

For more information about the production, call Cal State East Bay’s Department of Theatre and Dance at (510) 885-3118, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are on sale online and at the Pioneer Bookstore, and will be available at the University Theatre box office one hour before show time. The box office accepts cash, Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, and checks made out to CSUEB.

Fusion 2016

The 2016 Theatre and Dance Performance Fusion Festival, an annual celebration of student created performance, took place on May 27th and 28th at 8 pm and May 29th at 2 pm, in the University Theatre.

Fusion is traditionally a chance for senior and graduating Theatre and Dance students to showcase their work. With preparation starting in Fall Quarter, students work hard to bring their pieces from conception to a fully realized show. Fusion classes are a diverse and eclectic playground in which student directors, actors, writers, and dancers experiment and create thoughtful, entertaining performance pieces. This year’s Fusion offered a wide array, ranging from musical revue to original choreographed dances. For each student director the pieces were personal, intimate, and revealing, touching on shared themes of love, loss, friendship, and the power of theater.

“Fuccbois”, written and directed by Jerardo Larios, is a humorous but honest short play about a player, a toxic friendship, and a romantic triangle. Caitlin Gardner’s adaptation of James McClure’s “Max and Maxie” is a charming, funny trip through an aging comic’s memory; based on “Wizard of Oz” star Bert Lahr (The Cowardly Lion) and his tempestuous partnership with his wife on stage and in life. Lucretia Allen takes the stage in the one-woman piece “Lives of the Great Waitresses” by Nina Shengold, performing three monologues as three very different working women who all share one thing – they’re great at what they do. The charming musical revue of “Benchmarks,” compiled by Burton Weaver, is an exploration of love’s maturity from first flirtation to full bloom, scored by five favorite Broadway tunes. Megan Briceño’s “Tears of Grief and Mourning” is an original dance piece featuring her own choreography; this beautiful work is a physical meditation on loss and healing. Michael Chan’s original choreography is on display in “Breakin’ the Barrier,” a powerful dance about manipulation and finding the strength to break free. Finally, technical design students Chad Foster and Margaret Adair MacCormick create a wordless bit of theatre magic in “Turtle House,” where an artist’s imagination brings forth a fantastical landscape before the audience’s very eyes.

Performances were November 11, 12, 18, 19, & 20, 2016

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare

Directed by Marc Jacobs

Location: University Theatre

Performances were December 2 & 3, 2016
Produced by Nina Haft & Eric Kupers
Choreographed and performed by Theatre and Dance Students and Faculty
Location: Physical Education 140
Performances were December 8, 9, 10, & 11, 2016
CSU Ferguson
Directed by Ann Fajilan
Location: Studio Theatre