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2016 – 2017 Theatre Arts & Dance Season Highlights

Thank you for helping make our 2016-17 Season another great success. . .

Your support makes a difference. SSU Theatre Arts & Dance is a nonprofit organization – so every dollar we earn goes right back into producing shows and supporting our performing arts students. Thanks to supporters like you and with the generosity of the Evert B. Person Endowment Fund, over 2,300 SSU students attended our shows this season for free.

Our goal is simple:  Expose students and our community to live theatre and dance; creating a life-long appreciation for the performing arts. Together our faculty, staff and students produce a broad range of contemporary theatre, giving equal measure to Shakespeare and the classics, musicals and opera, new works, dance and experimental pieces. 

Please join us again soon. We are excited about the 2017-18 Season…

FALL 2017   Bulrusher by Eisa Davis;  Man Equals Man by Bertolt Brecht; Super Mega Molten Hot Lava New Play Festival, Written by SSU Students; Shared Spaces: A site-specific journey through SSU’s campus (Fall Dance 2017)

SPRING 2018   You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown by Clark Glesner; Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare; and Spring Dance 2018 with Urban Bush Women

We wish everyone a fun and safe summer, and look forward to seeing you in the Fall!

Graduates and Alumni
Dance Highlights
Acting Program Highlights
Technical Theatre & Design Season
Theatre Studies Highlights



16-17 Distinguished Student of the Year
Rosemarie Kingfisher

Kendall Marie Bare, Caitlin Colangelo, James DeSoto, Kristopher K. East, Lauren N. R. Eckis, Deanna Gee, Marisa Catherine Hanley, Rosemarie Hayes, Alexandra N. Jiongo, Jackson L. Jordan, Rosemarie S. Kingfisher, Christina Madison Kitchen, Elizabeth E. Lovett, Deanna Elizabeth Maher, Carissa Jean Pinnix, Katharine Elizabeth Ray, Max Jacob Reiner, Valerie Gabrielle Ruiz, Cassandra L. Slagle, Jasen Vince Valdez, Ian D. L. Webb, Josephine Angelina Wheeler, Mark T. Wilson


  • Connor Pratt (2016) starred in Bent, Martin Sherman’s 1979 Holocaust drama at Robert Hayman and Rachel Ewy’s new Hollywood Stage Company earlier this year in Los Angeles
  • Charlie B. William Baker (2015) recently landed a role in a SF Giants baseball commercial “Let’s Have a Ball.” Working in Sonoma in the wine industry, Charlie continues to audition in the Bay Area and hopes the commercial work will lead to bigger and better things, so he can turn his passion into a full time job.
  • Patrick Szczotka (2016) is working towards a MFA in Technical Direction at the University of Illinois’ Graduate School of Fine & Applied Arts. He’s spending the summer working in Safety Management for Glimmerglass Opera Festival in Cooperstown, NY.
  • Abigail Rose Mytych (2015) recently graduated from Mills College, receiving her MFA in Dance and Choreography. Throughout her studies, Abby developed a deep passion for somatic awareness and plans to engage that work in her pedagogical and personal practices. She lives in LA and continues to teach, choreograph and dance.
  • Kyle Ryan (2015) was accepted to the MFA Graduate Acting Program at The New School in New York City starting class this fall.
  • Patrick Alparone (2004) stared in Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz at The Magic Theatre this spring.
  • Laura Odeh (2000) and a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts MFA Program at NYU (2004) starred in Hand to God at Berkley Rep and Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley at Marin Theatre Company. Odeh returned to SSU recently to speak to The Acting Block students about career planning, graduate programs and finding an agent.



  • Dream in Progress, FORTITUDE, Submerged, Tension and Subliminal Taps were among the titles of 14 original dance pieces created by SSU student choreographers for “Heart & Soul” Fall Dance Concert 2016. Guided by director and SSU Dance Professor Christine Cali, the 50+ dancers, 4 light designers and technical crew all contributed in building the two shows from the ground up with grace and authenticity.
  • A celebration of life and reflection on her 12-year career as an educator and artist at SSU, Professor of Dance Kristen Daley presented Forever in a Second, four new and renewed dances featuring SSU students, alums and professional Bay Area dancers with original music by Jesse Olsen Bay. Internationally renowned choreographer Mark Haim (U. of Washington) also created a new piece, which Ms. Daley performed, to three sold out shows in Ives 119.
  • In March Kristen Daley and Christine Cali took 21 dance students to the 2017 West Region Conference for the American College Dance Association (ACDA). Of the 40 dances performed and adjudicated, SSU’s Caitlin Colangelo’s dance piece Surrounded was among eleven dances selected for the ACDA Gala Concert for “artistic integrity, inclusivity and strength in performance.” Congratulations to Caitlin and her dancers James Desoto, Kyle Her, Anjelica Martinez, Carissa Pinnix (graduate) and Katy Waechter!
  • In April, the main stage of Person Theatre transformed into a living, breathing, vibrating cityscape where 17 student dancers performed Waiting in Seoul Walking in Tokyo. The immersive performance explored the streets of Seoul, Tokyo and SF with original music, sound and video clips from composer Matt Langlois/MattEL and light design by SSU’s Theo Bridant. Directed by Christine Cali and Jennifer Meek Satoh, Seoul was the culmination of a semester-long residency with guest choreographers Yuko Monden (Japan), Ryeon Hwa Yeo (S.Korea) and Ayana Yonesaka (Japan/US). Can’t wait to see where Christine takes us next!
  • CALI & CO dance, directed by Cali and based in SF, also shared the stage in Spring Dance with their new work CODE performed by Jennifer Meek Satoh and the guest choreographers.
  • SSU Dance helped celebrate the investiture of SSU President Judy Sakaki by performing an excerpt of Waiting in Seoul Walking in Toyko at the Seawolf Plaza mini conference, while Caitlin Colangelo’s work Surrounded was performed at The Green Music Center during the investiture ceremonies.



  • We laughed, cried and sang along with five amazing student actors/vocalists in SSU’s season opener Waiting for the Parade, a charming, funny and at times heart-wrenching WWII story directed by SSU’s Danielle Cain in SSU’s black box Studio76. Set to 1940’s era music, Parade featured the lovely voices of SSU students Katee Drysdale, Anna Leach, Kat Ray, Emily Rice and Valerie Ruiz, whose portrayal of German immigrant “Marta” was poignant and heartfelt.
  • Over 700 K-12 students were bedazzled by our two free holiday matinees for The Bluebird (Alison Farina), directed by SSU’s Judy Navas. Lead actors Carlos Rodriguez (Tyler) and Allan Chornak (Tylo) stole hearts as the playful duo searching for the ‘Secret to Happiness’ as they travelled through elaborate, shadowy dreamscapes magically created by set designer, Peter Crompton. SSU’s Costume Director Martha J. Clarke also wove her magic into The Bluebird’s costume designs, including sparkling and beautiful fairy characters “Berylune” (Rosemarie Kingfisher) and “Joy of Motherly Love” (Margaret Willet), an exceptionally busty “Dutchess of Luxury” (Victoria Saitz) and bare-chested, diaper-wearing “King of Luxury” (Allan Chornak).
  • Rosemarie Kingfisher presented Senior Project “FOUR YEARS, FOUR SCENES” to broad acclaim March 2-4 in Studio76. Four 10-minute scenes debuted: “Slop-Culture” by Robb Badlam; “Blue Room, The (Baron)” by Courtney Baron; “Dancing With a Devil” by Brooke Berman; and “Sure Thing” by David Ives. Kingfisher was also presented with the prestigious “Student of the Year” Award at the annual Theatre Arts & Dance softball game and picnic. Congrats Rosemarie!
  • The Acting Block presented its annual showcase title 11 Benevolent Elephants in Ives Studio 119 in April exploring poetry, song, monologues and scenes drawn for non-realistic writers of the 20th and 21st Century. 



  • Aaron Davidman’s powerful one-man play Wrestling Jerusalem visited the SSU campus in early Fall, exploring the complexities of identity, history and social justice through 17 different characters grappling with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Directed by Michael John Garcés, the production was co-produced with SSU’s The HUB.
  • Acclaimed poet, comedian and motivational speaker Steve Connell performed at Warren Auditorium in February alongside Bay Area Dance company Diavolo as part of SSU’s True Home Space Initiative, a partnership between SSU Theatre Arts & Dance and The HUB. Much of Connell and Diavolo’s work emphasizes diversity, struggle, social justice and political responsibility.
  • New Play Festival Director and SSU Professor Scott Horstein tried something new this year – three short plays by SSU students were selected for full production in Ives Hall 119 at POWER LINES: A New Play Festival with Hard Hats. Written, directed, produced and performed by an ensemble cast of 30+ students, they included The Cultural Significance of the Dumpster by Ellen Skoniecki, The Tar by Victoria Saitz, and Nuclear Housewife by James Rich. Special thanks to Guest Production Stage Manager M. Sohaa Smith and Design Mentor Heather Basarab.
  • POWER LINES actors Régine Danaé and Ember Montoya rocked the quirky DJ booth in The Tar, while senior Rosemarie Kingfisher shined as lead “Sam” in The Cultural Significance of the Dumpster.
  • Acting Chair of the Theatre Arts & Dance Department, Scott Horstein continued work on the Arts Integration Program, creating interdisciplinary links between SSU Faculty, coursework and art exhibits, concerts, and performances across campus.



  • Sound designer Jackson Jordan helped transport audiences back to WWII-era Calgary, Canada for John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade, complete with train whistles, war plane fly overs, air raid sirens and 1940s music in Ives Hall Studio76.
  • Costume design student Tiffany McGoughey created lovely 1940s costume, hair and jewelry pieces for the five female Parade cast members, with support (and lots of red lipstick) from Roxie Johnson on hair and make-up design, and Costume Shop Director Martha J. Clarke.
  • Lighting design students put their “Heart & Soul” into multiple Fall Dance Concert pieces, including Jessica Amen, Lauren Eckis, Kieran Latham and Mark Wilson with help from SSU Technical Director Theo Bridant and Tech Advisor Anthony Bish.
  • Stage Manager extraordinaire Deanna Gee stepped in to guide The Bluebird crew through 8 holiday shows in December, with gorgeous giant snow globe and playroom-styled set design by Guest Artist, Peter Crompton. Special thanks to director Judy Navas for loaning SSU her most well-behaved Korgi “Guinness” for the role of “Tylo the Dog” and to Margaret Willet for her superb dog-handling/peanut-concealing skills backstage.
  • Student costume designer Samantha Summerfield worked with SSU’s Costume Shop’s Martha J. Clarke and Teresa Kopaz on creating vibrant, colorful and culturally diverse costume designs for Mozart’s The Magic Flute, with amazingly detailed and lifelike puppet designs by Guest Artist Mary Nagler. Special nod to Flute’s student Set Designer Kristopher East.
  • In March, all of our junior and senior Tech students visited St. Louis for USITT and performed in the Tech Olympics. 
  • SSU’s Theo Bridant and senior Mark Wilson helped transform Person Theatre into a living, breathing, vibrating cityscape for Waiting in Seoul Walking in Tokyo, projecting funky travel footage onto walls as dancers performed and mingled with the audience against a backdrop of urban audio clips and original music by guest composer Matt Langlois/MattEL.

2015-2016 Season Highlights

2014-2015 Season Highlights

2013-2014 Season Highlights