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2017 – 2018 Theatre Arts & Dance Season Highlights

To each and every one of you who supported our 2017-18 Season, our heartfelt thanks.

It was a challenging year, yet despite the disruption and losses the fires caused SSU and our surrounding communities; our students, faculty and staff rose to the occasion and produced some of our most memorable performances. AFTER ALL – THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

In fact, research studies indicate that going to a show is good for the mind, body and soul. Stories are powerful. Experiencing them in a community setting forces us to be reflective, encourages self-expression, helps problem solve and increases our ability to empathize.

So whether we are laughing, crying or escaping to a far-off land together; theatre makes us feel a part of something. We hope you’ll continue to be a part of our family. Thank you for supporting our performing arts students, and we look forward to seeing you again next fall.

FALL 2018
Woyzeck by Georg Büchner
Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn
FALL DANCE’18 - Original SSU Student Choreography

Sweeney Todd - Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler
POWER LINES - A New Play Festival produced by SSU Students
Spring Dance’19 - Faculty & Guest Artist Choreography



17-18 Distinguished Students of the Year
Kimberly Colisch
Kathryn Waechter

Jessica Emerenciana Amen, Adrian Causor, Caitlin Colangelo, Kimberly Laura Colisch, Katherine D. Drysdale, Allison Adele Evans, Joseph Ashantie Grant, Emily R. Heidecker, Kyle O. Her, Emma Lauren Higgins, Adrianna M. Lazar, Elizabeth E. Lovett, Anjelica M. Martinez, Emily Paxton Rice, Victoria Nicole Saitz, Kathryn L. Waechter

NOW PLAYING!.. SSU Graduates working in the field

  • Farrah McAdam (2015) works as a dance instructor and choreographer for the Petaluma School of Ballet, teaching children of all ages ballet, jazz, hip hop and modern technique. She also teaches Contemporary Dance and Hip Hop for the SSU Dance Program, while also performing for multiple Bay Area dance companies.
  • Rosemarie Kingfisher (2017) has stayed busy auditioning in the Bay Area, landing roles in community theatre such as Ross Valley Players and Bay Area Children’s Theatre. This summer you can catch her performing throughout the Bay in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, produced by the SF Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park program. Rose has also found time to assistant direct with former SSU Acting instructor Tori Truss at Mark Day School.
  • Stephanie Halbert (2013) currently works as a Fellow in Stage Management at the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.) of San Francisco.
  • Lauren Luedtke (2014) is finishing her MA in English Literature at San Diego State University, after interning at Marin Theatre Company (MTC).
  • Celine Delcayre (2013) currently works as the General Manager of new play company Playwrights Realm in NYC, developing works such as Sarah Delappe’s THE WOLVES, winner of the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award.



  • A lasting friendship with Brooklyn-based dance company Urban Bush Women began over the summer when SSU Dance Faculty Christine Cali and Kristen Daley travelled with dance senior Katy Waechter to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to attend UBW’s Summer Leadership Institute: You, Me, We: Understanding Internalized Racial Oppression and How it Manifests in Our Artistic Community.
  • The workshop made such an impact, UBW was invited to SSU in the Fall to teach their 10-day module Entering, Building, Exiting (EBX) Community, helping to build conversations with SSU students, staff and faculty on equitable practices in art making.
  • Despite dire weather reports and chilly temperatures, the sun shined on SHARED SPACES, a site-specific journey through SSU’s campus in early December. Two of four Fall Dance concerts were performed outdoors with audiences moving between Seawolf Plaza, Stevenson Hall, the Rec Center and Alumni Amphitheatre. Kaleidescope (Hiro Sogi), Let Me Break (Katy Waechter), Starch (Caitlin Colangelo), and Oxymoron (Krystal Castillo) were among the titles of 12 student-created dance works. Guided by director Christine Cali the student dancers, designers and technical crew discovered together the challenges and rewards of producing and adapting a show “al fresco” with aplomb, resourcefulness and authenticity.
  • In March, three student created dances represented SSU at the 2018 West Conference of the American College Dance Association (ACDA) in ASU in Tempe, AZ. me VS I by Anjelica Martinez and Hide & Seek by Ariella Tiber were selected for the Adjudication Concert. Krystal Castillo’s Oxymoron was selected for the Informal Concert.
  • Powerfully researched and crafted senior dance projects were created by students Anjelica Martinez (Fall‘17) and Katy Waechter (Spring‘18). Martinez’s work SKIN explored just that - our concepts about skin. She describes her inspiration: “Skin cannot speak yet it says so much; identifies us, and protects us from our external environment.” Waechter’s performance How Did You Get Here? reflected on the journey to adulthood, from playground to college campus, in collaboration with her dancers.
  • Resistance, power, and language were richly investigated in Anchored, a new work by Kristen Daley, Christine Cali and 15 SSU dancers for SpringDance’18. Against a backdrop of field recordings collected by the performers and mixed by composer Jesse Olsen Bay, the dancers boldly took the stage (and megaphone) to proclaim “Hear me” and “No means No” and “My voice matters” with lighting design by THAR student Jessica Amen. Special thanks to SSU Provost Lisa Vollendorf for attending, as well as SSU Alumni who attended a post-show reception on opening night April 27.
  • UBW guest artists Courtney J. Cook, Marjani Fortè-Saunders and Love Muwwakkil were back in residency for SpringDance’18 to create White Pickets Fences in collaboration with 11 SSU dancers. Exploring connection, trust, equity and social change, the performance piece was beautifully illuminated by designer Anthony Bish against a backdrop of powerful text “but that’s not my problem” and “feeling backlash for expressing myself” with urban-styled costumes from Martha J. Clarke.



  • The season opened with Bulrusher, an award-winning play by Eisa Davis about an extraordinary multiracial girl growing up in 1955 Mendocino County. Guest directed by Harry Waters Jr. (Angels in America, Back to the Future), the small cast of 6 gave powerful, heartfelt performances and included Joseph Grant as Logger, Régine Danaé as Bulrusher, guest actor Rolanda D. Bell as Vera, Jasmin Lewis as Madame, Quintin Curtice as Boy, and Pierce Woodward as Schoolch.
  • The Bulrusher team were deeply honored when, despite the disruption and loss caused by the fires, SSU President Judy K. Sakaki attended the Friday, Oct. 27 show. The cast and crew also welcomed the support of SSU’s Queer Straight Alliance as our Play It Forward guests that week.
  • Stage Director Doyle Ott’s circus and children’s theatre background produced a show rich with physical comedy and laughs for February’s musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. The small cast of 5 music theatre students gave strong performances with charm, wit and heart - including freshman Noah Evans (Charlie Brown), senior Emily Rice (Snoopy), Brandon Matel (Schroeder), Matthew Adiao (Linus), Hailey Patrick (Sally) and piano-straddling, scene-stealer Anna Leach (Lucy).
  • Directed by SSU’s Paul Draper, Shakespeare’s gender-tangled tale Twelfth Night was mounted in March, featuring 14 female and one trans nonbinary student. Guest artists Julia Kwitchoff (costume/props) and Peter Crompton (set) helped transport the land of Illyria to the 1920s, complete with impressive swordfight choreography from John Sullins III and music design from Albert Casselhoff. Special nod to students Bailey McAfee as Feste and Vivian Knee as Olivia.
  • Assistant Professor Alexis Macnab joined SSU’s Acting Department faculty this fall, teaching Acting On Camera, Directing, and the Humanities Learning Community. In late April, Macnab joined forces with SSU Hutchins Professor Justine Law to create Hope Ablaze, a site-specific promenade performance in the Fairfield Osborn Nature Preserve for SSU’s Dig Into Nature celebration.
  • Senior Emily Rice presented and directed Ordinary Days (by Adam Gwon) in Ives Hall 119 to great acclaim in early April. An accomplished singer/actor, Emily has had an amazing run at SSU in many roles, including the loveable Snoopy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and mischievous Little Red Riding Hood in Sondheim’s Into the Woods.



  • Congratulations to Professor Scott Horstein for being chosen for SSU’s 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award, recognizing excellence in teaching and celebrating faculty who “create an academic environment that successfully encourages high intellectual aspiration and achievement, effectively mentors students and promotes learning outside of the classroom.”
  • Theatre Studies teamed up with the Dance Program to host a 7-week residency by Brooklyn-based dance company Urban Bush Women during Fall‘17 and Spring‘18, including a 2 ½-week intensive training module entitled Entering, Building, and Exiting Community for THAR, CCJS, and Math students. UBW also performed The Hair Party in September, a performance conversation about hair, heritage and agency where students, faculty and others discussed closely held beliefs about themselves and society, while also recognizing and celebrating individual beauty.
  • Over 450 students from 13 different courses attended a concert by rapper Common at the GMC, exploring a range of issues including identity, race, culture and media – thanks to SSU’s Arts Integration Program and Theatre Studies Professor Scott Horstein, wearing his other hat as SSU Arts Dramaturg.
  • Retiring Professor Judy Navas directed Bertolt Brecht’s cabaret-style exploration of identity and war Man Equals Man in November. Audiences especially enjoyed the doors of Ives 119 flying open as senior Katie Drysdale (Widow Begbick) peddled on stage in her tricked out Burmese cycle rickshaw; as well as Allie Evan’s playful, well executed portrayal of Wang; the incredibly challenging role of Galy Gay for Jacob Maybo; and a soulful ukulele solo by Navas. BRAVO Professor - best wishes for all your future travels!
  • Ten short plays by 10 aspiring playwrights from THAR 376-7 Playwriting I & II threw caution to the wind for the 8th Annual “Mega Hot” New Play Festival. Curated by Scott Horstein, the script-in-hand-readings included topics ranging from sinister imaginary friends to intense relationship drama and pirate superheroes. Congrats to the 40+ student team including playwrights, directors, cast, and stage directors.
  • Theatre Studies student Christa Rico provided important historical context for audiences, cast and crew, researching background material and writing dramaturgy notes for Charles Gesner’s musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.



  • Not even the Sonoma and Napa fires could stop Bulrusher from opening on Oct 25. Audiences were seated on the main stage of Person Theatre for an up-close immersive experience set in 1955 Boonville, CA (Mendocino). SSU’s Theo Bridant created multi-layered light and sound design, accentuating student Jacob Gonzales’ minimalist set.
  • SSU’s Russ Wigglesworth created a multifaceted set design for Brecht’s Man Equals Man in Studio76, complete with temple, ramshackle bar, barracks and cabaret seating on stage. Guest artist/SSU Alum Robin Deluca supplied mood with vivid light design to compliment senior Roxie Johnson’s authentic WWI British colonial costumes, with machine gun fire courtesy of sound designer and recent SSU grad Jackson Jordon.
  • Inspired by cartoonist Charles Schulz, SSU Technical Director Theo Bridant incorporated winning sounds effects for this season’s musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, including the teacher’s warbled (trombone-inspired) voice and the Red Baron’s aerial dogfight. A simple yet vibrant set design by guest artist Michael Smith; giant yardstick-size pencils and other fun props provided by Parker Neely; and playfully authentic Peanuts costume design from senior Roxie Johnson, Martha J. Clarke and Teresa Kopaz.
  • Applause for Junior Kieran Latham on light design for Twelfth Night, and special thanks to Stage Management student Maggie Simental, who gracefully shepherded cast and crew through both Twelfth Night and Spring Dance’18. Maggie’s problem solving and cat herding skills earned her a new role as Lead Stage Manager for the 2018-19 Season.
  • SSU’s Anthony Bish and senior Jessica Amen provided dramatic urban-inspired light design for White Picket Fences and Anchored at SpringDance‘18, against a backdrop of audio clips and original music by guest composer Jesse Olsen Bay.

2016-2017 Season Highlights

2015-2016 Season Highlights

2014-2015 Season Highlights

2013-2014 Season Highlights