Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As we head into winter break and the holidays, I hope you can take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments this semester. From an all remote classroom experience to virtual performances and the huge technological learning-curve that has unfolded; we have grown and been transformed through this process.
You all have adapted quickly and mindfully to the virtual classroom and performance landscape we have found ourselves in. This Fall we produced our first-ever virtual acting and dance performances, Connection Collection and Fall Dance: Unity Through Movement incorporating new, exciting and dynamic art-making approaches and technology. Through the many challenges and obstacles this semester, we crafted meaningful art and cultivated rich learning experiences that will shape where we go from here.
In Maya Angelou’s words, “Progressive art can assist people to learn what’s at work in the society in which they live.” I believe deeply in this and know that an education in the performing arts is critical to your development as future artists, scholars, community leaders, culture shapers, social-activists and embodied practitioners. Artists ARE essential.
I am excited for the department to carry our new collective knowledge into the Spring semester as we focus on virtual performances of Sonnets for an Old Century by Jose Rivera, directed by Professor Paul Draper with voice direction by Professor Marie Ramirez Downing, Spring Dance directed by Christine Cali in collaboration with Kinetech Arts, and our first Senior Projects Festival directed by Alissa Dernetz (play), Brandon Leong & Sierra Parkhurst (dance), Joelle Joyner-Wong (play), Brandon Lombardo (dance) Lindsey Abbott & Euan Ashley (play). We also have guest designers/artists supporting these projects alongside our committed and creative Tech and Costume Directors, Theo Bridant and Martha Clarke.
As a department, we are steadfast in our ongoing commitment to support BIPOC students; centering historically underrepresented voices in our classrooms and performances. Our intentional focus on anti-racist, inclusive and accessible practices began a number of years ago, and the necessity for this work has been made more-clear and dire after the killing of George Floyd, the Covid pandemic and a political division that has surfaced undeniable inequities and privilege in the U.S. We will keep striving to do our work here at SSU to listen, dismantle and make change in ourselves, with students and in the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance.
I am so proud to be a part of this learning community and thank you all for showing up with grace, honesty, vulnerability, generosity, humor, open-hearts and minds. Each of your contributions has an impact on our department ecosystem, which layers out into the world at-large. I thank you for being a part of making the world a better place through art and education!
Here are a few nuggets of inspiration and highlights from this Fall for your holiday break. Enjoy!
Dance & GE
DANC 115 - Hip Hop with Farrah McAdam
THAR 373 (GE) - "I come from" Cultural Sharing Project by Daniel Barajas (w/Christine)
THAR 373 (GE) - "I come from" Cultural Sharing Project by Avery Flasher-Duzgunes
Acting & GE
THAR 125 - Intro to Acting with Marie Ramirez Downing
Connection Collection scene directed by Isabelle Barkey
THAR 420C - Comedy of Manners with Marie
THAR 400 - with Laura Odeh
Sonoma State Star Articles on Theatre Arts & Dance - Fall 2020
Connection Collection directed by Danielle Cain
Fall Dance: Unity Through Movement directed by Farrah McAdam
Stay safe, wear a mask, move your bodies, find joy and see you in the New Year!
PS - If you've gotten this far, please complete the End of Semester Student Survey HERE! We want to hear your feedback.