October 10, 2006

Theatre and Dance celebrates 50 years of performances

1956 was a banner year in entertainment and the arts. I Love Lucy was the most popular television show in the country, Elvis Presley was making rock and roll a national phenomenon, My Fair Lady made its debut on Broadway, and Sacramento State’s Department of Theatre and Dance put on its first production, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

This year, Sacramento State’s Theatre and Dance Department celebrates its 50th anniversary with a whole host of performances, lectures and forums that celebrate the dramatic arts, beginning with The Crucible’s reappearance on the campus. The performance will be held at the University Theatre in Shasta Hall beginning Friday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. and will continue through Sunday, Oct. 29.

The Crucible, one of Miller’s most famous plays, illustrates the correlation between the 1692 witch trials in Puritan New England and the anti-communist trials of Senator Joseph McCarthy at the beginning of the Cold War era. The play explores the societal effects of intolerance and mass hysteria. Theatre and Dance emeritus professor Larry Shumate will discuss how these themes related to The Crucible and will also give a historical account of the 1956 Sacramento State Crucible production on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7:15 p.m. in the University Theatre.

Other Crucible events include a lecture by College of Arts and Letters dean Jeffrey Mason about playwright Arthur Miller on Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m., as well as a chance to talk with Director Gina Kaufmann and the Crucible cast on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. Both events will be in the University Theatre.

Sacramento/Black Art of Dance (S/BAD) opens the season with a tribute to Katherine Dunham, the mother of Black concert dance in America and the first African-American woman to have a major dance company recognized globally. A Tribute to Katherine Dunham, directed by Linda Goodrich, opens on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. at DanceSpace, Solano Hall 1010. Professor Halifu Osumare, African and African American Studies, will give a pre-show talk on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in Solano Hall 1010.

Theatre offerings continue with August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, beginning Friday, Nov. 3 and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 19. The play, directed by Melinda Wilson, tells the story of Herald Loomis who, arriving in the North after serving seven years on a chain gang, learns that he must find peace within himself before starting his life anew. The department is offering post-show discussions with the director and cast of the play on Nov. 5, 8 12, 15 and 19 in the Playwrights’ Theatre.

The fall theatre season concludes with the faculty dance concert Dance Sites: New Works in Choreography/Performance running from Thursday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 17. The concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of the University Theatre with works by department faculty, artists-in-residence, and guest artists who represent the legacy of dance at Sacramento State. Under the direction of Professor Lorelei Bayne, the performances will combine the rhythms of the percussion program with the artistic imagination of University dance faculty and guest artists. An “Ask the Choreographers & Dancers” forum with guest choreographer and emeritus professor Dale Scholl will take place after the opening night performance on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 9:30 p.m. in Solano Hall 1010.

Showtimes for all productions are: Wednesday and Thursday, 6:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. Ticket prices Friday through Sunday are $12 general admission/$10 seniors and students/$8 ages 10 and under. Wednesday and Thursday nights are $8 general admission/$5 students, seniors, and children. For tickets, call (916) 278-4323 or visit Tickets.com.

For a complete schedule of Sacramento State Theatre and Dance Department events, call (916) 278-6368 or visit www.csus.edu/dram/season.html. For media assistance, call the Sacramento State Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


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