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Category: Theatre

Come From Away: Thriving in a State of Emergency

Come From Away: Thriving in a State of Emergency

come from away cast

Come From Away, the newest musical at La Jolla Playhouse, tells the touching true story of the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada which double in population for five days when over 30 planes were diverted to the island after all planes were rerouted on September 11, 2001. The story of 9,000 stranded travelers spending almost a week in this strange land full of friendly people is so vibrant and ripe for telling that it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been made into a feature film or play before now.

I was a senior in high school in San Diego, CA on September 11, 2001. I went to school that day and all we did was watch the news in every class while most of my teachers cried or frantically tried to call family in New York. My dad watched CNN nonstop for weeks. The videos of the towers falling are seared into my mind like every other American of a certain age. I knew a couple people who lived in New York City at the time but I didn’t personally know anyone who died or was related to someone who died. As an American and a human of course I was affected but it was a different type of pain and sadness than most of the film, theater, and other artistic takes on the event have depicted throughout the years. As a bystander grappling with events taking place 3,000 miles away, I always felt slightly guilty for not being more involved. Come From Away is one of the best depictions of the confusion, panic, and helplessness felt during the days following 9/11 from the perspective of people not at ground zero, or New York, or even on American soil.

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The Grift at The Lafayette Hotel

The Grift at The Lafayette Hotel

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the grift poster

Are you looking for an out-of-the-ordinary theater experience? Do you want to spend time in a historical hotel you probably didn’t know existed? The Grift at the Lafayette Hotel is the perfect activity for theater lovers and non-theater goers alike. Spend two hours laughing, learning about cons, make friends with strangers, and then see how well you can think on your feet, solve clues, and catch a bad guy.

The Grift was created by Tom Salamon, known for his previous interactive theater work, Accomplice. Accomplice came to San Diego in 2013 after years of success in New York and other large cities. The Grift, on the other hand, was written specifically for The Lafayette Hotel. The charming old-fashioned 1920s hotel is in a part of town not many tourists would run across. Located on El Cajon Blvd and Louisiana, The Lafayette is on a busy street next to out-of-date supply stores, gas stations and fast food drive throughs. All of that noise fades away as soon as you walk through the doors. From the pianno in the lounge to the rooms all wrapped around a relaxing pool, the hotel has a cozy lived-in feel that just screams staycation.

While Accomplice took place all around Little Italy, The Grift takes place only at The Lafayette. The Grift’s single location make for a more intimate and faster-paced story. The hotel is truly the main character.

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SJSU Theatre Project

SJSU Theatre Project

Everyone Gets An American FlagIn December of 2010 I worked as production manager on the SJSU theatre project Everyone Gets An American Flag. The purpose of the project was to interview students and staff who are immigrants to America and turn their interviews into a play. Since this project was a workshop, the roles of dramaturg, director and production manager became mostly interchangeable in order to get everything done on time.

Each student in TA 117 was assigned an interview subject. We each had three sessions with the interviewee to ask them a standard set of questions and then to go off on any interesting tangents the questions brought up. After all the interviews were compiled, I worked with my fellow graduate students, Brittany Chavez and Kimberly Peterson, to read all the transcripts looking for the most compelling content. We tried to find parallels within all the stories and figure out which dialogue helped transition the piece thematically.

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Protest Theatre: An Education in Musical Chairs

Protest Theatre: An Education in Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs Performance

POLITICIAN: Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls. Let’s play a game of Musical Chairs. Don’t worry if you get out. It’s only your education, career and livelihood at stake!

During my time at SJSU (2009-2011) many classes were cancelled due to state budget cuts. While enrolled in Theoretical Perspectives in the Performing Arts with Dr. Alison McKee, she cancelled assignments so we could instead work on a protest theatre piece to show our support of higher education.

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3 Day Play Festival: Happy Valentine’s Day

3 Day Play Festival: Happy Valentine’s Day

During my first semester as a graduate student in the Theatre Arts M.A. program at San Jose State University, I participated in the department’s Three Day Play Festival. It was a wonderful experience and instantly made me feel like a part of the   community. I worked with other graduate and undergraduate students to successfully put on a show in 72 hours.

Happy Valentine’s Day was my first written work ever acted in front of an audience. It was an amazing feeling to hear people laughing at the words I’d written. The casting couldn’t have been more perfect and it was one of the best creative experiences I’ve ever had.

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When Theatre Strikes: Be a Good Little Widow

When Theatre Strikes: Be a Good Little Widow

Be a Good Little Widow

Normally, when I go see a play or a movie, by the time I’m sitting in the theater I’ve read a handful of reviews and know the production back-story. I enjoy having the knowledge beforehand and it makes me feel more invested while I watch the story unfold.

This past Friday, I went to see the play Be a Good Little Widow at The Old Globe. My boyfriend, Kevin, got a call from a friend at 6:30pm that night asking if we wanted his tickets. Kevin rushed over to get them and we made it to the play a few minutes before the 8pm start time.

We found our seats in the very intimate theater-in-the-round (the stage is in the center and the audience forms a circle around it). I’ve always enjoyed theater set up this way because it makes me feel as if I’m part of the stage setting. I can look across and see other audience members’ reactions and it becomes a more communal experience. This is the same reason I’ve always slightly hated it. I don’t want my emotional reactions on display for my fellow theatergoers to see. 

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