Weekender: Concerts, Plays are Offered This Weekend and Next

Theatre Production Next Week Looks at Shakespeare's Ophelia In New Way

Student actors looking happy on stage
Playwright and director Janey Pintar explores the intriguing character of Ophelia from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in her M.F.A. project "The Ophelias: Badass Voices."(Courtesy photo)

This week, we are folding two weekends into one Arts Blog as we prepare to deliver news about the upcoming Picnic Day events, which will be featured separately.  Our first UC Davis Picnic Day story features the ever-popular fashion show and attractions available at the Manetti Shrem Museum. Watch for that on the UC Davis Arts Blog. The annual UC Davis Picnic Day is Saturday, April 23. Happy spring! Karen Nikos, Arts Blog editor

Duo Axis: works by graduate student composers

Thursday, April 7, 12:05–1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, Free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Pianist and musician at piano.
Duo Axis concerts are Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

The UC Davis program includes Emily Joy Sullivan: shedding blue sparks​, Joseph Donald Peterson: Bare Bones, Joseph Vasinda: Under Cover of Night, Bryndan Moondy: GlintF and Dean Kervin Boursiquot: Speak for yo’ self!

Duo Axis (Zach Sheets, flute, and Wei-Han Wu, piano) frequently collaborate with composers to create new works and foster a spirit of innovation and reciprocity. In this, their first of two programs while in residence at UC Davis they present a set of world premieres by graduate student composers at UC Davis. 

Find more information here. Find a direct link to the livestream here.

Duo Axis: 'Duo@50'

Friday, April 8, 7–8:15 p.m.F

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, $12 Students and Children / $24 Adults

This program features Anthony Cheung, Carolina Heredia, Christine Burke and Matthew Ricketts.

Find more information here

UC Davis stages present new works in April

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance will present two newly developed works in April.  

Playwright and director Janey Pintar explores the intriguing character of Ophelia from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in her M.F.A. project The Ophelias: Badass Voices.

Women in red blouse, portrait

About the Playwright

Janey Pintar is an actor, director, and educator of the theatre arts with a background in movement including Suzuki. She received an associate of arts degree in Theatre: Technical Production from American River College, bachelor's degrees in Dramatic Art and Communication from UC Davis, and and MA in Drama from San Francisco State University. Janey is also a graduate of American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress. Her interests include the exploration of movement systems and multicultural theatre practices.

Once a woman misused by Hamlet in the classic tragedy, who is Ophelia today? What would Shakespeare’s Ophelia do if she was given another chance at life? The Ophelias: Badass Voices, a play with movement, explores fictional and nonfictional Ophelias who succeed in opposing life’s challenges, and uplifts the courageous, determined, intelligent and badass voices in our world. Content warning: contains adult language.

Pintar is an actor, director and educator of the theatre arts with a background in movement. The cast features two rotating casts of undergraduate students.

Performances are April 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. and April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre. The production is free and open to all. 

Later in April, the department will present Alone/Together, a series of devised short solo performances about the movement from isolation to being-with-others (and back again) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Directed by Granada Artist-in-Residence Christine Hamel, Alone/Together will be drawn from the story of each undergraduate student performer’s life (including everyday narrative storytelling, dialogue and read texts) as well as “found” text (such as poetry, self-scripted spoken word and song). The performance will utilize the interplay between found and constructed texts as a platform for innovation and as an artistic response to one’s sense of self in relation to others at this complex moment in time. 

Hamel, an actor, voice specialist, director and scholar, has worked on and off Broadway and in regional theatre, including the Huntington Theatre Company, Boston; Olney Theatre Center, Olney, Maryland; Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Charlestown, Massachusetts; and others. She currently serves as head of the B.F.A. Acting Program at Boston University.

The show will be performed in the Wright Hall Arena Theatre on April 28-30. The performances are free and begin at 8 p.m.

For information about these and other College of Letters and Science Department of Theatre and Dance performances, visit arts.ucdavis.edu/theatre-and-dance.

-Michael French, Theatre and Dance

Californians for the Arts Webinar Series: The Arts Work to Build Community Prosperity & Resilience

Friday, April 8, 2022, 12–1:30 p.m., Free

From cultural districts to arts-led disaster response, to artists serving as civic leaders, this conversation will examine how the arts work to reimagine and rebuild the social and physical infrastructure of our communities and what policy and funding mechanisms are needed to sustain and grow culture-centered civic collaboration. 

A panel of leaders and innovators from around the state will explore a number of questions: Can cultural districts act as a mechanism for community building and cultural placekeeping? As our communities face crises from pandemics to wildfires and earthquakes, what role can artists and arts organizations play in disaster preparedness? With a historic infrastructure package passed, how can the arts access the funding coming to our communities and how can we be better integrated into community planning and development. And what is the role of a cultural strategist in public policy? 

With this conversation, Californians for the Arts hopes to identify what is next for creative placemaking/placekeeping and what is required to further embed the creative workforce into the design, creation and success of our communities.  

Panelists include Roberto Bedoya, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Oakland; Vanessa Whang, Senior Program Consultant, Cultural Strategists-in-Government; Matthew Kowal, Majestic Collaborations, The Art of Mass Gathering; Mikey Goralnik, Community Design and Development Planner, County of Mariposa ; and Scott Oshima, Director of Community Arts, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.

Find more information and register for this event here

Next Week at UC Davis

Woman looking pensive
Cortez is the featured California Studio artist next week. (Courtesy photo)

Brass Quintet for noon concert

April 14, 12:05–1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, Free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Performers include Colin Mathewson, trumpet; Steve Roach, trumpet; Dr. Jon Anderson, horn (B.A. electrical engineering ‘07);  Adam Brover, euphonium; and Portia Njoku, tuba and UC Davis lecturer in music (B.A. music ‘07).

The program includes Peter Meechan: Song of Hope and Anonymous: Die Bankelsangerlieder.

Find more information here. Find a direct link to the livestream here

painting that looks pastel with rock in foreground.
Beatriz Cortez, "Glacial Erratic," 2020. Steel. 9.5 x 9 x 7 feet. (Courtesy of the artist.)

Beatriz Cortez: Teaching Artist in Residence at The California Studio

Thursday, April 14, 4:30–6 p.m., Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Beatriz Cortez is a cultural and literary critic, as well as a visual artist. Her work explores simultaneity and the experience of life in different temporalities. A native of El Salvador, Cortez is interested in memory and loss in the aftermath of war and migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.

Cortez has received the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2020), the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize (2019), and a grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts (2019), among others. She has had solo exhibitions at Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles (2019) and Clockshop, Los Angeles (2018). Her “Chultun El Semillero” is currently on view at the Smithsonian’s FUTURES show in the Art + Industries Building until July 6, 2022.

Cortez received an M.F.A. in Art from the California Institute of the Arts and a doctoral degree in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American and Transborder Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Ashwini Bhat & Forrest Gander: Ritual Encounters

Friday, April 15, 10 a.m., Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Free

Woman and man gazing at wall of photos.
Artists Ashwini Bhat and Forrest Gander (Courtesy photo.)

In Ritual Encounters the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre is reconfigured as a kind of temple that celebrates the secular, sacred environment of Mount Tamalpais. Visitors to this installation are invited to circle in a ritual walk ceramic monuments and biomorphic sculptures that are ringed by dirt mandalas that are themselves edged with hems (hymns) of words. Through immersion in video, sculpture, poetry, and the clockwise movement of their own bodies through the exhibition, viewers can experience (or recall) their own link to the non-human world, and to reevaluate the ground they stand upon, both physically and ethically. 

Ritual Encounters is the work of artists Ashwini Bhat and Forrest Gander. Bhat’s background is in literature and classical Indian dance, but she now works at the intersection of sculpture, ceramics, installation and performance. Gander is a writer and translator of poets from Spain, Latin America and Japan. His recent work includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Be With.  

Program Notes: the new Mondavi Center Mobile app will be used this year for most program notes. You can access the notes in both web and mobile app versions here.

This performance is being presented as part of SHAPE (Science, Humanities and Arts: Process and Engagement), an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded program in which UC Davis students encounter the humanities, arts, and sciences integrated to express and examine the power each holds as a means of responding to our world.

Find more information here.

Media Resources

Media contact:

  • Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog Editor, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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