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December 12
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]


“Fresh Meat,” a play by CSUN graduate student Karen Casady set to open next month as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, is the tale of a dalliance with cannibals and furries, and what happens when one small algorithm goes awry.

It is also a tale of coincidence and serendipity in which a California State University, Northridge English graduate student’s class assignment brings together a talented group of theater professionals to put on play, and along the way they discover that all but one of them are Matadors.

“We didn’t start out producing a play in which nearly everyone working on it is linked to CSUN, but that’s how we ended up,” said Casady, who wrote “Fresh Meat” as the result of a class assignment. “It’s pretty amazing. We’re essentially CSUN at the Fringe.”

The play’s director, Eric White, who graduated from CSUN last year with a bachelor’s degree in theatre, agreed.

“I’ve always felt that when it comes to the arts, CSUN is kind of a hidden gem,” White said. “Now that we have this play, I want people to look at what we can do. We — from the playwright to the actors to the director, and even our costumer and set designer and stage manager — all learned our craft at CSUN.”

The idea for “Fresh Meat” grew out of a class assignment. Casady — who enrolled at CSUN in 2016 with an eye toward getting a second master’s degree in creative writing after spending more than 30 years as a business journalist — was asked to write about something she thought was the “most opposite of humanism.”

“Don’t ask me why, but cannibalism popped into my mind,” she said. “Cannibalism is pretty much as opposite of humanism as you can get.”

She quickly envisioned a scene in which two cannibals are arguing about their favorite body parts: “Elbows are my favorite.” “No, I really like the upper arm.” That scene evolved into “Fresh Meat,” a dark comedy set in a dystopian society in which people are sentenced to be eaten when convicted of a crime.

Once the play was written, faculty in the Department of English encouraged Casady to get it produced, and she decided to turn the production of the play into her master’s thesis.

She turned to the Hollywood Fringe Festival, which offers basic support, including finding a theater and some marketing, to people who want to put on a play.

She then had to find a director. Casady, 67, reached out to faculty in CSUN’s Department of Theatre, who referred her to White.

“When we met, we just clicked,” said White, 25. “I knew we could work together. I like doing theater that isn’t conventional. And this story definitely defies convention.”

Eager to direct what he called “dystopian vaudeville,” White spread the word that he was looking for actors to appear in a play for the Fringe Festival.

“I asked a ton of people, and the ones who said ‘yes’ were all from CSUN,” he said. All except one, actor Taylor LeClere, who knew White from their time at Pierce College.

When they got to the theater, White and Casady were surprised to learn that the facility’s stage manager, Stacey Abrams, was a CSUN alumna.

The other CSUN alumni taking part are actors Jessie Robertson, Sarkis Bakalyan, Nathaniel Culpepper, Erin Cholakian and Harrison Seeley, and costumer and set designer Sarah Kline.

“It was entirely a coincidence, but a pretty fortunate one,” said White of the Matador connections. “‘Fresh Meat’ is pretty much a CSUN production.”

The Matadors, plus one, will be exploring what happens when a cannibal’s butcher discovers someone familiar in his latest “meat” delivery, through the month of June at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre at 5636 Melrose Ave.

The times and dates of performances of “Fresh Meat” are as follows: 8 p.m. on June 3; 12:30 p.m. on June 10; 10:30 p.m. on June 13; 9:30 p.m. on June 17; and 12:30 p.m. on June 23.

Tickets are $12.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018
After a new threat was discovered on the California State University, Northridge, campus, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D., released a statement regarding final exams scheduled for Dec. 12.
Thursday, Dec 6, 2018
The CalArts School of Theater production, Through the Leaves," directed by Brittney Brady (BFA 20), opens on Thursday, Dec. 6, and runs through the following Thursday, Dec. 13.
Thursday, Dec 6, 2018
Officials at California State University, Northridge, released a statement Wednesday regarding graffiti that was found in one of the buildings on campus - graffiti that included a threat of a mass shooting and hate symbols.
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Board of Trustees will hold an organizational and business meeting at College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Monday, Dec 3, 2018
A 26-year-old man was charged with assaulting two women this week at California State University, Northridge, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]
After a new threat was discovered on the California State University, Northridge, campus, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D., released a statement regarding final exams scheduled for Dec. 12.
CSUN Instructs Faculty to Provide Alternate Exam Format After New Threat
LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (2-8) earned their second victory in as many contests, defeating the Flames of Bethesda University of California (1-8), 110-65, Monday, in intercollegiate men’s basketball action at the Pioneer Event Center.
Pioneers Roll Past Bethesda
Join the Valley Industry Association (VIA) as they review and close the 2018 year and formally install the 2019 Valley Industry Association Board of Directors.
Dec. 18: VIA 2019 Board of Directors Installation
1922 - Piru bank robbed, banker and daughter kidnapped [story]
The county of Los Angeles officially filed a comment on Monday in opposition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Citizenship and Immigration Services’ proposed “public charge” rule change.
LA County Opposes Feds’ Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Rule Change
The next regular-organizational meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Dec. 12: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
The rhetoric of playing a full 40 minutes can easily overshadow the reality of a college team's effort.
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UAV Men’s Basketball Team Downs La Sierra 76-61 in Opener
The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers women's basketball team (8-2; 1-0 Cal Pac) routed the La Sierra University (3-9; 0-1 Cal Pac) Golden Eagles 106-46 in Saturday's intercollegiate California Pacific Conference women’s basketball action in Riverside.
UAV Women’s Basketball Team Routs La Sierra 106-46
The WiSH Education Foundation ends 2018 on a high note, having supported local public schools with more than $235,000.
WiSH Foundation 2018 Donations to SCV Schools Top $235K
The University of Antelope Valley is pleased to announce the hiring of Anthony Harris as its Director of Athletics.
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Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, introduced Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), legislation that will strengthen transparency in state agencies and stop agencies like the California High-Speed Rail Authority from taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to hold closed-door meetings without public involvement.
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Texas-born, Canyon Country-based blues singer-keyboardist Teresa James and her band The Rhythm Tramps have earned their first Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for their 10th and latest album, "Here in Babylon."
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Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested a couple from Palmdale and a Simi Valley man on drug charges in the Park and Ride lot at Golden Valley Road off Highway 14 on Sunday, according to officials.
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The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Dec. 10-16, 2018.
‘GLOW,’ ‘Seal Team,’ ‘Killer Contractor’ Now Filming in SCV
Law enforcement and Coroner's officials discovered more human remains Saturday morning in the Santa Clara River bed in Newhall, near where a human skull was discovered Wednesday.
LASD, Coroner Investigating Human Skull, Remains Found in Newhall
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a cold weather alert for the Antelope Valley due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures Tuesday through Friday.
AV Cold Weather Alert Called for Tuesday to Friday
Several CalArtians are among the nominees announced Friday for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards to be handed out Feb. 10.
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Several CalArtians have been nominated for the 46th annual Annie Awards, which honor achievement in the art of animation.
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CalArts faculty and students are among the 2018 Arts Writers Grant Program recipients from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
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1983 - U.S. release of John Carpenter's "Christine;" blew up fake gas station in Valencia [watch scene (R)]
1941 - Julius Dietzmann family of Castaic arrested as German enemy aliens [story]
Valencia-based H2scan has announced the Gen 5 System, a first of its kind hydrogen sensor package to help utilities monitor and protect their distribution transformers.
Valencia’s H2scan Unveils New Transformer Monitoring System
CalArts graduates are among the nominees for Golden Globe Awards the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Monday, recognizing excellence in domestic and foreign film and television.
CalArtians ‘Glow’ in 76th Golden Globes Nominations
The California Department of Education and the State Board of Education have launched the second version of the California School Dashboard, a website that gives parents, students and educators access to valuable school and district data.
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The TMU Mustangs played a dominant defensive effort Thursday, holding Hope International scoreless in the third quarter of what became a 76-47 win.
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The nonprofit Friends of Hart Park, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, will present the 7th Annual Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair at Hart Park on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hear comments from the public about the proposed Centennial Specific Plan Project at their next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, starting at 9:30 a.m.
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Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Friday that Amazon.com Inc. has agreed not to sell force-fed foie gras in California under a consumer protection settlement reached with her office and the Monterey County and Santa Clara County district attorney’s offices.
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