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September 30
1955 - Actor James Dean, 24, drives through Castaic Junction en route to his final resting place [watch]
James Dean


While the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered playhouses and theaters across the country, the College of the Canyons Theatre Department has found a way for the show to go on.

The department has announced three virtual performance opportunities for students during the Fall 2020 semester: “110 Stories,” “Woyzeck” and a new devised piece based on student experiences during the pandemic.

To ensure the safety of performers, faculty and staff, all the performances will be rehearsed and presented through live video.

“We are dedicated to continuing our commitment to our students and their educational goals”, said Jennifer Smolos, dean of the college’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. “While many other colleges and programs have postponed or cancelled performances and performance-based training courses, we continue our work to find innovative ways to adapt to this new learning environment. Flexibility is paramount for artists and it remains very important to us that we make virtual performance opportunities available to our students.”

Auditions will be held during the first week of classes and are open to all. Auditions will also be held virtually, with online auditions forms, recorded monologues and ZOOM audition slots.

“These are three very different pieces, with different experiences for our students” said David Stears, producer for the theatre department. “While we are not on stage, there are still tremendous opportunities for training and learning. The rudimental basics of performance don’t change with the medium. This is a new emerging medium and we are training our students to embrace it.”

The College of the Canyons Theatre program is a highly respected, foundational theatre training program, offering programs and degrees in performance, theatrical theatre, and theatre transfer degrees.

“Many of the Theatre Department classes count towards Humanities credit for CSU or UC schools”, said Christopher Boltz, chair of the college’s theatre department and head of the technical theatre program. “Our students leave us with an associate’s degree and transfer in as third year students at many programs throughout the state.”

For more information about auditions this fall, or about the theatre program, please visit the department’s webpage.

About the Performances
Written by Sarah Tuft and directed by Maureen Huskey, “110 Stories” takes the audience through 9/11 as told by those who were there. Based on interviews, this docu-play weaves together stories not shown on the news, from people we can relate to: a mother, a photojournalist, an ironworker, a chiropractor, and a homeless man who saved lives that day. This honest and occasionally funny play captures the shock and horror of 9/11 along with its aftermath.

Directed by David Stears, “Woyzeck” is a working class tragedy of the dehumanizing effects of doctors and the military on a young man’s life. Left unfinished at Georg Büchner’s death, the play had an enormous impact on realism, naturalism, and expressionist movements in theatre and literature. The play’s “choose your own adventure” format will allow audience members to choose their own path as they journey through the story. The performance will be recorded.

Susan Hinshaw will direct a new devised piece with students that focuses on this unique time in history—a time of upheaval, turmoil and great social change. The pandemic has given rise to many things including a new and budding art form: live video theatre. Student actors will take on this challenge by writing, performing and producing a completely original show based on their experiences during the pandemic. The performance will be a dynamic and fully staged live video theatre event.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
EDUCAUSE, the nonprofit higher education information technology association, awarded former California State University, Northridge Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Hilary J. Baker with its 2020 Community Leadership Award.
Friday, Sep 25, 2020
A former Cougar News reporter and College of the Canyons student was arrested in Kentucky Wednesday night while covering the Louisville protests that erupted after a grand jury’s decision not to issue a murder indictment against the officers in the Breonna Taylor case.
Thursday, Sep 24, 2020
For Anthony Lawson, a junior at California State University, Northridge majoring in psychology, among the benefits of receiving one of the California State University’s top student honors, is the opportunity it presents to share his family’s story and to remind others that, regardless of the obstacles they face, they have the strength to persevere and succeed.
Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020
The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., to serve as the eighth chancellor of the California State University.
Monday, Sep 21, 2020
A virtual conversation between internationally recognized artist and sculptor Beatriz Cortez, a professor of Central American studies at California State University, Northridge, and curator Erin Christovale will launch ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the California State University (CSU) system, on Thursday, Sept. 24.
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