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May 20, 2009 > Theatre Review: When theatre and dance come together

Theatre Review: When theatre and dance come together

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Ben Ailes

Watch a new world on stage as California State University East Bay (CSUEB) presents a bewitching blend of dance and theatre. "Performance Fusion represents a blend of comedy, farce, dance and music that shows CSUEB students at their diverse and creative best," said Producer Marc Jacobs. "Fusion is CSUEB's graduating Theatre/Dance majors' culminating projects.

These range from scenes, to one-act plays, some by outside playwrights, some by the students' themselves, to dance pieces that are especially created for this program," said Jacobs. Producers Marc Jacobs, Nina Haft, Tom Hird and directors, choreographers Kelly Ann De Moll, Zuleeka Mohammed, Kara Penrose, Adam Rabinovitz, Wesley Sonido, Shaeedah Deal, Phuong Hoang, Corinne Leon, Kate Pinedo, Ericka Wells will take you on a wild ride that represents the synergy of theatre and dance. "The students this year represent an extremely talented group of actors, writers, directors and choreographers. In fact, several directors are donning other hats and acting in their fellow directors' projects," said Jacobs.

Versatile, vivacious performances touch the emotions we all go through in life. Program A opens with the Greek myth, "Prometheus Bound" in a new version by director Kara Penrose. This is followed by "Perp," a two-character play by New York playwright Michael Folie about a female cop who finds that the man she is arresting is the same guy who stood her up on prom night years earlier. Also on the playbill, "The Tragical Tale of Mellissa McHeinie McNormous McWhale," a sort of Dr. Seuss meets Las Vegas about a woman who makes a career of having the world's largest posterior. This is followed by a scene from Sam Shepard's play "Fool for Love" about a brother and sister locked in an incestuous relationship in a remote desert motel. The final piece in Program A is "Postcards" by Carol Mack, a one-act play about two eccentric but delightful old women.

Program B features original dance pieces choreographed by Shaeeda Deal, Corinne Leon, and Kate Pinedo. "Kate Pinedo's "Forbidden Trust" is an original dance theatre piece, in the style of music theatre, about Azita, a princess whose royal parents tragically misunderstand her love for the slave Ito. Corinne Leon's "From Above a Rain of Ashes" is an energetic and fast paced original dance piece about a woman's struggle with depression, and her journey to wholeness. Shaeedah Deal's "Every Moment" is an original dance and spoken word piece about a mother's journey as she raises her four African American sons. Also on that program is an original play, "Vetro Wireless," written and directed by Phuong Hoang. "Vetro Wirless" is a delightful farce about two phone salespeople who will do anything to make a sale. Also on this program is "Faces" directed by Ericka Wells about a young woman finding her destiny.

Interested sponsors may call Marc Jacobs at (650) 773-8656. Tickets are priced at $10 for general public, $7 youth (age 3-18), seniors (55+), and alumni and $5 CSUEB Students. "Tickets can only be reserved, but not purchased, online or by phone," said Producer Nina Haft.

To reserve tickets or avail discounts for groups, email Catherine Hull at or call (510) 885-3118. Reservations are taken until 4 p.m. in the afternoon of each evening performance, and until 10 a.m. of the matinee. Parking is $5 per vehicle at all times.

Performance Fusion

Program A: Friday and Saturday
May 29 and 30
8 p.m.
Sunday, May 31
2 p.m.

Program B: Friday and Saturday
June 5 and 6
8 p.m.

Department of Theatre and Dance
California State University, East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward
(510) 885-3118

General: $10
Youth (age 3-18), seniors (55+) and alumni: $7
CSUEB Students: $5

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