Theatre Arts & Dance Department

Announcing the 2014-2015 Season!

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace
Directed by Ken Sonkin, Studio 76
Oct. 16-25

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Judy Navas, Person Theatre
Oct. 30-Nov. 9

Super Mega Molten HOT Lava New Play Festival
Curated by Scott Horstein, Studio 76, Nov. 13-15

Fall Dance 2014 / SSU Student Choreography
Director TBA, Evert B. Person Theatre, Nov. 20-23

Stage Direction by Jane Hammett
Music Direction by Lynne Morrow
Coproduced by The Depts. of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance
Evert B. Person Theatre, Feb. 5-15, 2015

Orchard Development
Directed by Paul Draper
Choreography by Kristen Daley
Evert B. Person Theatre, April 17-26, 2015



Theatre News

SSU Theatre stages dark, cutting-edge play:

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek / Oct. 16-25

Someone has already died trying to outrun the 7:10 train over the 100 foot-high trestle at Pope Lick Creek. Will tragedy strike again?  Two teenagers seek adventure and escape by racing trains through a Depression-ravaged town in The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, the first play staged for the 2014-15 Theatre Arts & Dance Season. Written by award-winning American playwright, Naomi Wallace, Trestle provides an uncensored gaze into the lives of the working class as they struggle to endure desperate times.  

“Naomi Wallace is one of those rare U.S. writers who exhibits zero nostalgia for what the United States ‘once was’ or ‘might be.’ She began her career as a poet, tell[ing] stories with every ugly fact and truth…Growing up in Kentucky, Wallace witnessed first hand the struggles and realities of the southern working class. Brave in her writing; she never hides behind a happy ending.  Wallace puts everything out on the table: racism, sexism, murder, and abuse... As interviewer Connie Julian put it, ‘She digs up the weeds, the rusted hulks, and the corpses buried in this bloody ground—and introduces us to people who one day could plant something new. - Soren Carey, Dramaturg & Set Designer                                          

DON’T MISS THE TRAIN! The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek runs Oct. 16-25 at Studio 76, Ives Hall. Seating is limited (about 50 seats per show). TICKETS

“Erotic, gender-twisting… TRESTLE wraps its five characters in a metaphorical drama within a romantic and tragic mystery.”  - Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal, Louisville

Winner of Most Original Work —22nd Humana Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville (2000)

Naomi Wallace is one of the most respected American playwrights working today, winning many of the major awards available to American playwrights: the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Kesselring Prize, Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award and an Obie. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.  Her most recent play, Liquid Plain, was produced last season at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Trestle is one of her best known plays.

Dance News

Spring Dance 2014 – “A wild ride!”

“I am honored to have directed the Sonoma State University Student Dance Concert for a second time. Once again I find myself incredibly inspired and challenged by the fifteen student choreographers whose work you will experience this evening.

All of the pieces you will see are deeply personal to the choreographers, yet universally
meaningful. The concert reflects the diverse culture of SSU arts as well as the rigor and creative talent that exists within the student body and faculty.

Spring Dance, though lead by faculty and staff, is a student-run event from choreography to light and costume design, to stage management and crew: the students really make it happen.

The choreographers have explored a wide range of themes and concepts to create their
work often crossing disciplines and always collaborating. Utilizing a diverse range of dance styles including modern, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, tap, tango, ballet and more, choreographers have also taken on social, political and environmental concerns inside of their work. They are asking questions and developing their creative voices through powerfully sophisticated choreography.

I am excited to also share a work on this evening’s program. Suspect, which opens the show was set on Sonoma State dancers and given the opportunity for adjudication at The American College Dance Association (ACDA) at Arizona State University in March 2014. Suspect was one of twelve from 48 pieces selected for the closing night Gala Concert. This was a great honor for me as a choreographer and teacher, and honestly, I owe the accomplishment to the performers and the dynamic and evolving SSU dance program directed by Kristen Daley.

These fifteen student works have resonated beyond the theater for all involved and I hope it will resonate with you. I am honored to witness the evolution of these young dance artists and excited to have them share their evocative, humorous and fresh creative voices with you this evening. You are in for a wild ride!”

--Christine Cali