Theatre Arts & Dance Department

Facing Our Truth

"It’s no secret that race is a hard thing to talk about in any community. There are always implications and any word can be a dagger used to destroy the initial speaker.  In February, the Sonoma State University theater arts and dance department, in collaboration with Black Scholars United and The HUB, have found a way to change that with the power of the stage. In less than a month,“Facing Our Truth” will help open up this typically tough conversation topic".

Read More via Sonoma State Star


Theatre News

Inspiration for HEROINES
by Jane Erwin Hammett

HEROINES came about when my colleague Lynne Morrow asked me to put together operetta scenes for what we knew would be mostly a female cast. The music of operetta is glorious, and offers many vocal treasures for young voices. Dramatically, however, the genre has been considered mostly comic or even frivolous. Yet taken as a whole, and spanning over 50 years, the operettas and musicals which comprise HEROINES reflect the changing roles of women in society from the late 19th to the early 20th century. We thought this important time in women's history would make an interesting frame for our material.

As I put the selections together, I realized that one could discern the gradual shift of women's roles from strictly wife and mother through different stages: 1) an awakening to their lack of power within a male paradigm; 2) an awareness of how lousy that feels; 3) different ways women developed to cope, manipulate or wheedle to gain more power; and 4) a more aggressive and ultimately destructive path in which the whole system gets taken down. So the show, while comprised of mostly delightful and amusing pieces (there are a few important exceptions to this), tracks this change in society.

Ultimately, HEROINES is about having a say in what happens to you. In my mind, this is what the struggle has been about, literally through the women’s suffrage movement (although not addressed in the show), but also the fight for recognition, independence and true equality. The colorful characters of our revue are drawn from various operettas or musical theatre pieces, plucked from their stories and united together to face their journey and struggle together.  These brave heroines emerge with a new manifesto for getting and keeping that agency for their own lives. Hope you enjoy the show!

HEROINES runs Feb. 5 through Feb. 15 in Person Theatre. TICKETS

Dance News

SSU/SoCo Spring Dance Concert 2015
May 7-9, 2015 / Evert B. Person Theatre

The Department of Theatre Arts & Dance and SoCo Dance Theater are co-producing a multi-generational evening of spirited and inspiring dance. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, we are delighted to showcase young dancers from three Sonoma County High Schools on the Friday evening  show.  All three performances will include new and repertory dances choreographed by emerging artists and seasoned professionals, and performed by members of Sonoma State University Dance Program and SoCo Dance Theater. Please join us for this celebration of dance as a vital expression of being alive at any age.