Alumni In the News

Jacob Ben-Shmuel (BFA 2017) comes home in the National Tour of "The Book of Mormon"

Jacob Ben-Shmuel (BFA 2017) comes home in the National Tour of The Book of Mormon, running at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts 20 March – 1 April 2018.

Alum James Luna (1950-2018)

James Luna (BA 1977) passed away on March 3. He was a highly influential Native American performance artist with an international reputation.

"Luna has had more than forty solo shows and participated in eighty-five group exhibitions. His work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario; among other institutions. He was also the recipient of numerous awards, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation in 2017; a grant from Art Matters in 2014; an honorary Ph.D. from Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts in 2011; a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Award from the University of California, Davis, in 1994; and a Bessie Creator Award from the New York Dance Theatre Workshop in 1991."

Max Haymer to Perform at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in March

Max Haymer (BM, 2007) has been touring with jazz legend Arturo Sandoval. He will be performing with Sandoval at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on March 10. Haymer has toured internationally, performing at major jazz festivals and venues with a diverse range of renowned artists, and he has also released his debut recording as a bandleader, titled Pickpocket Witness, comprised entirely of Haymer's original compositions. Haymer is also a Lead Mentor for the LA Jazz Society's Bill Green Mentorship Program. 

Alumni and Faculty to be featured in Made in LA 2018 at the Hammer Museum

Opening June 3, Made in LA 2018, the Hammer Museum’s biennial survey exhibition of recent artwork from Southern Californian artists, is featuring two UCI alumni- Linda Stark (MFA 1985) and Alison O’Daniel (MFA 2010)- and one current UCI professor- Daniel Joseph Martinez- amongst its roster of 32 participating artists. 


Sepideh Moafi (MFA 2013) is starring in the new musical One Thousand Nights and One Day

Sepideh Moafi (MFA 2013) is starring in the new musical One Thousand Nights and One Day, to debut Off-Broadway this spring. Billed as a fresh take on The Arabian Nights, the new work will play in the mezzanine theatre at ART/New York. 

'Urban Light': Everything you didn't know about L.A.'s beloved landmark

The artwork, one of the city's most popular landmarks, turns 10 this month. To mark its first decade, the museum has switched from incandescent light bulbs to LEDs, a birthday gift from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

It’s something that the late Burden’s wife, Nancy Rubins, said would have pleased the artist.

“Chris was a super proponent of the environment and that LEDs can be found, now, to the exact same light and intensity and color and tone that the initial light bulbs gave off, I think it would be marvelous for him,” she said. “Because that’s what drew him to the piece. It was light.”

Alumnus Hideki Yamaya in 'Farinelli and the King,' a Broadway Play with the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

  Hideki Yamaya (MFA guitar, 2001) will be playing theorbo continuo in a live Baroque ensemble for the Broadway play Farinelli and the King featuring Tony winner Mark Rylance. (January - March 2018)

Alumnus Joshua Romero, A Living Statue

“Sometimes people poke me to see if I’m real,” says Romero, who earned an M.F.A. in dance at UCI last year. Occasionally, he breaks character to surprise viewers. “I’ll open my eyes and wave, then go back to my pose. Or I’ll jump out and scare them,” he says.

Alumnus Sofia Carreras' Career A Dream Come True Despite Cancer Diagnosis

MFA Alumnus Sofia Carreras has shared the stage with Mikhail Baryshinikov and trained with the Sacramento Ballet, Capitol City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. 

As a choreographer, Carreras has had work performed at New York's Lincoln Center and a far away as Varna, Bulgaria.

“I didn’t think, ‘I want to be a Prima Ballerina,’ like every other little girl,” she says. “I thought ‘I want to have a ballet school.’ Well now I’m a Professor of Dance at Riverside City College and I have a dance company, so that’s close enough to a dream come true.

In 2006, Carreras was five months into the pregnancy with her now 11 year-old son, Sebastian, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After five surgeries, nine months of chemotherapy and weeks of radiation, plus giving birth, Carreras was declared cancer free.

“It was a real battle,” says Carreras. “I was cancer free for about almost 10 years and a year and a half ago, the breast cancer returned, having...

Musical Theatre West names Matt Terzigni as Production Manager

Matt Terzigni is a stage manager and company manager who has worked on both coasts and internationally. His extensive credits includes productions on the New York stage scene, including The Events with the New York Theater Workshop and Should I Have...It's all Wright, Sex with a Censor, and August Strindberg's A Dream Play at the TBG Theatre .

He served as the Operations Manager for the New Swan Shakespeare Festival as well as for the Ives Concert Park. Internationally, Terzigni presented the new work, Lysistrata: The Disco, Vaudeville, Rock 'N' Roll Musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Terzigni received his Bachelor of Arts in Theater Design and Technology and Theate Arts Management from Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Stage Management from the University of California, Irvine. While at Western Connecticut State University, he served as a stage management, coach, and mentors. Alongside his time as a mentor, he also...