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UCI's Creative Engine

Through art, dance, music and drama, UCI artists push boundaries and fuel innovation By Christine Byrd This winter, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts will treat audiences to riveting performances and thought-provoking exhibitions, all of which are the result of a thriving creative engine...

Broadway Visions Come True

UCI Dance alumni Justin Keats and Amy Quanbeck share their skills during a masterclass homecoming By Isabella Granqvist and Mia Hammett At UCI, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) Department of Dance does one thing exceptionally well: turn talented, eager undergraduate dance majors...

Living the Dream

M.F.A. student Blake Elliott returns to UCI after following career aspirations in New York City By Christine Byrd For students dreaming of a career in theater, nothing beats working on a New York City stage. Just ask second-year M.F.A. student Blake Elliott, who returns to UCI this winter...

A Revelation

Ariyan Johnson teaches hip hop, jazz and healing to her dance students By Christine Byrd Ariyan Johnson is used to being ahead of the curve. First as a pioneer of East Coast hip hop and as an actor and, since coming to UCI in 2020, as a scholar, too. This year, she is one of seven UCI junior...

Marlaina Owens Is An Operatic Force to Reckon With

The Fulbright scholar on privilege, Paris and the paired criticisms of being ‘too much’ By Mia Hammett A classical singer, actress and performer, Marlaina Owens has the pleasure of adding “2022-23 Fulbright Scholar” to an already extensive set of professional arts experiences. Owens...

Arts Advocates: Dr. Steven M. Sorenson

DIVERSITY CHAMPION Q&A with Dr. Steven M. Sorenson Dr. Steven M. Sorenson is a radiologist and arts advocate. He serves on the board of directors for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Dr. Sorenson is also the president of the Ibex Foundation...

Made in California

The arts and education helped new dean Tiffany Ana López reimagine her own life By Christine Byrd For Tiffany Ana López, joining the Claire Trevor School of the Arts as dean is a double homecoming. Both a return to her native California and to the public higher-education system that shaped...

UCI Drama alum scores critical praise for horror thriller

Ryan Imhoff, M.F.A. Acting ’11 and New Swan Shakespeare Festival alum,  has written and directed the award-winning horror film Fresh Hell, which has won Best Feature Film at four film festivals dedicated to the horror genre. “This film was created on a string and a prayer by a group of...

Artful Summers

Summer Academies in the Arts offer college and career preparatory programs  By Christine Byrd Mafer Reyes had been dancing at private studios and ballet academies since she was 5 years old. But when it came time to think about college, she realized she had no idea what to...

‘We Need More’ of Taylor Fagins

The UCI Drama alum shares more about his journey to become an American Idol It’s nearly 10 p.m. on the third straight day of filming, and Taylor Fagins, ’17 is the final contestant to audition for American Idol’s celebrity judges. He sits down at a grand piano — an instrument he plays but...

Arts Advocates: Mary Gilly & John Graham

BARD BOOSTERS Q&A with Mary Gilly & John Graham Mary Gilly and her husband, John Graham, professors emeriti of marketing, are passionate about theater and the dramatic arts. They have been loyal supporters of the New Swan Shakespeare Festival since its founding in 2012. They became...

The Maestro Has Left the Building

Dr. Stephen Tucker, 22-year music director for the UCI Symphony Orchestra, reflects on his time at CTSA By Matt Coker Stephen Tucker’s accomplishments would not only fill the orchestra pit but the entire Hollywood Bowl. The professor and Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Chair of Music teaches...

Shakespeare, Reunited

This, this! No more, you gods! Your present kindness Makes my past miseries sports. – Pericles By Christine Byrd Pericles’ joy over being reunited with his family after years apart may resonate with actors and audiences when Pericles, Prince of Tyre and The Comedy of Errrorrs (note the...

Arts Advocates: Matt Bailey

ARTS ENTREPRENEUR Q&A with Matt Bailey Trained as a fine art photographer, Matt Bailey blended artistry with entrepreneurship throughout his career — from opening a tattoo shop in Albuquerque to co-founding a software company serving photographers. Bailey went on to earn an M.B.A. from...

Catalyst for Innovation

Art students get creative outside gallery walls By Christine Byrd After more than a year away from campus due to the pandemic, Claire Trevor School of the Arts students were thrilled to get back into studios and in-person classes in fall 2021. For the five student leaders of the Catalyst...

Taking a Bow

By Christine Byrd One of the most satisfying parts of my tenure has been raising awareness of the way in which arts are radically interdisciplinary. Stephen Barker’s career is hard to pin down: He has been a dancer, actor, director, creative writer, translator, critical theorist and, for...

Forging a Common Bond

Three UCI M.F.A. artists from 1969-71 reconvene in an Armory exhibition in Pasadena. By Richard Chang In 1969, three young women entered the newly formed M.F.A. program at UCI not really knowing what to expect. They were all divorcees with children. Each was doing a kind of art that was...

Hooked from the Start

Professor Michael Hooker receives top honor for career achievement in sound design By Jill Kato Professor Michael Hooker has received the 2022 Distinguished Achievement Award in Sound Design from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), the premiere organization in his...