Drama News

Donnetta Lavinia Grays Views Theater as a Place ‘Where Community Can Flourish’

By Richard Chang UC Irvine M.F.A. graduate Donnetta Lavinia Grays (acting, ’02) was already an accomplished actor and playwright when she received news this year that would change her life. In February, she was informed that she had won a prestigious Whiting Award, a $50,000 annual grant that...

Coup de Comedy Festival brings a global community together

  By Lauren Knight When founding UCI’s student improv team, Improv Revolution (iRev), with his fellow students in 2011, Joel Veenstra had no idea that UCI’s student improv group would grow into what it is today. Now, Veenstra serves as the group’s faculty mentor, and produced an event...

Raising Community Voices

Director and playwright Juliette Carrillo helps bring hidden stories to the stage By Christine Byrd When Juliette Carrillo's play Plumas Negras was performed in 2013 in the East Salinas, Calif., community where it was set, some audience members were brought to tears. Not only had Carrillo...

Zooming to UCI

Artists from around the world paid virtual visits to UCI students, opening new windows of opportunity By Christine Byrd When music major Cassandra Leisher asked the New York Philharmonic’s Ryan Roberts, a classical French horn and oboe player, how he calms pre-audition nerves, she was...

Alumni Darcy Prevost, M.F.A. ’09, creates things larger than life

If you’ve seen Disney+’s original TV series, Earth to Ned, you’ve seen the work of Darcy Prevost, a UCI alumnus who worked as the production designer on the show. Prevost, who has worked for several major television companies including HBO, ABC Studios and Warner Bros., completed her Bachelor of...

Letter From a Senior

I never knew my favorite college experiences would be rooted in performance By Lauren Knight As someone who joined the Department of Drama during their third year at UCI, my biggest fear was feeling like an outsider amongst a tight-knit group of drama majors who all knew and bonded with each...

Renaissance Man

Graduate student Jesús López Vargas reflects a new generation behind the scenes in theatre By Christine Byrd Director, stage manager, producer, poet, photographer, videographer, designer, and an advocate for underrepresented voices: Jesús López Vargas wears many hats. As an M.F.A. candidate...

2021 Dean's Scholarship Awardees

Congratulations to the 2021 Dean’s Scholarship awardees! A very special thank you to the Giving Day donors who made these scholarship funds possible. As the leading campus in the nation providing access to all qualified students, no matter what their background, our students rely...

Rising Spirits for Latinx Students

Creative Connections creates a platform for Santa Ana High School students to tell their stories By Jezebel Ramirez-Robles   The collaborative project, “Rising Spirits: First Draft,” brings together UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts Creative Connections program with student-run...

Animals in My Classroom

By Marcy Froehlich, associate professor of costume design in the Department of Drama The little yellow bird was hopping across her head, which made my student’s presentation even more cheerful. The subject was hats, so was the bird itself becoming a moving, breathing hat, or perhaps instead...

On Stage To On-Camera: How Two Drama Students Landed a Spot in “The Prom” Movie

By Lauren Knight On December 11, Netflix released the Ryan Murphy film adaptation of “The Prom,” which included UCI second-year drama students Jessica Spruiell and Hailey Mogul as extras on the production.  Filming just before the pandemic halted TV and film production in Hollywood, both...

Four CTSA faculty members chosen for the UCI Beall Applied Innovation Fellowship Program

UCI Beall Applied Innovation announced this week the second cohort to their Faculty Innovation Fellowship Program. The program draws from all schools and fields on UC Irvine’s campus to promote cross-collaboration and stimulate campus connections using Applied Innovation’s resources. Faculty...

Avery Evans chosen for The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) and veteran Broadway stage manager Cody Renard Richard (Variety’s 2020 Broadway Players to Watch, Hamilton, Freestyle Love Supreme) announced the 15 recipients of The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program, dedicated to honoring, uplifting, and supporting the...

Arielle Sidney's Upcycled Designs Go Viral on TikTok

Excerpt from Vouge Magazine January 17, 2021 By Christian Allaire One of the most interesting parts of the upcycling movement is seeing how brands can turn even the most unlikeliest of textiles into modern ready-to-wear—and Arielle Sidney, a college student in California, is a prime example of...

Taylor Fagins, B.A. '17, Wins 1st Place in the American Songwriters Contest

Excerpt from American Songwriter by Jacob Uitti "Fagins grew up in southern California and attended the University of California at Irvine, studying drama and musical theater. He moved to New York City for its plethora of stories, diversity and myriad faces, and he now works with two different...

Zachary Price Combines Scholarship and Drama

By Richard Chang Professor Zachary Price is fascinated with various modes of performance, from the proscenium stage to the street corner. He’s a new faculty member at UC Irvine, teaching in the Department of Drama. He started his position as assistant professor of doctoral studies in July...

Behind-the-Scenes of SHE KILLS MONSTERS: VIRTUAL REALMS with Tolu Ekisola

By Lauren Knight Instead of prepping in the wings of a theater before the curtain rises, Tolu Ekisola adjusts her light sources and fixes the laptop that rests on two cardboard boxes in her home office in Minnesota. With her props laid out on the desk in front of her and a large green screen...

Empowering the Artists of Tomorrow Amid the Pandemic

By Christine Byrd Theaters, concert halls and art galleries have been closed for nearly a year, but the global pandemic hasn’t stopped artists from creating. If anything, it’s fueling rapid incorporation of technology across all artistic mediums and inspiring new ways to create and share art...