Recent News

Read the latest happenings with our faculty, staff, students, and alumni!

Dec 30, 2020

May 2024 

  • Assistant Professor Karin Hendricks-Bolen has been promoted to Associate Professor and granted tenure.
  • Associate Professor Brian Healy was featured in two Mustang News articles about the critical lack of space at Cal Poly. They can be found here and here.
  • The Theatre & Dance Department hosted playwright Larissa FastHorse for a Q&A panel discussion.
  • The Theatre for Young Audiences class took their show "Loose Threads" out to the local community, touring the show to 12 schools in San Luis Obispo county. The class spent the winter quarter devising and workshopping a new show and continued this spring quarter by rehearsing, designing, and creating technical elements for the show before it went out to the schools. 
  • Assistant Professor Karin Hendricks-Bolen performed at SLO Rep in The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse, who will be visiting the university on May 28.
  • Costume Shop Manager Laina Babb worked on alterations for the Janet Jackson Together Again Tour - 2024.

January 2024 

  • Rachel Kupfer-Weinstein received a glowing response to her direction of A Cat Found God from a KCACTF respondent. Linnaea Marks and Kennedy Martin received Irene Ryan Acting Nominations for their performances in the show and Jenna Brock received a Certificate of Merit for her work as the stage manager for this production. 
  • Jordan D'Acquisto was featured in the January 10 Cal Poly Report for her work on the 2023-24 Rose Float. 
  • Katherine Konjoyan served as Music Director for Morro Bay High School's production of "Little Women."
  • Ashli St. Armant, creator of NORTH: The Musical, had a special conversation with theatre students about her approach to writing and developing a musical for young audiences. Ashli is known for her award-winning work in children's education and entertainment, and her Audible mystery series, Viva Durant. 

December 2023

  • Rachel Kupfer-Weinstein presented A Cat Found God, her student-directed production, in the Cal Poly Black Box Theatre. This production was entered into the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and may be eligible for invitation to the regional festival.

October 2023

  • Larry Southall presented a Hip-Hop Master Class in the PAC Pavilion. 
  • Assistant Professor Ramón Esquivel's play Dulce is currently being performed at PCPA as part of their Outreach tour this season. The show will be touring the Central Coast bringing the experience of professional live theatre to a wide variety elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

September 2023

  • Shae Palic held a Theatrical Intimacy Workshop for Theatre & Dance majors & minors. She has been working as an Intimacy Professional since 2018 after training through the SAG accredited certification program IDC Professionals. Shae is the Intimacy Coordinator for the fall production of Dead Man's Cell Phone.
  • Gale McNeeley joined the Theatre Improv class for a workshop on Commedia Characters. 

July 2023

  • Various members of the Theatre & Dance Department's faculty, staff, and students were involved with Festival Mozaic's summer music festival.
    • Costume Shop Manager Laina Babb designed costumes for Appalachian Spring and A Soldier's Tale.
    • Students Julia Neils and Natalie Rathle assisted Laina with costumes as part of their Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP+) project. You can find an article about their experience here.
    • Dance Lecturer Maartje Hermans was a principal dancer in Appalachian Spring.
    • Assistant Professor Karin Hendricks-Bolen directed A Soldier's Tale.

June 2023

  • Assistant Professor Ramón Esquivel received a 2023-24 Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities (RSCA) grant from the Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education (R-EDGE) division for his proposal submission: "Watching for Sasquatch: A New Environmental Play."
  • Madeline Webb received the 2023 College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Senior Award for the Theatre and Dance Department. 
  • Max Kennel received the 2023 Cal Poly Arts Award for Excellence in Original Work.
  • The Verbatim Theatre class presented a sharing based on interviews of undergraduate students currently enrolled at Cal Poly about their concerns and needs related to their experience on campus. Listen to the audio play here.

May 2023 

  • Assistant Professor Karin Hendricks-Bolen directed A Doll's House, Part 2 at SLO Rep. The show also featured CLA Associate Dean Josh Machamer.

March 2023

  • Theatre Lecturer Erin Solemsaas stage managed Vania and Sonia and Masha and Spike at SLO Rep along with student Theo Puleston. Also acting in the production was Sabrina Orro, alumna of the Cal Poly theatre program.

March 2023

  • Two Theatre & Dance Department student playwrights earned honors at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival's Region 8 conference in Las Vegas. The conference brought together students from college and university theatre programs in Central and Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Hawaii. KCACTF's National Playwriting Program has recognized the finest, most challenging new work written by student playwrights for decades. 
    • Taylor Wendell Lozano's one-act play, Horizons, was performed as a staged reading at the festival, and then earned first prize in the region's ten-minute play competition.  
    • Max Kennel's excerpt from his play, The Story of Jimmy Kaplingus, was also performed at the festival, and it won in the monologue's competition. Both Taylor and Max hope to pursue dramatic writing as a career beyond Cal Poly. These honors demonstrate that they are off to a great start. Congratulations!

February 2023

  • The Theatre & Dance Department received a new embroidery machine, a 3D printer, and a CNC machine thanks to an allotment of funds from the College of Liberal Arts Dean's Office. These machines will help improve productions and expand students' access to new technology. Click here to read an article about the new technology in Mustang News.

January 2022

  • Associate Professor Brian Healy will now serve as Department Chair.

September 2021

  • Two Cal Poly Theatre alumni have been cast in Berkeley Playhouse's production of Into the Woods! Congrats to Erika Cospin and Romelo Urbi

June 2021

  • Assistant Professor Brian Healy has been promoted to Associate Professor and granted tenure. Congratulations!!

April 2021

  • Lecturer Hala Baki led a discussion based on the film “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People" on April 27. The event was co-sponsored by the Theatre and Dance Department.

March 2021

  • Winter mainstage productions Shelter and Floor Plan were previewed in the New Times paper.
  • Minute Perspectives: A mixed-media art installation inspired by Shelter was featured in downtown San Luis Obispo! Works by Cal Poly students, staff, and faculty could be viewed in several stores as well as in the windows of the SLO Chamber.
  • Associate Professor Christy Chand's dance film O U T S I D E was selected as an official entry to the Inaugural Cornish College of the Arts Screen Dance Festival.

February 2021

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