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New Season of Plays, Concerts, Lectures and Exhibitions Blossoming at UCSB

Trombonist Ed Neumeister will perform in concert with the UCSB Jazz Ensemble.
Trombonist Ed Neumeister will perform in concert with the UCSB Jazz Ensemble. (Courtesy photo)

Along with springtime’s longer days and warm weather comes a new season of plays, concerts, lectures and exhibitions at UC Santa Barbara.

Many of these creative endeavors will highlight accomplished students and world-class faculty showcasing their artistic talents. The 2016 UCSB spring arts calendar features a trombone legend, reinterpretations of Shakespeare, art from Latin America and much more.

A Musical Montage

The Department of Music presents a trio of diverse performance styles this season. First up is the UCSB Jazz Ensemble in concert with renowned trombonist Ed Neumeister, who has eight recordings in various genres to his name and is also active in the film music industry.

The ensemble will perform a selection of his arrangements and compositions, including “Locomotion” and the Grammy Award-nominated “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.”

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 13 in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for non-UCSB students and free for UCSB students and children under 12.

The “Music in the Museum” concert series — an ongoing collaboration between the music department and UCSB’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum — will feature flutist and music department chair, Jill Felber, in concert with pianist and director of the collaborative piano program, Robert Koenig.

The pair will play both classics and modern favorites for the flute in the program, entitled “Fantasy,” at 5:30 p.m. April 20 in the AD&AM. Admission is free.

The third annual music showcase, “Montage,” will feature 14 acts and a collective 120 performers, highlighting all areas of the department in under 65 minutes and including performances by students, faculty and special guests.

“This is a great collaboration with students, faculty and staff to showcase the breadth and quality of our performance offerings,” Felber said. “Expect to be entertained and moved by this concert.”

The program will take place at 5 p.m. April 24 in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Admission is free.

More information about musical performances is available at www.music.ucsb.edu.

Strong Female Voices

Academy Award-nominated actress Kathleen Turner (Body HeatPeggy Sue Got MarriedThe War of the Roses) will visit the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance as part of the Michael Douglas Visiting Artist Program.

Turner will lead a series of acting workshops and will give the Michael Douglas Visiting Artist talk. The talk, set for 5 p.m. April 21 in Hatlen Theater is free and open to the public, though a ticket reservation is required.

In early May, the department will present Too Much Water, a new play by KJ Sanchez that combines Shakespeare’s text with transcriptions of interviews with college students and highly theatrical movement to explore the role of “good girls” throughout the ages.

The production gives voice to Shakespeare’s Ophelia, fleshing out the backstory of an intriguing yet arguably underwritten heroine.

By exploring the lives of girls, the social taboos of madness and the repercussions and reverberations of suicide, the play posits that Ophelia’s challenges mirror those of UCSB students today.

This workshop production, directed by Jenny Mercein and Joyelle Ball, will be take place in the Performing Arts Theater May 6 and May 10-14 at 7:30 p.m., and May 7, 14 and 15 at 2 p.m.

Lastly, We Want the Funk is a psychedelic rhythmic verse drama that follows one ordinary man’s pursuit of a new working-class frontier.

Set in the early 1970s, the story follows Chuck, a newly laid-off autoworker. Believing that “the funk” will bring back prosperity, he goes about finding band members in the hope that music can turn his luck around.

Written by Idris Goodwin and directed by Risa Brainin, this LAUNCH PAD production offers an innovative model of new play development that provides the missing link between a workshop and a professional world premiere.

Performances will be in Hatlen Theater May 19-21 and May 25-27 at 7:30 p.m., and May 22 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for performances are $17 for general admission and $13 for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

More information about theater and dance events is available at www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu.

Close to Home

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum has four shows on exhibition until May 1. All are open to the public, and admission is free. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5 p.m., with additional evening hours 5-8 p.m. Thursdays.

“California 101: Art From the Collection” features artists who studied or lived for a significant period of time in the Golden State.

This exhibition focuses on work from the museum’s collection, created during this critical period through the present day, and includes works tied to conceptual art and the feminist and black arts movements, postmodern photography, painting, sculpture and video art.

“Lucile Lloyd: A Life In Murals” explores the life and work of muralist and designer Lucile Lloyd (1894-1941), who worked closely with architects to create murals and decorative designs for churches, schools and private residences around Los Angeles.

The exhibition includes her exquisite altarpiece from the St. Mary of the Angels Church in Hollywood, on loan for the first time.

Drawn entirely from the museum’s collection, “The Art of Colonial Latin America” focuses on the topic of an upper division course, The Arts of Spain and New Spain taught by Deborah Spivak in UCSB’s History of Art and Architecture Department.

The works on view span the 17th and 18th centuries in both Central and South America and demonstrate the interaction between European and indigenous cultures.

More information about the museum is available at www.museum.ucsb.edu.

Classics on the Big Screen

UCSB’s Pollock Theater will host a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws at 7 p.m. April 14. A discussion between screenwriter Carl Gottlieb and Pollock Theater Director Matt Ryan will follow. 

Originally released in the summer of 1975, Jaws was seen by 67 million Americans.

The film is famous for its use of a mechanical shark, seen only in fragments, that was used in conjunction with John Williams’s ominous theme music to create an atmosphere of terror before the days of computer-generated imagery.

The event is free, but a reservation is recommended to guarantee a seat. It will be followed by a Jaws-themed reception in the Michael Douglas lobby.

At 7 p.m. May 4, Pollock Theater welcomes screenwriter Chang Yung-hsiang for a screening of Beautiful Duckling, a classic film from the golden era of Taiwanese cinema.

Set on an idyllic duck farm in rural Taiwan, the movie tells the story of a man and his adopted daughter whose lives are turned upside down with the arrival of a mysterious stranger.

The film launched a new genre in Taiwan called “Healthy Realism,” which was intended to emulate European New Wave movements like Italian Neo-Realism while injecting a healthy dose of traditional Confucian values.

Following the screening, UCSB film and media studies professor Michael Berry will lead a discussion with Yung-hsiang.

More information on upcoming screenings can be found at www.carseywolf.ucsb.edu.

Nora Drake writes for the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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