ASU MainStage welcomes dance into 2013-2014 season

August 14, 2013

The Arizona State University School of Film, Dance and Theatre unveils its 2013-2014 MainStage season, featuring theatrical and dance premieres, student film screenings and the continuation of the TheatreLAB series to promote innovative new works. As in seasons past, MainStage will host guests from among the nation’s distinguished artists and this year will include collaborations that bring theatre, dance and film together in exciting new ways.

The uniting of the School of Theatre and Film with the School of Dance was announced last spring and will officially commence during the 2013-2014 academic year. A new website will launch in September. According to Jake Pinholster, director of the school and artistic director of MainStage, the merger was a natural move that will create new opportunities for students, as well as area residents who enjoy performances on campus. 2013-14 MainStage Season Artwork Download Full Image

“Audiences and students will be delighted with the work that emerges as part of this partnership between film, dance and theatre,” Pinholster says. “There will be a huge expansion of programs, voices and perspectives.” He points to the first production of the year, "FUSE," at the Galvin Playhouse Sept. 27-29, as the first in a series of occasions for the varied disciplines to work together.

Visiting artists have been sought that meld film, dance and theatre into their work. First on that list is Rickerby Hinds, the world-renowned hip-hop playwright, who will be the artist-in-residence at the school the entire fall semester. While on campus, Hinds will work with students in different disciplines, and also will provide workshops for local residents.

Tickets for events run from $8 to $16. Seniors and ASU faculty, staff and students receive special rates. Herberger students attend for free but must reserve tickets in advance. Special discounts for groups are available. For more information contact the Herberger Institute box office at (480) 965-6447
 or the School of Film, Dance and Theatre at (480) 965-5337.

The 2013-2014 MainStage Season is as follows:

Sept. 27-29, Galvin Playhouse

A collaboration between the newly-fused artists in Theatre and Dance at ASU, "FUSE" will feature collaborative, interdisciplinary work by students, faculty and guest artists from the School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

"The Fall of the House of Escher," created by Punctum
Sept. 27-29, Oct. 3-6, Lyceum Theatre

A mind-bending work of surrealism by resident MFA company Punctum, "The Fall of the House of Escher" explores the worlds of Edgar Allan Poe, M. C. Escher and quantum mechanics through the lens of interactive performance. World premiere.

TheatreLAB 2.1
Workshops: Oct. 18-20, 25-27; readings: Oct. 31-Nov. 3, Studio 133

TheatreLAB gives the audience an opportunity to experience works in various stages of development, from readings of new scripts to full workshop productions that feature prototype sets and costumes. Each night features discussions with the playwrights and creators, as well as opportunities for the audience to share their responses to the works in progress. The idea of a theatrical production as a creative process that needs to be honed and refined over time – with feedback from an audience – is at the heart of TheatreLAB.

"Dog Act," written by Liz Duffy Adams
, directed by Brian Foley

Nov. 15-17, 21-24, Galvin Playhouse

Post-apocalyptic wilderness was never funnier. Follow the adventures of Zetta Stone, a traveling performer, and her companion, Dog, a young man undergoing a voluntary species demotion, as they wander through the former northeastern United States. Zetta, Dog and their little troupe are on their way to a gig in China, assuming they can find it ... and survive the journey. A theatrical, darkly comic variation on the classic doomsday genre, with five original songs.

Emerging Artists I

Nov. 22-24, Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

The Emerging Artist Series presents thesis projects created by graduating MFA students. Candidates explore potent issues and specific sites through these carefully crafted performance projects.

Emerging Artists II
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Nelson FAC Dance Laboratory

"Before You Ruin It," written by Laura Jaqmin
, directed by Hal Brooks

Feb. 7-9, 13-16, Lyceum Theatre

Set in the early days of video games, "Before You Ruin It" is a exciting, comedic rout through an 8-bit world of the art, science and business of game development and, more importantly, the nature of creative enterprise. A world premiere produced in part with the assistance of the Stage Directors and Choreographers' Foundation's Guest Artist Initiative.

TheatreLAB 2.2

Readings: Feb. 13-16; workshop: Feb. 28-March 2, 
Studio 133

Transitions Projects
Feb. 21-23, Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Two programs of diverse and powerful dance-based work are presented by graduating BFA candidates. The programs feature new works on stage, in specific sites, as installations and on film.

"Nation," written by Mark Ravenhill
 (adapted from the novel by Terry Pratchett
), directed by Megan Weaver

April 4-6, 10-13, Galvin Playhouse

A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami that has destroyed Mau's village and left Daphne shipwrecked on his South Pacific island, thousands of miles from home. One wears next to nothing, the other, a long white dress; neither speaks the other's language; somehow they must learn to survive. As starving refugees gather, Daphne delivers a baby, milks a pig, brews beer and does battle with a mutineer. Mau fights cannibal Raiders, discovers the world is round and questions the reality of his tribe's fiercely patriarchal gods. Together they come of age, overseen by a foul-mouthed parrot, as they discard old doctrine to forge a new Nation. North American premiere.

Circle Circle dot dot – Alumni Project Series

April 18-19, 24-27, Lyceum Theatre

ASU alumnus Katherine Harroff and members from her community-based theatre company, "Circle Circle dot dot," will host a series of collaborative writing and performance workshops that will develop an interview-based production dissecting the impact of the passing of Proposition 107 in Arizona. This production will be completely original and developed entirely by select School of Film, Dance and Theatre students and "Circle Circle dot dot" as part of the 2013-2014 Alumni Project Series. World premiere.

Dance Annual

April 25-27, Galvin Playhouse

The Dance Annual highlights the season by presenting some of the most captivating work created throughout the year. This collection features the work of faculty, visiting artists, alumni, and graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of platforms.

9th Annual ASU Student Film Festival

April 28-29, Harkins Valley Art

Sarah J. Hough


Scholarship helps ASU student focus on driving social change

August 14, 2013

Michael Mefford, a junior majoring in economics and supply chain management at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, has been awarded the FSW Funding Entrepreneurial Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. Founded by the privately owned lending company Factors Southwest Funding, the award is given each year to students who embody the entrepreneurial spirit.

Mefford, an Ahwatukee, Ariz. resident, is the vice president of the ASU chapter of the Enactus Club, an international community of student, civic and business entrepreneurs focused on shaping a sustainable world. He helped launch the chapter in 2011 during his freshman year, along with other similar-minded students – including Jake Irwin, co-founder of FlashFood, a mobile food recovery network that helps manage food pickup and distribution of leftovers from restaurants to local community centers and churches. Download Full Image

"I am currently working on an Enactus Club project called the Global Food Registry,” Mefford said. “The program hopes to improve public access and awareness of local food and beverage options by providing residents a directory that highlights local food vendors ranging from restaurants to farmers markets, as well as food-related educational programs available in the community. In the end, it will help reduce food waste and enable people to locate healthier options that stimulate the local economy."

Robyn Barrett, the founder and managing member of Phoenix-based FSW Funding, said encouraging students like Mefford helps to move communities forward.

“This is the fourth year we’ve awarded the scholarship to an ASU student,” noted Barrett. “We work with small and mid-size companies, many of which started through an entrepreneurial idea. We now want to encourage the next generation of ideas.”

Mefford said the $2,000 scholarship will help toward his college expenses.

In addition to developing the Global Food Registry, the W. P. Carey School of Business student is involved in Enactus Club projects, such as Access2Technology and Learning Institute for Vocational Education (LIVE). The ventures are centered on repurposing discarded technology items and providing occupational education to individuals from low-income households in the Indian town of Jalore.

“Our goal is to create projects and organizations that not only have an economic, environmental and social impact, but are also sustainable and community-driven,” he said.

Mefford stressed that Changemaker Central, a student-run entrepreneurship program at ASU, has allowed students like him to establish groups that drive social change. According to him, working with mentors such as the W. P. Carey School’s director of entrepreneurial initiatives Sidnee Peck and lecturer Rhett Trujillo, combined with sessions on student entrepreneurship at Changemaker, helped the projects to evolve.

Mefford wishes to venture into risk management for businesses upon graduation, but for now, he is focused on exploring possibilities and challenges that college life has to offer.

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development