School of Theatre and Film MainStage presents outrageous, bawdy comedy


January 24, 2013

The MainStage Season of the ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts presents the Arizona premiere of "Fatboy," written by John Clancy and directed by Brian Foley, at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe campus Feb. 1-9.

This outrageous play tells the story of Fatboy and Fudgie, a decadent, mutually-insulting and cursing couple exemplifying the stereotypical “ugly Americans.” Each has an insatiable appetite for money, sex, power, and more money. Anything standing in their way is likely to end up destroyed, or more likely, eaten. Fatboy wants it all, and he literally devours money, his crown and his furniture. Download Full Image

But the play is more than outrageous farce designed to shock. It is political satire that points an unfaltering lens at the greed in modern society, especially wealthy Western society. "Fatboy" is the Americanized version of Alfred Jarry's seminal play, "Ubu Roi," which started riots in the London theatre before being banned from the stage. "Fatboy" has played to sold-out houses around the world since it first opened in 2006.

“Audiences will experience a living Punch and Judy show, or in contemporary terms, a living, breathing episode of 'South Park',” said Foley, the play’s director. “There is at least one solid laugh on every page, and this gifted company of actors is finding ways to wring out even more comedy, and on occasion, pure raunch and rudeness.’’

Foley is a directing student in the ASU School of Theatre and Film Master’s of Fine Arts in Theatre program, which seeks to create theatre that resonates with audiences of the modern era. Foley’s 20-year performance background as a clown lends a special significance to this production. “Audiences will leave laughing, shocked and hopefully, offended by both the play and their own complicity in Western decadence,’’ he said. (This play contains explicit language, violence, and other material that may not be deemed appropriate for young audiences.)

"Fatboy" plays at Lyceum Theatre, 901. S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus. Performances are at 7:30 and 2 p.m., Feb. 1-9. Tickets are $8-$16. Seniors, ASU faculty, staff and students receive special rates. Herberger Institute faculty, staff and students may attend for free but they must reserve tickets in advance. Special group rates are available. Contact the Herberger Institute box office, 480.965.6447 or the ASU School of Theatre and Film, 480.965.5337 or visit the ASU MainStage website.

ASU spin-off launches world's first portable metabolism tracker


January 24, 2013

Breezing, a new startup based on technology developed by researchers at Arizona State University, is offering the world’s first portable device that can track an individual’s metabolism and use that information to provide diet and exercise recommendations for maintaining or reaching a healthy weight.

“The market is full of devices that help people track their exercise routines, such as miles ran or walked, but this is the first portable device that lets people track the most important component of all – their own metabolism,” said NJ Tao, ASU professor and director of the Center for Biosensors and Bioelectronics at the ASU Biodesign Institute. Download Full Image

Breezing is a pocket-sized device that analyzes exhalations and transmits that information to an integrated app on a cell phone or tablet via Bluetooth. The user can then apply that information to customize a diet or exercise program through the app that will help achieve personal weight goals.

Breezing works via “indirect calorimetry,” the preferred measurement method of the American Dietetic Association, World Health Organization, and other institutions. Traditional indirect calorimeters are bulky, difficult-to-use and usually found only in doctor’s offices. Breezing replaces all that with a simple, handheld device based on cutting-edge sensor technology.

The core technology of Breezing was created at ASU, and further perfected by the ASU spin-off company. NJ Tao, Erica Forzani, Francis Tsow and Xiaojun Xian have been working on the technology to make it accurate, robust, and user-friendly for end-consumers.

“With Breezing, we are taking something that would typically be available in a high-end sports training laboratory and making it available to anyone looking to change their behaviors to become healthier,” said Erica Forzani, ASU professor and deputy director of the Center for Biosensors and Bioelectronics at the ASU Biodesign Institute. “In the long run, we can even apply this same technology to help with the prevention and management of chronic diseases.”

Breezing is being launched through a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo, the largest global crowdfunding platform.

In the last decade, more than 50 companies have been formed out of business start-ups launched from ASU through Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), the exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization of ASU.  Start-up companies that have licensed ASU IP have attracted more than $300 million in financing from venture capital firms and other investors. 

Since FY2009, based on annual licensing surveys by the Association of University Technology Managers, ASU, through the activities of AzTE, has been one of the top-performing universities in the country in terms of intellectual property inputs (inventions disclosed to AzTE by ASU researchers) and outputs (licensing deals, option agreements, and start-ups based on university IP) relative to the size of the university’s research enterprise. For more information: http://www.azte.com/.