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THE ARTS: Studio 301 presents 'nightmare comedy'


Photo: Callie Heyer and Robert Hanson perform in "'Tis Pity She's a Whore."

'Tis Pity She's a Whore: Callie Heyer, a third-year major in dramatic art, as Annabella; and Robert Hanson, a second-year student with a double major in cell biology and music, as Giovanni.

EXHIBITIONS: Design + Build opens at the Nelson; weaver Begay to give talk at the Gorman.

Studio 301 Productions, the only student-run theatre troupe at UC Davis, presents the 17th-century 'Tis Pity She’s a Whore, John Ford’s play about two siblings who fall madly in love with each other.

With murder, gouged-out eyes, curses and bandits to go along with the incest, John Ford’s play is usually performed as high tragedy.

This production, on the other hand, draws out the absurd and the comic in the work, making the play “a nightmare comedy,” according to Studio 301. “All at once moving and ridiculous, ’Tis Pity is where Shakespeare meets John Waters," Studio 301's website declares.

“The play eschews the distinction between comedy and tragedy, even in the text itself,” said the director, Mitchell Vanlandingham, a fourth-year student with linguistics as his major, and theatre and French as minors. “Ford's talent is finding the tragedy in humor and the humor in tragedy.”

Studio 301 is staging the work as a contemporary story, but it retains the 17th-century text, he said.


WHAT:Tis Pity She’s a Whore, presented by Studio 301 Productions


  • Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 14-16 — 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 17 — 2 p.m.
  • Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 21-23 — 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 24 — 2 p.m.

WHERE: Sciences Lab Building Lecture Hall

TICKETS: $5, available at the UC Davis ticket office, in person (the office is on the north side of Aggie Stadium), online or by phone, (530) 752-1915; or at the door.

MFA Thesis Choreographies: human touch and identity

Two Master of Fine Arts candidates present their thesis choreographies, new works exploring the realms of human touch and identity, starting Feb. 21.

Ligilo, by Jarrell Iu-Hui Chua, in collaboration with Bobby August Jr., travels through the worlds of memories, dreams and present realities to investigate touch and its effects on relationships.

Transmutation, by Christine Germain, in collaboration with Andrea del Moral and Deirdre Morris, examines questions of personal identity and shifts in identity.

“Ligilo” means “link” in Esperanto, a language that represents the choreographer’s ethnic sensitivities. She and August Jr. are hapa,” a term that Chua lovingly uses to describe their half-Asian heritage. Their hapa experiences of prejudice growing up in America are a core element in the choreography, as is personal trauma from which Chua is recovering.

Emanating from these painful themes, Ligilo portrays anger and violence as performers Chua and August Jr. physically connect and disconnect.

Transmutation also has an autobiographical base, drawing from all three choreographers’ lives, including the French-Canadian Germain’s various experiences as an immigrant in the United States and elsewhere.

“Relocating a number of times, I found myself frustrated not speaking the language well, being misunderstood and misunderstanding others,” she said. “Injuries also affected how I saw myself. I became sensitive to, and interested in, the shifting of identity occurring after trauma (both psychological and physical), which can be experienced in so many diverse ways.”

In Transmutation, performers Germain, del Moral and Morris respond in different ways to identity changes, including the learning or relearning of who they are and their relationships with others, space and the world.


WHAT: MFA Thesis Choreographies

  • Ligilo, by Jarrell Iu-Hui Chua, in collaboration with Bobby August Jr.
  • Transmutation, by Christine Germain, in collaboration with Andrea del Moral and Deirdre Morris


  • Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 21-23 — 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 24 — 2 p.m.
  • Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 28-March 2 — 8 p.m.
  • Sunday March 3 — 2 p.m.

WHERE: Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

ADVISORY: Rated R for nudity and brief violence

TICKETS: General admission, $17-$19, and students and seniors, $12-$14, available through the Mondavi Center box office, (530) 754-2787 or (866) 754-2787, or http://tickets.mondaviarts.org.

MORE INFORMATION (including group ticket rates)


Read the complete news release.

Nelson ARTfriends to visit de Young Museum

Reservations are due by Monday (Feb. 11) for a Nelson ARTfriends bus trip to San Francisco’s de Young Museum next month. Participants will have exclusive access to see two exhibitions on the Dutch Golden Age, and join a docent tour for one or the other (on a first-come, first-served basis).

The exhibitions are Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis; and Rembrandt’s Century, presenting the rich print culture of the late mannerist and Baroque eras.

The trip is scheduled for Saturday, March 2. The itinerary calls for departure from UC Davis between 7 and 7:15 a.m., to arrive at the museum before opening time. The separately guided docent tours of approximately 17 people for each exhibit are set to begin at about 8:30 a.m.

The cost is $50 for members, $75 for nonmembers and $25 for students (limit five students).

Reservations: Contact Katrina Wong, (530) 752-8500 or kliwong@ucdavis.edu. Note your preference for the docent-led tour. Payment is due by Feb. 21.

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