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Author: Terry Schilling

Barclay President & Self-Described “Theatre Rat” Jerry Mandel Leads the Barclay Through the Pandemic

In 1990, the non-profit, 750-seat Barclay Theatre opened as a collaborative venture — owned by both the City of Irvine and the University of California, Irvine.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned out the lights in theatres all around the world. Some, forever. Yet, the pandemic was not a show-stopper for the Barclay.

That’s because for the past six years, the Barclay’s president has been Jerry Mandel, a self-described “Theatre Rat.”

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Meet Antoinette LaFarge: Co-Founder of UCI’s Electronic Art & Design Program

A long, l-o-n-g time ago — prior to masks and physical distancing — back in 2019, I attended an original play called Reading Frankenstein. It was staged in UCI’s Experimental Media and Performance Lab (xMPL).

UCI Arts Professor Antoinette LaFarge had worked with others on the adaptation of Mary Shelly’s classic Frankenstein.

Recently, we were able to chat face-to-face over coffee.

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Finding the Beat: UCI’s Jazz Studies

UCI’s Clair Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) presented their second virtual “Jazz Small Groups Concert.”

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with faculty and students to get their perspectives on this past year.

Chancellor’s Professor of Jazz & Piano, Kei Akagi, said: “Although the students can’t bond with the audience right now, they’ve learned to find their own way to communicate with other players and the faculty.”  After attending their first concert, I think he’s correct.  It satisfied my craving for a breath of musical fresh air.

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UCI’s New Slate Online: A Completely New Dimension in Dance Concerts

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the production crew for UCI’s New Slate Online dance concert mixed live and pre-recorded material, added music, and then uploaded it on Vimeo for the performance that those of us in the audience watched.  Which scenes were pre-recorded, and which were live?  There was no way to tell.

Taking the unusual “seat in the audience,” in front of my PC at home, I was surprisingly delighted by this very unique spectacle!

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UCI is Opening a Window for Those of Us in Need of a Breath of Artistic Fresh Air

At UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA), modern dance is alive and well, with a twist this year!

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, UCI’s New Slate Online dance concert series was streamed via YouTube on December 10th. This free event featured both live and virtual dances. The performance was followed with live artist-audience conversations about these new ways of dance making. Albeit, a YouTube window, it’s still a breath of artistic fresh air.

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