The Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Theatre Arts Department announced this week that their second annual gala, Theatre Art á la Carte, a celebration of “all things theatre” to raise funds for student educational programs, will take place on Sunday, May 1 at the Theatre Arts Building.
The gala will be hosted by comedian Craig Anton, as seen on Jimmy Kimmel and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with a closing number sung by Alexandra Billings, from the Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated hit show Transparent, who recently wrote and starred in the CSULB hit cabaret S/He & Me.
This year’s honorees are Dr. David Dowell, CSULB’s provost and senior vice president, to retire this year, Jerry and Flora Loeb, long-time CSULB Theatre Arts board members and community arts contributors and Jeremy Ancalade, vice president of operations at The Trevor Project and a program alumnus.
Over 100 attendees and supporters of the arts raised significant funds last year, according to the release, while this year’s event will feature similar offerings presented by faculty, staff and students, including a cocktail hour, silent auction and sneak peek at the 2016 Design Expo, featuring the work of graduate and undergraduate costume, scenic and lighting design students to start.
Following refreshments, the artistic director of the acclaimed Global Water Dancers, Vanna Ibarguen, will set the tone with an “appetizer” expressive dance performance in an effort to not only entertain, but raise awareness for water issues on both a local and global level.
During the “main course,” guests can select two different events to attend, a talk by Dr. Jaye Austin Williams examining the play Pickling, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, or a sketching lesson from nationally-acclaimed design faculty Gayle Baizer. This á la Carte style experience “allows our patrons an intimate look into all that encompasses our Theatre Department,” stated Managing Director Megan Crockett.
Selections will also include a backstage tour of the newly technologically-renovated University Theatre, four world premiere plays in a New Works festival created by 70 undergraduate students, or an interactive improv workshop led by faculty member Josh Nathan as seen in LA’s The Groundlings Theatre Troupe.