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THIRTEEN YOUNG THESPIANS AMONG THE 3,600 UCSB GRADS

Tuesday, June 9, 1998 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Pink boas and rhinestone sunglasses are just two identifying items that have separated the dramatic art students' attire in past UC Santa Barbara commencement exercises. This year 13 more thespians, who have completed the B.F.A. Actor Training program, will be participants in the College of Letters and Science's Division of Humanities and Fine Arts ceremonies on Sunday, June 14, at 1 p.m. These actors are hoping to follow in the successful footsteps of two former UCSB dramatic art students who are appearing together in the film, "A Perfect Murder"---Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas.

"Our conservatory-style program is one of the few of its kind on the West Coast, and the only such program for undergraduates in the UC system," says Robert G. Egan, professor of dramatic art, referring to the highly selective program, which accepts about half of the students who audition, and about half of those graduate in the program. "The quality of our students speaks for the program."

Faline M. England, who has received many local accolades for her acting, including the S.B. Independent's Theater Award for Best Actor, is typical of the program's quality. England has been acting since she lipsynched to "The Battle of New Orleans" when she was 5.

"Faline has had very demanding roles during her four years at UCSB, but she holds her own with professionals who are at least 20 years older," says Egan. "She has a high degree of interpretative intelligence, and all the makings of a great stage actor. Her senior honors project--- a performance piece

she wrote, directed, and performed---showed off not only her creativity on several levels, but artistic courage."

"I am so proud of my honors project. I just found out from doing this piece that this is what I want to do---to have a purposeful place in the world. This has become my passion," says England, whose piece is a biographically based account of incest titled "Flayjennnie [sic] Eroticus: A Documentary." "As soon as I got very personal, people understood what this experience is like for a child." (There will be public performances of her piece at UCSB's Studio Theatre June 26-28. For information, 893-3022.)

"She is somebody who can do it all, and I look forward to her doing just that," adds Egan.