Some UC Santa Barbara dramatic art students and faculty members will have had a 20-day headstart when classes officially begin on Monday, Sept. 28. They began full rehearsals for Richard Alfieri's play "The Sisters" on Sept. 8.
Inspired by Anton Chekov's "The Three Sisters," the play is being directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman, who has been at the helm of over 20 Broadway and off-Broadway shows, 35 films, and Emmy-award-winning television films and programs.
"Bringing 'The Sisters' to UCSB just sort of evolved with the help of the Dramatic Art department," said the veteran Broadway director. "The play takes place on a college campus, and UCSB has students whose acting abilities are comparable, if not superior, to the students I have worked with at USC, UCLA, Columbia U., and NYU. This seemed like a good fit."
"The production, which is Theatre Artists Group's largest undertaking to date, will provide real-world experience in an academic setting," added Peter Lackner, director of the resident acting ensemble at UCSB. "We are one of the few programs on the West Coast that gives undergraduate students this type of opportunity."
Following equity rules, undergraduates Jeffrey Cannata and Brooke Haycock will rehearse seven hours per day, every day for three weeks alongside professional guest artists Meg Foster and Craig Wasson and faculty members James Donlon, Michael Morgan, and Meredith McMinn. McMinn, now a lecturer in the campus's film studies department, graduated from UCSB's M.A. program in Dramatic Art.
"UCSB's program has given me unique and wonderful opportunities to perform in front of a paying audience," said Cannata, who began as a computer science major and switched to the dramatic art B.F.A. program in acting at the end of his sophomore year. "And now to be in this great production with my teachers and other professional actors---things just couldn't be better."
UCSB's highly selective B.F.A. program in acting provides intensive conservatory training for the stage actor. Students learn dialects, movement, stage combat, auditioning, and performing.
The play will run for 14 performances from Oct. 2 through Oct. 18 in the Hatlen Theatre on campus. For ticket information and times, contact UCSB Arts & Lectures, 893-3535.