Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Notes from the arts beat


Here’s a compilation of interesting items that have recently clumped up on my desk:


The Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities 2009-2010 Lecture Series features Distinguished Alumna Emily Kuroda, a 1977 theatre arts graduate. She’ll speak at 2 p.m. Thursday at Studio A in the Speech Arts Building. From her bio:

Kuroda completed seven years as Mrs. Kim in Warner Brothers’ GILMORE GIRLS. She was also a series regular on UNDER ONE ROOF with Flavor Flav. Other television credits include GREY’S ANATOMY, SIX FEET UNDER, KING OF QUEENS, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, THE PRACTICE, GENERAL HOSPITAL, PORT CHARLES, ER, THE DIVISION, THE AGENCY, PRESIDIO MED and ARLISS. Feature films include HOTEL FOR DOGS, THE SENSI, SHOP GIRL, MINORITY REPORT, STRANGER INSIDE, TWO DAYS IN THE VALLEY, DAD, BROKEN WORDS, ABOUT LOVE (Emmy nominated), WORTH WINNING and the soon to be released PEEP WORLD and AUSSIE AND TED with Dean Cain.

She has performed in numerous plays and is the recipient of five Dramalogue Awards.



Thirty-one Fresno State students in February trekked to St. George, Utah to compete in the Region 8 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The winners:

Performance in Invitational Scenes: “The Raven” from An Edgar Allan Poe Affair, an E.T.C. show, directed by Bob Creasey

CSU Summer Arts Scholarship Winners: Megan Gilmore, Yosef Mahmood, Kelsey Oliver

Regional Alternate to attend Irene Ryan National Competition: Matthew McGee

Irene Ryan Classical Acting Award: Matthew McGee



Over the weekend, Playhouse Merced was robbed. Amy Starnes of the Merced Sun-Star writes:

The thief or thieves took a light board, CD player, bass guitar, amplifier and a piano keyboard. The cost to replace the items is probably well over $5,000, artistic director Rob Hypes said.

But the show went on:

Hypes said he went to the theater Sunday to prepare for that night’s finale performance of “Company,” a musical comedy about a 35-year-old man pondering if he should get married.

“We walked in, and everything that could make the show run had been stolen,” Hypes said.

The musicians and actors decided they wanted to go ahead with the show, borrowed a light board from the Playhouse’s other venue, brought in a piano and staged the show anyway after a brief explanation to the nearly sold-out audience.

“And we did it. It was probably one of the best performances of that particular show. They loved it, and the show must go on,” Hypes said.



Alan Hawkins writes:

I am from Fresno and used to perform with GCP. I then moved to Los Angeles to pursue improv with the Second City Conservatory and later moved to Chicago with my wife. My three man long form troop Extra Shelves just got accepted to the Chicago Improv Festival which had over 140 acts submitted this year from all over the world.



Summer is coming faster than you think. From Jacqueline Doumanian, here’s a list of the courses:

Visual Art/Design:
Drawing and Painting in Florence
Telling Stories with Multimedia & Publishing Your Photo Book
Clay as a Medium for Sculpture
Building Reactive Sculpture: Spaces & Objects, Sound & Movement
Toy Design: Concept to Product

Urban Bush Women

New Media:

Ensemble Intensive with Steppenwolf Classes West (Steppenwolf here for both sessions)
Sword and Forcery: Armed and Unarmed Stage Violence
Solo Performance: Writing, Performing and Touring a Solo Show

Auditioning for the Broadway Musical with Paul Gemignani)
String and Piano Intensive (coordinated by Fresno State’s Thomas Loewenheim)

Writing the Memoir: Transforming Truth into Art
Writing Hybrid Narratives

Application deadlines vary for courses, but many appear to be in early May. Check out the Summer Arts Web site for all the details.



In Oakhurst, Timberline Gallery is one of the artistic epicenters. The gallery has lots planned for the 2010 season. The most immediate is one of its themed shows, this one called “Small Wonders.”


Responses to "Notes from the arts beat"

Stephen says:

I’m a fairly passive person, but I’m wishing a painful death with all my heart on anyone who would rob a theater. Not a playhouse alive that brings in much money at all.

I hope the community comes together to help the Merced Playhouse folks buy new equipment.