ASU Theatre's 2022–23 season brings audiences innovative experiences, expanded perspectives

November 4, 2022

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall during athletic training? Travel behind the scenes of a baseball stadium? Or maybe wondered what exists after this life? This year’s theater season at Arizona State University allows you to experience all that and more with three plays representing modern-day life and culture as depicted by contemporary playwrights.

“This season places young minds and young lives in a soccer field, a baseball stadium and a premature afterlife,” said Guillermo Reyes, ASU professor and artistic director of theater in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “Each play allows actors to play a variety of struggles and immerses them in the craft of acting in challenging contemporary roles.” Collage of three photos of people in a huddle, a man wearing a baseball cap amid palm trees and a man skateboarding. Download Full Image

The season kicks off (pun intended) with a play from the perspective of a girls indoor soccer team. In “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe, the story is told through the gossip of nine soccer players as they run through their warmups and drills. Directed by MFA student Marissa Barnathan, the play addresses adolescence, politics and loss. 

“I’m excited to showcase our talented female actors at ASU,” said Barnathan. “I am also excited to re-engage with soccer, as I used to play soccer as a kid and teen, but I haven’t played formally since high school.”

Barnathan said staging soccer warmups and drills on stage poses unique challenges amid the more typical challenges of directing a play. The play addresses weighty topics as the young women discuss everything from Cambodian war criminals to their periods, and anxiety disorders to reproductive rights. 

The second play of the season will be guest-directed by Jack Reuler, founder and artistic director emeritus of Mixed Blood Theatre in Minnesota. Reuler has worked with ASU students in prior productions. “Safe at Home,” written by Gabriel Greene and Alex Levy, is an immersive theater experience that will be performed on-site at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Audiences will travel through different parts of the stadium for an up-close look at nine different scenes set in the tense moments before a Latino baseball player takes the pitcher’s mound.

“This play is about immigration policy and reform, all told through the lens of the seventh game of the World Series between the San Diego Padres and the Texas Rangers, just days before the presidential election,” said Reuler. “Baseball fans will love getting to see the innards of a baseball stadium, and theater fans will love getting to see a piece done on-site.”

A Wavemaker Arts Grant by the City of Tempe made it possible to produce the show at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

The final show of the ASU Theatre season is “Kill, Move, Paradise” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright James Ijames. Influenced by the ever-growing list of unarmed slain Black men and women, the show tells the story of four young men who find themselves stuck in a nebulous waiting room in the afterlife. The show will be directed by Assistant Professor Rachel Finley

“It deals with a weighty topic, but there’s also joy in the play,” said Finley. “It showcases the joy and the beauty of our culture: what’s fun and funny alongside the difficulties and the tragedy. It’s a play that emphasizes the often overlooked humanity of Black men.”

Finley said she’s excited to present this work because the topic is so important to her. The style of the play is magical realism — rooted in real-world experiences but presented in a manner that is outside real experience.

“It creates the opportunity for creativity and exploration that’s really interesting,” said Finley. “It’s an opportunity to bring this gorgeous writing to life.”

The season also includes Theatre Labs each semester. Theatre Labs are minimally staged readings of new plays that are free and open to the public. They provide an opportunity for student or faculty playwrights to develop a newly devised work with feedback from the audience. 

No tickets are needed for Theatre Lab performances. For ticketed performances, tickets must be purchased in advance online through the Herberger Institute Box Office

2022–23 ASU Theatre Season

“The Wolves”
7:30 p.m., Nov. 4–5, 10, 12
2 p.m., Nov. 6 and 13
Lyceum Theatre

“Safe at Home”
7 and 8 p.m., Feb. 3–4, 9–11
2 and 3 p.m., Feb. 5 and 12
Tempe Diablo Stadium

“Kill, Move, Paradise”
7:30 p.m., March 31, April 1, 6–7
2 p.m., April 2 and 8
Lyceum Theatre

Theatre Labs
All performances at 7 p.m. in Nelson Fine Arts Center Room 133
Oct. 23
Nov. 6, 20
March 19, 26
April 16

Lacy Chaffee

Media and communications coordinator, School of Music, Dance and Theatre


ASU 2022 Digital Trust Summit identifies top 5 future challenges, opportunities for cybersecurity

November 4, 2022

For many, our internet-connected devices know more about us than our closest friends. Every day these devices are privy to a constant stream of information about us. For the 2022 Digital Trust Summit, teams at Arizona State University's Enterprise Technology surfaced a key theme for the nearly 200 cybersecurity leaders, faculty, researchers and students: How much do you trust the websites and products you’re using?

“We’re committed to learning from this diversity of thought leaders and folks doing amazing work across the globe, and then taking those wonderful lessons and then figuring out how to adapt them locally,” said summit host and ASU’s Chief Information Security and Digital Trust Officer Donna Kidwell.  Aerial view of people walking across crosswalk with location icons next to them. Download Full Image

Here’s a look at the five key themes that emerged from the various keynotes, discussions and panels: 

1. New technologies require new human skills. Waymo, a global leader in self-driving vehicles and the world’s first autonomous ride-hailing service, leverages various emerging tools to power their fleets. To prevent malicious interference over the networks the vehicles are connected to, wireless security and machine learning are paramount. 

“You have to assume that things can go wrong,” shared Waymo’s head of cybersecurity Stacy Janes. “You can’t just design for this success case — you have to design for the worst case.” 

Future jobs will call for machine learning data specialists — those who can identify and work with synthetic data that enables the car to continuously learn as it drives, ensuring safe rides for all. Beyond acquiring the technical prowess, organizations and individuals should hone their data privacy knowledge and strategies. 

2. Consent processes must be human-centered. According to Statisa, a staggering 97% of adults do not read the terms and conditions of online services. 

The first panel of the summit was titled “Consent & Sensibility: What did I just sign?” Panelists agreed that the dense language of current terms of service and consent processes is antiquated and prioritizes the business — not the customer. 

“Any relationship is built on communication, and we need improved communication on this,” said Jamie Winterton, panelist and director of strategy for ASU’s Global Security Initiative. “Being specific about usage, being clear about how to opt out, and making it easy for people to opt in and out (is key).”

3. Everyone must participate in cybersecurity training. Addressing security equity — defined as providing the tools, resources and knowledge to ensure all individuals can protect their data — means providing opportunities for people in every role to learn. 

Deborah Watson, resident chief information security officer at Proofpoint, emphasized that our current blind spots can often be attributed to inadequate workplace processes rather than people. 

“Using language like ‘negligent,’ ‘careless’ and ‘weakest link’ creates a defensive culture within our employees that already don’t like security,” Watson cautioned. Instead, organizations should consider more targeted and personalized training for everyone that has access to critical systems and networks.

4. Open-sourcing our resources will enhance the security of our communities. The panel titled “Open Science, Open Source: Innovation for All” was moderated by ASU Knowledge Enterprise Chief Information Officer Sean Dudley, and the discussion quickly identified a socioeconomic gap: Not every institution can afford or has the technical prowess to acquire or maintain licenses for technologies.  

“In science, the tradition is to hold closely any data of value as long as you can grind all value out of it,” shared Dudley. “Then maybe if you find the time, share it with somebody else if they discover something.”

5. Closing the security equity gap is a choreographed team sport. At the summit roundtable, Ryan Murray, deputy state chief information security officer for the state of Arizona, encapsulated the challenge by posing a question. “How do you provide these modern services to communities that aren’t really in an equitable location for digital inclusion — and then trying to stay safe online?”

Universities and governments increasingly rely on industry players to deliver more than just technology. Devising programming that resonates with various levels of digital equity and fluency is vital. 

In her closing remarks at the summit, Kidwell shared her personal "aha" moment from the day about building a more diverse, inclusive cybersecurity workforce that better serves all communities. “A lot of the paths that I see today are folks coming to an interest in this space because they’re concerned and they’re advocating,” she said. “It’s the mission that drives all of us.” 

Written by Samantha Becker, strategic communications advisor to the CIO, ASU Enterprise Technology