Lanly Le

November 19, 2010

Lanly Le is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in theatre with a film and media production concentration. Le headed a group of Arizona State University film students who won the AT&T Golden Mobile Award in the national Campus MovieFest competition in Las Vegas during the summer of 2010.

Le wrote and directed the short film, "Candid," which starred ASU students Kristine Lin and Hugh Chung and was shot on and around ASU’'s Tempe campus. The AT&T Golden Mobile Award was presented to the filmmaker who best creatively used a Samsung phone in his or her story. Download Full Image

Le had the chance to meet many inspirational student filmmakers, as well as industry professionals such as director Donald Petrie ("Miss Congeniality"), and Brett Ratner ("Rush Hour"). Le feels the coolest part was meeting her favorite film composer, Michael Giacchino ("Up," "The Incredibles," "Lost"), as well as many amazing screenwriters. Le says she learned so much and encourages any filmmaker to join the Campus MovieFest competition.

Watch Le’'s acceptance video.

Jonothon Howard a.k.a. Jonothon Lyons

November 11, 2010

Jonothon Howard, aka Jonothon Lyons, earned his Bachelor of Arts in theatre in 2004 from the Arizona State University School of Theatre and Film. He currently is puppeteering the title character in Moises Kaufman's "Puss in Boots," which opened in October 2010 at the New Victory Theatre in New York.

Howard plans to follow-up his current show by joining the cast of Basil Twist's "Petrushka" at the Paramount Theatre in Boston. Howard also has won the New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Short Script for his play The Tenement, which ran at HERE Arts Center in August 2009. The production was a collaboration between Howard and Daniel Brodie, a fellow ASU alumnus, and was nominated for an additional seven New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Play. Since 2007, Howard has been using Jonothon Lyons as his professional name. Download Full Image

Sarah Sullivan

June 10, 2010

Sarah Sullivan is a third-year Master of Fine Arts Theatre for Youth candidate in the Arizona State University Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film. During the 2009–-2010 academic year, she served as artist-in-residence at the Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development's Phoenix Drop-in Center, an organization that provides basic needs and services for homeless and at-risk youth. As the culminating event of this residency, she directed an original play, collaboratively created and performed by clients from the Drop-in Center.

Titled, "Live Out Loud," the play explored the personal stories and experiences of the young people who created it, and provided a personal perspective on the issue of homelessness in the Phoenix community. The show performed to sold-out crowds as part of the Phoenix Fringe Festival, then toured to Mesa Community College and The Learning Center in Phoenix. This project received a 2010 Entrepreneurial Advantage Project grant, and more than 200 people saw the work during the course of its performances. Download Full Image

Matt Omasta

May 11, 2010

Matt Omasta earned his Doctorate in theatre with a theatre for youth concentration from the Arizona State University Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film in May 2009.

In 2010, he received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Arts and Learning Special Interest Group, along with an Honorable Mention for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’'s Distinguished Dissertation Award. Omasta’s dissertation, "Adolescent audiences' affective engagement with theatre: A mixed methods case study surveying middle school students' attitudes, values and beliefs," examined how adolescent viewers’ attitudes, values and/or beliefs may have been affected by viewing Y. York's "Getting Near to Baby," a Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) production. Omasta’'s dissertation adviser was Johnny Saldana, a School of Theatre and Film professor. Download Full Image

Omasta recently accepted a position as assistant professor of the Theatre & Theatre Education Program Coordinator at Utah State University, where he will teach courses in drama/theatre pedagogy, theatre history, dramatic literature, performance theory and criticism.

Xanthia Walker

February 25, 2010

Xanthia Walker earned her Master of Fine Arts in theatre for youth in May 2010.

She was featured in The State Press May 2, 2010 article about her Master of Fine Arts applied project: "Not Too Late: A Play Creation Process with Teen Mothers and their Children in Pacoima, California." Download Full Image

Theatre Reading Series Provides a Peek at Play Development

March 16, 2006

A marathon of staged theatre readings this April allows graduate students within the ASU Herberger College School of Theatre and Film's MFA playwriting program to develop their plays before an audience prior to production. The actors hold scripts while delivering an actual performance.

"We seek to provide the playwrights with the opportunity to have their plays heard, working with actors and a director as a means to test and experiment with the play," said Guillermo Reyes, head of playwriting at the School of Theatre and Film. "It's a laboratory process, and also a common practice in play development in this country."   Download Full Image

The New Plays Reading Series has proved beneficial for several plays that were produced on the Mainstage -- most recently "Stolen Children." "Voices of Valor" also recently was produced by ASU Public Events at Gammage.

For a calendar of New Plays Reading Series dates, please visit:

Wendy Craft
Media Relations
Arizona State University 
Herberger College of Fine Arts
(480) 965-0478

Waking up in Lost Hills is "Rip Van Winkle" with un poco de español at ASU

March 7, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - The ghosts of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, roosters running amuck and rousing norteño music set the stage for a story about a town reawakening when ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre presents Waking up in Lost Hills: A Central California Rip Van Winkle Story, March 31-April 9.

Los Angeles-based playwright José Cruz González, familiar to Valley audiences for his Childsplay productions Tomás and the Library Lady Old Jake's Skirts Salt and Pepper and The Highest Heaven, adapted the story of "Rip Van Winkle" for the play - which reveals the struggles of the small rural California community of Lost Hills. Victorio Valenzuela, an almond farm worker who has just awakened from a 37-year sleep, meets a traveler who has just awakened from a car wreck.   Together they must rescue themselves, their families and the town. Zarco Guerrero as Old Victorio in the ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre production of Waking Up in Lost Hills: A Central California Rip Van Winkle Story. Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy Herberger College of Fine Arts Download Full Image

"I grew up in a farming community much like Lost Hills," said González. "It many ways, this project was a return to my own roots."

Lost Hills residents were among the original cast and crew when the play premiered in their town in 2004.

"José wrote the play for Cornerstone Theatre Company in collaboration with the residents of Lost Hills in a process known as community-based devising," said Linda Essig, artistic director and chair of the School of Theatre and Film. "This is the first time that a Cornerstone devised community-based project has received a second production."

Mesa, Ariz. resident Zarco Guerrero plays Old Victorio. He is joined by ASU student actors and several children and teens from the community. Michael Archuleta, a well-known Los Angeles singer and band leader, composed the original music for the play and is teaching songs to the student performers as an artist-in-residence in the School of Theatre and Film. Herberger College theatre professor Pamela Sterling directs.

Appropriate for ages 10 and up, Waking Up in Lost Hills is a magical, inspirational tale of a community's rediscovery and the people who made it happen.

Tickets for Waking up in Lost Hills are $5-$20 and available online at or through the Herberger College Box Office, 480-965-6447.   Show times are 7:30 p.m., March 31 and April 1, 7, 8; and 2 p.m., April 1, 2, and 9; at the Galvin Playhouse in the Nelson Fine Arts Center, southeast corner of 10 th Street and Mill Ave.

The Herberger College School of Theatre and Film production program moves the art of theatre into the future with student production opportunities; curricula; and professional productions that enrich the cultural life of the university, the community and the region. For more information, go to .

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay 

ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre portrays comedy, drama and fantasy in the Italian classic The King Stag

October 12, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre presents the 18 th century Italian comedy-fantasy classic popularized by the American Repertory Theatre and enjoyed by adults and children worldwide, The King Stag. Childsplay Theatre Director and ASU alumnus David Saar will direct the English version of the show, which opens Oct. 28 and runs through Nov. 6.

Appropriate for all ages, Carlo Gozzi's whimsical fable combines the classic fairy tale with rollicking commedia dell'arte - a rapid-fire, physical form of comedy that is the precursor to the modern-day sitcom. Set in the kingdom of Serendippo, Deramo, the kind and just ruler of the kingdom, uses a magical statue that laughs at lies in his quest for a bride who always will be truthful. A mysterious charm that enables Deramo's soul to leave his body and enter another, leads to a ruckus in the forest when he becomes trapped in the body of "The King Stag." Laura Wilkinson (Smeraldina) and Trevor Starkey (Pantalone) in the ASU Herberger Mainstage Theatre production of The King Stag, Oct. 28 - Nov. 6, 2005. Photo by Tim Trumble. Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Download Full Image

"It's a big story filled with ridiculous moments of fantasy and logic-blocking plot turns that beg to be told in a large manner," says Saar. "And at the heart of it is a love story."

Linda Essig, artistic director and chair of the Herberger College Department of Theatre says "the play has something for everyone: romance, politics, laughing statues, murderous assistants, feisty maidens and forest animals. It is brought to life by a team of extraordinary artists whose work not only enriches this production, but enhances the learning experiences of our students."

Guest artists include actor and Childsplay associate artist Duane Hartford and set designer Kim Williamson, whose designs have appeared in Childsplay, Actor's Theatre and Phoenix Theatre productions.

Saar, who the Herberger College honored in 2002 with its first Outstanding Alumni Award, directed Cyrano de Bergerac at ASU five years ago and is enjoying his return to ASU. "It's exciting to work with the next generation of artists," he said. "There is some real talent here."

Tickets for The King Stag are $5-$20 and available online at or through the Herberger College Box Office, 480-965-6447.   Show times are 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 3-5; and 2 p.m., Oct. 30 and Nov. 6; at the Galvin Playhouse in the Nelson Fine Arts Center, southeast corner of 10 th Street and Mill Ave.

The Herberger College Department of Theatre production program moves the art of theatre into the future with student production opportunities; curricula; and professional productions that enrich the cultural life of the university, the community and the region. For more information, go to

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay 

Herberger College presents “Fall Dance Collection”

October 25, 2002

WHATHerberger College of Fine Arts Department of Dance at ASU presents “Fall Dance Collection,” a modern dance concert comprising seven pieces.

This concert’s showcase piece is the acclaimed work created by New York-based Israeli choreographer and guest artist Neta Pulvermacher, “Goodbye and Good Luck,” set on six dancers. In this sarcastic, sweet, hungry work, each dancer performs while carrying, playing or swinging a violin.

“Goodbye and Good Luck” delves into the Jewish/Yiddish heritage of humor, hope, fate, despair, guilt and longing. This ancestral work is layered with personal and inherited memories.

WHEN: Nov. 21-23, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 24, 2 p.m.

Special Preview! The second dress rehearsal, Nov. 20, 2002, is open to the public. Same admission charge; show time is 4 p.m.

WHERE: Dance Theatre, PE East 132, 551 E. Orange St. on the ASU campus in Tempe.

TICKETS: $14 adults, $12 seniors, faculty and staff; $5 students.

INFORMATION: 480-965-6447.

“Wherever you go, whatever you do, always remember that you are a Jew,” proclaims an ASU dancer in Neta Pulvermacher’s acclaimed work, “Good Bye and Good Luck.”

The piece is one of six diverse works in the Herberger College Department of Dance’s “Fall Dance Collection,” a concert performance of highly acclaimed faculty and student choreography. The department is known for its inventive choreography that captures the imagination and touches the spirit.

A dancer, choreographer, director and writer, Pulvermacher was born and raised in Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan and began to study dance with Ariel Peled in Tel Hai, Israel. She came to New York in 1982 and graduated from Julliard in 1985. She founded her New York-based company, The Neta Dance Company, in 1987 and has since created over 50 works for her company’s repertory.

Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times calls “Goodbye and Good Luck,” a piece with “style and pizzazz… [a] pretty, nutty dance.” Back Stage dance critic Lisa Jo Sagolla writes, “The well-crafted, image-driven movement phases are punctuated by sardonic text and interrupted by brief freeing sequences in which the performers discard their violins and dance with abandon.”

Pulvermacher set this piece on student dancers during her August guest residency in the Department of Dance. The work is double-cast, so one set of six dancers performs on two nights and another set performs on three nights.

The other pieces in “Fall Dance Collection” are:

- “Metal Garden,” choreographed by dance professor Cliff Keuter and set on six dancers.

- “Celebration,” an energetic work choreographed by dance professor Elina Mooney and set on seven dancers. The choreography puts unusual attention on the hands.

- “Storm in the Bottle,” choreographed and performed by Kimberly Karpanty, a graduate student and returning professional who is also as assistant professor at Kent State University. Inspired by the “impulsive spirit of women,” Karpanty calls the piece, “an exciting trio of dancer, music and light.” 

- “Suzy Q,” choreographed by senior Natalie Greene and set on three dancers; described by Greene as “outlandish, frightening and hilarious,” the work follows three dolls and their comedic and aggressive awakening.

- “Leaving Minutia,” a piece inspired by pictures of dancers in motion as well as the music of Henry Cowell; choreographed by senior Lona Lee and set on three dancers. 

- “Atonement,” a solo choreographed by Whitney Tucker.

The Department of Dance is committed to providing a stimulating and diverse environment where students develop as scholars, educators and artists through participation in innovative programs, residencies, performances and partnerships.
The department is nationally ranked in the top 10 by Dance Teacher Now magazine. Its graduate program is ranked 5th and its undergraduate program is ranked 9th. The ARCO Performance Arts College Guide calls the department one of the “most highly recommended programs” in the country.

This project is generously supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts; ASU Public Events; the City of Tempe; and Meet the Composer program.  Special thanks also to Desert Dance Theatre and String Shop of Arizona for their contributions to this project.

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Media Contact:
Megan Krause

Student Production opens its doors to a new reality with “No Exit”

October 22, 2002

WHAT: Student Production in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU presents “No Exit,” a play that paints an unforgettable picture of hell as a room with no exit and no windows. Here, three characters remain trapped and discover, “Hell is other people.” Written by Jean-Paul Sartre; directed by theatre undergraduate student Dustin Hurtt.

Student Production is a student-driven organization within the Department of Theatre that is committed to providing opportunity, resources and support to ASU students who are ready for the challenge of bringing their artistic vision to life. Download Full Image

WHEN: November 3-5 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Student Laboratory Theatre at the Prism, 851 E. Tyler Street in the Ritter Building on the ASU campus (northwest corner of Terrace and Rural, just south of University Drive). 

TICKETS: $3 available at the door only.

INFORMATION, TICKETS: Call 480-727-7877 or e-mail:

Playwright, novelist and essayist Jean-Paul Sartre creates a picture of hell as a small ornate room with no windows and one locked door from which there is no escaping. This is the setting in which three characters must live out the rest of eternity as punishment for their life on earth. Garcin, a journalist for a Pacifist newspaper, Estelle, a wealthy socialite, and Inez, a postal clerk, must give up their old lives and learn to live in a new reality of imprisonment with other people. This seemingly benevolent portrayal of hell turns out to be a nightmare for its inhabitants.

Writer Jean-Paul Sartre, a teacher of philosophy and a preacher of freedom and resistance to tyranny during World War II, was the pre-eminent existential philosopher of the 20th century. He worked toward the finding of truth in reality and was the writer of numerous novels, plays, screenplays, essays, and biographies about existential topics and social criticism. His main credo was his belief that life, this world, and ultimately reality, are nothing more than what one expects and what one makes of them.

“No Exit” is the third production in the Student Production season. Coming up later in the season is a retelling of the classic story of Antigone told through Argentine playwright Griselda Gambaro’s “Antígona Furiosa,” running November 17-19, followed by Paul Rudnick’s hilarious play, “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” which takes a different slant on the stories of the Bible, running December 8-10.

Media Contact:
Megan Krause