Weekender: Shakespeare's Hamlet Reimagined, Basement Gallery Senior Show, Recitals, and Re(Vision) Returns

Reduce Stress with Square Dancing

Concert Bands of UC Davis (Phil Daley/UC Davis)
Concert Bands of UC Davis will perform next week. Read the Arts Blog for more information about events and arts exhibitions happening this weekend and next week too. (Phil Daley/UC Davis)

Join Campus Square Dancing tonight

Thursday, May 23, 5-7 p.m., Vanderhoef Studio, Mondavi Center

Photo of square dancing
(Courtesy/UC Davis Department of Music)

With dance caller Evie Ladin, the UC Davis Bluegrass and Old Time String Band will perform live while YOU dance! 

'They’re Hysterical': Basement Gallery Senior Show

Thursday, May 23, through Thursday, May 30, 5-8 p.m., Art Building Room 60

The fourth Senior Show of the quarter begins this Thursday and features the works of Cerina-Marie Smit, Mia Rassam and Mariam Tawfik. Opening on May 23 from 5-8 pm.

Shakespeare’s 'Hamlet' Reimagined in UC Davis 'Who’s There?'

Thursday May 23-25, 7 p.m., Wyatt Pavilion, tickets from $12

Three actors simultaneously portray Hamlet’s ‘antic disposition’ in an innovative polyphonic staging.

Three actors on stage all dressed in black
Peyton Harris, Noah Gu and Madeline Weissenberg share the role of the character Hamlet in the Department of Theatre and Dance's upcoming production of "Who's There?" (Austin Wang/Photography)

The themes of madness and identity are vibrantly examined in the University of California, Davis Department of Theatre and Dance production Who’s There? This provocative reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been created and directed by Irish theatre director and acting teacher Sinéad Rushe, the Granada Artist-in-Residence. 

The contemporary drama plays May 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 at 7 p.m. and May 25 at 2 p.m. in the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre on Old Davis Road.   

In Rushe’s reworking, this stripped back, ensemble production questions the roles people play in life, what is authentic and what is simply an "act?" Is a King "born" or is it simply a role that is played well or badly? The production centers on an ensemble of actors playing multiple characters including three performing simultaneously as Hamlet. The staging features live music, vocal polyphony and original sound composition by undergraduate student Megan Abbanat. It playfully omits and adds to the original.

In adapting and reworking the Shakespearean classic, Rushe took her inspiration from the text.  From director, Sinéad Rushe: 

A key quote from the play that guides us is: ‘to thine own self be true’. We’re exploring how a person’s psychology is made up of different parts or roles, in the theatrical sense of the term. People have public and private selves or voices. The parts jostle, argue and occasionally concur with each other, and when a person is in crisis, like Hamlet, this inner dialogue becomes fragmented and cacophonous.” — Director Sinéad Rushe

Rushe returns to UC Davis where she previously collaborated with Professor Margaret Laurena Kemp, chair of theatre and dance, on AntigoneNOW, produced online during the pandemic. The project was screened worldwide including an invited presentation at the Egypt International Experimental Theatre Festival. 

The author of Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique: A Practitioner’s Guide, Rushe is also a co-translator into French of four plays by Howard Barker. She was senior lecturer in acting and movement at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and currently serves as lead acting tutor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. 

Adult tickets are $15, faculty/staff tickets are $12, and student/senior tickets are $5. Tickets may be purchased at the UC Davis Ticket Office, located on the north side of Aggie Stadium, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, by phone 530-752-2471 during the same hours, or online at arts.ucdavis.edu/theatre-and-dance.

Contributed by Michael G. French, College of Letters and Science

The Department of Theatre and Dance is part of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. For information about other department productions, visit theatredance.ucdavis.edu.

Adult tickets are $15, faculty/staff tickets are $12, and student/senior tickets are $5. Get tickets here. 

Senior recitals feature viola, horn

Maya True-Fogel, viola

Friday, May 24, 3 p.m., free, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

with Karen Rosenak, piano

Maya True-Fogel
Maya True-Fogel (Phil Daley/UC Davis)


J.S. Bach: Prélude and Gigue from Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009

Rebecca Clarke: Prélude and Pastorale for from Duet for Viola and Clarinet

Astor Piazzolla: Oblivion trans. 

Maya True-Fogel for viola quartet

Florence Price: Adoration for Viola and Piano

William Walton: Viola Concerto


Avery Snyder, horn

Friday, May 24, 5 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free


Danny Van: A Very Cool Piece PREMIERE

Georg Philipp Telemann: Sonata in B-Flat Minor

Paul Dukas: Villanelle

Francis Poulenc: Allegro vivace from Sextet

Next week

Symposium: visiting scholars in Art History

Tuesday, May 28, Room 148, Everson Hall

Four visiting scholars — Honcai Liu, Danting Sun, Jingwei Zeng (UC Davis), and Yuting Zheng— will present papers on their present research on subjects that include Chinese statues in American Museums, design philosophy, post-impressionism, and ancient Chinese figure paintings.

Jazz Big Bands of UC Davis

Tuesday, May 28, 7 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Photo of band playing
(Courtesy UC Davis Department of Music)

Otto Lee, director and UC Davis lecturer in music. 

UC Davis’s own Jazz Big Bands present songs from the Great American Songbook as well as a few contemporary works and sometimes feature student vocalists too. Tunes by Chick Corea, Here Hancock, and many others are often presented.

$12 Students and Children, $24 Adults (Open Seating)

Concert Bands of UC Davis: Pacific Rim Voices

Wednesday, May 29, 7 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, tickets from $12

Concert Bands of UC Davis (Phil Daley/UC Davis)
Concert Bands of UC Davis (Phil Daley/UC Davis)

This concert features music inspired by voices around the Pacific Rim, from California to Australia, Singapore to Russia, Mexico to Canada (to name a few). 


Campus Band • Garrett Rigsby and Natalie Laurie, directors

Jack Loh: Canton Folk Song Suite

Bob Baker (Squamish Nation): Eagle Song

Jodie Blackshaw: Vulnerable Joy

Roque Cordero: Spirit of Panama March

   — Intermission —

UC Davis Concert Band • Pete Nowlen, director

Roger Nixon: Mondavi Fanfare

Jinjun Lee: Sing

Worachat Kitrenu: Reun-Pae

Fanny Rose Howie: Hine e Hine

Antonio Gervasoni: Peruvian Fanfare No. 1

Joe Hisaishi: Studio Ghibli Anime March

Nubia Jaime-Donjuan: “Sajuaro” from the Little Mexican Suite

Sergei Prokofiev: March, op. 99

Jonathan B. Elkus: Go California

$12 Students and Children, $24 Adults (Open Seating) 

'The China Shop': Conversations between artists and scientists

Thursday, May 30, 4:30 p.m., the Manetti Shrem Museum

The China Shop (Courtesy, UC Davis Department of Art)
(Courtesy, UC Davis Department of Art)

The China Shop is a two-year, faculty-led initiative that brings artists to UC Davis to work with scientists in their labs. Playing off the idea of “a bull in a china shop,” the project facilitates two artist-scientist pairings each year, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary conversations, giving rise to imaginative possibilities, and catalyzing innovative outcomes. Each residency spans approximately 10 weeks. In addition to the laboratory exchanges, the project hosts a moderated public presentation and discussion, where the participating artists and scientists engage with the audience, sharing insights into their collaboration, creative exchange and work in progress.

Re(Vision)interactive performance next week

May 31, June 1, June 2, Main Theater, Wright Hall 218, tickets from $5

Raissa Simpson and Hien Huynh in a previous UC Davis dance performance. (Huan Yu)
Raissa Simpson and Hien Huynh in a previous UC Davis dance performance. (Huan Yu)

"(Re)Vision” is an invitation to dream. At this moment where ecological, political, and systemic structures are colliding with violent force, revisioning is needed and necessary. Revisioning conjures new worlds through reorientation to the spaces and relationships with which we move. Revising requires us to experiment, take risks, and confront the limits of what we have in front of our eyes. This evening of movement and performance asks audiences to remain active in the call to see, and to move towards, what can be made anew by reframing what exists around us. 

Link to Theatre and Dance Tickets 

The 2024 Annual Art History Graduate Colloquium is next Friday

Friday, May 31, 3-6 p.m., the Manetti Shrem Museum, free

Learn about this year’s UC Davis Art History master’s degree candidates through the presentation of their thesis work. Lectures are followed by the 2024 Art History Undergraduate Awards and a light reception

Wanda Sykes: Please and Thank You Tour at Mondavi

Friday, May 31, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, the Mondavi Center

Wanda Sykes is an Emmy winning stand up comic, writer, actress and producer who has been entertaining audiences for over twenty yearsShe has ranked among Entertainment Weekly’s “25 Funniest People in America” and her peers have called her “one of the funniest stand-up comics” in the field.

Wanda Sykes (Courtesy, the Mondavi Center)
Wanda Sykes (Courtesy, the Mondavi Center)

In 2023 Wanda was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Nominations; Two for her Netflix special Wanda Sykes; I’m an Entertainer (her sixth stand-up special) and another for her role as ‘Gladys Murphy’ in Crank Yankers, a role she originated in 2004. In 2020, she received Emmy nominations for both her role as real-life comic ‘Moms Mabley’ in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and for her voice work as ‘Gladys Murphy’ in Crank Yankers. Wanda’s guest-starring role on ABC’s Black-ish also brought her two back-to-back Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” in 2017 and 2018. Her fifth standup special, Wanda Sykes: Not Normal, is streaming on Netflix and was nominated for two 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards; “Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special” and “Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special.” The special also received a Broadcast Critic Award nomination.

This event is currently at or near capacity. This is also a phone free event. Check back here for availability as inventory can change and click here to learn about phone free events.

'Kind of Obessed': Our favorite art social media this week

Our museums got a mention by an opera diva. Read on here. And here is the YouTube link to the talk she gave at a national museum conference. Everybody is talking about it...

Social media post with a UC Davis mention

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 Arts Blog Editor:  Karen Nikos-Rose, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu, 530-219-5472

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