Theater Chair J.Ed Araiza (center) teaching the Suzuki Method of Actor Training to students in China in 2019.
A Chat with the Theater Chair
In the summers before the pandemic, UCLA TFT Theater Professor J.Ed Araiza routinely traveled all over the world training students, in association with the New York-based SITI Company,in the Suzuki and Viewpoints actor training methods. He taught remotely this past June (and the one before it), and in the process, learned something himself: The value of using technology to reach students who might not otherwise be able to attend, both locally and abroad. Now, even as classes at UCLA TFT resume in person, it’s one of the things he wants to incorporate into the Department of Theater's own summer programs in his new role as department chair.
Actress Merrin Dungey (BA ’93) has been in scores of TV series playing everything from "the best friend" to villains to a whole lot of detectives. As the new school year begins, UCLA TFT’s orientation alumna honoree weighs in on making it in Hollywood.
Before she was a UCLA TFT graduate filmmaker, Zahida Pirani was a community organizer in New York advocating for immigrant and worker rights. Now the Princess Grace Award winner tells the stories of those whose voices are not often heard.
Theater Professor Sylvan Oswald contemplates the question "How do we begin?" during the Monday, Oct. 4 installment of this year's 10 Questions series, "If Not Now, When?" hosted by the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.
GO ARTS UCLA
Check out UCLA's artistic offerings on the Go Arts UCLA website, which offers one-stop shopping for information about upcoming screenings, exhibitions, workshops and talks, in person and online.
Netflix's "Naomi Osaka"
IN THE NEWS
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, from writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour (MFA ’10) and The Card Counter from writer-director Paul Schrader (MA ’70) had their premieres at the Venice International Film Festival; Professor Gina Kim's VR project Tearlesshad a special screening there.
Dustin Lance Black (BA ’96) is the writer and executive producer of the upcoming FX limited series Under the Banner of Heaven.
Samantha Sheppard (MA ’09, Ph.D. ’14) has been named a 2021 Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Olly Sholotan (BA ’19) has landed the role of Carlton Banks in Peacock's upcoming series Bel-Air, a dramatic version of the ’90s hit comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Wynn Padula (MFA ’07) passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 15. He was finishing production on his latest documentary, Dog Walk Home, at the time of his death. He leaves behind his wife Carey and their three-month old daughter Diana. A fund has been set up in Padula’s name.
Actor Jay Pickett (MFA ’87), who had roles in the soap operas General Hospital and Port Charles, passed away on July 30. He was 60. As reported by Deadline, he was on location in Idaho shooting the film Treasure Valley when he died.
Rosalee Sass, a UCLA graduate and former director of development at UCLA TFT, passed away on July 21 in Los Angeles from complications related to Parkinson's disease. A lifelong Los Angeles resident, she worked at TFT for 30 years where she was a powerful presence whoalways championed students and their contributions to the performing arts. When she retired in 2006, she established a UCLA student scholarship in her name that recognizes outstanding artistic merit. She is survived by her husband, daughter and brother.