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Center for the Art of Performance set to open its premiere season

By Jessica Wolf

Published Aug 14, 2012 8:00 AM


Eugene Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" in September marks the return of international theater to UCLA.

Anticipation over next month’s launch of the first season for the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA is building. And the "cherry" on top of this delectable chocolate sundae of theater, music, spoken word and dance is a discount on tickets for faculty and staff for most performances.

Tickets are now on sale for all events being offered for 2012-13 by the Center for the Art of Performance (now CAP UCLA, but formerly known as UCLA Live). UCLA faculty and staff may purchase tickets at a 15% discount for all eligible shows directly from the UCLA Central Ticket Office.

The 2012-2013 CAP UCLA season kicks off with the return of international theater to campus in the U.S. premiere of Théâtre de la Ville-Paris: "Rhinoceros" (Sept. 21-22). This re-staging of Eugene Ionesco’s iconic work, with themes of protest and anti-conformity, is a gripping example of the Theatre of the Absurd era. Performers will participate in a post-show discussion on opening night and interact with students from the School of Theater, Film and Television as the actors gear up for a U.S. tour.

Other theater productions include the return of London’s acclaimed Cheek by Jowl company, performing a classic English text — John Ford’s "’Tis Pity She’s a Whore" — with the signature contemporary context for which the company is known. Australia’s critically lauded Back to Back Theatre brings a unique original production to the West Coast for the first time with "Ganesh Versus the Third Reich," a poignant, self-reflective look at cultural appropriation and the process of making art, brought to life by performers with disabilities. And the highly theatrical, tongue-in-cheek, musical and acrobatic non-animal troupe from Australia, Circus Oz, comes to Los Angeles for the first time since the 1984 Olympic opening ceremony, turning Royce Hall into a big top with an all-new production, "From the Ground Up."

October 5-6 is the West Coast premiere of Akram Khan’s "Vertical Road." This is the dance work that inspired Danny Boyle to invite modern dance superstar Khan to be part of this year’s Olympic Games opening ceremony in London. "Vertical Road" is a compelling and meditative piece inspired by the poetry of Rumi.

The new name, new look and 2012-2013 season lineup of CAP UCLA coincide with the 75th anniversary of the presence of a public performing-arts presenter on campus. The center’s reinvigorated approach includes making UCLA a creative habitat for artists through new residency and fellow initiatives, and instigating inquiry and dialogue through an expanded array of enriching activities tied to the season performances.

CAP UCLA’s first artist fellow Laurie Anderson visited campus over the summer to plan for her three-year involvement with the program, which begins with the presentation of her newest solo work, "Dirtday!" Oct. 26 and will expand to include multiple intersections between Anderson’s unique performance and visual art aesthetic and the UCLA campus and Los Angeles community.

"Our greatest contribution to our campus and extended audience is our capacity to deepen the contexts that surround every great artist in our season, so that audiences have a stronger fix on the multifarious ways that live performance can elevate contemporary culture, and inspire us in our own lives," said Kristy Edmunds, artistic and executive director of CAP UCLA.

The center is actively involved in collaborating with several campus entities and will announce additional activities and events tied to programming as the season progresses.

CAP UCLA is branching out of Royce Hall this academic year. Most theater performances will be held in Freud Playhouse, including a world premiere of Meredith Monk’s latest vocal work and the Los Angeles debut of Miranda July’s unique audience-participation, spoken-word work, "The Auction."


The Anonymous 4 will give a free all-acoustic performance in the Powell Library Rotunda for the campus community.

On Nov. 30, the center will present a free event for the UCLA community in the Powell Library Rotunda with an all-acoustic performance of "love fail," written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang for renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4. The fully produced performance of this all-new work follows Dec.1 in Royce Hall. Space is limited for the Powell Library event and will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

As part of CAP UCLA’s first extensive artist retrospective, which this season honors postmodern dance icon Trisha Brown, the center will present Brown’s "Astral Converted" April 4, 2013, in an open-air performance at Sunset Canyon Amphitheater. The piece features a mobile stage structure designed by Robert Rauschenberg that houses all music and lighting and allows the work to be seen in alternative performance spaces.

Also part of The Retrospective Project will be a series of free performances the first week of August, 2013, at the Hammer Museum of Brown’s unique installation work, "Floor of the Forest." Members of the company will train UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures dance students to perform this example of Brown’s approach to movement.

The 2012-2013 season also offers a full spectrum of music, including jazz from up-and-comers Robert Glasper and Vijay Iyer, performing in multiple configurations, as well as the venerated Ron Carter. Folk greats Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle make appearances, and Robert Randolph brings his rousing collaboration with the Slide Brothers to L.A. for the first time. And CAP UCLA is the first Los Angeles home of the annual McGarrigle-Wainwright family Christmas concert tradition. Indie-music darlings Rufus and Martha Wainwright and a host of their talented family and friends will light up Royce Hall in two Christmas-themed performances Dec. 20-22.

To keep up with the fast-moving season, go to