CSULB Theatre Arts Department Presents The Raven

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The CSULB Theatre Arts Department is excited to present The Raven, devised and directed by Theatre Arts student Lizzy Ferdinandi and inspired by the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The show will be performed November 22 through December 8 in the Studio Theatre. The Raven is a visually stunning and emotionally provocative movement-based performance piece that offers a hip contemporary perspective on a classic.

The Raven marks the first time an undergraduate student has devised and directed a production for the CSULB Mainstage season. Ferdinandi originally devoloped the piece as part of the Showcase class series last Spring. The production received rave reviews from faculty and other students, and it was quickly decided that The Raven, under Ferdinandi’s promising direction, would make the perfect addition to the Theatre Arts department’s upcoming season. This talented young director has relished the opportunity to “expand and really specify” her vision for what promises to be an intriguing and successful production.

Working with an exceptional cast of undergraduate dancers and actors, Ferdinandi’s The Raven both honors and analyzes the poem’s original text, exploring relevant themes such as fate, love, and grief. Ferdinandi feels that the use of movement and dance strengthens this aim, stating that there is “something very interesting about telling the story without words, using only physical expression.” The movement in the piece is supported by a musical arc that allows for melodic, nonverbal storytelling, and Ferdinandi expects that the elements of the performance will come together to create a production that will inspire the audience towards a powerful emotional experience: “Everyone experiences grief, everyone suffers loss…these are emotions that everyone understands.”

Lizzy Ferdinandi is in the final semester of her Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts at CSULB. She has a strong background in dance, beginning at three years of age, and has extensive experience in ballet, tap, and jazz. She is very involved in the Theatre Arts department, and has previously directed three student Showcase productions – Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, The Mercy Seat, and the original production of The Raven.

The Raven opens Friday, November 22, and runs for 9 performances, closing on Sunday, December 8. Performances are November 22 and 23, and December 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, all at 8pm. There are also 2pm matinee performances on December 7 and 8. This production is in the Studio Theatre on the CSULB South Campus, accessible via West Campus Drive. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students (with valid ID). Parking is available next to the theater for $5. For tickets and information, please call (562) 985-5526 or visit www.csulb.edu/depts/theatre.

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