Dr. Joanne Gordon, CSULB Theatre Arts Department Chair, to Retire

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Dr. Joanne Gordon, Artistic Director of California Repertory Company and Chair of the California State University, Long Beach Theatre Arts Department, will retire at the end of academic year 2012-2013 after 25 years of service in the department, including nine as department chair.

During her years at CSU, Long Beach, Dr. Gordon has directed hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students in an array of plays, musicals, and original works, including two adaptations for the stage of the poetry of Charles Bukowski. Gordon’s professional accolades include five Drama-Logue Awards, a Los Angeles Critics Choice Award and being named “Best of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times. Her adaptation and production of Love, Bukowski was nominated for several awards by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, which also conferred on Cal Rep the Polly Warfield Award. The crowning achievement of her time at Cal Rep was last fall’s Bukowski-Sondheim: A Work in Progress, an original compilation of poetry by Charles Bukowski and songs by Stephen Sondheim. Her final production as Artistic Director is Spring Awakening, running March 15-30 in the Studio Theatre on CSULB campus.

On March 24, the CSULB Theatre Arts Department will celebrate Gordon’s career with JoGo A GoGo, a raucous retirement fete and roast. The evening begins with appetizers and open bar at 5pm, followed by alumni performances of the greatest hits from Dr. Gordon’s productions and a roast of the woman of honor by former and current students and colleagues. Tickets are $25 for general admission with bar access during cocktail hour. “Designated Driver” tickets with no bar access are $15. Benefactor and Host level tickets which include a tax-deductible donation are also available. Proceeds from JoGo A GoGo support Theatre Arts student scholarships. Parking for the event is free next to the Theatre Arts building. For more info about this wild night of spectacular performances, old friends, and good times, please call (562) 985-4500.

JoGo A GoGo will also honor two CSULB Theatre Arts alumni, Jason Rogel and Maria Mayenzet. Rogel earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts CSULB and also studied at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. Since graduation, he has appeared in commercials, films, television, and numerous local theatre productions. He currently has a recurring role on new MTV show Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous. Maria Mayenzet holds an MFA in Acting from CSULB. She is a professor of theatre at CSULB and Saddleback College and a professional acting coach. Her favorite theatre roles include Frida in Cal Rep’s Dreams of a Sunday Afternoon, Nurse Edna in Cider House Rules, Calista in The Fair Penitent at L.A.T.C and the title role in Tamara.

For tickets and information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit www.calrep.org.

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