CSU Summer Arts prepares for 11th year at Fresno State

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CSU Summer Arts prepares for 11th year at Fresno State

CSU Summer Arts, a performance and education program hosted at California State University, Fresno the past 10 years, plans an ambitious 2009 program encompassing visual arts, dance, creative writing, theater, music and improvisational comedy.

CSU Summer Arts, which begins June 28 and concludes July 25, is composed of two-week courses taught by guest artists, who also offer public performances, most on the Fresno State campus and all at low admission prices ($7-$25).

Each course ends with student culminations – performances and exhibits that are free to the public.

This year’s artists include the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, film animator Chuck Harvey, authors Robert Glück, Rebecca Brown and Lance Olson, dance’s Joe Goode Performance Group and Deborah Hay and photographer Tony Sweet.

Teaching the Chicago style of comedy made popular by such groups as Second City and Steppenwolf – both CSU Summer Arts session guest artists – will be David Razowsky, James Grace, Irene White, Eric Hunicutt and Jenn Winters. A special attraction is a performance June 18 in the John Wright Theatre of Dasariski, a Los Angeles-based long-form improv group, whose members also will work with students.

Music plays a big role in the CSU Summer Arts program as always, with Eliot Fisk, James Smith, James Walker, Alma Nova, Michelle Lewis, the Refugees and Jimmy Varner among the accomplished faculty. Performances also are scheduled by the Alexander, Afiara and Hausmann string quartets.

The Joe Goode Performance Group kicks off the program at 7 p.m. June 28 in the John Wright Theatre with a central San Joaquin Valley premiere of “Wonderboy.” It’s a dance-theater collaboration among the Bay Area-based modern dance group, puppet designer Basil Twist and Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, composers and musicians.

CSU Summer Arts is organized by California State University and is open to students of all abilities statewide. It is in its 24th summer and will stay at Fresno State at least through 2011, the university’s centennial year.

Information about enrollment and tickets for the public performances is available at www.csusummerarts.org.