By Gianmaria Franchini

UCSC Theater Arts

The theater arts program’s 2007-2008 season approaches a dramatic conclusion with a mixture of student- and faculty-directed works. UC Santa Cruz expatriate Sommer Ulrickson returns from Berlin for a homecoming of sorts to direct the Faculty Dance Show.

Student-directed “Corpus Christi” is a modernized take on parts of the Gospels: it replaces the Bethlehem barn and manger with a ramshackle Corpus Christi, Texas motel, and unfolds with Joshua (a thinly-veiled Jesus) and his Apostles as gay men. Playwright Terrence Mcnally interprets Judas’ betrayal as a manifestation of sexual jealousy, and includes an administration of marriage between two men. There was so much controversy surrounding this play that its author received death threats.

Chautauqua, the display of strictly student talent named after a turn-of-the-century grassroots education and entertainment movement, will put on eight productions. “Milk” chronicles the life of Harvey Milk murderer Dan White, and “Stiff” is a morbidly bent musical about a protagonist surrounded by death.

Faculty Dance Show: May 29 – June 1. 7 p.m. (Sundays at 3 p.m.) Mainstage Theater.

“Corpus Christi”: May 9-11 and May 15-18, 7 p.m. (Sundays at 3 p.m.) Experimental Theater.

Chautauqua: May 15-18, 22-25, and May 29 – June 1. 7 p.m. at a number of stages.

*Sesnon Art Gallery: “Interruption of Hierarchies”*<br/>As part of the “Intervene! Interrupt! Rethinking Art as a Social Practice” festival hosted by UCSC, the “Interruption of Hierarchies” exhibition has been planned for some time. This festival, probably the premiere visual arts event on campus, manifests far-reaching collaboration: it is sponsored by Porter College, the art department, the Arts Division, the Charles Griffin Farr Fund and the Center for Art and Visual Studies (CAVS) “Museum Without Walls” project. The exhibit features work by 10 artists in a number of media, and like the festival, seeks to engage its artistic audience in ironic and unexpected associations that break assumptions and systems of hierarchies. The gallery at Porter College will be turned into a “lounge,” complete with an art-bar, sofas, and a digital library to stimulate contemplation.

*Exhibition: April 16 – May 17*<br/>_Opening Reception: Next Wednesday, April 16, 5 p.m._<br/>Festival: runs in Santa Cruz May 16-18. For more information visit www.may2008.artintervention.org.

*UCSC Arts and Lectures, The Romeros*<br/>_Tomorrow, April 11, 8 p.m. UCSC Recital Hall. _<br/>Powerhouse classical guitar quartet The Romeros have three generations of unparalleled musical talent running through their veins: they are a veritable dynasty in the quartet form. The group’s progenitor, Celedenio Romero, who passed away in 1996, was knighted into the “Orden de Isabel la Católica” by Juan Carlos I of Spain, and “Caballero del Santo Sepuclre” by Pope John Paul II. Sons and current members Pepe and Celin have received similar honors – they truly are “The Royal Family of the Guitar.”

*Scott Simon*<br/>_April 21, 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel, Santa Cruz._<br/>Former NPR “Weekend Edition Saturday” host Scott Simon has a rich career in journalism that spans four decades, but he is coming to Santa Cruz to talk about fiction. His presentation at the Rio Theatre, called “Leaping from Journalism into Fiction: Making it Up is Hard,” will focus on his new political murder mystery, “Windy City.” Apparently, it’s more difficult to invent stories than to simply report on them.

*Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival*<br/>_April 5-29, Music Center Recital Hall_<br/>The music department’s celebration of new music is a collaboration between world-class female composers, noted local ones and UCSC faculty and graduate students. The festival, which runs through April 29, is very much an international affair: a concert of traditional Korean “story-singing” called P’ansori will be presented by singer Chan E. Park on April 16; and Gamelan (an Indonesian music ensemble) pieces for Western instruments will feature New York composer Daniel Goode and West Javanese composer Nano S. For something a little closer to home, the “Newest Music from UCSC” will feature world premiers from university musicians on April 23.