MiraCosta College News Central

Arts Are Thriving at MiraCosta College, with More to Come

The best is yet to come. That’s the message from MiraCosta College’s Art, Dance, Theatre, and Film programs, which wrapped up a successful 2017-18 program that included multiple exhibits at the Kruglak Gallery, orchestra and choir performances at the California Center for the Arts, another DownBeat Magazine award for the Jazz Ensemble, and participation in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. But wait. There’s more.

Among the highlights coming up this summer:

- The Actor’s Academy. This five-week, conservatory-style program focuses on classical actor training and will culminate with a presentation of the Shakespeare classic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream – but set in modern day New York. The show is free to attend, and performances are scheduled for July 11 and 12 at the MiraCosta College Theatre. Curtain time is 7 p.m. The play will be approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.​

- The Summer Dance Intensive. This is the fourth year of the Summer Dance Intensive at MiraCosta College, and it is better than ever. This transformative dance experience is developed for pre-professional dancers ages 16 and up. Dancers are taught by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, and students are invited by audition only. Brett Easterling, Sadie Weinberg & Teresa Jankovic, Melissa Adao, and MADBOOTS DANCE are all a part of this year’s program.

- Dance Explosion 2018. The summer dance concert, Dance Explosion, is a culmination of the MiraCosta College Summer Dance Intensive. Premiering in this concert is a work by MADBOOTS DANCE, one of the visiting guest artists. Performances are set for July 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre Building on the Oceanside Campus. General Admission tickets are $15 each, tickets for seniors are $12, and tickets for students are $10. Please call the box office at 760.795.6815 for more information. 

Meanwhile, two former MiraCosta Theatre students and Actor's Academy graduates are cast in productions running simultaneously at The Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse this summer. Summer Spiro (class of 2010) is cast in The Squirrels at the La Jolla Playhouse, and Jose Balestrieri (class of 2015) is cast in Native Gardens at The Old Globe. 

Among the highlights from the just-completed 2017-18 academic year:


The Kruglak Gallery featured seven exhibits, including two comprising student work (one of which included approximately 250 pieces), one faculty exhibit, and four exhibits highlighting a variety of artists. The Blue Gate Gallery and other display spaces also showed a wide range of student work throughout the year.

Professor Yoshi Hayashi worked in collaboration with the Career Center to organize and facilitate a Careers in Art event on Feb. 14, which featured a panel of artists, curators, alumni and faculty from SDSU, the University of New Mexico, and MiraCosta College. Students spoke with representatives from local museums and other arts organizations who had informational tables. 

The department hosted a visiting artist, the internationally celebrated master ceramic sculptor Hiroshi Ikehata, who provided a series of workshops free to students from MiraCosta and elsewhere.


The fall and spring dance concerts, directed respectively by Professors Trisha Hanada-Rogers and Dave Massey, demonstrated the breadth of the dance programming, featuring ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, world, tap and other genres. Other highlights included, Physical Frequencies, which showcased the work of our student choreographers, and Dance Studio Hour, which invited audience into the studio to see works in progress.

Massey led the Dance Touring Ensemble to performances at Carlsbad High School, the San Dieguito Academy, Canyon Crest Academy, El Camino High School, and La Costa Canyon High School.

Massey also led a team of dancers to the American College National Dance Festival, where student Issa Hourani's choreographed piece, “A Bar in Jerusalem,” was selected as one of the 30 works to be performed at the national festival held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., from June 7 to 9. 


Off-campus performances included a concert at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido by the MiraCosta College Orchestra (directed by Branden Muresan) and choir (directed by Arlie Langager); the Frequency Vocal Jazz Ensemble (directed by Matt Falker) performed at the Cuesta College Vocal Jazz Festival; and the Columbia College Vocal Jazz Festival and the Point Loma Nazarene University Vocal Jazz Festival. Members of the choirs also performed in the honors choir at the American Choral Directors Association Western Division Conference, and in the Music Association for California Community College's Conference Choir.

The MiraCosta Oceanside Jazz Orchestra captured yet another Downbeat Student Music Award for Outstanding Performance, and the Frequency Ensemble for the first time also won a DownBeat award. These awards are given following a blind competition in which evaluators make their selection based purely on a review of audio recordings, and with no information about the ensembles they are listening to. 

The Frequency Ensemble was selected as a finalist to perform in the Monterey Jazz Festival. It was one of only six college choirs that were finalists to perform in what may be the nation's most famous jazz festival.

The music program hosted master classes, festivals, and concerts featuring an assortment of guest artists, including the internationally-chamber music superstars, the Kronos Quartet, 10-time Grammy winners the New York Voices, and one of the world's most sought-after trumpeters, Wayne Bergeron.

Theatre and Film:

The Theatre program once again demonstrated its depth and breadth, offering a wide range of materials. The production seasons included the early modern American play Waiting for Lefty; the classic American comedy, Heaven Can Wait; the musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; and a stage adaptation of Jane Austen's classic of English Literature, Sense and Sensibility. This summer they will be presenting Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  

The program annually sends approximately 16 students to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. This year, competing with peers from undergraduate and graduate programs throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, and Guam.

A MiraCosta College record four students made it to the semifinals in the Irene Ryan Scholarship acting competition, three of the students made it to the finalist stage (top 16), one student was selected to be a finalist in stage management, and one student earned the top award  for voice and diction – the VASTA Award.

The department also produced the second annual MiraCosta College Film Festival, directed by Professor Billy Gunn. The festival features all original work by MiraCosta College film students. The number of entries nearly doubled in the past year, and it is clear that this is almost certain to continue to grow, particularly after the film program introduces its new associate degree for transfer starting in fall 2018.