Creativity Unbound

UCSB’s fall season features an inspiring and diverse mix of artistic gems

Unveiling a treasure trove of entertainment this fall, UC Santa Barbara is showcasing a stellar selection of musicians, artists, singers, exhibits, film screenings and plays. The lineup features UCSB faculty, students, alumni and an array of special guests.

The Getty Initiative

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A Museum) opens the academic year with two new exhibitions affiliated with an initiative led by The Getty.

Known as Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the initiative is an ambitious exploration of Latin America and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Supported by grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA takes place from September to January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. The UCSB shows open in September and continue through Dec. 8.

“Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara” looks at religious objects crafted by Chumash Indians that incorporates sacred imagery of the Catholic Church during the California mission period, Gonzales said. Featuring about 100 objects from several collections, the exhibition is being presented at two venues — AD&A Museum and Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De La Guerra St. in Santa Barbara.

“The Schoolhouse and the Bus” focuses on overlapping themes of immigration, pedagogy, race, violence, memory and social organizing. Curated by Elyse A. Gonzales, the museum’s assistant director and curator of exhibitions, and Sara Reisman, artistic director of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the exhibition pairs the works of Suzanne Lacy, a Los Angeles visual artist and writer who emphasizes social engagement, and Pablo Helguera, a Mexican artist who represents the next generation of social practice artists influenced by Lacy’s works, writings and teachings. 

The opening reception for both shows is Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday until 8 p.m. Admission is free. More information about the exhibitions is available at

‘Masterworks of Schubert’

The Department of Music will showcase faculty, students and UCSB choirs this season, beginning with professor Paul Berkowitz, who will play three piano sonatas of Franz Schubert Sunday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. at Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road in Santa Barbara. Tickets are $15, but discounts are available at UCSB students and children are admitted free. 

“These three late great, spiritual masterworks of Schubert, which he wrote during the last months of his short life before dying at 31, bring full circle my Schubert cycle, as they were the first works I recorded in 1984,” Berkowitz said. “This is the first time I will be playing all three sonatas in one recital.”   

Sunday, Nov. 12, faculty and students will be featured in the department showcase “Montage,” with classical, jazz and cotemporary music. Performers include Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano), Jill Felber (flute), Gabrielle Castriotta (oboe), Jonathan Moerschel (viola), Jennifer Kloetzel (cello), Robert Koenig (piano) and Grey Brothers conducting the UCSB Chamber Choir. The show is at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St. in Santa Barbara. 

Heading into the holidays, Victor Bell will direct the UCSB Gospel Choir in a fall concert, featuring songs drawn from African American religious traditions Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Founded over 25 years ago, the choir, whose repertoire draws from African-American religious traditions, has appeared on several TV shows, including “The Steve Harvey Show,” “American Housewives” and Cedric the Entertainer’s “The Soul Man.” UCSB students and children under 12 are admitted free. More information about musical performances is available at

‘Hollywood Berlin’ Series

Featuring five films produced between 1924 and 1979, the UCSB Carsey-Wolf Center’s “Hollywood Berlin” series showcases the work of prominent German directors with uncompromising perspectives — Werner Herzog, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, F.W. Murnau and Billy Wilder.

The series opens Thursday, Oct. 12, with Herzog’s film “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979) — a homage to the stylistically innovative film of the Weimar era, “Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens.” A discussion between Herzog and UCSB film and media studies professor Patrice Petro will follow the screening.

Other films in the series includes: “To Be or Not to Be,” Lubitsch’s 1942 anti-Nazi political satire, with Chapman University film scholar Emily Carman (Oct. 19); “The Last Laugh,” Murnau’s 1924 silent film about a kindly doorman demoted to bathroom attendant, with composer Michael Mortilla, providing live piano accompaniment and UCSB film and media professor Charles Wolf in the post-screening discussion (Oct. 26); and Lang’s 1936 crime drama, “Fury,” about a kidnapping that leads to mob violence, with guest is Eric Rentschler, a professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University (Nov. 2).

The series concludes Sunday, Nov. 19, with a 2 p.m. screening of “Some Like It Hot,” Wilder’s 1959 classic cross-dressing farce starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. David Mandel, executive producer of HBO’s “Veep,” will participate in a discussion with Petro.

Unless otherwise noted, the films will screen at 7 p.m. at UCSB’s Pollock Theater. In addition to the series, three diverse films will be presented: “Nostalgia For The Future” on Nov. 7; “Tempestad” on Nov. 9; and “National Bird” on Nov. 14. The events are free and open to the public, though ticketing should be reserved at to guarantee seating.

A King’s Demise

UC Santa Barbara’s performance group Naked Shakes returns in November to present Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear,” depicting the elderly king’s gradual descent to near madness. In this 90-minute adaption directed by Irwin Appel, two casts will alternate nightly to explore the story of a king igniting a chain reaction of chaos. The play will be in the Performing Arts Theater Nov. 4, 5, 10, 14, 15 and 19 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $12 to $22. 

Echoing “King Lear” in its themes of family, loss and power is another Appel-directed piece, “A View from the Bridge.” The Arthur Miller tragedy is set in the mid-1950s, in the Brooklyn dockworker community of Red Hook, where a gritty situation explodes in violence. Packaged together with “King Lear” as a unique repertory opportunity, “A View from the Bridge” will play in the Performing Arts Theater Nov. 3, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 16-18 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 5 and 19 at 2 p.m. The scheduling allows audience members to view one or both plays.

The Fall Dance Concert features exciting choreography of senior bachelor of fine arts dance students, who explore themes of suspense and immersion into the unknown, radical definition of femininity, and perceptions of freedom and incarceration. Fall Dance offers a collaborative space for choreographers and designers, showcasing their creative interdisciplinary talent. Directed by Christina McCarthy, the performances will be in the Hatlen Theater Dec. 7, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.        

The Department of Theater and Dance is introducing assigned seating in the Hatlen Theater, as well as two seating tiers (blue and gold) in all venues. Advance tickets for blue seating are $12 for students, faculty, staff, alumni, seniors and children; and general admission tickets are $16. On the day of the show, prices are $15 and $20, respectively. An additional $1 box office fee is applied to all tickets. More information about is available at

Santa Barbara Firsts

UC Santa Barbara’s Arts & Lectures presents critically acclaimed concerts, dance performances by renowned artists, talks by groundbreaking authors and other acts at UCSB and Santa Barbara venues.

Friday, Oct. 6, Bill Murray will present an evening of music and literature with Jan Vogler & Friends. “New Worlds” features the actor and comedian reading classic poetry and prose with accompaniment by German cellist Vogler, violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez. The Santa Barbara performance, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., is one of only a few live appearances before the tour closes at Carnegie Hall.

With legendary conductor Zubin Mehta, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will make its Santa Barbara debut on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St. Mehta will retire from his role with the orchestra in 2019 — 50 years after his debut. Founded in 1936, the orchestra’s program features masterpieces by Mozart and Schubert.

Samantha Bee — host of the late-night satirical news show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” — will make her Santa Barbara debut in a conversation with award-winning journalist Starshine Roshell. “An Evening with Samantha Bee” will be held Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre.

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