A Note from The Directors:

Welcome to the first of its kind interdisciplinary course, “Technology for Live Performance.” Now in its third year, this year we were offered the amazing opportunity to be the first university to ever perform and serve as technicians in a Cirque du Soleil venue. Since we were presented with this unprecedented opportunity, this year the focus of the course has been solely on the mounting of a production specifically for this Cirque du Soleil venue, the Zumanity Theatre. This semester, the dancers have been working on creating original pieces that integrate technology and utilizing the space specific to the Zumanity Theatre, while the technicians have been preparing for the opportunity to serve as technicians on the production while being mentored by Cirque du Soleil professionals.  

Our one-of-a-kind educational partnership that includes both dance and technology with Cirque du Soleil began in 2011. Cirque du Soleil shares our vision for a progressive pedagogy that empowers students with the necessary skills to be successful innovative and collaborative artists. Together, we are committed to creating educational events that serve to promote collaboration among performers and technical students. Since its inception in 2011, our partnership has grown into multiple events and opportunities for our students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, and community. We have held four symposiums at Chapman and four private symposiums at the Cirque du Soleil Resident Shows Division headquarters and training facilities in Las Vegas, NV. This past fall, we produced our fourth symposium at Chapman University celebrating seven years of our one-of-a-kind educational partnership.  

We are so grateful to Cirque du Soleil for their continued partnership and support. To date, technical students have been awarded internships at: The Beatle’s LOVE at the Mirage; Zarkana at Aria; O at the Bellagio, Mystere at Treasure Island; their Resident Show Division headquarters in Las Vegas, NV; 14 dancers have been accepted into the Cirque du Soleil database for current shows and future creations; 2 dancers have received contracts to perform in the Beatle’s LOVE at the Mirage; Mike Lee, Technical Theatre ’13, has received a full-time contract with industry partner TAIT; Allison Burke, BA Dance ’14, has received a full-time contract and is currently dancing in the Beatle’s LOVE at the Mirage; and just recently, Sam Cantoria, BA Dance ’17, has been selected as the newest dancer for MJ ONE at Mandalay Bay. 

Our partnership and today’s showcase would not be possible without the vision in building the outreach program and supporting the development of our future technicians and artist for the industry from Matthew Nickel (General Manager Resident Show Division) and Kim Scott (Company Manager of KA). We cannot express the gratitude we have for them in our continued partnership and in helping us to produce this extraordinary event for our students. We would also like to give our sincere thanks to Yago Pita (Company Manager for Zumanity), Charles McCafferty (Operations Manager for Zumanity) and the entire Zumanity team of professionals for taking such great care and welcoming us into their beautiful theatre. Our tremendous heartfelt gratitude goes to all of the Cirque du Soleil professionals for sharing their knowledge, experience, and passion with our students.

Matthew Nickel                                General Manager Resident Show Division

Kim Scott                                         Company Manager KA

Yago Pita Alvarez                              Company Manager Zumanity

Charles McCafferty                           Operations Production Manager Zumanity

Sandi Croft                                       Artistic Director Zumanity

Robin Renken                                   Stage Manager

Matthew Sillett                                 Head of Carpentry

Nathan Michael                                Assistant Head of Carpentry

Robin Bond                                      Carpentry Technician

Doug Johnson                                   Carpentry Technician

David Cheetham                               Carpentry Technician

Seth Holder                                       Carpentry Technician

Dave Robertson                                 Head of Audio

Barry Mims                                        Lead Audio Technician

William Fegley                                   Audio Technician

Todd Toresdahl                                  Head of Automation

Joey Lewis                                          Assistant Head of Automation

Ed Conte                                           Automation Technician

Stephanie Weiss                                 Head of Lighting and Projection

Jorge Salomne                                    Lead Projection Technician

Jack Ricks                                          Head of Wardrobe

Roger Stricker                                    Wig and Makeup Supervisor

Allison Burke                                     Dancer for The Beatles LOVE


Sarah Davison                                    Head of Casting and Artistic Advisor for Resident Shows Casting for Cirque du Soleil


Thank you for joining us for an evening of original work created by a select group of innovative dance majors and entertainment technology students. Immediately following the performance, please join us for a post-show Q&A talkback with the Cirque du Soleil professionals including our very own Chapman alumna Allison Burke, featured dancer in The Beatle’s LOVE by Cirque du Soleil.

We hope you enjoy the show!


Alicia Guy and Don Guy



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