April 25, 2024 - The CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) end of the semester extravaganza formerly known as “Arts Under the Stars” is now “Project CI.” It is indoors and incredible, according to the co-directors.

“We’ve moved inside because our students are wanting to do more technically demanding themes theatrically,” explained Performing Arts Chair and Associate Professor of Performing Arts/Dance Heather Castillo. “Instead of our usual big Coachella festival, it’s a more succinct and curated performance of some of the best performers and artists on our campus.”

Performances will be May 2, 3 and 4 at 8 p.m. with an extra show at 10 a.m. Friday May 3 in an effort to make the show more accessible to senior citizens and younger students.

“This will be a multimedia spectacle using animation, art, dance and theater,” Castillo said. “With the technological tools we have in our hands, students are learning to collaborate and create pieces with various media, video backdrops, dancers, actors, animation and writers who are coming up with scripts to integrate everything,” Castillo said.

Rather than two hours plus of outdoor entertainment, Project CI is a tight, 90-minute performance with no intermission. It will be staged inside Malibu Hall, which has been transformed into a “state of the art theatrical canvas allowing students to present their creativity,” Castillo said.

Castillo co-directed "Project CI" with Cameron Harris, an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Performing Arts. Using his skills in film, Harris has incorporated snippets of film showcasing CSUCI campus life—both on campus and studying abroad—into the presentation.

“I strongly believe in the importance of highlighting all our students, faculty, and staff members through these short videos during the performance,” Harris said. “It showcases the campus and its diversity and various disciplines, but also promotes the value of travel and studying abroad, encouraging students to explore these opportunities through partnerships with our study abroad office.”

Various campus dance groups will perform, including Folklorico and jazz classes, the CSUCI Cheer Club, the CSUCI Ballet Club and the CSUCI K-pop group called the KakePops.

The theme of show is “systems,” Castillo explained, featuring presentations with titles like “Leave a Message” and “Serious Business,” which looks at our relationship with voicemails that ping pong the caller back and forth, and business systems in corporate America.

“Our initial thought was to examine how our systems fit into our lives,” Castillo said. “Ecosystems, financial systems, systems of hierarchy. How do these systems shape our lives for better or worse?”

This is a banner year for the Performing Arts program, Castillo said, as this is the first year that Performing Arts has offered three separate Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1) Theatre and Performance Studies, 2) Dance Studies and 3) Music.

The Dance Studies program will highlight the synthesis and community involved in adaptive dance with a piece featuring Dance Studies minor Sarah Ysordia, who is deaf/blind.

“Because Sarah navigates the world through feel and touch, she is an exquisite dancer as many of us can never be,” Castillo said.

Tickets are free to any student of any age in Ventura County, free to CSUCI students, faculty and staff, and $15 for the general public.

“This group of students is demonstrating how we can work together to build a better world through the arts,” Castillo said. “If you are looking for some joy in what is right in this world, come spend 90 minutes with us.”

To reserve tickets, visit: Project CI Tickets.

The University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs, events and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the respective area below as soon as possible, but no later than seven (7) business days prior to the event/activity:

CSUCI Students

CSUCI Employees and Members of the Public

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