I & You Invited to Perform at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Concordia University Irvine’s Theatre department was pleased to be invited to have their production of I & You be performed at this year's Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 8 in Downtown Los Angeles. The festival brings together students and faculty from Arizona, Central and Southern California, Hawaii, Southern Nevada, Utah, and Guam to perform and participate in a number of workshops, seminars, and productions. Concordia’s Theatre department was honored to be one of the few productions selected to perform a full length show at the festival.

Guest Artists

We consistently bring in artists from the theatre profession to work with our students on productions and to give workshops and lectures regarding the industry. Below is a list of artists who have worked with us recently:

Curt Tofteland

On campus in March 2015, Curt gave a short talk after a screening of the film Shakespeare Behind Bars and gave a workshop on Shakespearean acting.


Curt Tofteland – Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Shakespeare Behind Bars - Curt is the Founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars (SBB) program, now in its 21st year of continuous operation. From 1995-2008, Curt facilitated the SBB program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky. During his thirteen year tenure, Curt produced and directed fourteen Shakespeare productions. Several participants in the SBB/KY program have garnered multiple Pen Literary Prison Writing Awards.

During the 2003 SBB production of The Tempest, Philomath Films chronicled the process in a documentary that premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and forty+ film festivals around the world winning a total of eleven film awards. You can see information about the film here: www.shakespearebehindbars.org/documentary/

Curt has delivered four TEDx Talks. In 2013, at TEDx Berkeley, on the subject of building circles-of-trust; in 2012, at TEDx Macatawa (Holland, MI) on the subject of revenge and mercy; and in 2010, at TEDx East (New York City), on the subject of shame; and TEDx Muskegon (Muskegon, MI) on the subject of living in the rub between light and darkness.

Curt is the recipient of three distinctive fellowships, two from the Fulbright Foundation and one from the Petra Foundation, for his work as a prison arts practitioner using Shakespeare in corrections. Curt is the Executive Producer of Prospero’s Prison, a film by Tom Magill, an award-winning Northern Ireland filmmaker and founder of Educational Shakespeare Company.

From 1989 to 2008, he was the Producing Artistic Director of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. As a professional director and an Equity actor, he has 200+ professional productions to his credit. Curt is a founding member and past president of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, an international service organization for theaters which produce the works of William Shakespeare. He received the 2016 Sidney Berger Award.

Curt is the recipient of a number of prestigious honors and awards including a Doctor of Humanities from Oakland University, Doctor of Humane Letters from Bellarmine University, an Al Smith Fellowship in playwriting from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Sidney Berger Award from the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Fleur-de-lis Award from the Louisville Forum, the Mildred A. Dougherty Award from the Greater Louisville English Council, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota.

Christopher Scott Murillo

Christopher designed the scenery and costumes for Concordia’s production of The 39 Steps in March of 2015.


Christopher Scott Murillo – Scenic and Costume Designer, Set Decorator – Christopher is a professional scenic designer, costume designer, set decorator, and educator. He is a recipient of the Chataqua Fellowship in Design, and is a multiple nominee for both Ovation and Garland awards.

His scenic designs include Spring Awakening at Deaf Theatre West; Hair, The Who’s Tommy, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, Lysistrata Jones, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Dogfight, Evita, and Merrily We Roll Along for the Chance Theater; Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years, Oklahoma!, and Big River for New Village Arts Theater; Forever Plaid, Doubt, A Walk in the Woods, and Heir Apparent for International City Theatre among others. He has also served as assistant designer for productions of Spamalot and A Chorus Line at the Hollywood Bowl, Glengarry Glen Ross for La Jolla Playhouse, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at South Coast Repertory, Love’s Labours Lost, and The Three Sisters at the Chataqua Theatre Festival.

His costume designs include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatricum Botanicum, Spring Awakening for Deaf Theatre West, and A Bright New Boise, UP!, and The Seagull at the Chance Theater.

As a set decorator he has created multiple faux interiors for multiple reunion shows of The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, the set of Pawnography and the YouTube Pro Series and YouTube Fusion.

He has taught at Los Angeles City College, UC San Diego, Riverside City College, and California State – Los Angeles.

You can see Christopher Scott Murillo on the show Form Décor Design Challenge here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ERODJSsBLY and you can get a sense of the scope of his work on his website: http://www.christopherscottmurillo.com.

Deanna Jent

On Campus - October, 2013 – Deanna gave an acting workshop, held a Q & A, and gave a presentation “Living Out a Christian Vocation as a Playwright”


Deanna Jent – Playwright and Educator - Deanna Jent is a Professor of Theatre at Fontbonne University, where she has taught and directed shows since the fall of 1995. Deanna has been nominated five times for the Kevin Kline “Best Director” award and won the Kline Award (in St. Louis) for Best Production of 2007 for Standing on My Knees. In addition, three productions she directed (The Chosen, Going to See the Elephant and Women’s Minyan) have won the Kline award for “Best Ensemble”.

Deanna has directed at professional theatres throughout St. Louis, including the New Jewish Theatre, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Touring Company, The Orange Girls, ACT Inc., Stray Dog Theatre, and St. Louis Shakespeare. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from Northwestern University.

She is a playwright and former editor of Christianity and Theatre magazine. Deanna founded Mustard Seed Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri in the fall of 2007. As a playwright she wrote Falling (produced Off-Broadway and at Concordia in November, 2013) which garnered three Drama Desk nominations and was published by Dramatists Play Service – read about Falling here - http://www.autismafter16.com/article/11-14-2012/falling-interview-playwright-deanna-jent

She has also made adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Imaginary Jesus, and C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces (produced at Concordia in November, 2012). She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University, and serves on the board of directors of Christians in Theatre Arts, an arts networking organization.

Steve Giltner

Steve has designed lights for Concordia University on many productions including Songs for a New World, Still Life With Iris, and Ten Days in a Madhouse. In November 2014 he gave a talk about his work to our students.


Steve Giltner – Lighting Designer - Steve is the president an lead designer for Streetlite LLC., and has designed lighting for multiple live events, television and theatre productions. A short list of his work includes:

  • Live Events – The Grammy Music Preservation Benefit Concert, Hit Record Fall Formal, and concert lighting for Yoko Ono and the Plastic One Band.

  • Television – IGN Live Conference Special at E3, IGN Live Conference at Comic Con

  • Theatre – Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Chance Theater, Chicago, Art, and Over the River and Through the Woods for Torrance Theatre Company, Sweet Charity, The King and I, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Full Monty, Sweeny Todd, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas for Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre.

You can learn more about Steve’s design work at: http://www.stevegdesign.co/

Carin Jacobs

Carin has designed costumes for Looseleaf Theatre Company productions of Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] as well as the CUI production of The Brothers Menaechmus.


Carin Jacobs – Costume Designer - Carin Jacobs has been designing costumes around the OC/LA area for 15 years. Her work can be seen in many genres including theatre, film, live stage shows and professional cheerleading. Projects include; Arizona Cardinals Cheerleading uniforms (seen at the 2009 Superbowl), Operation Spy Girl stunt show for Six Flags Chicago, and the feature film Saving Lincoln. A highlight of her career was having the opportunity to work with Julie Taymor and the creative costume design team on “The Lion King in Los Angeles. In addition to her freelance design work, Carin also teaches costume history and design at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and California State University, Dominguez Hills.

She holds a B.A. in Art History from UCLA and an M.F.A. in Theatre from Cal State Long Beach.

Visit her website at www.CarinJacobsCostumeDesign.com

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