College of Arts & Letters
G. Shizuko Herrera
Office: MUS 237
I fell into teaching Stagecraft when I accepted a part time position for Los Angeles Community college in 1981. The following semester I was offered a full time position at East Los Angeles College. I was one of two full time faculty and I taught all the technical courses. After three years I was transferred back to LACC which had a much larger program and I did predominately Costume Design and Costume Craft classes and an occasional Scenic and Lighting Design. I also taught Costume History and Introduction to Theatre courses. During this seven year period I began to do a number of outside Film, Video, and Equity Waiver productions and I continue this as part of my Professional Achievements. All of these jobs were acquired through networking with friends and college classmates who were now working in the industry. At this time I also began a relationship with the East West Players, the oldest Asian/Pacific Theatre company in the nation and was privileged to be asked to design the opening production of Pacific Overtures for the opening of their equity theatre - The David Henry Hwang Theatre.
Since coming to CalstateLA, I have taught a number of the technical courses such as Stagecraft, Design, Theatrical Makeup, Stage Management, and Production Support courses as well as served as the Coordinator for the department's Introduction to Theatre and Dance course. I have also taught a number of the Freshmen Introduction to Higher Education courses and the Transfer student course Transition to CSLA for the College of Arts & Letters and General Education courses.
A number of the technical courses that I teach for the Department are required for the Major and all Options. Although the majority of our students are Performance Oriented these courses offer them knowledge and skills that many of them come to appreciate later in life when they begin their professional careers. The opportunities for my technical students - since there are fewer of them then the performance based students - are huge. I would hope that all my students will come to appreciate these challenges of learning organizational skills, working in a collaborative environment, and completing a task for lifelong learning.
I am considered a "Scenographer," who is one that can cover multiple production areas of design, such as: Scenery, Lighting, and Costumes. My other area of interest is in Educational Technical Direction, which oversees all these areas and does other production duties such as Stage Management, Front of House Management, and Production Management. Here I am able to assist in the development of student designers and managers. I am also a design respondent to college productions with Student Designers and I am currently serving as one of the Circuit Design Coordinators for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival association in the Southern California Region. I have also directed a few productions here at CSULA - Roshomon, Phillip Kan Gotanda's The Dream of Kitamura and Israel Horwitz's The Primary English Class, which I adapted to reflect the languages heard at CSULA - English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Hindi. I hope to direct again when the right project comes along. I have Supervisored/ Designed/ Stagemanaged numerous productions at CSULA - some notables shows are: A Song of Rice, A Song of Life; La Vida a Sueno; The Lady Aoi/The Damask Drum; R& J; The Inspector General; Panorama desde Puente; Paint Your Wagon; Bent, and Sweeney Todd. A new area of interest is Lighting for film and video and improving my CADD skills.
Representative Professional Activities
BA Theatre 1979
Los Angeles, CA
MA Theatre 1991
Los Angeles, CA
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