The MET/Disney Hall | Spotlight

CSULA stars shine at The MET, Disney Hall

Theatre alumnus lands Romeo role in The MET production

Acting, performing and dancing are “just in the genes,” said Frederik Hamel.

Frederik Hamel stars as Romeo, alongside Megan Goodchild as Juliet.

Hamel comes from a long line of artists and performers—his mother is an actress and dancer in the south of France, his father is a musician and his great grandfather was a painter.

In his own career, Hamel also graced the silver screen and stage with roles in numerous Shakespearean productions, the French film “Surface Sensible,” a television show, and regular tap dance performances at a wine bar in Glendale.

Hamel said that he was able to train and better hone the performance skills that came to him naturally—including dancing and acting–while pursing his master’s degree in theatre arts at Cal State L.A.

His recent acting endeavor as Romeo in the production of “Romeo and Juliet” at The MET Theatre in Hollywood, however, is his most prized role yet.

“This is a dream come true,” Hamel said. “I have wanted to play Romeo for years. He is the ultimate leading guy in Shakespeare.”

Hamel describes the production as being “authentic theater,” where the play is presented in the manner and time period in which it was originally written.

The production, directed by Shakespearean scholar Louis Fantasia and produced by Dog Under the Olive Tree, runs through April 5. For details, go to

Composition by music alumna premieres at Disney Hall

Hong Diep began her studies in music and dance at age 7, realizing a passion for rhythmic expression and movement.

After studying piano at the National Conservatory of Saigon, Vietnam, she went on to receive her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition at Cal State L.A.

Hong Diep in front of Disney Hall, located in downtown L.A.

“It was here at Cal State L.A. that I was able to refine my piano technique and cultivate a professional career in music composition—thanks to Professors Paul Van Ness and John M. Kennedy,” Diep said.

Adding to her extensive repertoire, Diep’s new work, “Kingdom in Memory,” premiered last weekend at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Program.

“It was fantastic to have my music performed by the Olympia Youth Orchestra at Disney Hall,” said Diep. “‘Kingdom in Memory’ is my attempt to restore the ancient Cham music, culture and history, which flourished from the second century to the 15th century in Southeast Asia.”

Diep currently teaches music at her private studio and serves on the board of directors for the Music Teachers Association of California, West San Gabriel Valley Branch. Additionally, Diep is a professional dancer and an award-winning dance choreographer.

The Olympia Youth Orchestra—directed by Fung Ho, principal conductor of CSULA Chamber Orchestra—is made up of talented young musicians, age 12 through college age, from the greater Los Angeles area. Currently, several CSULA instrumental students are enrolled in its orchestral internship program.