Arts & Entertainment

    Tuesday Tunes Hosts MarlonB!


    School of Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media student Marlon Britton performs at a recent Tuesday Tunes. Photo by Nina Tabios.

    For the month of November’s first edition of Tuesday Tunes, (UKR) turned to one of Academy of Art University’s own to headline the weekly showcase.  

    Singer/songwriter Marlon Britton, who goes by “MarlonB!” on stage, is a student from the School of Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media and runs track and field for the Academy. Originally from Chicago, Britton has been writing songs since he was 10 years old but only started recording music at the age of 16. Now with 12 years of experience of making music, he said he’s ready to start sharing it with a greater audience.

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    All in the Details


    Costume renderings. Photo by Annelyn Ayran.

    It’s four days out from opening night and B.F.A. Costume Design student Shelby Lionella has a laundry list of alterations and decisions to make before the first technical, or in-costume, rehearsal. Altering dresses and pants, labeling shoes for the actors, organizing a quick-change protocol, meeting with the director and production team; the list goes on. But for this moment, her focus is on buttons.

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    Behind 'Academy's Got Talent'

    Communication and trust are key to pulling off a successful school-wide talent show


    (L–R) Jacoby Barragan, Pre-Franz Dominick, Donte Burney, Gazmine Griffin and Lada Kondarakhina. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Academy of Art University’s student-produced and hosted Academy’s Got Talent has been showcasing the school’s wider scope of talented individuals, from singers and musicians to dancers and DJs. But for all the talent seen in front of the camera, there’s so much more behind the scenes. 

    It takes a well-oiled machine to put on a production of any magnitude. School of Communications & Media Technologies (COM) Director Jan Yanehiro and Associate Director Steve Kotton know this all too well, which is why Academy’s Got Talent is run by the school’s COM 420 class: In-Depth Project: Studio Entertainment Series.

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    Creating 'Coco'

    He may not have shed any tears, but Daniel Arriaga was clearly emotional as he talked about his full-circle journey from a wide-eyed Academy of Art University student to now a senior director at Pixar Animation Studios. 

    “This is a real dream come true to be back here at my school,” Arriaga said. “To be able to stand here is really the moment I can say ‘I made it.’”

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    School of Acting’s 'This' explores friendships and infidelity

    The five young actors in Academy of Art University’s upcoming production of This, might not seem to have much in common with their older characters in the Obie award-winning play by Melissa James Gibson. This revolves around four long-time, seemingly successful friends—and one new acquaintance—on the cusp of middle age who are having some regrets about the paths they’ve followed. When two of the characters commit adultery, all of them must examine their friendships and their lives.

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    Five Questions With 'Lady Bird' Writer/Director Greta Gerwig


    Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig on the set of Lady Bird. Photo by Merie Wallace. Courtesy of A24.

    Greta Gerwig has found what she loves doing the most in her field of work: Directing. “It’s the happiest I’ve ever been,” Gerwig shared during the San Francisco stop of the press tour for Lady Bird, her solo directorial debut.

    The film, also written by Gerwig, follows a Sacramento-based high school senior Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), who goes by the self-given name of Lady Bird, and is ready to fly the coop, so to speak, for college on the East Coast. Throughout the course of the school year, the headstrong Lady Bird deals with many of the things people go through as teenagers, from experiencing her first love to having a falling out with her best friend along with regular back and forth arguments with her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), an overworked nurse. Powered by stand-out performances from Ronan and Metcalf, Lady Bird is a relatable coming-of-age film, that unfolds beautifully on-screen, dealing with the everyday frustrations and realizations of growing up.

    Gerwig, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Frances Ha and was most recently on the big screen in 20th Century Women and Jackie, is already receiving well-deserved Oscar buzz for Lady Bird. Academy Art U News sat down with the actress, writer and director to find out more about her much-lauded film, including how the mother-daughter chemistry developed between Ronan and Metcalf and what she found to be the most rewarding aspect of making Lady Bird.

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