MACHINAL Performance at the Qualcomm Institute


Date: 2017-01-12
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Calit2 Theater, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego

Guest Speaker: Will Detlefsen, MFA Candidate, UC San Diego (Director); et al.



This performance of "MACHINAL" will be the first performance of 2017 in the Qualcomm Institute's Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) series. The list of collaborators on the performance Will Detlefsen (director), Mary Glen Fredrick (actor), Grady Kestler (sound designer),  Annie Le (designer), Steven Leffue (sound designer), Anna Robinson (designer), Brandon Rosen (lighting designer), Minjoo Kim (lighting designer), Ph.D. student Kristen Tregar, Enrico Nassi (MFA actor), Stephanie Del Rosso (MFA playwright), and Kasson Marroquin (production stage manager).

A woman should be a good home-maker.
A woman should be a good mother.
A woman should be a good cook.
A woman should be a good housekeeper.
A woman should be good looking.
A woman should be well groomed.
A woman should be pure.
A woman should be morally better than men.

The piece is an artistic experiment that asks questions about what live theatre can be and how technology and machines have changed the landscape of our human interactions in the world today. Based on the real life case of Ruth Snyder, this devised performance is the story of a woman caged in a male-dominated, mechanized, materialistic world who murders her husband in order to be set free.

The performance will use the Vroom wall display system in the Calit2 Theater for a live performance and interaction with live audience. “MACHINAL is an artistic experiment based on big questions about what live theatre can be and how technology and machines have changed the landscape of our human interactions in the world today,” says Will Detlefsen, an MFA candidate in Directing (expected in 2017) and one of the graduate students behind MACHINAL. The performance is based, in part, on the 1928 play MACHINAL by Sophie Treadwell, based on the true story of the first woman sentenced to the electric chair for murdering her husband. Performer/sonic Interactions in MACHINAL will feature EEG-driven sound sources developed by Italian computer musician Franceso Roberto Dani.

FREE and open to the public.
Media Contact: Doug Ramsey
RSVP requested to Trish Stone


WILL DETLEFSEN is a second-year MFA student. He most recently directed the world premieres of T. Adamson'sHouse & Variations and Toni Schlesinger's The Mystery of Pearl Street, both at Dixon Place. Last fall he directed the New York revival of Sarah Kane's Blasted. He was awarded the 2013 Drama League Fellowship and directed Wendy Dann's The Stranger Plays, A Year With Frog & Toad, and a stage adaptation of Jean-Luc Godard's film Breathless at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca. Detlefsen is also the artistic director of New York-based theatre company, MultiPurposeRoom, for which he directed Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party and devised/directed Televise THIS!, BUILDINGS, and YEAR of the HIPPO. Detlefsen's assisting credits include Terry Kinney, Rachel Chavkin, Young Jean Lee, and Robert Moss. UC San Diego credits: Death of a Driver, Hamlet, The Burial at Thebes. BFA: NYU.

STEPHANIE DEL ROSSO is a first-year MFA playwright. Her plays have been developed or presented at Soho Rep, Clubbed Thumb, New York Stage and Film, Colt Coeur, Naked Angels, Judson Memorial Church, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Caldera Arts, the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal, and others. She is a two-time semi-finalist for Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial Commission, an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writers’ Group, and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. BA: Northwestern University.  

MARY GLEN FREDRICK is a second-year MFA actor, hailing from Kansas City. She received a degree in Race and Ethnicity Studies from Stanford University, where she performed with and directed for the Stanford Shakespeare Company, Robber Barons Sketch Comedy Troupe, and Ram’s Head Theatrical Society. Regional: Up Here (La Jolla Playhouse World Premiere); As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival). UC San Diego: Widower (WNPF),The Burial at Thebes, Hamlet, LEAR, The Cherry Orchard, The Venetian Twins.

GRADY KESTLER is a third-year Theatre and Dance MFA student (in Sound Design) at UC San Diego, where he earned his BA in Music/Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts (ICAM), with a Minor in Computer Science. UC San Diego credits: The Venetian Twins, Hamlet, The Burial at Thebes, The Grapes of Wrath, Lumping in Fargo, and Venus. He received his B.A. in Music/ICAM in 2013.

MINJOO KIM is a first-year MFA Lighting Design student. She received a BA in Theatre and Film Design from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea. Recent lighting design credits: Crimson Girl (Dongsoong Art Center), Die or Not (Seoul Art Space Mullae), After School, Alice (Chungwoon Art Theater), Mask on/off (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre), Story of Sorastar (Dongsoong Art Center), The Last Day (Chungwoon Art Theater).

ANNIE LE is a second-year MFA Costume Design student. Design Credits: College of the Holy Cross - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Spring Awakening the Musical; Hanover Theatre - Oklahoma!, Footloose; Ballet Arts Worcester - Mother Ginger (The Nutcracker), Peter and the Wolf. She has previously worked with The Huntington Theatre (Boston), Richard Fisher Performance Arts Center (Bard College) and has gone on tour with the I Made Bandem (Balinese Art Festival).

STEVEN LEFFUE is also a Theatre and Dance MFA student (Sound Design) at UC San Diego. He is co-founder and curator emeritus of the OBIE award winning performance space JACK. His theatrical work has been reviewed by The New York Times, The New York Theater Review, the Village Voice, Brooklyn Paper,, the Washington Post, and the Oakland Tribune amongst others. At UC San Diego, Steven has designed for theater and dance while creating original scores and digital musical interfaces for artists using the Pure Data programming environment. He is a doctor of music performance and pedagogy and a member of the International Computer Music Association. Baal, Beckett Solos, Rhinoceros, Angels in America parts 1 & 2, Quiet Comfort, the Republic, The Brothers Size, Waiting for Godot, Vieux Carre, etc.

KASSON MARROQUIN is Kasson Marroquin is a first-year stage management MFA student at UC San Diego. He received his B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in Stage Management and a minor in English from the University of North Texas in May 2012, where he also received an honors award for Outstanding Student in Theater in 2012. Kasson then served as a production intern for the American Dance Festival during the summers of 2012 and 2014, where he continued his education in learning all aspects of working as a technician in this field from load-in to load-out of each company. While an intern at ADF in 2012 Kasson stage- managed an original dance piece titled Akulalutho that was choreographed by Reggie Wilson, and designed lights for an excerpt from Labyinth choreographed by Mark Dendy. During his time at ADF in 2014 he stage-managed an original work titled Big Daddy (choreographed by Stephen Petronio) as well as designed lights for an excerpt from Every Little Movement (choreographed by Gerri Houlihan). Kasson has worked as a freelancing professional stage manager and general theater technician in Dallas, TX for the past three years since his graduation.  

ENRICO NASSI, playing the role of Man, is an MFA Actor, director, and playwright based out of San Diego, California. He holds a Master's degree in Western Classics from St. John’s College, Annapolis and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Art in Acting at UC San Diego. 

ANNA LINEHAM ROBINSON is a second-year MFA Scenic Designer. She graduated with a first class BA Honours degree focusing on Scenic and Projection Design at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Scenic and Projection design credits: Summerfolk, Lovesong (Victoria University), Lady Liberty (NZ Fringe Festival), What Goes Up, The Things We Do (Bats Theatre), Second Afterlife (Young and Hungry Festival), Seed (Circa Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Wellington Opera House), UC San Diego credits: New Directions, Precipitate, winterWorks 2016, The Cherry Orchard (assistant) and Movers + Shakers (assistant).

BRANDEN ROSEN is a second-year MFA Lighting Design student at UC San Diego, where he is studying theatrical lighting design. Selected lighting design credits include The Bitter Game (La Jolla Playhouse), Heaven on Earth (Sledgehammer Theatre - WoW Festival 2015), and Adrift in Macao (Texas State University). Selected Assistant Lighting Design credits include October Sky (Old Globe), Fiddler on the Roof and The Originalist (Arena Stage), and Jesus Christ Superstar (Teatro Nacional de Panama). He was the Lighting Fellow for Arena Stage’s 2014-2015 season and holds a BFA in Theatre Design & Technology from Texas State University. UC San Diego Credits: Damascus, Rhinoceros (Assistant), Movers + Shakers (Assistant).

KRISTEN TREGAR is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Theatre and Dance department at UC San Diego. She holds a BA in Biology from Bryn Mawr College, an MS in Forensic Science from CUNY- John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU- Steinhardt. She founded The Ireland Project, an intercontinental devised theatre project with high school students in New York and Tallaght, Ireland. NY credits: Arcadia, Amadeus, Book of Days, Throne of Blood, The Heidi Chronicles, Translations, A Doll’s House.