Professor Scott Winfield Sublett’s new play “The Repeating Arms of Sarah Winchester” will be the subject of a staged reading for one night only on Monday, December 4, in the Hammer Theatre Center’s new “black box” space: the Hammer 4.

The play explores Sarah Winchester’s exposure to the new and progressive religion of Spiritualism while she is still a young widow residing in New Haven, Connecticut. The reading will be produced by the Dept. of Film and Theatre in partnership with The San Jose Stage Company, directed by Kirsten Brandt, and produced by Barnaby Dallas, with set designs under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Bechert.

“At this point in her life, Mrs. Winchester is a rational, well-read, progressive suffragette, searching, like many Americans were in the late 1800s, for a new religion to replace the harsh Calvinism of her youth. This is not the fictional, kooky Sarah of the tourist attraction house,” Sublett said.\

Meanwhile, Prof. Sublett’s new musical, “Charleston Harbor,” will be given a staged reading by Manhattan’s legendary Amas Musical Theatre on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Amas is noted for having invented “non-tradition casting” before the term was coined.

The play is about Robert Smalls, a slave who became the greatest black hero of the Civil War.

The great 19th century intellectual Frederick Douglass accompanied Captain Smalls to a meeting with President Lincoln, who was so impressed with Smalls’s military exploits that he was persuaded to allow blacks to enlist in the Union Army.

“Smalls was forgotten by history, lost, which shocked and disheartened me,” Sublett said. “It’s my hope that the play revives interest in Smalls by other artists, by scholars, and particularly by historians. He deserves a higher place in history than he has been given.”

Subtitled “A True Civil War Adventure with Historical Music,” the new play integrates authentic spirituals of 1800s into the dramatic action.


Christopher Scott will direct for Amas.

TRFT Welcomes Two New Permanent Faculty Members


Andrea has designed scenery for over 300 productions and numerous world premieres at theatres across the country including TheatreWorks, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Center Repertory Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, The Starlight Theatre, Wildwood, Marin Theatre Company, Opera San Jose, and many others. She has worked at or been a guest designer at several universities including University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of Michigan, Ohio University, Butler University, and University of Wisconsin.  Numerous awards include three Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle Awards, a Denver Ovation Award for Macbeth, and her designs were included in the 2005 World Design Expo and the 1996 Prague Quadrennial.  Andrea is a Member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE local 829. Andrea gave up a fancy job at University of Chicago to join us here in the Bay Area.



Michael is a scenic designer with longtime Bay Area roots, who has been teaching as an adjunct lecturer at SJSU since 2013. His recent regional credits include productions for the Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theater, Centerstage (Baltimore), Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theater, and Playmakers Repertory Theater. His designs have been seen Off-Broadway and at venues throughout New York and the northeast. Here in the Bay Area, local credits include numerous productions with the Magic, Cal Shakes, CenterRep, and the Cutting Ball Theater, where he is a longtime artistic associate. Michael is a founding member of Hollywood-based Tiled Field Productions, a graduate of the University of California San Diego and the Yale School of Drama. He also works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, specializing in marketing material for the performing arts.

Kourosh Ahari’s Short Film MALAISE Bound for the Cannes Film Festival!

Karoush Ahari

Kourosb Ahari

Congratulations to Kourosh Ahari! He’ll be walking the red carpet at the most famous film festival in the world in Cannes this year.

His short film Malaise (2014, 8 mins) has been selected for the festival’s pretigious Short Film Corner.

Malaise examines a catastrophic scenario in which a Spanish flu plagues the world and humanity. It explores just how far a man will go for his last reason for living.

Click below on the arrow to watch the film.

TRFT’s Production of DEAD MAN WALKING and Yoshi Asai’s THE GHOST LIGHT

Dead-Man-Walking_poster_1-2Directed by Kathie Kratochvil, performances of Tim Robbins’s adaptation of Dead Man Walking will take place in the Todd Studio Theatre (HGH 103) beginning Thursday, March 5 at 7pm and continuing Friday and Saturday, as well as  Tuesday through Saturday of the following week. Make sure you turn out to see this wonderful production!

The ticket information of Dead Man Walking is in the following link:

For those who attend the opening night performance of Dead Man Walking, there will also be the  opportunity  to see Yoshi Asai’s first performance piece The Ghost Light, created for the class ART-173. (Asai is also a scenic designer for Dead Man Walking.) “Once upon a time, ghosts lived in theaters… well, they still do,” writes Asai. Based on theatre superstitions, his work features Peter Juarez, Cathy Tri, Emily Brouwer, Pandra Brown, and Lindsay Sporleder, with music by Philip Glass Dance IX. (No ticket is needed. Simply show up!) It will take place in Hugh Gillis Hall’s scene shop and  begin at approximately 9:45 p.m. (duration: approximately 20 minutes).

ghost light*** The Ghost Light will begin after Dead Man Walking ends. The scene shop is right next to the Hal Todd Theatre. Wait until the performance area is ready after Dead Man Walking ends. The audience for the performance will be led to the scene shop as the artists are preparing for the performance. Please wait in the hallway (use the entrance that faces San Fernando) until somebody lets you in. 

Green Ninja Season 1 Complete!


Green_ninja photo

Hello, Green Ninja Fans and Congratulations Professor Babak Sarrafan the Green Ninja Team!

We’re pleased to report that Season 1 of the Green Ninja Show is complete. Hooray! The 16 episodes feature animation, live action film, flash mobs, and various puppets to produce a fun and humorous look at climate and environmental topics. If you missed an episode, you can see them all here!

Production of Season 2 is now in full swing and we plan to roll out new episodes to you this coming fall. In the meantime, make sure you’re subscribed to our Green Ninja YouTube channel as we’ll be releasing some special content in the near future. Oh, and speaking of YouTube: our account recently passed 900,000 views! Here’s to 1 million and beyond.