Contact Us

Dr. Jade C. Huell

Phone: (818) 677-2853

Get involved, join the audience, or perform!
For more information on the Performance Ensemble, please call the number above.

CSUN Performance Ensemble

Performance Ensemble works in collaboration to generate, stage, and present original performances for a variety of audiences. These performances may include original scripts, poetry, prose fiction, nonfiction, and oral histories. This work will be dedicated to cultivating social justice and to creating a safe, inclusive, and creative space for developing and showcasing your talents.

This program is designed as a workshop. Each week we will gather and work with/around a theme, a performative mode or context, and/or a specific performance project. You do not have to be a trained or experienced performer to participate. You must, however, be committed to exploring how performance allows you to develop, refine, and create debate around the questions you are asking in your work and life.

Think. Create. Perform. 

Performance Ensemble is offered as both a 1-unit class and club on campus. Meetings are held every Tuesday from 4-6:45 p.m. in the Performance Ensemble Rehearsal Room, Manzanita Hall 217. Please contact Jade Huell for a permission number to add it to your class schedule.

Past Projects

May 3, 2013

To commit violence, we act upon ourselves. We act upon each other.


December 6, 2013

B(eat) Kitchen explores our relationship with food/hunger. Where it comes from, what we do with it, and who has access to it.

April 29 - May 1, 2011
The Towne of Bathe addresses the struggle over our world’s most precious resource—water and examines what happens to a community when greed, privatization, and the corporation control the source. The performance runs April 29 - May 1, 2011 in the Experimental Theater at the Performing Arts Center, California State University, Northridge.

November 20 – 22, 2009
Little Theatre, CSUN
Fri/Sat/8pm and Sun 2pm
Tickets ($5 students / $10 non-students) available at the door or in advance at the AS Ticket Office.

For more information contact: Dr. Jeanine Minge at
This performance experience of movement, sound, and imagery critically explores the current state of the nation. Mess America parodies the longest running beauty pageant in the United States and paints a vivid picture of a symbolic institution that reveals much about sexual politics and commercialism, big business and small towns, discrimination and ethnocentrism, fear and desire.

Director: Jeanine Minge
Assistant Director: Trisha Neimeyer
Sound Design: Michael Deragon
Choreography: Trisha Neimeyer
Projections: Ashley Beard
Costume Design: Paula Fleischer
Assistant Designer: Michele Clevering
Soldier: Nabil Suleiman
Sextween: Emelie Castillo
Pageant Mother: Michele Clevering
Pageant Princess: Trisha Neimeyer
Educated Beggar: Asya Mazurova
Corporate Figure 1: Wade MacDonald
Corporate Figure 2: Lee Jay Heller
Husband: Ricky Alex
Stilted Tele: Jeffrey Sands
Henchman 1 (slave): Ricky Alex
Henchman 2: Paula Fleischer
Henchman 3: Sheila Boateng
Henchman 4: Xavier Joven
Henchman 5: Tetsuya Ogi
Henchman 6: (slave) Dominique Harrison
Lycra Draped Dancer: Trisha Neimeyer
Bride: Dominique Harrison

April 8-11, 2010

Hosted by California State University, Northridge, Performance Ensemble

Located at x Repertory Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Performance West is a resurgence of the long-standing performance festival held at San Francisco State University. And we are so thrilled to get it going again. Performance West is a performance festival for students, faculty, working performers, ensembles, and community members, who are working within the performing arts that produce and/or are interested in producing work dedicated to social justice. Performance work dedicated to cultivating social justice interrogates, narrates, critiques and offers visions and strategies for social change within an unjust world.
Mondo Bizarro and M.U.G.A.B.E.E.
Mondo Bizarro and M.U.G.A.B.E.E. will conduct workshops over the course of the festival on vocal improvisation, story circle/narrative generation, and physicality. These workshops will be based on the leaders’ ongoing work Race Peace and will provide an opportunity for performers to celebrate and explore common bonds, debate differences, and lay the civic foundation to pursue solutions to their problems. Performers will have the opportunity to weave their new skills into an original performance.

We are also so lucky to have Mondo Bizarro and M.U.G.A.B.E.E. as the headlining performance on Saturday night with their work: The Race Peace.

For more information on the festival and how to register:

Weaving and Stitching Stories of Sexual Assault and Violence
Performance Ensemble invited artist Amber Dawn Cobb to lead a three-day intensive workshop March 26-28, 2009. Amber Cobb is an artist working in Boulder, Colorado. Under the guise of sculpture, yet not contained, Amber discusses personal narratives, defunct city blocks, and toxic landscapes. Amber has recreated moments in subversive forms, mirrored the past metaphorically, and performed symbolic gestures. Each history lends itself to a new method of research and Amber becomes another filter.
This workshop focused on writing and creating artistic expressions in response to experiences of sexual assault and violence. This workshop invited survivors and supporters of survivors to transform their written words through the paper making process. We were thrilled to have more than twenty workshop participants engaged in each stage of the workshop. It was certainly a great success.
Stage 1: Experimental Writing Workshop
Workshop participants used experimental writing as a tool for narrative generation about sexual assault and violence. This experimental writing workshop explored collage, drawing, poetry, and the tactile layers of narrative development.

Stage 2: Paper Pulp/Paper Making
Each workshop participant then learned how to create paper pulp out of these pages of experimental writing. While we made the paper we discussed the experience of everyday life and how survivors cope with the past in the present moment.

Stage 3: Reweaving/Quilting
During the third stage of the workshop, we created a visual record of our shared experience. We shared and teared the experiences of sexual violence and then mended (by sewing) together. Performatively, we came together through the act of doing, of making and remaking our experiences with sexual assault and violence. The product of our powerful processual work will be displayed in Manzanita Hall.
I applaud the work of the workshop participants. They deserve a loud Brava! I would like to thank Amber Dawn Cobb for her brilliant insights and creative leadership. I would also like to thank the Department of Communication Studies and the Gender and Women's Studies Department for their contributions. The workshop was a great experience and a wonderful success.

With light, laughter and many thanks,

Dr. Jeanine Mingé

Walk with us.

On April 25th, 2009 Performance Ensemble will guide you on a unique site-specific walk that uncovers our history, location and environment.

An intriguing mix of performance, installation art, multi-mediated art works, critical theory, and sightseeing, the tour guides walkers through the many layers of Northridge.

Think. Create. Perform.

Fall Meetings every Tuesday from 6-8 PM in MZ 217.

Come one, come all.

I applaud the work of all of the ensemble members. On November 14th and 16th, 2008 the ensemble brought Fifteen Cents to the Little Theatre. Fifteen Cents is a performance ethnography generated from the Performance Ensemble’s collection of stories from their everyday work lives. Performance ethnography is a research process that explores important social issues through the interrogation of everyday life experience. After collecting interviews and writing personal narratives the ensemble created this script. These stories are an honest portrayal of the class struggles that encompass and frame social interaction in the Los Angeles area. For the final scene/s of our show we used a modified version of Forum Theatre, which is a Theater of the Oppressed technique created by Brazilian director, writer and playwright, Augusto Boal.

The truly amazing component of Performance Ensemble is that each of us gets to explore our otherwise undiscovered creative talents, or cultivate the talents we already cherish. Performance Ensemble is a unique collaborative effort. Each member has a voice, a say, and adds to the import of our shows. Performance Ensemble is dedicated to cultivating social justice, tapping into social issues that matter to the Ensemble, and to the larger community. Our current concerns, not far off from your own, are focused on socioeconomic status. Our current class system, especially in this state of economic stress, impacts each fiber of society both systematically and personally.

We welcome new members at any time and encourage student creativity, participation, and input. If you would like to join us for the Spring semester, please contact me. We would love to hear your voice.

Dr. Jeanine Mingé
Director of the Performance Ensemble

CSUN students and faculty performed before and after 

Dr. Ehrenreich’s address on September 4th, 2008 at 7:30pm in Matador Square. These vignettes critically examine class issues on CSUN’s campus and our surrounding Los Angeles Area. (Survival Moments Press Release -- September 8, 2008)

In its 50th anniversary year, California State University, Northridge offers students faculty, staff and the surrounding community Life Changing Opportunity. One such life changing opportunity is the work of the Performance Ensemble in the Department of Communication Studies. After being invited to work with the Freshman Common Reading Program, the Performance Ensemble worked outside of the classroom environment, during the summer semester, to create a performance for the Freshman Convocation on September 4, 2008. The students were enthusiastic about the challenge to think outside the box. They worked collaboratively to create, interrogate, complicate, and assemble a performance piece in response to the book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

Survival Moments, the culmination of our summer workshops, was a thought provoking movement-based piece. After the Freshman Convocation in the Matador Square, we garnered the attention of passing freshman, staff, and faculty. We were thrilled to also have the Keynote speaker, and author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich as an audience member.

Cheryl Spector, an organizer of the Freshman Common Reading program stated, “I want you to know how thoroughly impressive you were out on the Matador Square with Survival Moments after Convocation! I think Barbara Ehrenreich would still be sitting out there watching you right now. She really enjoyed the performance, and so did I. I am SO glad that you were part of the afternoon’s events; you added so much to my own pleasure in the day’s various moments. Thank you! Here’s hoping we have something performable for NEXT YEAR’s Freshman Common Reading and Convocation….”

We certainly hope to contribute to this event in the coming years. It was a great experience and a wonderful success.
I applaud the work of the Performance Ensemble members, Nicole Embree, Michelle Matta, Sheila Selva, Joseph Ramirez, Rachella Felix, Elizabeth Ho, Kyung won Kang, Michelle McFarquhar, Michele Clevering, Christine Burke, Paula Fleisher, Courtney Gruttemeyer, and Professor Kathryn Sorrells. They deserve a loud Brava! for their hard work and insightful contributions. I believe the Performance Ensemble saw transformative results for themselves and for those who attended the event.

The Performance Ensemble welcomed guest artists Dr. Elizabeth Whitney and Lea Robinson to conduct an intensive four-day performance workshop on Digital Storytelling. Digital storytelling encourages participants to utilize voice, narrative, and images as a way to articulate personal experience through new media performance. Because digital storytelling is process-based, it facilitates thoughtful inquiry and encourages participants to consider each step in the process of creating critically driven, creative work. Thus, the digital story emerges through careful consideration of personal experience in a larger cultural context. Elizabeth and Lea worked tirelessly alongside our students to create a wonderful show.

Introduction to the Miscegenations Project by Elizabeth Whitney and Lea Robinson

Adapted from the collection of stories edited by Yona Zeldis McDonough, The Barbie Chronicles is a look at Barbie’s material and ideological impact on our lives. Her plastic arms carry the weight of anger, adoration, and admiration. Whether you adore her or abhor her, The Barbie Chronicles will have you thinking about and toying with Barbie in ways you never imagined.

Assimiland is an installation performance piece that speaks to the complicated negotiations of border crossings. These border crossings materialize in identity negotiations, institutional boundaries, rules and regulations. Each level of the performance piece spoke to these complex negotiations. This form of installation and performance art relies upon audience participation as well as the profound performances of each ensemble member. This work benefits students because it asks them not only to question the immigration and institutional systems that guide and govern our nations but to also embody and experience them on a visceral and theoretical level.

The Performance Ensemble performed Assimiland on November 27, 2007. This installation and interactive performance satirically and seriously complicated negotiations of border crossings and assimilation processes as they materialize in identity negotiations, institutional boundaries, rules and regulations. Each level of the performance spoke to these complex negotiations. The bureaucratic shoving around of papers and people attempting to immigrate (enter) played out in the processing center in front of Manzanita Hall with a looped video welcome. The process of assimilation, with its attempts to erase differences between people, occurred in the performance space, our new home, in MZ 217. Each of the audience members became “Jenny.” If you followed the rules, you could enjoy the feast while you listened to a final welcoming by your new leader.

We wanted the audience to not only question the immigration and institutional systems that guide and govern nations but to also embody and experience them on a visceral level. This form of installation and performance art relies upon audience participation and the turnout for the show was amazing. We processed everyone “quickly and painlessly.”

I would like to highlight the work of each member of the ensemble; Liliana Luviano, Bernice Le, Paula Fleischer, Michel Clevering and Frances Zapanta. Not only are they dedicated performers, they are wonderful installation artists as well. Their work transformed the performance ensemble room into a completely new type of home. Each of their performances was profound. Brava!

The ensemble would also like to thank Stephanie Fugleberg, Bruce Walker, Steve Jambor, Kara Smith, Lisa Bower, Elizabeth Currlin, and Alexa Lopez. They stepped into character quickly as the police officers and assimilation processors. I think they may have performed their roles so well that people kept “in line.” We would also like to acknowledge the work of graduate students, Sally Kassamanian and Marisa Garcia-Rodriguez. Undoubtedly, their efforts created the ‘media buzz’ for the show.

Introduction into Assimiland
Performance by Michele Cleverling
Edited by Carly Usdin

Nick Slie co-founder of Mondo Bizarro came to our campus to work exclusively with Performance Ensemble!

Performance Ensemble invited Nick Slie, co-founder of the New Orleans based performance collective Mondo Bizarro, to conduct an intensive performance workshop for Performance Ensemble members on June 10, 2009. This workshop explored the critical mass of energy that permeates the performers presence and its direct relationship to the momentum of social movements.

Mondo Bizarro was very excited to share their ever-evolving approach to performance creation with interested scholars, performers, directors and art makers.  Nick lead two three-hour sessions that included rousing physical training, vocal improvisation, singing and composition exercises. The work also included discussions about the artist’s relationship to his/her community and how consistent training can assist in releasing performers from their clichés and help them confront their physical and mental limitations. All sessions included time for participants to create their own material, in addition to working in an ensemble atmosphere.

MZ 214

Workshop 10 to 1
Lunch 1 to 2
Workshop 2 to 5

Flu pandemic! Cover your mouth. Don’t breathe in or better yet, don’t breathe at all. Blame it on the pigs, birds, and cows. Never mind the fact we fed that cow his own brain. Blame it on the Mexicans, the Asians, the British, respectively. They are the ‘other.’ Close up the border! Don’t mingle with pigs. Call security if you see a coughing Asian. Watch out–that cow is crazy! Your surgical mask will save you. If all else fails, lets just take them out.

Pandemonium, being in a state of emergency, of panic, creates a great distraction for the masses. Fear begets blame. This satirical performance explores America’s ethnocentricism cultivated by varying states of fear, panic, and anger towards nations, immigrant and ‘alien’ populations, those the American media, throughout history, have designated as the other.

Performance Ensemble
December 4th, 2010
XRTC performance space, Downtown Los Angeles
Drop, a preview of Performance Ensemble’s original production The Towne of Bathe entices the audience with a mesmerizing array of sound composition, multi-mediated imagery, critical text, and movement. Drop, co-directed by Jeanine Minge and Nicole Embree, considers the microcosm of a rainstorm as pieces of assemblage, the drops of water that consistently make up performance ensemble’s original, innovative experiential performance work. Performance Ensemble is collaborating with local L.A. artists connecting the community to the university. Composer Michael Deragon creates live water compositions moving the audience towards thunderous upheavals and slippery condensations of sound. Mutli-media installation artist Emily Auble creates a stimulating visual experience with her multifaceted video projections.

What: An evening of live performance art, music, experimental sounds, culinary art, and fine art. Celebrating the intersections and collaborations of great creative minds.
Where: X Repertory Theater Company.
1581 Industrial Street Los Angeles, CA, 90021
phone: 213-536-4331
When: December 4th, 2010: 7pm-Midnight
Contact: Dr. Jeanine Minge
As interdisciplinary artists, scholars, and performers, housed in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge, Performance Ensemble is celebrating its import on campus and cultivating community connections. Performance Ensemble’s genuine passion, fortitude, and activist sensibility, fuels our experiential, experimental, intelligent, and innovative performance work.

Performance Studies is by its nature interdisciplinary, radical, pushing the boundaries of academic success, performance expectation, audience involvement, and artistic vision. Performance Studies explores how performance operates as a way of being, knowing, performing, creating social activism in our world. As a threshold between the academy and the community, the artistic and the theoretical, the traditional and experimental, Performance Studies and the work of the Ensemble are thrilling. And we want you to be a part of it.
In honor of the interdisciplinary nature of Performance Studies, we invite you to a fantastic celebration of the arts on December 4th from 7-Midnight at the X Repertory Theater in funky downtown Los Angeles.

Enjoy culinary design by members of Artisan L.A. Experience, music by Los Angeles-based band The Cooling Time, the stunning sounds of Brendan Carn, and close the night dancing with DJ Professor Ben. Indulge in our Silent Art Auction with fine art works by celebrated Los Angeles artists. Be catapulted into the world of CSUN Performance Studies with a performance showcase and spotlight performance of Drop, a preview of Performance Ensemble’s original production The Towne of Bathe (Spring 2011).

As the little performance engine that could, we rehearse in found spaces, create with scavenged materials, and produce amazing full-stage productions. This event allows Performance Ensemble to raise funds to find space in which to create, sponsor special programming, support student scholarship, and to support performance productions. We hope to see you there.

With light, laughter and many thanks,
Jeanine Minge, Ph.D.
Director of Performance Ensemble

Contact Us

Dr. Jade C. Huell

Phone: (818) 677-2853

Get involved, join the audience, or perform!
For more information on the Performance Ensemble, please call the number above.

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