Communication Studies

Survival Moments

Survival Moments (September 2008)
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, Joeseph Ramirez, Rachella Felix, Elizabeth Ho, Kyungwon 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 audienced the event.