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HSU Robot Camp for Middle-Schoolers – Sign Up Now!

May 16, 2018 - 1:57pm

Humboldt State University is adding two extra sessions of its Summer Robot Camp this summer.

The popular week-long camp offers students the chance to spark their interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Enginnering, Arts and Math). Incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will have the chance to work in teams to build robots using Lego Mindstorm and other tools. They also get to see drones in action and find out about emerging robot technologies.

The week concludes with robot wrestling and racing, as well as a showcase for family members.

Due to demand, there will be three sessions this summer rather than one. Each session will be five days each from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be held on campus the weeks of June 25-29, July 9-13, and July 16-20. They will be taught by HSU students.

Registration is now open, and early registration is recommended, as this camp always fills fast. Cost is $295.

To register and for more information, including photos and a video from previous years, visit or contact HSU Early Outreach at (707) 826-6226.

Dinner Guests and Their Self-Centered Hosts

April 20, 2018 - 6:34am

The Theatre, Film & Dance Department at Humboldt State University presents Hay Fever by Noel Coward, beginning April 27.

Left to right: Mickey Donovan, Susan Abbey, JM Wilkerson, Shawn Wagner in Hay FeverA cross between high farce and a comedy of manners, the play is set in an English country house in the 1920s, and deals with the four eccentric members of the Bliss family and their outlandish behavior when they each invite a guest to spend the weekend. The self-centered behavior of the hosts finally drives their guests to flee while the Blisses are so engaged in a family row that they do not notice their guests’ furtive departure.

Coward—actor, composer, and playwright once described as the person who “invented the ‘20s”—was born on December 16, 1899, in England. He first visited New York City in 1921 and hoped that American producers would embrace his plays. During that summer, he befriended the playwright Hartley Manners and his wife, the eccentric actress Laurette Taylor. Their over-the-top theatrical lifestyle later inspired him in writing Hay Fever. He wrote the play in three days in 1924.

Coward was one of the first playwrights of his generation to use naturalistic dialogue. His characters speak in the same ordinary phrases that people use in everyday conversation. Earlier dramatists had their actors performing in a more contrived, stilted fashion as they spoke complex and witty phrases that sounded poetic or literary. By contrast, Coward’s plays rely on the interaction between performers to grab attention and the context of a given line to generate laughs. It was understood that audience members might not leave the theater quoting a single clever phrase but chances were good that they laughed their way through the actual performance because of the amusing situations depicted on stage.

The production is directed by HSU Department of Theatre, Film & Dance Professor James McHugh. McHugh is a member of the design and technology faculty whose area of expertise is lighting design. In addition to lighting (shadow design) he teaches classes in visual aesthetics, production management, stage management, color theory, image and imagination and introduction to performance design.

McHugh describes Hay Fever as a screwball comedy.

“Unconventional, risqué, theatrical, and often downright rude, the Blisses are everything an upper-crust English family should not be, they are a divinely mad family,” he says.

McHugh believes the play encompasses three complimentary acting styles: screwball comedy (the dynamic conflict between etiquette and insanity; silent screen acting (the dramatic gestures that need no words); and simple, natural family conversations.

The talented cast of nine actors includes student, faculty and community actors. They are supported by a team of student and faculty designers: scenic and lighting designs are by Derek Lane, costume design by Izzy Ceja, sound design by Cory Stewart, properties design by Ray Gutierrez, and make-up and wig design by Angelica Negrete.

Hay Fever runs April 27- 28 and May 4- 5 at 7:30 p.m. plus two matinee performances April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m.. The play contains mature content and while there is no profanity, the subject matter is full of complicated relationships and sexual innuendo amid a sophisticated bohemian weekend house party. General admission is $10. Students and seniors are $8. Lot parking is free on weekends.

For tickets, please call 707.826.3928 or go to For more information, call 707.826.3566.

World’s Oldest Student-run Film Festival Returns

April 5, 2018 - 7:04pm

Billed as the world’s oldest student-run film festival, the 51st Humboldt International Film Fest returns April 18-21 to the Minor Theatre in Arcata.

The finalists in four categories will have two screenings each night at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 from April 18-20 and $10 on April 21 for the Best of Fest screenings.

Since 1967, Humboldt State University students have been producing the internationally recognized festival.

Over time the festival has grown, moving from the Sequoia Theater (today the John Van Duzer Theatre) to Arcata’s Minor Theatre and inviting professional filmmakers serving as judges to select the winning films.

The call-to-entry is open to independent filmmakers of all ages and countries for films with a running time 1-30 minutes in Narrative, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental categories. This year, there were 195 entries from 22 countries, including Argentina, Spain, Japan, China, Poland, Korea, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, India, Norway, Italy, and Kosovo. HSU Film Festival classes pre-screen all entries. The films with the highest scores in all four categories compete for cash and Audience Favorite awards.

Joining this year’s festival are industry judges, who will host the second screenings each night followed by a Q&A;.

Patricia Cardoso directed Real Women Have Curves, Audience Award winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Her most recent film, El Regalo, will be released theatrically on December 25 in Colombia. Cardoso has been a trailblazer. She was the first Latino woman in the United States to direct a commercially successful feature film; the first Latino woman to win a Sundance ́s Audience Award; she was the first Latino to win a Student Academy Award; she received the first Fulbright scholarship for film in Colombia; and she directed the first HBO movie that was released theatrically. Her films have screened at festivals including Telluride, San Sebastian, London, Guadalajara and Toronto, winning more than 40 awards, including a Humanitas Prize.

Udi Aloni is an Israeli-American filmmaker whose film Junction 48 won the Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. His movies and visual art projects have been presented in leading museums, galleries, and film festivals around the world—among them the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Locarno, Tribeca, and Buenos Aires film festivals. His work includes correspondences with the most pre-eminent philosophers of our time, including Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Avital Ronell, Judith Butler, Naomi Klein, and Tony Kushner, who describe him as a unique and revolutionary thinker.

Throughout his two decades of casting, filmmaker Hal Masonberg has worked with many of the biggest casting directors and actors in the industry on such films as Lasse Hallström’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Spike Jonze’s I’m Here, as well as hundreds of commercials for directors such as Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jonathan Glazer, Mark Romanek, Mark Webb, Tony Kaye, Roman Coppola, Mike Mills, and Ted Melfi. He is an active writer and filmmaker. His second feature, the documentary Jazz Nights: A Confidential Journey, is currently playing film festivals around the world and recently won the Audience Award at the 2017 Copenhagen Jazz Film Festival.

51st Humboldt International Film Festival
Arcata Minor Theatre
Two screenings each night at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
Q&A;with judges at 7:30 p.m. screenings
• Wednesday, April 18—Animation & Experimental
• Thursday, April 19—Documentary
• Friday, April 20—Narrative
• Saturday, April 21—Best of Fest

To buy tickets, go to or call 707.822.FILM (3456). For more information on the film fest, go to, call 707.826.4113, or email

Poetic, Vivid Exploration of North Coast History

April 5, 2018 - 7:02pm

Local author, poet, and educator Zev Levinson explores the colorful history, rich diversity, and stunning geography of the North Coast through a blend of lyrical poetry and archival photography in his new book, Song of Six Rivers, published by Humboldt State University Press.

Levinson will give a public reading to launch his new title on Wednesday, April 18, 7-8 p.m. in the HSU Library Fishbowl, room 209. Refreshments will be served.

When educator, activist, and beloved friend Guy Kuttner died unexpectedly, Levinson heard his voice imploring him to sing of the land they both love. Levinson put his pen to the task of meeting Kuttner’s challenge, confronting mortality and loss as he ventured to understand our connection to the land. At its heart, this endeavor weaves history and poetry into the everyday lives of those who live behind the redwood curtain.

The poem includes historic photographs from the HSU Library Special Collections, most of which have never been published. HSU and College of the Redwoods instructor and indie publisher Cyndy Phillips reviewed thousands of historic photographs, incorporating nearly 50 of them into her design, and HSU student Ashley Schuman provided invaluable assistance with image selection and design. Contemporary yet timeless images were taken by photographers Thomas B. Dunklin and Martin Swett.

Copies of the publication are available now through Amazon and soon online through Humboldt Digital Commons.
Known locally by his first name, Dan, Levinson works with California Poets in the Schools, bringing poetry to classrooms and other sites. He has taught at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods, is a Redwood Writing Project teacher-consultant and teacher-leader, and a founder and facilitator of the Lost Coast Writers Retreat. He holds degrees in creative writing, literature, and the teaching of writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Humboldt State University.

About Humboldt State University Press
Humboldt State University Press publishes high-quality scholarly, intellectual, and creative works by or in support of the HSU campus community. HSU Press operations and publications support HSU’s mission to improve the human condition and our environment by promoting understanding of social, economic, and environmental issues. All electronic publications are openly available on the Digital Commons platform, a network that brings together free, electronic scholarly texts from hundreds of universities and colleges around the world.

For more information about Humboldt State University Press, please contact HSU Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Librarian, Kyle Morgan at 707.826.5602.