CSUN students to perform at World Fair in Shanghai

Ten CSUN students will be traveling to Shanghai to participate in the 2010 World Expo this summer.

Peter Grego, the theatre department chair, said on Tuesday evening, they received confirmation from the U.S. producers that the CSUN students will be performing with their Chinese sister university, Shanghai Normal University, at the USA Pavilion.

“Being invited to perform at the World Expo is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and as a graduating senior this is the best opportunity that I can think to have been offered,” said Ashley Bratland, theater major.  “I so look forward to participating in this world wide event and being able to be part of such an extraordinary celebration of the world.”

“We wanted to do something that demonstrated our teamwork with our sister school,” said William Taylor, theater manager.  “This is an excellent place to show something we can do together.”

The students will arrive on May 20 and will spend 14 days in Shanghai.

“In consultation with them (faculty and staff), we selected the best that CSUN had to offer,” Grego said.  “We selected nine students and a tenth CSUN student, presently on a year studying in Beijing, will meet us in Shanghai.”

They have created a five-part piece with the university.  Four of the five parts called “Meet Me at the Expo” have been pre-filmed, Taylor said.

Two of the pieces were filmed at CSUN, two of them were filmed in Shanghai, Taylor added.  The final part will be performed at the U.S. Pavilion at the World Expo.

The students will perform all parts as a whole once during the expo, but the location is currently unknown.

Students and faculty from all areas of the Mike Curb College have pulled together to make this happen.

Student YiYi Zeng helped the students learn a little bit of Mandarin Chinese so they can sing the parts of the song in that language, Taylor said.

The students will also be performing a medley of California songs, like “California Dreaming” and “Left My Heart in San Francisco,” Taylor said.

“They’re bringing a little bit of California with them to Shanghai,” Taylor said.

The expo is expected to have 70 million to 100 million people and over 200 participating countries in attendance over a six-month period, making it the world’s largest expo ever, Taylor said.  It is held from May 1 to October 31.

“We’ll be representing the U.S. in front of the world, which is pretty cool,” said  Taylor.  “This is the world’s chance to show itself off to China.”

The theme this year is “Better City, Better Life,” Taylor said.

As a green exposition, Shanghai will not offer parking for individual cars, Taylor added.  Everyone will need to take public transportation to get there.  The city put in extra subway lines to accommodate everyone.

Every county will have its own pavilion, Taylor said.  The U.S. pavilion’s theme “Rising to the Challenge” is in line with the overall theme.  It represents America’s sustainability, teamwork, health, technology and innovation.

“It’s a world class thing,” Taylor said.