The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

‘Tonight We Improvise’ Play at UC San Diego

Directed by Gabor Tompa

Dates: February 20 – March 2
Location: Mandell Weiss Theatre, UC San Diego

Wed, Feb 20, 7:00 pm PREVIEW
Fri, Feb 22, 8:00 pm OPENING
Sat, Feb 23, 2:00 pm MATINEE
Sat, Feb 23, 8:00 pm
Thu, Feb 28, 8:00 pm
Fri, Mar 01 8:00 pm
Sat, Mar 02 8:00 pm CLOSING

Buy Tickets Online Here.

(To buy tickets by phone or mail, click here.)

About the Play
The scandalous La Croce family is the talk of the town, and so are the actors playing the parts! One of Pirandello’s theatre-within-theatre plays, Tonight We Improvise charts an acting troupe as they improvise a script based on a novel. Direct address to the audience, narration, mime, and music are just a few of the techniques employed in this multi-layered theatrical exploration.

About the Playwright
Luigi Pirandello was born in Il Caos, Sicily in 1867. He was a poet, a writer of short stories and novels, an essayist, and a prolific playwright. His plays were first produced in 1910, but he only began concentrating on being a playwright in 1916, and over the next eight years he wrote 28 plays. In 1925 he and a group of friends formed the Teatro d’Arte in Rome where they introduced 9 foreign plays, staged 15 world premieres, and presented many of Pirandello’s works. In 1934 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Among his best known plays are the theatre-within-theatre trilogy, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Each in His Own Way, and Tonight We Improvise; and Enrico IV; Right You Are (If You Think You Are); The Rules of the Game; To Clothe the Naked; and the unfinished The Mountain Giants. He died in 1936.

About the Director
Faculty member Gabor Tompa received his training at the Theatre and Film Academy in Bucharest , Romania and began working as a professional director in 1981. Since then, he has directed more than 60 productions worldwide including plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Chekhov, Beckett, Bulgokhov, Camus, and Ionesco. In 1985 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Hungarian Theatre in Cluj, Romania , a post he has held up to the present time. He served as Head of Directing at the Theatre Academy in Tirgu Mures , Romania and has been a guest teacher at the State University of Cluj; Academie Theatrale de L’Union, Limoges; Schauspielschule Freiburg; Brunel University, London; and Institut del Teatre Barcelona . Professor Tompa has received widespread recognition in Europe for his physically adventurous and conceptually audacious productions of classic plays. He is directing worldwide including France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria, Hungary, Ireland, Canada, and Serbia. He received the 2002 UNITER Award for Excellence for the many achievements of his career. His film, “Chinese Defense,” won the Best First Feature Award at the International Film Festival in Salerno, Italy in 1999 and has been officially selected for the 1999 Berlin Festival. Four times Best Director of the Year, he received the Best Performance of the Year Award in 2009 for Three Sisters and his production of Born for Never has been voted as Critics’ Choice no. 1 in the 2009 Festival of Avignon. Mr. Tompa is also the author of several volumes of poetry and essays on the theatre. Mr. Tompa serves as head of Directing and teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes in History of Directing and Directing.

The Cast

Ensemble/As Cast - Nathan Bell
Ensemble/As Cast - Brian Bose
Ensemble/As Cast - Rosie Byrne
Ensemble/As Cast - Anouk Chalmers
Ensemble/As Cast - Matt Chapman
Totina - Hannah Corrigan
Director’s Asst. Secretary - Tesiana Elie
Ensemble/As Cast - Russel Ewing
Nene - Vi Flaten
Leading Actor Rico Verri - Michael Hammond
Sarelli - Walker Hare
Dorina - Chaz Hodges
Old Comic Actor Sampognetta - William Hodgson
Ensemble/As Cast - Devon Hollingsworth
Character Actress Signora Ignazia - Regan Linton
Leading Actress Mommina - Katie McGehee
Doctor Hinkfuss - Jack Mikesell
Ensemble/As Cast - Joey Odom
Ensemble/As Cast - Daniel Olson
Pomarici - Toby Onwumere
Cabaret Singer - Jasmine St. Clair
Nardi - Ronald Washington

The Creative Team

Director - Gabor Tompa
Scenic Designer - Natalie Khuen
Costume Designer - Tijana Porobic
Lighting Designer - Chris Lundahl
Sound Designer - Melanie Chen
Dramaturg - Heather Ramey
Vocal Coach - Eva Barnes
Production Stage Manager - Zach Kennedy
Asst. Stage Managers - Sarah Dion and Kate Guthrie
Production Asst. - Sanaya Forbes
Asst. Directors - Kate Jopson and Michael Moran
Asst. Scenic Design - Andrea Healy
Asst. Costume Design - Janet O’Neill
Asst. Sound Design - Jason Connors


Located at: Mandell Weiss Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays

Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.


Advance tickets for this production are available Monday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Mandell Weiss Theatre.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association,
and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

For more information click here.

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