News Release| Theatre Production; Cal State L.A.


Note to news directors or reporters: Director David Olsen can be reached for interviews at the following – or (323) 343-5809. (See calendar listing below.)


‘M. Butterfly’ confronts the mêlée
between fantasy, reality

Hwang’s award-winning play comes to Cal State L.A. April 15-18

Los Angeles, CA  –  Layers of disguise, fantasy, memory, and power are poised to unfold in Cal State L.A.’s production of M. Butterfly at the University’s State Playhouse April 15-18.

The Pulitzer Prize-nominated and Tony Award-winning play by David Henry Hwang will be presented Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Directed by Cal State L.A. Communication Studies Professor David Olsen, the play features CSULA student-actors Taylor Edwards, Matt Franta, Derrick Gary, Anthony Li, Patrick McElree, Ramona Young, Whitney Tenney, Iskui Irene Boyadjian, Oliver Mack Calhoun, Beatrice Collins, Rishad R. Rai, and Salvador Yanez.

The storyline wraps around the relationship between Rene Gallimard (McElree), a civil servant of the French Embassy in China, and  Song Liling (Li), a Chinese opera singer who is not who she seems to be. Song is also a spy for the Chinese government.

“Fantasies and realities of feminine gender ideals collide in this acclaimed play presenting issues of gender, war, diplomacy, feminism, romance, and Western operatic stereotypes,” said Jim Hatfield, chair of the Theatre Arts and Dance department at Cal State L.A. “Prized for Hwang’s thought-provoking dialogue, M. Butterfly remains both socially relevant and reflective of current events.”   

Prior to the opening night performance, the American Communities Program at Cal State L.A. will present a roundtable, entitled “Theatre, Social Critique, and Constructions of Identity in M. Butterfly.” The discussion is free to the public and will be held 5:30 p.m. in the University-Student Union, San Gabriel Room.  

Olsen has taught at Cal State L.A. since 1993. He teaches courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, public address and performance studies. His research concerns the intersection of rhetoric, performance and religion.

Performance tickets are $16 general; $12 for seniors and students; and $8 for CSULA students. They are available at /dept/theatre_dance/. For details, call (323) 343-4110.


Calendar listing:

“M.Butterfly” by David Henry Hwang.

Thursday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 17, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m.
State Playhouse, on the Cal State L.A. campus.
Campus map and directions:
Tickets: $16, general; $12, seniors and students; $8, CSULA students only.
Available at
For details, call (323) 343-4110.

# # #




Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 210,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.


Back to: News site  |  Services for Journalists  |  Public Affairs  |  Cal State L.A.