HOME > Season Archives > 2009 - 2010 > Sexual Selection: Darwin and Shakespeare Ponder Love


Sexual Selection: Darwin and Shakespeare
Ponder Love

Conceived, Directed, and Choreographed By
Kim Rubinstein and Yolande Snaith

@ Mandell Weiss FORUM Theatre

November 16 - 21

About the Show

About the Collaboration


Director Kim Rubinstein and Choreographer Yolande Snaith collaborate in this original dance theatre melding of William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Don’t miss this celebration of the mating rituals of the human species seen through the lens of our greatest playwright and evolutionist!



The vision for this collaboration grew out of an extended dialogue between Kim Rubinstein (director) and Yolande Snaith (choreographer), about creating a dance theatre work inspired by Darwinism, to be presented as part of the Lincoln / Darwin festival. The shared respect and admiration between theatre director and choreographer for each other’s respective artistic work, as well as their shared interest in extending the boundaries of dance-theatre, fueled a strong desire to collaborate, and this project presented the ideal opportunity.

Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost posed itself as the ideal playground, with its complex themes of immature and mature love, sexual competition, mating rituals and the impossible geography of the human heart as men and women play an entangled game of pursuit and trickery.

This dance theatre adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Darwin’s The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex aims to bring together both actors and dancers in a synthesis of movement, text, music and visual design, to animate this extraordinary play, with the added character of Darwin, who observes and comments on the behavior of the characters from his viewpoint of sexual selection.

Collaborating for the first time is always a challenge, and in this case a very welcome challenge; to find a shared process and theatrical language with which to guide the very talented UC San Diego undergraduate students on this exciting journey.

Kim Rubinstein

Yolande Snaith

Kim Rubinstein Prior to joining the UC San Diego Theatre and Dance faculty, Rubinstein was the Associate Artistic Director of the Long Wharf Theatre where she directed Guys and Dolls, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Private Lives, Santaland Diaries and The Cocktail Hour. Other recent directing credits include: The American Plan for The Old Globe, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow for Portland Center Stage and San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Some other directing credits: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), The American Plan and Eloise and Ray (Roadworks Productions), Pan and Boone (Running With Scissors), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Next Theatre), Not I (Bucket O’Beckett Festival), Act without Words, I, Not I, Play, Come and Go, Baby With the Bathwater and Sarita (Berkshire Theatre Festival). Here at UCSD she directed 1001 and Balm in Gilead. Kim was the Associate and Tour Director of the national tour of Angels in America.

Her other teaching credits include ten years on the acting faculty at Northwestern University, Brown/Trinity Consortium, Wesleyan University, University of Chicago, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Teatro degli Stracci, and an ongoing gig with the professional School at Steppenwolf.

Ms. Rubinstein is a recipient of the TCG/NEA directing fellowship and was nominated for the Alan Schneider Directing Award, among other directing and teaching awards. Active in the development of new plays, she has done readings and workshops at places like New Dramatists and the Long Wharf.

Yolande Snaith (BA) Yolande Snaith trained initially in Art & Design at Wimbledon School of Art, London, before pursuing a Theatre and Dance degree at Dartington College of Arts, England. Since graduating in 1984,Yolande has been creating her own work, performing, choreographing and teaching throughout the UK and overseas, winning several awards including Digital Dance, Time Out/Dance Umbrella and Bonnie Bird Choreography Awards. In 1990 Yolande formed her own company with financial support from the Arts Council of England: Yolande Snaith Theatredance produced eleven full-length works, including Blind Faith, which won the Prix D’auteur du Conceil Generale de la Seine-Saint-Denise in 1998. Throughout her career, dance, theatre, opera, film and television companies, including the English National Opera, Birmingham Dance Exchange, Transitions and Ricochet Dance Company, The Verve, BBC and Channel 4 TV, have commissioned Yolande’s choreography. In 1997 Yolande created the choreography for Stanley Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut, and in1999 she was the choreographic adviser for director David Hinton’s film Birds, which was the overall winner of the 2001 Monaco Dance Screen Awards. Yolande Snaith Theatredance’s most recent touring productions include Maximum Machine, Very Yellow and Jardin Blanc, the final production before the company’s closure in 2005.

Yolande joined the faculty of Theatre and Dance at UCSD in July 2002, and since then she has created several works in the US in collaboration with dancers and designers based in San Diego, as well as commissions from Jean Isaac’s San Diego Dance Theatre and Tonnie Sammatarno’s 11 Heads and Patricia Rincon Dance Collective’s Blurred Borders festival. Garden Of Lila, a dance theatre collaboration with composer Shahrokh Yadegari and filmmaker Tara Knight, was presented at the Japan America Theater in Los Angeles 2005. IMAGOmoves, Yolande’s new dance theater company was formed in 2006, and performed Garden of Forbidden Loves’ and Garden of Deadly Sound in San Diego and at INTERFERENCES, the Hungarian State Theater of Cluj’s international theater festival December 2007. Snaith’s most recent work, iMan, was presented with Garden of Deadly Sound at SUSHI Performance and Visual Arts, San Diego, April 2009. Email: ysnaith@ucsd.edu www.imagomoves.com

Yolande’s Personal Vision and Challenges:

As a choreographer and dance theatre practitioner, I am personally very inspired by the prospect of working in relation to a Shakespeare play, as this is not my typical point of departure. Shakespeare's Love's Labour’s Lost offers us a theatrical lens through which to explore Darwin's theories of sexual selection, using the languages of theatre and dance to navigate the behavior of the sexes. The characters and the narrative of this play illuminate some of Darwin's ideas on sexual selection, and the concept of bringing Darwin into the playground as an observer and commentator, exposing the action to his scrutiny, excites me enormously. I am intrigued by how testosterone plays havoc with men’s intellectual idealism, and how women’s reason and instinct play the final card in this game between the sexes. The potential for movement and dance is enormous, but my vision and challenge is to define a physicality that is truly merged with the text, where actors move, dancers speak and images dance. I am very excited about collaborating with Kim, and the shared process that we evolve will expand my own artistic vision and choreographic craft, venturing into a synthesis between directing and choreography.

The Cast

The Creative Team

King Ferdinand - Chris Cortez
Berowne - Justin O’Neill
Longaville - Paul Scudder
Dumaine - Jesus Perez
Armado - Tom Dugdale
Moth - Lee Montgomery
Costard/Boyet - Matt Bovee
Dull - Katie Willert
Darwin - Spencer Howard
Princess - Dana Murphy
Rosaline - Carissa Cash
Katherine - Bianca Harlow
Maria - Leana Savoie
Jacquenetta - Emily Tracy
Emma - Kendra Miller
Marcade - Christine Herde
Androgynous Anthropologists - Samara Kaplan
- Katarina Beckman
- Katerina Vatti
- Ivy Nguyen
- Christine Herde
Concept, Direction
and Choreography
- Kim Rubinstein, Yolande   Snaith
Darwin/Emma Playwrights - Spencer Howard
- Krista Knight
- Kendra Miller
Production Stage Manager - Samantha M. Watson
Scenic Designer– Samantha Rojales
Costume Designer- Jaymee Ngernwichit
Lighting Designer - Jacob Miller
Sound Designer- Kim Rubinstein
Videographer - Spencer Howard
Asst Directors - Tom Dugdale
- Kendra Miller
Asst Choreographer - Kyle Sorensen
Asst Costume Designer - Katie Vanderdrift
Asst Lighting Designer - Kristyn Kennedy
Asst Stage Manager - Kelly Hardy



Mon, Nov. 16, 7:00 pm   PREVIEW
Tue, Nov. 17, 8:00 pm   OPENING
Wed, Nov. 18, 8:00 pm    
Thu, Nov. 19, 8:00 pm    
Fri, Nov. 20, 8:00 pm    
Sat, Nov. 21, 2:00 pm   MATINEE
Sat, Nov. 21, 8:00 pm   CLOSING

Located at: Mandell Weiss FORUM 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 the Mandell Weiss FORUM Theatre.

General Admission


UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni
Association, and Seniors (over 62)


UCSD Students (with ID)


*Preview performance on Thursday, November 16th at 7:00 pm is offered at the reduced ticket prices of $15/$10/$8.



Production Photos

Photos by Jim Carmody

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