In 2000, Marc Bauman joined the Fine Arts faculty, teaching acting full time and directing the fall play, the spring musical and advising student directors during the Winter One-Act Festival. Bauman performed with Marcel Marceau on his 1999 North American tour and is one of four Americans to have ever received a diploma from his international theatre school in Paris — L’Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau, an MFA equivalent. A gifted actor and mime, Bauman has been featured on Entertainment Tonight (NBC) and Sunday Times on CBS. He has performed in many plays, including ACT’s production ofThe Tempest and the San Francisco Opera’s productions of The Fiery Angel and Ruslan and Ludmila.
Since 1983, Bauman has taught acting and movement throughout the U.S. and Europe, including UCLA, USC and ACT in San Francisco where he has also served as project director. Since his arrival at SI, he has produced and directed many plays and musicals, including The Miracle Worker, Guys and Dolls, Servant of Two Masters, The Pajama Game, Ascension Day, Chess, Rumors, The Music Man andThe Diary of Anne Frank as well as five winter one-act festivals.
By Meredith Cecchin ’97
Those who did not spend the majority of their high school years in the underground catacombs of SI Fine Arts might assume that SI did not dance until it went co-ed. Those who preferred the spotlight over daylight, however, might remember that SI students, like the fog, have danced on cat feet for decades.
SI hired its first choreographer, John Ellis, to join the farmers and the cowhands in friendship in 1966’s production of Oklahoma! From 1966 through the ’70s, student and faculty choreographers took on the task of choreographing the musicals and musical revues. Marianne Schwarz made a significant imprint on SI dance by choreographing musicals and Musical Theatre Workshops during the late ’70s and early ’80s including My Fair Lady, Carnival and Hello, Dolly! Around this time Schwarz was also the first choreographer hired to teach a formal dance class after school for the young men of St. Ignatius.
Ted Curry ’82 returned to SI in 1983 to choreograph 110 in the Shade, Cabaret,Mack and Mabel and several musical theatre revues. Curry was also the first to choreograph SI students as dancers in the Ignatian Guild Fashion Show in 1984, a tradition that continues to this day. Musical Theatre Workshop performances began to include dance numbers that stood apart from the musical scenes. The first year, dancers performed sections from A Chorus Line and Cats. (This would not be the last time that Wildcats would perform in ears and tails!) Michelle Stubbs began choreographing musicals and fashion shows in 1987 and took SI dancers into the coeducational transition. Stubbs began the tradition of Saturday morning dance classes, and for 15 years SI’s advanced dancers have shown their dedication by rising early to practice on weekends as well as after school.
In 1990, Julie Ferrari was hired after students lobbied for a dance class. When Ferrari (who also taught religious studies) joined the faculty, students finally had the opportunity to take dance classes during the school day. Beginning-level students were able to take classes to complete the Fine Arts portion of their graduation requirement, and Ferrari continued to teach more advanced classes on Saturdays. At this time, classes were held in Bannan Theatre or on the then-carpeted floor of the Band Room. Neither was an ideal space for dancers, so when construction began in the early 1990s, plans included the spacious Wiegand Theatre with its sprung floor and mirrors for the dancers. Wiegand Theatre opened in late 1993, but a swimming pool mishap soon flooded it, warping its floor. The room reopened in 1994, and finally, SI’s dancers had their own home.
1994 brought another milestone in SI dance. Julie Ferrari and her dance classes presented SI’s first dance concert titled Baseball, Broadway, and the Blues Brothers. This was the first dance performance that did not include dramatic performances as well (though it did include a reading of “Casey at the Bat” by faculty member Steve Kearney). Erik DeLong ’97 was a freshman dancer in the show and recalls being one of four or five boys in the class and performing numbers from Damn Yankees and 42nd Street.
Angela Brizuela Delphino joined the faculty as SI’s first full time dance teacher in the fall of 1994 and continued to develop the tradition of the annual dance concert with elaborate musical numbers and costumes. In both 1995 and 1999, SI dancers would again prowl and pounce to the music of Cats. Veronica Esmero ’03 recalls performing that Cats piece in front of the entire student body in the Fine Arts Assembly her freshman year wearing her “most embarrassing costume,” including fur, ears and tail. Delphino expanded the dance program to include two levels of dance classes during the school day and added an additional class after school. More and more SI students were getting the opportunity to dance.
Meredith Cecchin ’97 joined the faculty in 2001 and continued the expansion of SI dance. By 2003 the program offered two levels of dance to students during the school day and four levels after school and on weekends. SI Dance Alumni Ted Curry and Lizette Ortega ’94 both returned to their dance roots upon joining the faculty at SI. Over 100 students of varying levels participate annually in one or both of two annual dance concerts. SI dancers continue to perform in the Spring Musical and Fine Arts Assembly and continue to develop as choreographers as well as dancers. The dance program continued its feline tradition in 2005 with the January concert wildCATS, which featured pieces from Broadway musicals including, predictably, Cats.
Though some musical choices might remain the same, SI’s dance program has advanced and grown since that first choreographer was hired 40 years ago. Jesuit schools have always held the performing arts in high regard as important for student development. It is such thinking by administrators, faculty, parents and students that allows the dance program to continue to expand and excel. SI’s dancers live out the truth in Albert Einstein’s words when he proclaimed that “dancers are the athletes of God.”
And All the Rest
Ignatians showed creativity in organizing new clubs from 1990 through 2005. The following clubs made their debut (and some, their exit) in this period: Web Design, InSIgnis, Insignis Core, Wildcat Welcoming Club, Dance and Drill, United Cultures of St. Ignatius, the French Honor Society and Christmas Choir, Spanish Honor Society, Japanese Honor Society, Junior Statesmen of America, the Junior Classical League, Amnesty International, Social Justice, School of the Americas Protest, the Left, C is for Cookie, Martial Arts, Cycling, Animé, Donuts and Coffee, Teen Angel, Paint Ball, Rock and Roll, Diner’s Club, Bread Connection, Boys State, Girls State, San Francisco Exchange Program, Academic Decathlon, Ambassador Club, the Quill, Conservative Students’ Coalition, Guitar Club & Ensemble, Biology Club, Science Club, Big Sisters, Protosite, Ecology Club, Jewish Life Club, L’Chaim, Yoga, Film, SI Card Club, Mentoring, Pub Club, Interact, Armenian Students Association, Photo Club, Hackey Cats, SI Aquarium Society, Psychology Club, PCMUG, Polo Club, Pep Band and Student Trainers (an innovative program using students as athletic trainers, under the supervision of Marla Bottner and Robert Assadurian, to accompany teams to their games and help with first aid and conditioning).