Fresno State’s innovative production of ‘Darkside’ pushes theatrical boundaries

Fresno State is breaking new theatrical ground with “Darkside,” a production unlike anything you’ve seen from the university before. Director Kathleen McKinley calls it “a live-action-theater-graphic-novel video.”

Pictured above: From left, Krishan Joshi, Teya Juarez and Andrew Trevino in ‘Darkside.’ Photo: Fresno State

In the following video interview, I talk with McKinley along with video director Candace Egan, a professor in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department who supervised the filming and editing of the 52-minute piece, and Andrew Mickelson, a Fresno State student actor. The amount of work that went into this production is simply incredible, from figuring out the creative concept and keeping everyone safe to an intensive editing process.


The production premieres Friday, Nov. 6, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 14, in a streaming format. Be aware that this experience is not streaming on-demand. Yes, you’ve grown accustomed to watching stuff on Netflix any time you want, but this will be more like watching a stage performance (or old network TV), with a specified start time (7:30 p.m. for evening shows and 2 p.m. for a Sunday matinee). Tickets are $15 per device. You can get them here.

In my interview, we cover the play itself (a fascinating, funny, philosophical work — originally written as a radio play), the playwright (Tom Stoppard), the rehearsal period and shoot (scrupulous social distancing was in effect), the distinctive visual aesthetic that McKinley and Egan were striving for (complete with original illustrations by costume designer Elizabeth Payne), and the arduous, four-week editing process (which required long hours on Zoom between McKinley and Egan, who was assisted by her MCJ students). It’s an enthusiastic, buoyant conversation that beautifully illustrates how creativity can flourish in onerous times.



Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (1)

  • Jackie Ryle

    Thank you, Donald. What a fascinating interview. Watching this really makes me want to see this production. What an amazing creative project. Groundbreaking for sure. And to see this will add so much to my understanding and enjoyment


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