‘The Munro Review on CMAC’: Summer Arts kicks off, Madera Theatre Project embraces summer

In the latest episode of “The Munro Review on CMAC,” I get an opportunity to interview two of the people who help the CSU Summer Arts program move smoothly behind the scenes: Joanne Sharp and Angel Lesnikowski. Joanne is the longtime assistant director of the program, which brings together students from all the California State University campuses to Fresno to study with master artists. And Angel is a Fresno State graduate student in painting who is a proud Summer Arts alum and now works for the festival.

You can find my Summer Arts interview with them starting at the 3:39 mark of the episode:

Also featured are two guests from the Madera Theatre Project, which just finished up its run of “Alice in Wonderland,” the first of three summer productions. The second, “Anna in the Tropics,” directed by Rodolpho Robles Cruz, runs July 6-15. And the third, “Into the Woods,” directed by Michael Christopher Flores, runs Aug. 3-Aug. 12. On my CMAC show, I welcome Flores and Zelia Ankrum, who plays Little Red Riding Hood. They talk about “Into the Woods” and the new Madera company’s season in general. In an added treat, Zelia sings Sondheim’s delectable “I Know Things Now.”

Besides watching my CMAC show on YouTube or at CMAC’s website, you can also catch it several times on cable (on CMAC Channel 1): 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 26; 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 30; 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 1; and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 2.

Back to Summer Arts: The new season opens for the public with a performance at 7 p.m. Monday, June 26, titled “Viva Mexico! Viva America!” The dance and music event features faculty members from the “Contemporary Trends in Mexican Folklorico Dance and Mariachi” workshop.


It was fun getting to know more about Lesnikowski, who is a working artist and a passionate believer in Summer Arts. In our interview, we talk about what it’s like to be a student in one of the all-consuming Summer Arts sessions. It might only last two weeks, but a course like this can be a life changer.

For Summer Arts audiences, there is an important development to note: Because of a generous donation from Prieto Automotive, prices for all ticketed events are $10 for adults; $5 for seniors (60-plus) and Fresno State faculty and staff; and free for children and students (current and valid student ID and/or proof of age required). Those prices are a steal!

There are six public events that audiences can attend, along with the always popular free student showcases that come at the end of both of the two-week sessions. Besides the mariachi/folklorico performance, here’s the schedule:

7 p.m. Saturday, July 1: Agoro Music and Dance from Ghana.
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 5: Latinx Voices On Stage: Community, Lineage, and Performance.
7 p.m. Friday, July 14: K-pop Dance: Laraly.
4 p.m. Saturday, July 15: Behind the Scenes of Fight Direction.
7 p.m. Monday, July 17: Ryka Aoki and Erin Kate Ryan.

The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.

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.

Leave a Reply