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Send Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Students to New York!

Raised toward our $12,500 Goal
18 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 30, at 05:00 PM PST
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Send Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Students to New York!

This campaign has ended, but you can still support the Theatre and Dance - Under the Radar Festival project here




The Under the Radar Festival Project is a 30-day fundraising campaign to raise money for eleven (11) eligible Cal Poly Theatre Majors and Minors to attend and participate in the 2019 Under the Radar Theatre Festival (UTR) at the Public Theater in New York City, New York, from January 2 – 6, 2019. The festival is an internationally recognized platform that brings together a diverse group of artists, presents new perspectives on theater, and connects future entertainment career students to technicians, producers and performers from all over the world. Over the past 15 years, the UTR has featured theatre companies from over 50 countries; featuring a variety of performances in theater, dance, and music. Students chosen to participate will view, at minimum, six different performances, as well as have the opportunity to talk with directors and performers afterwards as part of the event format. As a result, students will return to Cal Poly with a domestic and international network of professionals within their field, and a new diverse and global perspective on the presentation of entertainment (theatre). In addition, there will also be daily professional development opportunities AND a meet-and-greet with Cal Poly Theatre Arts Alumni currently living and working in New York City.


Through generous donations provided by a Student-Industry Engagement Grant (sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Theatre and Dance Department), a maximum of eleven (11) students are able to apply and be eligible to receive up to $700 of funding for attendance and participation in the 2019 Under the Radar Theatre Festival (January 2-6, 2019) and ancillary events. However, the total cost without funding is approximately $1,500 (including airfare, accommodation, ground transportation, meals, minimum of 6 theatre tickets, workshops/development opportunities). Accepted students would then be responsible for approximately $800 (includes facilitating your own airfare, meals). This is where your contributions to this campaign can help.


The positive impact for theatre students is palpable. When we were first able to do this trip back in 2017, 4 out of the 10 students who participated then have since gone on to find work in New York after graduation; attributing their successful transition to the East Coast directly to the opportunity provided with the initial Under the Radar Student-Industry Engagement trip.


The Under the Radar festival provides the perfect platform for students to be exposed to a variety of cultures, genres and representations of entertainment. We will be selecting students to attend based upon an application process that gives special consideration to those who show high involvement and interest in the entertainment industry through clubs, classes and activities. This will ensure that upon students' return to Cal Poly, their takeaway from the festival will be shared and influence their fellow peers within their classes and organizations. By providing this culturally diverse learning environment for these students, their global experience will begin to evolve the Cal Poly entertainment culture as a whole.

From a professional development perspective, attending this festival in New York offers students out-of-state travel experience, preparing them for a potential career in an industry with high travel demands. In the past five years, almost 100 Cal Poly graduates with degrees in entertainment related majors reside in the greater New York area, making it a sought-after work location. Students attending the Under the Radar Festival will develop the necessary skills to travel independently, navigate a new city, and explore the multitude of other entertainment platforms New York City has to offer.

By providing funding for students to attend and participate in this festival, it sends a message to current and prospective students that the Theatre and Dance Department and the CLA are dedicated to preparing the learners, creators and leaders of tomorrow.



Get to know this year's accepted students!

Samantha Boyarsky

Sammy Boyarsky is a third-year Theatre major with a love for properties design and artisanship. She also strongly believes that The Chamber of Secrets is the best Harry Potter book/movie by far.

Cassidy Cagney

Cassidy Cagney is a senior Theatre Arts major and Women’s and Gender Studies minor. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to travel to New York to experience new kinds of theatre and explore a city she will soon call home. 

Kathryn Curran

Kathryn Curran is a fourth-year Theatre Arts and English double major, currently exploring a future career in Theatre Arts Education while continuing to perform as an actress. In her free time, she loves serving at her church, singing in the choir, and adventuring around SLO with her friends.

Gabrielle Duong

Gabrielle Duong is a fourth-year Theatre major pursuing scenic painting after graduation. She’s learned so much from her time in school and can’t wait to see what New York has to offer!

Zoe Fassler

Zoe is currently a third-year, Theater Arts major. She is planning on pursuing an internship in New York City this upcoming fall, so that she can eventually move there after graduation. Her focus is on writing, specifically comedy, and look forward to the opportunities that will arise from this upcoming trip to New York.

Katharine Guzzetta

Kat is a fourth-year student, graduating in the Spring of 2019 with a degree in Theatre Arts and an emphasis in Technical Theatre. Her long-term career goals are to one day become a Disney Parks Imagineer and Scenic Designer, while short-term career goals are to work as a stage technician in New York following graduation. 

Emily Kluger

Emily is a fourth-year Theatre Arts major, focused on directing and performing, and planning to move to NYC after graduation to pursue a life in the theatre. Her biggest passions in life include (but are not limited to): musical theatre and New York diner pickles! 

Ethan Kusters

A third-year student, Ethan is a theatrical designer, video editor, programmer, and actor studying Computer Science and Theatre.

Tricia Navigato

Tricia is a senior Theater Arts major, Upon graduation Spring 2019, she will pursue a career in stage management in New York City; using the opportunity to attend the Under the Radar Festival and explore New York to network with potential employers and determine whether it is a good fit personally and professionally.

Haley Purvis

Haley Purvis is a third-year Theatre Arts major who is incredibly passionate about theatre and diversity…and dogs. New York has been her dream for as long as she can remember, and she’s so thrilled that she gets to explore this wonderful city with all her friends.

Kira Rittershaus

Kira is a fourth-year Theatre Arts major with an Integrated Marketing Communications minor. When not at school, she is working at her favorite local coffee shop, reading Stephen King novels or contemplating the deeper meaning of life. Peace & Love

Choose a giving level


Airport transfer to Manhattan

Help fund one student's transportation from the airport to Manhattan, and to show our appreciation, you'll receive an "I Love NYC" social media shoutout!


Sleep No More Talkback

Help fund an exclusive talkback session with performers of the immersive theatre production SLEEP NO MORE. To show our appreciation, one of our students will send you a personalized "I Love NYC" postcard!


Little Italy Dinner

Your gift helps fund one student's first night meal at the world-famous Lombardi’s Pizzeria. You'll receive an "I Love NYC" souvenir and a personalized thank you note from one of our accepted students!


7-day Metrocard

Help fund unlimited local travel on the New York subway system for one student during the entirety of the trip. We'll send you an "I Love NYC" souvenir and a personalized thank you from one of our accepted students!


Lodging for One Night

Your gift helps pay for a one night of lodging at the Hilton Garden Inn/Midtown Park Avenue; centrally located for all transportation and excursions. To thank you for your contribution, you will receive an "I Love NYC" t-shirt!


UTR Ticket Pack

This gift pays for a student to attend a minimum of 4 productions as part of the Public Theatre’s Under the Radar Festival To thank you for your contribution, you will receive an "I Love NYC" t-shirt!


Group Dinner

Your gift pays for all eleven students to dine at the world-famous Lombardi’s Pizzeria on the first night of the trip. To show our appreciation, you'll receive an "I Love NYC" gift pack!


Lodging for Four Nights

Your gift helps pay for all four nights for one student's lodging in centrally located mid-town Manhattan. To show our appreciation, you'll receive an "I Love NYC" gift pack!



Your gift will pay for a student’s roundtrip airfare from the West Coast to New York! To thank you for your contribution, you will receive an "I Love NYC” gift pack, four free tickets to the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department production of THE TEMPEST, and two free tickets to a designated performance at the Pacific Conservatory Theatre in Santa Maria!

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