About Mills Performing Arts
Mills Performing Arts is committed to promoting action and exchange in the performing arts, and supporting artists and scholars who reflect, explore, and celebrate the abundant cultural, racial, gender, and economic diversity of our society.
We bring together the work of the Mills College Dance, Music, Theater, and Literatures & Languages Departments with the goals of fostering deeper ties with our Bay Area community and championing a dynamic, boundary-breaking performing arts scene.
To further these goals, we host the Mills Performing Artist-in-Residence Program, create opportunities for artists to collaborate with Mills students and faculty, and provide access to Mills Performing Arts resources and venues—including Littlefield Concert Hall, Holland Theater, Rothwell Theater, the Greek Theatre, and the Digital Performance Theater.
For more than 120 years, these five theaters have hosted performances by groundbreaking artists such as Pauline Oliveros, Dave Brubeck, Morton Subotnick, Anna Halprin, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown ’58, Muhal Richard Abrams, Molissa Fenley ’75, Fred Frith, and Rebeca Mauleón ’89.
Mills Performing Arts makes these venues available to today’s vanguard of performing artists and offers spaces where all voices and communities can be seen, heard, and welcomed. The creation of safe, supportive places for the rigorous, creative practice of innovation and craft in performance work is at the heart of our mission. We believe that every performance is an opportunity, and with every telling of a story, sharing of a song, or participation in a dance, we gain insight into our shared humanity, our imaginations, and the interconnectedness of the world.
Situated on the Mills College campus in Oakland, California, we acknowledge that Mills Performing Arts and our venues operate on the traditional lands of the Ohlone People.
- Showcasing a dynamic, diverse roster of performance-based artists and teachers
- Creating affordable access to resources for both makers and audience
- Providing a safe, professional, and inspiring creative environment for all artists, staff, and guests
- Opening the door to a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews
- Encouraging rigorous inquiry and dialogue
- Engaging in community partnerships that create opportunity and support creative practice and the production of performance work
Gender and Racial Justice
- Committed to challenging social, cultural, and economic inequalities imposed and arising from any differential distribution of power, resources, and privilege at Mills College and in the larger society
Alexander Zendzian is a dancer, musician, theater producer, and arts administrator originally from the Penobscot Valley in Central Maine. They arrived at Mills College in 2018 following eleven years with the Joe Goode Performance Group, as both a performing member of the company and as program/operations manager. During that time, they were instrumental in launching and operating the Joe Goode Annex, a multi-purpose performance venue in San Francisco, California, and developing community-centered programming.
Zendzian’s career as a performing artist is rooted in work with dance pioneer Anna Halprin, Sara Shelton Mann, and Joe Goode, as well as multiple organizations including Capacitor, Motion-Lab, Gamelan X, touring nationally with Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band and internationally as a member of Project Bandaloop. Their work in theater production includes lighting design for Bay Area dance theater artists including Fog Beast, Heather Baer, and James Graham; and extensive production stage management, including for Sara Shelton Mann’s 40-year retrospective Erasing Time in December 2015 at the Forum at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and Bandaloop’s local and touring projects.
Zendzian is committed to cultivating opportunities for artists to engage in their creative practice and to craft and share performances as a mechanism of our society’s necessary seeking of shared understanding and repair. A long-time resident of Oakland, California, Zendzian is inspired to be working to create a new point of access to the performing arts, housed in such historic venues in East Oakland, that serves the local community as well as the greater Bay Area and beyond.
Brendan Glasson is a composer, performer, and multimedia artist originally from Providence, Rhode Island. He has shown work internationally, including at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, the MUDAM Museum in Luxembourg, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the RISD Museum. Glasson moved to Oakland to pursue an MFA in electronic music and recording media at Mills College, where he composed works around ideas of stillness, slowness, and imperceptible change. In his work as audio director, Glasson is interested in connecting the line from the rich history of innovation and experimentation in the arts at Mills to the new resources, people, and ideas that define the College today.
Stephanie Hewett is a choreographer, movement researcher, performer, and teacher from the Bronx, New York (Lenape territory). She is a graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts and has studied at the Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. She holds an MFA in dance from Mills College and was recently on faculty at the College of San Mateo. Her movement-based performance work aims to highlight fluid identity and reimagines the future as a site of rebirth. Her current research entails navigating performance through injury, pleasure frequencies, and excavating ancestral vestiges in the body.
Sally Decker is a composer and performer based in Oakland, California. She graduated from Mills with her MFA in electronic music and recording media in 2019. Her approach to the creative process and form is psychological and sensory, rooted in the goal of strengthening a reflective focus toward our internal intuitive worlds. Recent interests include electronic feedback systems, the voice, and utilization of language in performance.
Amina Kirby is a 2019 graduate of the Mills College MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media Program. Over the course of her 17-year career, she has coordinated logistical and audiovisual technical needs for events ranging from outdoor electronic music festivals to academic performances, panels, and speeches. She is additionally a composer, producer, and performing musician and has completed over two dozen albums of work and six international tours.
Brendan Page graduated from San Francisco State University’s Broadcasting and Electronic Communications Arts Program in 2015 and has worked since as an audio engineer in performance venues across the Bay Area including Starline Social Club, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, and The Jewish Community Center of Berkeley. His experience ranges from large-scale concerts to children’s recorder recitals. Page leads pay-what-you-can audio engineering classes at Mutual Stores, an art space near Mills College.
Mills Performing Arts
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613