ORANGE, Calif.  (October 2, 2011) – Through a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, Chapman University will be hosting a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity this weekend. The groundbreaking Cirque du Soleil Entertainment and Technology Symposium will take place October 21-23, 2011 on the Chapman campus and will provide attendees an opportunity to interact with Cirque du Soleil performers and industry partners through master classes.

The symposium was brought to Chapman through the efforts of husband-wife team Professor Alicia Okouchi-Guy of the university’s department of dance, and Professor Don Guy,who heads Chapman’s entertainment technology program in the department of theatre.

The program is the first of its kind at a university campus, and was born out of the couple’s working relationship with Cirque du Soleil.  The Canadian circus company, since its launch in 1984, has become an icon of cutting-edge entertainment. Today the company has 5,000 employees worldwide and a repertory of resident shows and touring productions across the globe.

Professor Okouchi-Guy’s goal is for Chapman students to see what it takes to compete for a place on the entertainment giant’s team.

“Students will know more about what Cirque du Soleil is really looking for and how they can get better,” Professor Okouchi-Guy said.

A person attending the entire symposium will have the opportunity to take a total of nine classed in a variety of disciplines—including artistic performance, multi-media, audio, company management, stage management, rigging, operations, automation, wigs 7 make-up, and props and scenery.

The symposium is open to students, faculty and administrators from Chapman University and surrounding Southern California universities and colleges.

As a bonus treat for the public, the symposium will include two free festive movie nights 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22. Chapman University’s Attallah Piazza will feature a circus atmosphere for outdoor screenings of two documentaries that feature behind-the-scenes footage of Cirque du Soleil shows. Free snow cones, popcorn and other circus treats will be offered along with the films. Friday will showcase The Story of the Creation of KÀ – An Epic Journey! and Saturday Alegría.


Several Cirque du Soleil industry partners will be on site, as well to demonstrate their cutting edge technology and offer hands-on classes; including Meyer Sound, Coolux, Stage Technologies and Christie Digital.

For more information or to register for the symposium, please visit All attendees must register online by October 1, 2011. The registration fee for non-Chapman University attendees is $45. The fee includes entrance to all class sessions, evening events and closing ceremonies.

Tracing its history to 1861, Chapman University is one of California’s oldest and most respected private institutions. The university is known for its commitment to deeply engaged learning, providing students with a remarkable educational environment from the moment they step onto campus. Chapman University alumni are found throughout the world, providing ethical and innovative leadership in their communities and disciplines. Our graduates now excel in film and media arts, performing arts, educational studies, business and economics, law, humanities and the sciences.



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