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Cal Poly’s ‘RSVP XXV: Call and Response’ to be Presented in Virtual Episodes

Scene from last year's RSVP production
Scene from last year's RSVP production

The Cal Poly Music Department’s student production ensemble RSVP will present “RSVP XXV: Call and Response” in three video episodes starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 4-6.

This year marks not only the 25th anniversary of RSVP but also the departure of its founder and artistic director, Antonio G. Barata, who is retiring from full-time teaching at Cal Poly after 35 years.

This year the transmedia series picks up where last year’s left off: in a combination of music, costume, dance and video editing. The story of heavy metal shredder Peter Estrella continues, with the focus on his mysterious disappearance and otherworldly reconciliation.

“This production challenges our attachment to normalcy,” Barata said. “The show embraces the unexpected and examines how both humans and non-humans connect from afar. Based on our current society, this show is incredibly timely as it forces us to grapple with reality and uphold the will to be creative during unusual times. Simultaneously the story seamlessly carries over themes showcased in its preceding installment, such as inspiration and darkness.”

The composition, performance, soundscape and costuming combine the creativity of students in Barata’s Sound Design classes with choreography by Cal Poly students Evan Ricaurté, Lindsay Eklund and Justine Teoh, plus several dancers from past productions.

The students have been especially creative this year due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders.

“I believe that the virtual setting, while it has its own unique challenges, also comes with its unique opportunities,” said Teoh, an architectural engineering major. “By going virtual, we will be able to do things no traditional RSVP has been able to do — and perhaps will never be able to do again.

“For example, we can reach out further and wider through online viewing, no longer limited by theater space. Through video presentations we open ourselves to all the possibilities and tools video editing has to offer. Overall, I believe that this will be an amazing and memorable production, fitting of the 25th show.”

Links to the YouTube videos will be posted to the RSVP calendar page. Donations can be made to support future RSVP productions.

The performances are sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, visit the department’s calendar website or email

Story originally appeared in the Music Department spring 2020 events calendar

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