From “La La Land” to UC Riverside

Miles Anderson, who starred in “La La Land,” directing play for UCR theatre department

Miles Anderson

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – He went from acting in the Oscar-nominated film “La La Land,” to mentoring students, and directing a play for the University of California, Riverside Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production. Actor-director Miles Anderson is directing “Tartuffe,” which is set to premiere on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Arts Building Studio Theatre, Arts 113 at UCR.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to work with Miles, someone who is both versed in the classics (he is an Olivier Award-nominated actor) and a film actor now appearing in such a popular, mainstream film,” said Erith Jaffe-Berg, the chair of the theatre, film, and digital production department at UCR. “Miles is able to guide our students through the challenges of acting in verse on a text based on 17th century French, and at the same time, he and the students are bringing this Baroque play alive for audiences in Riverside.”

Anderson, an internationally acclaimed actor, played the photographer who snapped photos of the band Ryan Gosling and John Legend’s characters played in the film. Anderson was raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and lived in the United Kingdom for 40 years, moving to the United States in 2008. While in the U.S., he has appeared in television shows such as “Criminal Minds,” “Baskets,” and “Battle Creek.” But, for the last few weeks he has been working with students in UCR’s theatre department.

“Working with UCR students is always thought-provoking, exciting and inspiring,” Anderson said. “I learn as much from them as (I hope) they do from me! Their generosity of creative spirit and their desire to learn are humbling.”

“Tartuffe,” written by Molière, and translated into English by Richard Wilbur, is considered one of the greatest French classics of the 17th century. It charts what happens when a religious imposter tries to take over a wealthy household, and the family fights back. Twice banned by the French court because of its criticism of the religious establishment and the royal court, the play’s narrative veers from farcical comedy to searing irony. UCR’s production is a mix of 1980s New Romanticism, 17th century rhyming couplets and some hard rock ’n’ roll.

“I have endeavored to bring to the rehearsal room the same playfulness that Damien Chazelle encouraged with myself and Gosling in our improvised scene in ‘La La Land.’ For me, the art of directing is giving freedom and gentle provocation to the actors, stage managers, and all the creative team. I also applaud the work of the production staff here at UCR: the professional quality of the work is of the highest order,” Anderson said.

There will be seven performances of “Tartuffe” in total. The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 25, 2:30 p.m. (matinee) and 8 p.m.

Tickets are free for UCR students who show ID. It will cost $14 for general admission, and $12 for non-UCR students, UCR alumni cardholders, senior citizens, and children. You can purchase tickets in advance at the University Theatre Fine Arts Ticket Office, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-up tickets are available at the ARTS Building Ticket Office one hour before each performance. Parking is available for $5.50 in Lot 1, and is free for UC permit holders. For more information, please contact Kathy DeAtley (951) 827-3245, or

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Additional Contacts

Kathy DeAtley
Tel: (951) 827-3245

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