Each year, the University of Florida (UF) School of Theatre + Dance presents a variety of productions showcasing its students and faculty and their incredible talent and diversity. The School of Theatre + Dance’s 2015-2016 season, which opens Sept. 4, 2015 and runs until April 17, 2016, will be full of original and recent plays and offer the community a chance to see stars in the making before they appear in theatres and with dance companies around the country, on Broadway, on TV and in films.
“This season holds special promise for the campus and community to see superb new plays such as Honky, The Golden Dragon and Spill—the latter a new play by the renowned lead writer of The Laramie Project, Leigh Fondakowski, in a special, pre-New York engagement,” said Jerry Dickey, director of UF’s School of Theatre + Dance. “The season also features two extraordinary crowd-pleasing shows with music, The Drowsy Chaperone and Peter and the Starcatcher—the latter the third in a series of co-productions with the Hippodrome Theatre. Original dance choreography is always on display in our faculty and student concerts. And we have our annual African dance celebration, Agbedidi, in the fall and a classic Greek tragic trilogy, The House of Atreus, in the spring. The season has something for everyone.”
Co-produced with the Hippodrome Theatre and directed by Lauren Caldwell, Peter and the Starcatcher will run from Sept. 4-27, 2015 at the Hippodrome Theatre. Peter and the Starcatcher won nearly every honor that theatre has to offer including five Tony Awards, the Lortel Award and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Play. It also was nominated for Best New Play in the very first year of the Off-Broadway Alliance Awards. Peter and the Starcatcher is an adventurous tale of madcap comedy and adventure—a swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan will have you hooked from the moment you let your imagination take flight.
The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig and translated by David Tushingham will be performed Oct. 1-11, 2015 in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion’s Black Box Theatre under the direction of Ralf Remshardt. The award-winning play debuted in Europe in 2009 where it continues to be recognized widely. The play debuted in the United States in 2012 at the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. The story is set in a small kitchen of an Asian restaurant and its neighboring apartment building in a German City. The play jogs questions of immigration and cultural oppression, Asian perceptions, human trafficking and Eastern-Western tensions. Identity if fluid, as actors portray characters of different ages and genders in a highly theatrical style.
The Drowsy Chaperone is described as a “loving send-up of the frivolously inconsequential stage musicals of the Jazz Age,” where “a fan known only as Man in Chair gives a spin to the original cast recording of one such musical, providing the audience with amusing minutiae about the play and the players,” by Playbill. Directed by Tony Mata with musical direction by Tony Offerle, the play will take place Oct. 16-25, 2015 in Constans Theatre, located in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
The BFA Dance Showcase, coordinated by Ric Rose, will take place in the G-6 Studio of the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2015. Showcased works will be of BFA dance students and UF School of Theatre + Dance faculty and guest artists.
Agbedidi, an annual School of Theatre + Dance production, will once again be directed by Mohamed DaCosta and include traditional and contemporary interpretations of Africa and the Diaspora. The show will run Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 22, 2015 in Constans Theatre, located in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
Spill by Leigh Fondakowski in collaboration with visual artist Reeva Wortel is based on interviews of scores of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2012. The words of 30 people who experienced the disaster firsthand are directly incorporated into the production with the use of actor transformation to create various roles. After this newly revised play receives a professional premiere in Chicago, the UF production will be the first by a college or university theatre. Spill will run Jan. 29-31 and Feb. 5-7, 2016 under the direction of Tim Altmeyer in Constans Theatre located in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
Dance 2016 is a repertoire concert containing works by UF faculty, guest artists and superior student work. The production will take place Feb. 12-21, 2016 in the Black Box Theatre in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
Honky by Greg Kalleres tells the story of a young African American’s murder over a pair of basketball shoes and the resulting tripling in sales among white teens. Around the same time, a new pill is released that guarantees a cure to racism—as advertised, “if you don't think you need it, you’re probably a racist.” Honky is a satirical play that dives into the negative relationship between racism and commericialism, while at the same time posing the question, “Is white guilt only for white people?” Directed by Mikell Pinkney, the play will show March 18-26, 2016 in the Black Box Theatre in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
The House of Atreus is a contemporary adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Oresteia by John Lewin and will be directed by Yanci Buckovec. The story line employs direct yet lyrical language, appealing to the contemporary audience, while still encompassing the tragic power of the classic Greek trilogy. The performance is April 13-10, 2016 in Constans Theatre located in the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
Lastly is the Spring BFA Dance Showcase taking place April 3-17, 2016 in G-6 Studio of the Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion.
Tickets for UF School of Theatre + Dance productions typically range from $13-$17 and are available through the University Box Office located at Gate 1 of the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, by calling 352-392-1653 or at ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Constans Theatre Box Office starting 45 minutes prior to the performance.
The Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion is located at 687 McCarty Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611. Parking is available across the street from the UF Bookstore & Welcome Center on the University of Florida located on Museum Road.
About the School of Theatre + Dance
The School of Theatre + Dance is one of the University of Florida College of the Arts’ institutionally-accredited schools. Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting, dance, musical theatre, theatre production—including costume design, lighting design and scenic design—or a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance studies or general theatre. Minors are also offered in dance and theatre as well as certificates in arts in medicine and dance in healthcare. Student organizations, showcase programs and other intensives provide students with invaluable professional experiences. UF is home to three School of Theatre + Dance performance venues, including the Constans Theatre, Black Box Theatre and G-6 Studio. To learn more about the School of Theatre + Dance, including upcoming performance dates and ticket information, visit www.arts.ufl.edu/theatreanddance.
About the College of the Arts
The College of the Arts is one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and approximately than 1,200 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit www.arts.ufl.edu.
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Leah Craig, APR, Public Relations and Marketing Manager
University of Florida College of the Arts
Office: 352.273.1489 | Cell: 904.419.3346