Theatre UAB announces bold new season for 2014-2015

An exploration of race, a student’s original take on women and war, a stimulating study of hysteria, the annual short play fest, and a heart “felt” Tony Award-winning comedy are in store this season.

urinetown 2013Scene from last season's production of the musical "Urinetown"This season the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Theatre will tackle weighty and witty plays on race relations, warfare and sexual liberation, along with a coming-of-age musical puppet parable and the annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays.

Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play “Clybourne Park” will kick off the season Oct. 15-19, followed by “Women of War,” an original work created by Kennedy Center honors student Rebecca Harper and Professor Karla Koskinen, Nov. 12-15 and Nov. 19-22.

Theatre UAB will present “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” for mature audiences only, Feb. 18-22, 2015. The 12th annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays is set for March 9-14, 2015, and the season will culminate in the quotable and quirky musical “Avenue Q” from April 8-12, 2015. For season tickets or more information, visit the UAB Department of Theatre online or call 205-934-3236.

Theatre UAB, part of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, chooses its season of plays each year with purpose. Plays are selected to offer students the widest array of roles and experience possible, and to give student actors the skills they will need in the world of professional theater.

The coming school year will mark the first class of Theatre UAB’s new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater. The BFA in musical theater builds on the department’s nationally recognized B.A. degree in theater to offer the specific training performers need for success in the working world of musical theater. Students will receive highly specialized training in acting, voice and speech, movement, private voice lessons, music theory, piano, ballet, jazz, and tap dance through partnerships with the UAB Department of Music and other local organizations.

Theatre UAB student tour groups, which travel to schools, retirement homes and community centers on Fridays throughout the school year to entertain audiences, this year will include Cabaret, Kids on the Block, Shakespeare Company and the Amazing Traveling Aesop Show. For information and booking, call UAB Theatre Tour Groups at 205-934-3237.

shakespeare tourUAB Theatre's Shakespeare Company Tour Group

Theatre UAB’s 2014-2015 season of performances:

Oct. 15-19, 2014
Clybourne Park,” written by Bruce Norris and directed by Professor Dennis McLernon. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15-18, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The changing face of Chicago’s Clybourne Park is the backdrop for this Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play. Cleverly incorporating elements of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Clybourne Park” explores race relations and gentrification in surprising and wickedly funny ways. This play contains strong adult language and themes. General admission tickets are $12 and $15; $6 for students; and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

Nov. 12-15 and Nov. 19-22, 2014
Women of War,” created by Rebecca Harper and Karla Koskinen and directed by Rebecca Harper. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-15 and Nov. 19-21, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. This original work explores the complexities of the human impulse to engage in warfare and the determination and strength needed to recover. Through music, dance and text, this compelling piece presents the perspectives of both victor and victim as they examine the causes and effects of war. Touching on such subjects as post-traumatic stress, loss of homeland, survival and defeat, “Women of War” examines the male and female experience. This play contains adult themes. General admission tickets are $15; $6 for students; and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

Feb. 18-22, 2015
In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play),” written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Assistant Professor Jack Cannon. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Feb.18-21, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. In late 19th century middle-class America, “female problems” were often dismissed as “hysteria.” Enter Dr. Givings, who treats the symptoms with a strange, new electrically powered box. Ruhl’s play is a fanciful, compassionate and truly “stimulating” study of sexual liberation. This play contains partial nudity, sexual content, and adult situations and themes. General admission tickets are $12 and $15; $6 for students; and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

March 9-14, 2015
Theatre UAB's 12th annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays, produced by Assistant Professor Lee Shackleford. Shows at 7:30 p.m. March 9-13, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Brevity is the soul of cutting-edge comedy and drama in this yearly festival of original work, all created within the Department of Theatre. Eight new, short plays will be performed for the first time on any stage. It’s a rollercoaster theatrical experience audiences are certain to remember. These plays often contain adult language and themes. All tickets are $5; arrive early as the festival performances nearly always sell out. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

April 8-12, 2015
Avenue Q,” with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty, directed by UAB Theatre’s Head of Musical Theater Valerie Accetta. Shows at 7:30 p.m. April 8-11, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 12, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Winner of the Tony Awards’ “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, “Avenue Q” is a hilarious, sweetly satiric, coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors. When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like “Sesame Street,” where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else. In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of puppet characters who help define his purpose in life. This play contains adult language and themes and is not for young audiences. General admission tickets are $12 and $15; $6 for students; and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

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