Theatre UAB presents Shakespearean comedy, story of a 19th-century astronomer, a group of plays from A-list writers and two musicals

Each of Theatre UAB’s shows are cast almost entirely from the student body. The Department of Theatre is attracting so much talent for its Musical Theatre program that two musicals are scheduled for this season.

hound 2016Theatre UAB's production of "The Real Inspector Hound" from the 2016-17 season.Theatre UAB will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Silent Sky,” “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” and musicals “Working” and “Hairspray” for the 2017-2018 season.

Theatre UAB is the performance company of the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre.

Theatre UAB’s plays are selected to provide the finest performance opportunities for the students in the department, says Chair Kelly Allison, MFA.

“It’s so exciting to see how this program has grown in size and quality over the last two decades,” Allison said. “It is enormously gratifying to hear the positive comments from our patrons as they leave the theater following a Theatre UAB performance. Our students, staff and faculty strive to exceed the expectations of the community and, based on the feedback we receive, they do that with every production.” 

Theatre UAB’s Musical Theatre BFA program continues to receive attention nationwide, Allison says.

“Though the program is only in its fourth year, it attracts some of the most talented young performers from Alabama and beyond,” he said. “This will allow us to produce two musicals this year for the first time in our history.”

Additionally, joining the department’s faculty this fall is Assistant Professor Roy Lightner, MFA, who will teach dance classes, choreograph and direct productions, and advise musical theater majors.

Each show is cast almost entirely from the student body. Approximately 50 students usually perform in the shows, with a crew numbering 50-60 students working in costume construction, lighting, props and more. Each show averages about 100 students participating, which is roughly the number of the department’s majors. Theatre UAB offers hundreds of opportunities each year for student writers, actors, technicians, running-crew members, stage managers, dramaturgs or directors, and more than 100 opportunities each year for students to design scenery, costumes, lighting or sound.

Theatre UAB’s 2017-2018 season presents:

Oct. 18-22

A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, directed by Dennis McLernon. In the Bard’s most popular comedy, wedding bells are ringing for Theseus and Hippolyta, but the real adventure lies with four Athenian lovers and a rag-tag group of amateur actors who encounter woodland fairies, with hilarious results. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18-21 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 22, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $12 and $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to www.AlysStephens.org. Visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

Nov. 8-11, 15-18 

Working,” book by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, music by Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers and James Taylor, and lyrics by Schwartz, Carnelia, Grant, Taylor, and Susan Birkenhead. Directed by Valerie Accetta. Musical direction by Carolyn Violi and choreography by Roy Lightner.

alnm 2016 1Theatre UAB's production of "A Little Night Music" from the 2016-17 season.Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, “Working” paints a vivid portrait of the men and women that the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the phone operator, the waitress, the millworker, the mason and the housewife, just to name a few. Nominated for six Tony Awards, this updated classic includes new songs by Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-11 and Nov. 15-17 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 18, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Odess Theatre. Tickets are $20, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to www.AlysStephens.org. Visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

Feb. 21-25, 2018

Silent Sky,” by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Karla Koskinen. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21-24 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 25, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $12 and $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to www.AlysStephens.org. Visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

Feb. 27-28, March 1-4, 2018

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays,” by Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick and Doug Wright, conceived by Brian Shnipper. Directed by Brandon Bruce, Mel Christian, Cheryl Hall, Karla Koskinen and Dennis McLernon.

Two little words, and suddenly your whole world changes. An A-list lineup of writers offers unique takes on the moments before, during and after saying “I do.” Witty, warm and occasionally wacky, these plays are vows to the blessings of equality, the universal challenges of relationships and the often-hilarious power of love. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-28 and March 1-3 and at 2 p.m. March 4, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Odess Theatre. Tickets are $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to www.AlysStephens.org. Visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

you cant take itTheatre UAB's production of "You Can't Take It with You" from the 2016-17 season.April 11-15, 2018

Hairspray,” music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film “Hairspray.” Directed by Valerie Accetta. Musical direction by Carolyn Violi and choreography by Roy Lightner. The 1950s are out, and change is in the air. “Hairspray,” winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is family-friendly fun, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. Shows at 7:30 p.m. April 11-14 and at 2 p.m. April 15, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $15 and $20, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to www.AlysStephens.org. Visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.

In addition to the department’s main-stage productions, 15 students participate in Theatre UAB Tour Groups. The student tour groups travel to schools, retirement homes and community centers on Fridays throughout the school year. Last season, the Theatre UAB Tour Groups performed 65 shows in 24 cities in 11 counties, and entertained more than 15,000 people.

This season’s tour shows will include “The Emperor's New Clothes”; Theatre UAB Cabaret in “The Musical World of Disney”; and Theatre UAB Shakespeare Company with “The Taming of the Shrew (abridged).” An audition workshop for high school drama programs will also be offered. For information and booking, call Theatre UAB Tour Groups at 205-934-3237.

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