Theatre UAB student collective presents live, original performance, “Disconnect,” streaming Nov. 19-21

With a thrilling script performed live and unfolding in real time, a dozen college students work through a tangled web of mistaken identities, accidental revelations and conflicting values.

disconnect.2Theater students and faculty from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have created an all-original theater project devised for the internet, “Disconnect,” streaming free Nov. 19-21.

“Disconnect” is a thrilling, complex story, “performed live through the miracle of streaming video,” of a dozen college students as they work through a tangled web of mistaken identities, accidental revelations and conflicting values. The story unfolds in real time as the characters seek connection, validation and even revenge ... all through their cellphones.  

Presented by the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre, “Disconnect” can be streamed on the Theatre UAB YouTube page at, or on the event’s Facebook page, at 7:30 p.m. CT nightly Thursday, Nov. 19 through Saturday, Nov. 21.  

This is a new work created this fall by the ensemble of students, dubbed “The Collective” and led by faculty Lee Shackleford, MFA, and Roy Lightner, MFA. The participants of The Collective determined the content and form of the performance, they say. It is a combination of live and recorded media and is largely student-driven, taking advantage of the virtual spaces created this year. It also features students’ choreography and original songs written by students, Lightner says.

The show is truly “multiplatform” thanks to students who are tweeting as the characters, including some who also have TikTok accounts and are posting videos of themselves in character, Shackleford says. “In a way, the show has already begun and will continue through Nov 21. And maybe after?” 

The Collective is Isabel Behr, Rachel-Marie Strazza, Briana Hernandez, Matias Dupree, Travis Settoon, Terrell Miller, Abigail Coats, TaShauna Jenkins, Emma Mansour, Devin Franklin, Laurel Floen, Mell Packard, Bailey Dumlao, David H. Parker and McKenna Shaw. 

The character social media handles from “Disconnect,” which can be followed on Twitter and TikTok, include Alex, @give_alex_pie and @alex_pie_mine; Blair, @hotblairballoon; Harper, @harper_is_awsm and @harper_the_awesome; Chris, @prince_chris6 and @chris_unlimited; Dallas, @dallasnotexas02 and @dallasnocowboy02; Frankie, @vtp_frankie and @frankiemydarling; Emory, @Emoryy_shea and @emoryshea; Logan, @its_thelogang; Max, @maxstclairr and @maxxxstclair; Kendall, @kforkendetta_ and @kforkendetta; Terry, @terrymccoyy; and Sydney, @syd_babyy.