The University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance (SOTD) offers Houstonians an opportunity to catch rising stage stars performing in compelling classics and premiere productions. For its 2015 – 2016 performance season, the school continues its tradition of delivering new and timeless plays performed by its talented student actors.
Masterpieces by Bard and Chekov are on tap, as well as modern favorites by Qui Nguyen and Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. Audiences also can experience new plays written by students and performances from the school’s acclaimed Dance Program.
All performances are in the University’s Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, the Jose Quintero Theatre and Studio 208. These spaces are located in UH’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts (entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard). Subscriptions of three performances or more can be purchased online or by calling the SOTD box office at 713-743-2929.
The following performances are included in 2015 -16 subscription packages:
- Sept. 25 – 27: “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (written by Jay Presson Allen, directed by Jim Johnson) Based on Muriel Spark’s novel (later adapted into a 1969 film), the play explores the relationships between teachers and students and how they build and destroy one another. Brodie is very popular with her students, and some of her colleagues - but not with the principal. The students serve as the pawns in this political and emotional chess match, but these pawns have minds of their own when they get involved in adult games. (Performed in Studio 208)
- Oct. 9 – 18: “Fuenteovejuna” (written by Lope de Vega, directed by Keith Byron Kirk) The town of Fuenteovejuna is run by Commander Guzmán, a rapacious and cruel overlord. The villagers endure his cruel atrocities until he goes too far – kidnapping the mayor’s daughter and her fiancé on their wedding day. Escaping Guzman’s clutches, Laurencia galvanizes the town to finally extract their revenge, but at what price? (Performed in the Jose Quintero Theatre) 8 p.m., Oct. 9, 10, 15 – 17; 2 p.m., Oct. 11, 18
- Nov. 13 – 22: “Three Sisters” (written by Anton Chekov, adapted by Michael Frayn, directed by John Tyson) The three Prozorov sisters lived a grand life with their father. After he passes, they yearn for something magical to transform their seemingly ordinary lives in a small town – work, love and moving to Moscow. When the military regiment comes to town, there's hope for something greater. Even as they find what they think they want, it's not enough. Their once happy home soon becomes a place where passions and tempers fly, creating heartbreak and frustration. (Performed in the Wortham Theatre) 8 p.m., Nov. 13, 14, 18 – 21; 2 p.m., Nov. 15, 22
- Nov. 20 – 22: “Cuckoo” (written by Troy Loftin, directed by Rob Shimko) Patrick and Joan Brisby live a comfortable, conventional life, and that's exactly the problem. Hoping to inject new thrills into their relationship, Patrick has devised a plan to satisfy a kink he's had for a while. Their big night turns into a fiasco as unexpected people show up, and the doors of this madhouse start flying. (Performed in Studio 208) 7:30 p.m., Nov. 20, 21; 1:30 p.m., Nov. 21, 22
- Dec. 4, 5: Emerging Choreographers Showcase For more than 16 years, the UH School of Theatre & Dance has presented the Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase to introduce audiences to rising student talents from the Center for Choreography. Students choreograph, costume, produce and design the performances. (Performed in the Jose Quintero Theatre) 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4, 5
- Feb. 19 – 28: “Intimate Apparel” (written by Lynn Nottage, directed by Sara Becker) Set in New York in 1905, “Intimate Apparel” is a riveting tale is about the empowerment of Esther. She’s a gifted but lonely African-American seamstress, who creates exquisite lingerie for both wealthy socialites and prostitutes. As she yearns for a different life, she finds unconventional friendships with clients that defy race, religion and class. When a mysterious foreign stranger starts to write her love letters, Esther must decide between a love that is accepted and one that is true. (Performed in the Jose Quintero Theatre) 8 p.m., Feb. 19, 20, 24 – 27; 2 p.m., Feb. 21, 28
- March 4 – 6: Shakespeare Play -Title to be announced in fall (Performed in the Wortham Theatre) 7:30 p.m., March 4, 5; 1:30 p.m., March 5, 6
- March 25 – 27: UH Dance Ensemble This annual spring concert features original dance theatre by faculty and guest artists as performed by the UH Dance Ensemble. (Performed in the Wortham Theatre) 7:30 p.m., March 25, 26; 1:30 p.m., March 27
- April 22 – 30: “She Kills Monsters” Agnes Evans lost her entire family in an instant. By chance she discovers the secret Dungeons & Dragons notebook of her dead sister, Tilly. As Agnes delves deeper into a fantasy realm, she discovers deep truths about her sister…and herself. “She Kills Monsters” blends pop culture with geek culture. The play also addresses loss, GLBT and identity issues, family and friendship, successfully harnessing the angst of growing up and the power of the geek warrior in all of us. (Performed in the Wortham Theatre) 8 p.m., April 22, 23, 28 – 30; 2 p.m., May 1
- April 28 – May 1: 10-Minute Play Festival This annual festival showcases the best new work from UH undergraduate playwrights and works selected from an international 10-minute play contest. (Performed in the Jose Quintero Theatre) 7:30 p.m., April 28 – 30; 1:30 p.m., April 30, May 1