UH's Studio 208 Showcases Talents of Graduate Actors, Directors

Behind the doors of Studio 208, the creative minds of University of Houston graduate actors, directors and designers are hard at work. It is in this unique performance laboratory that ideas and concepts simmer, and ultimately, come to a boil in bold productions.

Each semester, UH master of fine arts (MFA) students in the School of Theatre & Dance apply their talents to performance projects that can be viewed for free by the community. For the 2009-10 season, students will showcase four plays in the studio.

"In Studio 208, audiences are able to get very close to the shows being performed. It's a very intimate, energetic venue," said Jack Young, head of acting and directing. "This fall will be particularly exciting as our student directors are smart, with sharp eyes and real guts, taking on serious works."

Studio 208 performances are free, but space is limited. Tickets are available at the School of Theatre & Dance box office. The performance space is in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts building at UH (Entrance 16 off of Cullen Blvd.).

The 2009-10 performance schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 18 - 20 - Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen: Not since Lady Macbeth has a character been such a mistress of manipulation. The play (directed by Clinton Hopper) follows the titular character as she emotionally and psychologically dissects those closest to her.
    7:30 p.m., Sept. 18 and 19; 2 p.m., Sept. 20.
  • Oct. 16 - 18 - "Landscape of the Body" by John Guare: The wild side of 1970s New York provides the backdrop for this production (directed by Chermaie Howe). When folks from a small town move to the Big Apple, they discover a world unlike any they have ever known.
    7:30 p.m., Oct. 16 - 17; 2 p.m., Oct. 18.
  • April 9 - 11: "Henry V" by William Shakespeare: Hail to the king! Directed by Clinton Hopper, this Bard classic follows King Henry V into love and war. It is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, parts 1 and 2.
    7 p.m., April 9; 5 p.m., April 10 - 11.
  • April 9 - 11: "Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare: One of the Bard's best comedies pairs razor sharp dialogue with romantic tensions. A fortune-hunting rogue marries the strong-willed daughter of a wealthy lord (for money) and a war of words and wills ensues. Chermaie Howe directs this classic.
    9:30 p.m., April 9; 8 p.m., April 10; 2 p.m., April 11.

The UH School of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor's and master's degrees in theater and teacher certifications in dance. Its graduate program consists of a master of arts in theatre and masters of fine arts in theatre with specializations in acting, directing and design. Each fall and spring, the school produces five plays performed in the Wortham Theatre and the Jose Quintero Theatre, two dance concerts, four graduate directing projects, two Theatre for Young Audiences plays and the Houston Shakespeare Festival each summer. The school has benefitted from notable star faculty such as Edward Albee, Lanford Wilson, Sir Peter Hall and Jose Quintero. Among current faculty are Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow and Broadway dramaturg Mark Bly. For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.theatredance.uh.edu.