The Texas Tech University Drama and Dance School, housed within the JT & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts, announces its 2021-22 Drama and Dance season.
The season is made up of eight shows that encourage audiences to embrace intimate stories of awakening: love and desire, joy and sorrow, and self-understanding and compassion.
“After an 18-month absence, we look forward to welcoming audiences back to the theater,” said Mark Charney, Director of the School of Theater & Dance. “To explore the theme of revivals, the season features well-known musicals; boldly theatrical, moving and often hilarious pieces by gripping playwrights; and an imaginative choreography that addresses both contemporary issues and the personal reflections of our community of artists.
The season opens with the black comedy “In a word” by Lauren Yee. Emphasizing the complexity of language, “In a Nutshell” moves audiences through grief and loss while reminding them that life’s deeply traumatic moments can be absurdly funny.
The season also features Mike Lew’s Generation-Z comedy, “Bike America”; the dazzling rock musical “Spring Awakening” by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik; the student-choreographed Fall Dance Festival at LHUCA’s Firehouse Theater; The captivating drama of Caridad Svich “Guapa”; the annual DanceTech Spring Dance Concert featuring the choreography of international breakdancer (b-boy) and hip-hop artist YNOT; and the enchanting musical classic, “A Little Night Music” by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. The season’s close will be Frontier Fest, a week-long new work festival featuring choreography, short plays, and full-length plays from Texas Tech students.
Curtain times for the 2021-22 season are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
All performances, with the exception of the Fall Dance Festival, will take place at the Maedgen Theater & Dance Complex, located on 18th Street between Boston and Flint avenues. The Fall Dance Festival will take place at LHUCA’s Firehouse Theater located at 511 Ave K.
The productions selected for 2021-2022 will have a virtual viewing option for clients who cannot attend the live and in-person performances.
Tickets for all performances are $ 15 for individuals and $ 5 for students with valid ID. Free student tickets are available on a limited basis for Texas Tech students one hour before curtain time on performance day. For more information, visit the School of Drama and Dance website or call (806) 742-3603.
Theater and dance season 2021-22
• “In a Word” by Lauren Yee, directed by Sarah Lehmann, October 5-10, student preview October 4 at the CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theater, Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theater
Fiona’s young son disappeared two years ago and the investigator in charge of the case is not helping. Despite her husband’s insistence on moving on, she combs through her memories of that tragic day, grabbing clues and discovering new meaning in shifting words. Emphasizing the complexity of the language, “In a Nutshell” moves audiences through grief and loss, recalling that deeply traumatic moments in life can also be absurdly funny.
• “Bike America” by Mike Lew, directed by Bill Gelber, October 19-24, student preview October 18 at Studio Performance Lab, Theater & Dance Complex
Penny crosses America by bike to discover herself, followed by her boyfriend in love. What will she learn from the trip and the motley group of bikers who travel with her? Mike Lew’s Gen Z snapshot is both comedic and enlightening.
• Music “Spring Awakening” by Duncan Sheik; book and lyrics by Steven Sater; from the play by Frank Wedekind; directed by Jesse Jou; From November 9 to 14, student preview on November 8 at the CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theater
As a group of young friends find their own way to adulthood, they must contend with the repressive society in which they live. Tempted and unprepared for their emerging awareness of sex and their maturing body, they discover that their innocence and ignorance have tragic consequences. The award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” features dazzling alternative rock score by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater.
• Fall Dance Festival 2021 at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Firehouse Theater, 511 avenue K; Nov. 19-20, 2021, morning and evening performances Nov. 20, student preview Nov. 18
The Fall Dance Festival, a flagship project for fourth-year dance students, presents original choreography that examines awakenings and experiences through movement.
• “Guapa” by Caridad Svich directed by Carlos Medina-Maldonado, from February 8 to 13, 2022, student preview on February 7 at the CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theater
Roly, a single mom, lives in a dusty Texas border town that everyone longs to escape. She has never seen anything like Guapa, an athlete born with a burning ambition to become an international football star. When Guapa joins Roly’s family, everyone’s life is turned upside down. With just one swipe to reach the big leagues from the neighborhood, how can Guapa convince the unbelievers to let go of their doubts, spread their wings and fly away?
• DanceTech 2022, from March 3 to 5, 2022, student preview on March 2 at the CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theater
Engaging both universal questions and personal reflections from our artist community, DanceTech 2022 explores moving bodies in space and presents new choreographies from dance teachers and guest artists, including artist b- hip-hop boy Anthony Denaro, aka YNOT.
• Music and lyrics to “A Little Night Music” by Stephen Sondheim; book by Hugh Wheeler; orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick; suggested from a film by Ingmar Bergman; originally produced and directed on Broadway by Harold Prince; directed by Casey Keenan Joiner; From April 5 to 10, 2022, student preview on April 4 at The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theater
Stephen Sondheim’s romance, intrigue, and lush score shine a light on the lives of the idle wealthy as a group of unlikely characters converge in the countryside. As a fickle actress and her lawyer lover try to rekindle their old love, many lives are on the line.
• Frontier Fest, April 25 to May 1, 2022 at The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theater | Studio performance lab
Frontier Fest is a festival of short pieces, choreography and complete pieces by students of Texas Tech, presenting new, adventurous works bordering on the known.