Mainstage

The First Stop for Game-Changing Artists

Hamilton’s Tony-nominated set designer David Korins created some of his first sets for an evening of one-act plays at UMass Theater. Welcome to Night Vale podcast actor and Neo York Neo-Futurist Meg Bashwiner cut her acting teeth playing a kitchenmaid in one of our productions. Ben Stanton (Fun Home, Spring Awakening) and Justin Townsend (American Psycho, The Humans), both Tony-nominated lighting designers, once spent a semester rounding out their understanding of the craft of theater by working in our scene shop together.

Our current students share their work ethic, dedication to the craft, and intelligence as artists, and we expect that in just a few short years, they, too, will be re-shaping the national theater community.

The performers, artists and technicians running the show now at UMass will be the ones who tell the stories that reflect on our changing world and its connections to the past and future.

Come to a performance and be part of the crowd as they begin their artistic journey.

The Misanthrope

misanthrope

Written by Molière, adapted by Constance Congdon ‘82G
Directed by Mary Corinne Miller

Rand Theater
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, Half-Price Preview at 7:30 pm
Friday, October 21, 2016, Opening Night at 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 22, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, Student Matinee at 10:00 am
Thursday, October 27, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Friday, October 28, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 29, 2016, Performance at 2 pm
Saturday, October 29, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm

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Why put on a comedy written 350 years ago? Because these characters are still funny today — we see them on our TV screens in many contemporary comedies. Alceste is the neurotic introvert who simultaneously craves isolation and connection. His object of desire is Célimène, a social butterfly who carefully curates her image in a way any Instagram star would envy. She’s got Alceste and the painfully hip Oronte on the hook, along with countless others, while her best frenemy, Arsinoé, attempts to manipulate the situation so she can win Alceste for herself. Come enjoy a backstage pass to a live studio taping of the comedy “The Misanthrope” and see how pointedly Molière’s snarky observations about love and friendship translate to relationships played out in the context of our screen-obsessed modern-day world.

Refugee

Written by Milan Dragicevich
With music by Tim Eriksen
Directed by Nikita Milivojević
Curtain Theater
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, Half-Price Preview at 7:30 pm
Friday, December 2, 2016, Opening Night at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 3, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Thursday, December 8, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Friday, December 9, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 10, 2016, Performance at 2 pm
Saturday, December 10, 2016, Performance at 7:30 pm

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Two sisters gaze across an endless stretch of barren desert at the El Shatt refugee camp, while a war rages across Europe.  In the hollows of southern Appalachia, an idealistic guitar-strumming activist fights to preserve a way of life. On the streets of embattled Belgrade, a hustler struggles to survive in the underground markets of a desperate people.  What binds them together?  Where is home?  When we cross borders, what do we become?  This new play with music jumps across time and place, with a multigenerational story of displacement, capricious destiny, and the search for identity.

Hedda Gabler

Written by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Christina Pellegrini
Rand Theater
Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Half-Price Preview at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 24, 2017, Opening Night at 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 25, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 2, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 3, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 4, 2017, Performance at 2 pm
Saturday, March 4, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm

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Groundbreaking at the time of its premiere, yet condemned for its portrayal of a “vicious, heartless, cowardly, unmoral, mischief-making vixen,” Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler has since come to be regarded as one of the most dimensional character portraits in theatrical history. Set within the 24 hours after Hedda and her husband return from their honeymoon, the play’s desperate, thrilling momentum puts us face-to-face with Hedda the woman: in all her biting wit, ironic humor, violent desperation and simmering rage.

UMass New Play Lab

Produced by Claudia Nolan and Ifa Bayeza
Directed by Ifa Bayeza
Curtain Theater
Wednesday, March 30, 2017, Opening Night at 7:30 pm
Friday, April 1, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 6, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 8, 2017, Performance at 2 pm

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New works are the lifeblood of the American theatre. As a part of UMass’ long tradition of fostering and presenting new works to central Massachusetts, the theatre department sponsors a Play Lab every year.  Play Lab's mission is to help develop plays with bold and fresh forms that give voice to underrepresented communities and stories. Through an intensive selection process, we pick one new script that speaks to our campus community, and offer the playwright the thing they need most: a roomful of talented artists who dedicate a fortnight to helping them polish their rough gem into a diamond. Audience members are vital to this endeavor because their feedback helps shape the future of these new plays. Come be part of a community that fosters new work.

The Happiest Song Plays Last

Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Jennifer Onopa
Rand Theater
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, Half-Price Preview at 7:30 pm
Friday, April 7, 2017, Opening Night at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 8, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 13, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Friday, April 14, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 15, 2017, Performance at 2 pm
Saturday, April 15, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm

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There’s power in traditions, in the songs sung and the food served at gatherings and the way they can bind families and communities together across time and distance. Iraq war veteran Elliott is in Jordan to film a war movie and finds himself connecting with his costar Shar, against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. When he calls home, he speaks to his cousin Yaz, a music professor, who has opened her new home in Philadelphia to feed neighbors in need and struggles against a system that neglects the poor and the sick. Hudes’s play is a complex mixture, balancing epic historical events with intimate life moments, all of them connected through the wonders of modern technology and the richness of Puerto Rican cuatro music.

Ta’zieh — Between Two Rivers

Conceived by Nikoo Mamdoohi and Q-Mars Haeri
Written by Q-Mars Haeri and Ifa Bayeza
Directed by Nikoo Mamdoohi
Off Site Location to be announced
Thursday, April 27, 2017, Opening Night at 7:30 pm
Friday, April 28, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 29, 2017, Performance at 2 pm

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A Ta’zieh starts with a procession: live music, costumes, bystanders drawn into the celebration. This Iranian tradition has evolved into a worldwide event that brings people together to work through community struggles and clashes through music, drama and spectacle. Iranian theater artist Nikoo Mamdoohi recognized that Ta’zieh’s core elements resonate with our own complicated racial history, and she and writers Q-mars Haeri and Ifa Bayeza are collaborating on a new cross-pollination of Iranian and African-American words, music and rituals, using this ancient mythic practice to address tragedy and conflict in our own time.

 

TICKETS

Seating for all mainstage shows is general admission.

Tickets are $16 regular admission, $8 for Five-College and high school students/seniors for all shows except the UMass New Play Lab, which are $4 and $8.

Subscribe to the UMass Theater and receive a 20% discount on tickets and a guaranteed spot in the audience; never worry about shows selling out again!

Group pricing is available for on and off-campus organizations.

Box office: 1-800-999-UMAS or 413-545-2511

SUBSCRIPTION

Order the full season or a mini-subscription of 3 shows at a discount of 20% per individual subscription, or 25% for a couples subscription.

20 for 20: Buy 20 or more tickets, and get 20% off. Call the box office at 1-800-999-UMAS or 413-545-2511.

More than the mainstage!

Creativity isn’t limited to our mainstage. Our students also learn by collaborating across disciplines to produce groundbreaking pieces that explode conventions about theater, perform cutting-edge works they create from scratch, and mount brand new takes on old works.

Most of these works are free and open to the public, so if you’ve got an appetite for the new, visit our facebook page for announcements of independent student work.

Learn more

Talk about our shows!

Inspired, thrilled, confused, or even angry about what’s happening onstage?

Our scholars want to talk with you about what you’re about to see, to offer you a chance to reflect on what you experienced, and to let us know what you thought. Pre- or post-show events are offered on most nights of each production’s run. Share your emotional reaction with the artists, hear from community experts, or learn little-known facts about theater-making; each night will offer something for audiences.

Please see our website and facebook for the schedule of events as each production nears. Free and open to all.

Auditions

Auditions for mainstage productions are open to all comers. Information is updated as it becomes available.

Learn more about auditions

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