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The Department of Theater season is a laboratory for our students. What students learn in the classroom comes to life on our stages, as they work with other students, faculty, staff and special guests. We take that knowledge beyond our doors and into the community with special outreach events including our popular student matinees for local schools. And we welcome the community not only as our audience but as creative participants — our auditions are open to all comers.

Mainstage productions and events for the 2013-2014 season

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Special Event:
The Massachusetts Dance Festival

Sept. 27 & 28 at 8 p.m.
The Rand Theater
Special event pricing: General admission: $15 online or advanced sales; $20 at the door Students/Seniors/Boston Dance Alliance Members: $10 online or advanced sales; $15 at the door; discounts available for UM/5C/GCC/STCC Music, Dance and Theater students

Theater is our game, but we love all the performing arts. That's why we're excited to announce that in September, we will host our friends from across campus for the Massachusetts Dance Festival. Organized by members of the UMass Dance Program, the festival offers two evening concerts of select professional dance companies in Massachusetts. On Saturday during the day, community members are invited to participate in dance workshops by renowned special guest teachers in the field.

Concert and workshop tickets available for pre-order at www.massdancefestival.org or the UMass Dance Office, (413) 545-6064. You can also visit www.massdancefestival.org for information about the dance companies as they are selected.

Presented by the Music and Dance Department, hosted by the Department of Theater.

The Liar

by David Ives, adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille
directed by Glenn Proud
Oct. 24, 25, 26, 31, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.
The Rand Theater

David Ives describes Corneille's effervescent play as "one of the world's great comedies." A simple misunderstanding snowballs into a case of mistaken identity and romantic complications ensue in this joyous, playful romp. Corneille wrote The Liar over 350 years ago, and Ives' adaptation has beautifully translated the crisp wit that delighted French theater-goers into a compelling physical and verbally over-the-top comedy for today's audiences.


by Lisa D'Amour
directed by Jared Culverhouse
Nov. 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22 at 8 p.m. Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.
The Curtain Theater

Two couples meet over the proverbial backyard fence, but when Ben and Mary invite fresh-from-rehab Kenny and Sharon over on a hot summer afternoon for a get-to-know-you barbecue, the result isn't what anyone expected. Secrets are spilled and raw truth exposed in this bold, aggressive, and sexy comedy about how the things we covet only get in our way . This is a story of disillusion leavened with humor, and destruction tempered by hope.

Street Scene

by Kurt Weill, Elmer Rice, and Langston Hughes
directed by Gina Kaufmann
musical direction by Mark Swanson
choreography by Erica Wilson Perkins
special guests: bass-baritone John Cheek and soprano Dana Schnitzer
Feb. 21, 26, 28, March 1 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.
The Rand Theater (For this production, tickets will be reserved seating.)

In 1946, German composer Kurt Weill and playwright Elmer Rice came together with poet Langston Hughes to create Street Scene, a riveting artistic hybrid of musical theater, opera, and spoken-word poetry. The gritty story, based on Rice's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, focuses on the residents of a run-down tenement in a multi-ethnic, working class area of Manhattan. The action centers around a romance between a Jewish and a gentile teenager and on the consequences of an extramarital affair, but it is the rich undertones of longing and the layered relationships bring the complex world of Street Scene to life. With elements that encompass classical music forms and the jazz esthetic, and a uniquely poetic sensibility, this piece stretches the art of opera in fascinating directions.

A co-production of Five College Opera and the Department of Theater.

A series of events and concerts highlighting works by Weil, Rice and Hughes, and celebrating their collaboration, will take place on Five College campuses.

This performance is funded in part by the
Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY


UMass New Play Lab

by Liz Duffy Adams and Tira Palmquist
directed by Jared Culverhouse
Play #1 performances: March 27, April 4, and April 5 at 8 p.m., March 29 at 2 p.m.
Play #2 performances: March 28, March 29, and April 3 at 8 p.m., April 5 at 2 p.m.
The Curtain Theater

Imagine the exhilaration of being one of the first people to witness the words of a new great play being spoken. That's the position in which audience members of our Playlab will find themselves. Over the summer, we put out a call for subversive, fresh, new work, and come spring, we'll invite the playwrights of our two favorite plays to join us to polish those pieces and put them in front of an audience in a series of staged readings. Can you imagine being in the room when a future classic is performed for the first time? You could be…

Please note: All tickets purchased in advance will admit you to 2 performances, one performance for each play. When you order your ticket, please indicate which performance of each play you would like to attend. Tickets to a single performance will be available ONLY in walk-up sales at the time of the performance and will cost $9 general and $5 students/seniors, subject to availability.

This production is made possible in part by Hotel UMass, which has generously helped provide accommodations for our guest artists.

Peter Pan

by J. M. Barrie
directed by Brianna Sloane
April 10, 11, 12, 18 at 8 p.m.
April 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.
School matinee April 17 at 10 a.m.

Remarkable, fantastical, and a little bit strange — the tale of Peter Pan has captivated people for over 100 years. UMass Theater is thrilled to be part of that legacy of theater magic in its production of J.M. Barrie's original play. Ours will be a production that confronts the story's melancholy aspects — the fear of growing up, of lost children, of longing — and counters them with a joy born of the power of creativity, play and joy. The pretend is near!


Tickets are $16 general admission, $8 for students and seniors, except the Massachusetts Dance Festival (please see above).

All seating is general admission unless otherwise noted.


Order the full season of 5* shows, or a mini-subscription of 3 shows, at a discount of 20% per individual subscription, or 25% for a couples subscription.

* The Massachusetts Dance Festival is a special event and cannot be part of any subscription package.

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.

Download a subscription form (PDF) here.

Cabaret 204

In addition to our mainstage productions, UMass Theater proudly invites community members to investigate Cabaret 204, a new (free!) series of student-produced work.

Learn more about Cabaret 204


We will be scheduling matinees for the coming season over the summer. Please check our outreach page over the summer to learn about the shows in questions. We offer question and answer sessions, study guides, backstage tours, and workshops. Some resources are available in conjunction with events, while others may be accessed at any time.

Learn more about outreach


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

Learn more about auditions




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