UMass Theater announces a slate of digital projects for Fall 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
This semester, our venue is a space online instead of a stage. We invite you to join us as we fuse theatrical creativity with modern technology to safely reach the farthest corners of our community.
We look forward to bringing theater to you in new ways, whether it's the lesser-known literary side of a jazz giant, using science fiction conventions to dream a better future into existence, or the coolest Zoom rooms ever as artists evoke magic to incite change and empower us all to perform acts of resistance.
All events are free of charge (although we will happily take donations from those who have the means).
Visit our 2020-2021 Season page for registration details as each event nears.
When The Soul Looks Out: Selections from Dr. Yusef Lateef’s Creative Writing
Curated and directed by Priscilla María Page
Dr. Yusuf Lateef is a towering figure in jazz, a deeply spiritual and philosophical man whose recordings and teachings have left a lasting imprint in the world of music. We are proud to be a part of the Centennial Celebration of Yusef Lateef, coordinated by Glenn Siegel as part of the Magic Triangle Series out of the UMass Fine Arts Center. To honor Dr. Lateef’s legacy, Dr. Page has curated a filmed presentation of his writings, Midnight in the Garden of Love, Spheres, and Another Avenue, performed by Five College and UMass Theater alumni, faculty, and students with guest artists Miles Griffith, Mary LaRose, and Fay Victor.
Presented by the UMass Fine Arts Center’s Magic Triangle Series and UMass Theater.
When the Soul Looks Out will premiere online on Oct. 9 and will remain accessible to viewers afterward. Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office for information on this curated reading, as well as the other presentations that are part of Dr. Lateef's Centennial Celebration.
COVEN-19, or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times
Produced by Maegan Clearwood, Percival Hornak, and Helen Rahman
2020 is on fire, and more than ever, we are being called upon to own our individual and collective powers, make meaning out of utter chaos, and manifest tangible, seismic change. In late October, when the veil between our world and the other is at its very thinnest, our Coven will perform a live, remote ritual for the community that addresses the grief and pain we are all experiencing — but also the potential for transformation in these strange times. The time is ripe for magick-making: join us.
Presented live online Oct. 29 and 31 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 30 at Midnight.
Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theatre for Social Justice Movements
Conceived and directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden
This project takes its inspiration from the Octavia’s Brood anthology, which explores the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. We are commissioning three professional playwrights to each write a 30-minute play of visionary fiction that confronts urgent issues of our time. Each writer will be paired with an activist whose work intersects with the play's subject matter. These writer/activist teams will collaborate to create work that is visionary in its approach while also grounded in contemporary activist thought.
The plays, written to be performed digitally, will be in conversation with each other and will present three different visions of future worlds. Join us for staged readings of excerpts in the fall, with full productions during the spring semester.
Presented live online: Play 1 on Nov. 12 at 7:30; Play 2 on Nov. 15 at 7:30, Play 3 on Nov. 19 at 7:30 pm, play titles to be announced
Devised and directed by Rudy Ramirez, with coordinator Yao Chen
Immersive theater works by placing its audience amid the action; we’re taking this concept remote. Café Subterrain invites audience members to gather in a digital café where they’ll journey through virtual rooms to meet resistance agents from across time and space who will share their stories and empower audience members to commit small acts of change in their home communities. The idea: to give comfort and hope that the world can emerge from hardship to a better place, and that the struggle can feel like celebration.
Presented live online: Dec. 1, 2 & 3 at 7:30 p.m. A second iteration of this production is planned for spring, dates to be announced.
Conceived and produced by Bianca Dillard
What are the stories behind the staggering numbers? Theater is about storytelling, and this podcast will draw on theater to tell the story of this pandemic from a multiplicity of perspectives, interviewing experts and folks with first-hand experience of the disease, whom we might not otherwise encounter in our isolation. Together, a team of interviewers, writers and sound design students and faculty mentors will look at topics such as how the pandemic is disproportionately adversely affecting populations of color; how mask wearing has become a polarizing political issue; and what healthcare workers are experiencing.
Look for this series to be posted online this winter.