By Steven Risko |
June 7, 2021
An actress on stage looks out

Theatre UCF explores the question “what does it mean to be an American?” in a season of works by contemporary American playwrights that tackle experiences from the complexities of adolescence to the ups and downs of adulthood, from losing everything to finding the love of your life.

“After a challenging year of creating theatre during the pandemic, we are excited to offer a season of live productions in our regular theatre spaces,” says Julia Listengarten, Artistic Director of Theatre UCF. “Our new season celebrates diversity, love, resilience and the power of art to inspire, rebuild, and foster transformative experiences.”

The season “kicks” off with The Wolves, a critically acclaimed show that dives into the lives of the women on competitive high school soccer team. Just as the characters in the play are preparing for their championship game, our Theatre UCF performers will work with a member of the UCF Women’s Soccer team to be in tip-top shape for this performance.

Next, travel to New York City to relive every awkward moment and fumbled flirtation of a first date in a hilarious musical comedy about a blind date. First Date brings you on a high-energy journey of finding love set to a pop-rock score that will keep you laughing the entire performance.

The last show of the fall continues the theme of finding love with a series of one acts by John Patrick Shanley. Welcome to the Moon and Other One Acts is a collection of six stories that will be directed by three Theatre UCF alumni. The performance was originally slated to be directed by faculty member Mark Brotherton, who passed away in March. These performances will be in honor of his incredible contributions to the UCF School of Performing Arts.

The first show of the spring takes us back to 1923, when an entire cast of a Broadway play and their producer were arrested and convicted on the grounds of obscenity. Indecent, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, follows the controversy of a play that depicts a lesbian storyline and the fight the cast takes against marginalization.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Sweat, produced by Theatre UCF in 2019, Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine follows the story of Undine, a successful Black woman who was a top publicist in New York City. Her world comes crashing down through a series of unfortunate events and she must discover how to rebuild her life and reconnect with her family roots in Brooklyn.

Theatre UCF will also present a special event at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2022. Embark on a hilarious fairytale adventure with Shrek the Musical, the Tony Award-winning Broadway show that follows the story of the grumpy, green ogre and his talking donkey sidekick. Tickets for Shrek The Musical will be available when UCF Celebrates the Arts 2022 goes on sale, but you can get a discounted $25 voucher with the purchase of a Theatre UCF subscription package.

Subscriptions for the 2021–22 season are available beginning June 7 at noon at arts.ucf.edu or by calling the Theatre UCF Box Office at 407-823-1500. Single tickets go on sale August 12.

 

Visit arts.ucf.edu/theatre or see the full schedule below:

 

September 23–October 3, 2021

The Wolves

by Sarah DeLappe
Directed by David Reed
Assistant Directed by Sage Tokach
Venue TBA (This production may be held outdoors)

Nine competitive high school soccer players navigate the wins, losses and rivalries on and off the Astroturf, a striking and vulnerable account of what it means to be a teenager and teammate.

Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Wolves chronicles a team of women’s competitive high school soccer players. As these nine women band together as teammates to defend their undefeated record, they explore the sacrifices they made in the midst of the pressures of adolescence to become warriors on the field.  As the “pack” trains for their moment of glory, their sideline conversations turn to boys, eating disorders, “the new girl” and preparing for adulthood.

 

October 14–24, 2021

First Date  

Book by Austin Winsberg, Music and Lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner
Directed by Earl Weaver
UCF Mainstage Theatre

Casual drinks at dinner spiral into humor, horror and humility of embarking on a first date, with surprises, and maybe even true love, around every corner in this musical comedy.

First Date is a hilarious, quirky musical comedy that takes you on a journey set to relive all the angst, humiliation and surprises of a first date. The pop-rock score throws the audience headfirst into the ups and downs of a mismatched blind date when a cool, edgy, 30-something woman and a tightly wound, traditional guy embark on a comical, high-energy journey to find love in the city.

 

November 12–21, 2021

Welcome to the Moon and Other One Acts

by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Peter Cortelli ’10MFA, Tara Kromer ’15MFA, and Joshian Morales ’13
UCF Blackbox Theatre

Experience the tantalizing, romantic and bittersweet writing of Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley with his one acts: The Red Coat, Down and Out, Let Us Go into the Starry Night, Out West, A Lonely Impulse of Delight, and Welcome to the Moon.

This is collection of six separate stories of people reaching out to find love, old and new, blending humor, poetry and truth into each story. The Red Coat embodies the overwhelming feeling of new love, following two high school teenagers outside of a party in the Bronx. Down and Out captures a riveting moment between the Poet and his Love who saves his soul. Let Us Go Out into the Starry Night depicts the captivating spiritual journey of two lonely people to the magical world of stars and planets. Out West is an enthralling contemporary take on a classic western. A Lonely Impulse of Delight dives into the whimsical side of love and fairy-tale conceits, telling the story of a man admitting to his best friend he is madly in love with a mermaid that lives in Central Park Lake. Welcome to the Moon follows two old friends, Vinnie and Stephan, meeting for drinks in a Bronx bar. Time stops for a bittersweet moment as the two women they love the most enter, as past and present become one.

 

January 27–February 6, 2022

Indecent

by Paula Vogel
Directed by Julia Listengarten
Choreography & Movement Direction by Christopher Niess
UCF Mainstage Theatre

A deeply moving and emotional story about the thirst for freedom, the fight against marginalization and the risks people take to defend the heart-stirring power of art.

Indecent is a battle cry for resistance — an emotional, unfettering tale of the transformative pull of art, revealing that storytelling can be the light in the darkest of times. Indecent, written by Paula Vogel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, is a deeply moving and liberating story based on the true events surrounding the play God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch, where the producer and cast were arrested and convicted for obscenity for showing love between two women on stage. Vogel’s play spotlights those who have risked their careers and lives to reveal the truths behind this incendiary drama.

 

February 17–27, 2022

Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine

by Lynn Nottage
Director TBA
UCF Blackbox Theatre

A satirical yet cautionary tale of struggling to understand what it means to be a Black woman amidst the constructs of society, and the trials of returning to family roots.

Undine Barnes Calles, a successful African American publicist, sees her fabulous life at the top of an agency in New York City begin to crumble before her very eyes as she faces a series of unfortunate events, from a money-embezzling husband to an unexpected pregnancy. Undine is suddenly standing on the edge of complete financial and social ruin, and is left with only one choice: return to her childhood home in Brooklyn after avoiding it for years. Plunged into a harsh new reality, Undine realizes her uphill climb is much slower than her downward spiral and must learn to survive and move forward. Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage triumphantly celebrates social and racial identity through exploring the struggle of what Black “success” looks like in a predominately white society.

 

April 2022

Shrek The Musical

Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Michael Wainstein
UCF Celebrates the Arts at Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center

A grumpy green ogre and fairy-tale favorites thrown into a jam-packed hilarious musical adventure perfect for the entire family.

Based on the Dreamworks film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony-Award-winning hilarious adventure that brings the beloved characters from the film to the stage. Follow the grumpy green ogre named Shrek as his hermit existence is thrown into chaos when a group of storybook favorites — Pinocchio, the Gingerbread Man, the Three Little Pigs and more — invade his swamp after being sent there by the short-tempered and comedic Lord Farquaad. To protect his swamp, Shrek agrees to save the lovely Princess Fiona — who has been waiting for her prince to rescue her — for Farquaad. With the help of his loyal sidekick, a talking donkey, Shrek learns that he’s not the only one that feels like a misfit and finds out what true love really means. Amidst dazzling puppetry, high-energy dance numbers, side-sticking jokes and over-the-top characters, Shrek The Musical turns the traditional fairy tale upside-down.