Theatre UCF invites audiences to allow themselves to embrace joy and recognize the power of humanity to overcome hardship and adversity in a season of works that reflect themes of sisterhood, togetherness, love, artistry and imagination. We are excited to offer a dazzling array of theatrical genres and forms as well as an exciting blend of contemporary and classical topics.
The series begins with Chicken & Biscuits, a boisterous comedy by Douglas Lyons, which follows a Black family as they celebrate the life of their recently deceased father, highlighting the beauty in the brokenness and inviting moments of connection, laughter and family love. A peaceful funeral is disrupted when a guest reveals a deep family secret, sending the group into a dramatic frenzy full of jabs, laughter and lots of stirring the pot.
Next, get ready to dance and laugh along to a Tony-nominated score heightened by dynamic choreography in Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin’s The Prom. This story follows four struggling Broadway stars as they band together to help a small-town Indiana high schooler bring her girlfriend to the prom, against the rules of the PTA. Along with hilarious dialogue, The Prom highlights conversations of adolescence, acceptance and fighting for what’s right.
Closing our fall season, Theatre UCF brings forth modern adaptations of Greek myths with an epic, sensual and bold retelling written by Tony Award-winning artist Mary Zimmerman. Metamorphoses reimagines classical stories about Midas, Orpheus and Aphrodite, among others, in ways that highlight the struggles and joys of being mortal.
Spring begins with a fantastic journey filled with adventure, mischievous pirates, jungle tyrants and a well-loved hero. Tony-winning play and wildly theatrical adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novel, Peter and the Starcatcher is a creative and whimsical tale that tugs on all the right heart strings. Paired with a playful score and featuring the characters you know and love, Peter and the Starcatcher is a great show for the young and young at heart.
We continue the spring season with The Cherry Orchard, written by the world-renowned Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and translated by Jean-Claude van Itallie. This theatre classic tells the bittersweet tale of the Russian aristocracy facing love, loss, monetary struggles and major societal changes. Through this play, Chekhov presents a heart-wrenching look into a family grappling with the disrupted social order.
Finally, Theatre UCF presents a special event at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2024. Join us for an evening of thrills, dark humor and a legendary score with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Tony award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim. Murder and revenge all mix together in this spine-chilling tale of Benjamin Barker, an exiled barber, who returns to 19th century London to settle the score with his nemesis and find his family. Tickets for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be available when UCF Celebrates the Arts 2024 goes on sale.
Subscriptions for the 2023-24 season will go on sale July 2023 and single tickets will be available August 2023. Subscribers can get a discounted $25 voucher for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with the purchase of a Theatre UCF subscription package.
For more information visit arts.ucf.edu or call the Theatre UCF Box Office at 407-823-1500.
Chicken & Biscuits
by Douglas Lyons
Directed by Felichia Chivaughn
UCF Black Box
September 21 – October 1, 2023
This boisterous comedy follows a Black family as they celebrate the life of their recently deceased father, highlighting the beauty in the brokenness and inviting moments of connection, laughter and family love.
Meet the Jenkins family as they gather to remember the life of their late patriarch. This peaceful funeral is disrupted when a guest reveals a deep family secret, sending the group into a dramatic frenzy full of jabs, laughter and lots of stirring the pot. Can this family reconcile before they lay their beloved to rest?
book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin
Music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Directed by John Gardiner
Choreographed by Kyli Rae
UCF Mainstage Theatre
October 12 – 22, 2023
Trouble is brewing in small-town Indiana, when one high schooler wants to bring her girlfriend to the prom, against the rules of the PTA.
Four struggling Broadway stars band together to help small-town Indiana high schooler, Emma Nolan. Through the power of social media, the narcissistic Broadway stars discover that Emma is prohibited from bringing her girlfriend to the prom due to the PTA’s strict and problematic policies. This causes a ripple to rise up, leading to a fight for the prom Emma deserves. With comedic dialogue, a Tony-nominated score and dynamic choreography, hilarity and heartfelt joy ensue. Determined to fight for what is right (and center themselves in the warm embrace of the spotlight), the stars work together to give everyone a chance at love and a night they will surely remember.
by Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Julia Listengarten
Movement Direction by Christopher Niess
UCF Black Box
November 9 – 19, 2023
Step into the modern adaptations of Greek myths with an epic, sensual and bold retelling written by Tony Award winning artist Mary Zimmerman. This passionate tale reimagines classical stories about Midas, Orpheus and Aphrodite, among others, in ways that highlight the struggles and joys of being mortal.
Humanity is at the center of this piece, examining the redemptive power of the ancient myths we have retold for centuries. Gods and mortals alike endure heartbreak, epic conflict and love in this larger-than-life recount. This adaptation brings the classic Ovid poem of the same name to life revealing juxtapositions and parallels between the ancient and the contemporary.
Peter and the Starcatcher
by Rick Elice
Music by Wayne Barker
Directed by David Lee
UCF Mainstage Theatre
January 25 – February 4, 2024
The journey has just begun! Peter and the Starcatcher is imaginative, exciting, and surpasses the means of traditional storytelling. Packed full of adventure, this production is fun for the whole family!
Discover how a disheveled orphan becomes the legendary Peter Pan and how a precocious young girl named Molly preserves celestial treasures. This Tony-winning play is a wildly theatrical adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novel, with adventurous pirates, jungle tyrants and a fearsome villain, Black Stache. Meet Molly, a Starcatcher in-training, as she protects a trunk full of magical and ever-so powerful ‘starstuff’ and ensures it never falls into the wrong hands. Black Stache ventures to claim the trunk as his own as the journey turns into a high-speed adventure. This creative and whimsical tale, paired with a playful score, tugs on all the right heart strings, with nods to the characters you know and love.
The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
Translation by Jean-Claude van Itallie
Directed by Roberta Emerson
UCF Black Box
February 22 – March 3, 2024
A bittersweet tale of the Russian aristocracy facing love, loss, monetary struggles and major societal changes—all on the brink of revolution.
The aristocratic family is sociable, intelligent and hopelessly in debt. Unless they can find funding, their huge estate—including a much-loved cherry orchard—will go to auction. As they spend one last summer on their beautiful country property, talks of nostalgia and lost dreams mask their fears of the social and political upheaval ahead of them. A masterful piece, written by the world-renowned Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard is a classic and heart-wrenching rendition of a family grappling with disrupted social order.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Michael Wainstein
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
April 11 – 13, 2024
A thrilling story set to music by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd captivates the audience by the emotionally stirring tale of Benjamin Barker, an exiled barber, who returns to 19th century London to settle a score with his nemesis and find his family.
This Tony award-winning musical is an unsettling account of the classic characters Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, long in love with the anguished barber. Together, they plot to realize his dark ambitions and seek revenge for the injustice he suffered 15 years earlier. A Victorian-era ambiance enhances the soaring Sondheim score, with stunning dissonance and dark beauty. Join us for an evening of revenge, humor and thrills.