Theatre UCF, part of the UCF School of Performing Arts, introduces an Annual Arts Festival to its 2014-15 season, in addition to its regular schedule of plays and musicals.
Larry Shue’s The Foreigner, running from June 12-29, is directed by Mark Brotherton (The Music Man, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment). The play centers on two British friends who visit a Southern fishing lodge. Since one of the gentlemen is shy and not keen on talking about his recent divorce, the pair tells the local residents that he doesn’t speak English. Believing them, the residents openly share some of their secrets, causing “The Foreigner” to have to “learn” English in a very short period of time.
The Foreigner will take place in the Black Box. Patrons familiar with the UCF Black Box will be excited to learn that new seats have been installed in the theater, thanks to a donation from the Greene Family Fund. The old, uncomfortable seats had been a deterrent for patrons attending productions in that space.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is directed by Be Boyd (The Fantasticks, Stop Kiss). The light-hearted musical about six spelling champions and their mentors will run on the Main Stage July 10-20 and again August 21-24 to kick off the fall semester. The production includes optional participation from audience members. Patrons should arrive early in order to apply to be part of the show (no speshal spelling skills are needed!)
Both summer productions will begin evening performances at 7 pm. The regular start time of 8 pm will resume in August. The matinees will continue to start at 2 pm.
Julia Listengarten (Eurydice, Gem of the Ocean) will direct Baltimore Waltz, which runs September 18-October 4 in the Black Box. Written by Paula Vogel, the play tells the story of a sibling pair who are traveling through Europe in order to find a cure for the sister’s fatal illness, Acquired Toilet Disease. Vogel wrote the play as a method of healing from the loss of her brother to AIDS.
The fall musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman, shines a spotlight on the males in the Theatre department. Set in a South American prison, two cellmates share their fantasies in order to escape the horrors they encounter in the prison. One of the fantasies focuses on a famous diva, Aurora, who kills with her kiss. The musical is directed by Mark Brotherton and runs October 16-26 on the Main Stage.
Nick Jones’s Trevor is directed by Christopher Niess (Love, Sex, and the IRS; No Sex Please, We’re British) and runs November 13-23 in the Black Box. Trevor is a chimpanzee who was a childhood star. His career is now at a standstill and his owner just doesn’t understand him. The story was inspired by the true story of a woman who was attacked by her pet chimpanzee.
The spring semester opens with Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Shakespeare in Love). Director Kate Ingram (The Underpants, Spike Heels) directed the play at the New Paltz Theatre in New York in 2000 and has long wanted to bring the science and math themed play to UCF. Arcadia runs from January 22-February 1 on the Main Stage.
Mark Routhier (Leveling Up) brings to the Black Box a new play from the 2013 Playfest! Part of Harriett’s New Play Series from February 19-March 1. (a love story) looks at love through the eyes of three couples—and a few plants. It was written by Kelly Lusk.
To complement the male-heavy Kiss of the Spider Woman, the cast of the spring musical comprises mostly women. Nine is directed by Earl D. Weaver (The Drowsy Chaperone, Side Show). Nine takes the audience through one man’s journey with life choices and how those choices affected his relationships with women. The musical is an homage to Frederico Fellini’s film, ‘8 ½,’ and deals with adult themes and situations.
From April 10-12, the Schools of Performing Arts and Visual Arts and Design will join forces for the First Annual Pegasus Arts Festival, to be held at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. The three-day festival will consist of many mostly-free events and one large, ticketed celebratory interdisciplinary event.
Two productions are planned for summer 2015, which will be included in the 2015-16 season.
Season at a glance:
by Larry Shue
A comedic chain of events is set into action as a Georgia fishing lodge when two friends tell a small fib about one’s ability to speak English.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin, Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Additional material by Jay Reiss, Directed by Be Boyd
Six spelling champs vie for ultimate glory in this spirited musical. Audience participation encouraged.
by Paula Vogel
Directed by Julia Listengarten
An intensely personal journey celebrating love in a moment of great despair
With Baltimore Waltz, playwright Paula Vogel pens a love note to her brother who recently passed away from AIDS-related complications. Anna and her brother embark upon a fantastical trip to Europe in order to flee the diagnosis of Acquired Toilet Disease, a fatal disease contracted by the sister from a school bathroom. Will they find an escape before reality sets in?
Kiss of the Spiderwoman
Directed by Mark Brotherton
Winner! Multiple Tony® Awards including Best Musical!
A harrowing tale of persecution turned into a dazzling spectacle that juxtaposes gritty realities with liberating fantasies.
by Nick Jones
Directed by Christopher Niess
A play about fame, success, and the lies we tell ourselves in order to keep people from taking away our erratic, 200-pound chimpanzee.
by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Kate Ingram
The mathematics and physics of human emotion.
1809, on an elegant English estate, thirteen year-old Thomasina makes a startling scientific discovery that will change the way people understand the world. Around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are preoccupied with secret desires, illicit passions, and intense rivalries.
Two hundred years later, academic adversaries Hannah and Bernard, under the scrutinizing eye of a young mathematician, are piecing together puzzling clues, uncovering the past scandals of the estate, in their quest for an increasingly elusive truth.
(a love story)
by Kelly Lusk
Directed by Mark Routhier
A new play, selected from readings at the 2013 PlayFest! Harriett’s New Play Series
Directed by Earl D. Weaver
A sexy and emotional voyage between fantasy and reality
For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.