UNT Department of Dance and Theatre features guest artists, prize-winning shows

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 14:19

DENTON, Texas (UNT) – The Department of Dance and Theatre's 2013-14 season at the University of North Texas includes a wide range of contemporary, prize-winning productions that examine relationships and the changes they make within oneself and one's world.

"We're excited to present a season that examines the world of mathematical discovery, a post-apocalyptic New York City at war with God, the racial politics of art galleries, and concludes with an opportunity for audiences to participate in a musical middle school spelling bee," said Managing Director of Theatre Production Marjorie Hayes. "The productions are thought-provoking and vastly entertaining. We are also excited to have renowned DFW guest artists working with our faculty and students." Brierley Resident Acting Company member and master teacher at the Dallas Theater Center Christina Vela will guest direct the play Marisol. Original Broadway cast member of A Chorus Line, Michael Serrecchia, will guest direct The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

The season will also feature three award-winning guest scene designers, Randel Wright, Rodney Dobbs and Scott Osborne, working closely with student designers and technicians.

Jazz choreographer and Southern Methodist University professor Danny Buraczeski will be the dance guest artist for the spring Faculty Dance Concert.

"This season is a great opportunity to discover the exceptional quality of our productions," Hayes said.

The season includes five Mainstage Productions, including two dance concerts; a Lab Series play and two First Stage plays.

To purchase tickets to the shows, contact the box office at 940-565-2428 or dat-boxoffice@unt.edu. For any show over $5, a group rate discount is available. Groups of 10 or more must buy their tickets at the same time.

Mainstage Productions

7:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 26, 27 and 28; 2 p.m. Sept. 29
Cost: $7.50 students, UNT faculty/staff, seniors; $10 adults
Studio Theater, directed by Andrew B. Harris

On the eve of her 25th birthday, Catherine, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable mathematician father, Robert, must deal not only with his death but with the arrival of her estranged, older sister; and with the attentions of Hal, her father's former student who hopes to find valuable work in the notebooks that Robert left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father's madness -- or genius -- will she inherit?

Written by David Auburn, Proof won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play.


7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Nov. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9; 2 p.m. Nov. 3 and 10
Cost: $7.50 students, UNT faculty/staff, seniors; $10 adults
University Theater, guest directed by Christina Vela
Marisol Perez, a young Latino woman living alone in The Bronx, is visited by her guardian angel who informs her that she can no longer serve as Marisol's protector because she has been called to join the revolution already in progress against an old and senile God who is dying and "taking the rest of the universe with him." Alone, without her protector, Marisol begins a nightmare journey into this new war zone where she finds herself on the streets, encountering a whole range of eccentric and dangerous individuals. With the apocalypse well under way, the angels have traded in their wings for Uzis and wear leather motorcycle jackets and fatigues. As the action builds to a crescendo, the masses of homeless and displaced people join the angels in the war to save the universe.

Winner of the 1993 Obie Award, Marisol was written by José Rivera as a "wake-up call" to society to find a way to recover the long-lost and much-needed compassion for our fellow man, as this is the only way to save our world.

New Choreographers Concert

8 p.m. Nov. 21, 22 and 23; 2 p.m. Nov. 24
Cost: $5 general admission
University Theater
The New Choreographers Concert will showcase original dance works created by advanced choreography students.

Faculty Dance Concert

8 p.m. Feb. 6, 7 and 8; 2 p.m. Feb. 9
Cost: $7.50 students, UNT faculty/staff, seniors; $10 adults
University Theater
Four UNT dance professors lead the Faculty Dance Concert, which will also feature a guest artist – jazz choreographer and Southern Methodist University professor Danny Buraczeski. UNT professors Shelley Cushman, Teresa Cooper, Sue Collins and Mary Lynn Babcock will showcase choreographed pieces for the concert.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

7:30 p.m. April 17, 19, 24, 25 and 26; 2 p.m. April 18 and 27
Cost: $10 students, UNT faculty/staff, seniors; $15 adults
University Theater, guest directed by Michael Serrecchia
This hilarious tale of six adolescents in the throes of puberty who are vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime will include four audience volunteers who will participate on-stage as guest spellers! The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the one place where the quirky teens and the adults in charge of the bee can stand out and fit in at the same time. The unlikely heroes learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.

With music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was a 2005 Tony Award winning musical comedy.

Lab Series

Lab Series productions put the spotlight on UNT student directors and designers in a fully mounted production. This season includes:

Permanent Collection

7:30 p.m. March 5, 6 and 7; 2 p.m. March 8
Cost: $5 general admission
Studio Theater, directed by UNT student Jake McCready
Soon after African-American businessman Sterling North becomes the new director of the Morris Foundation, he discovers that this world-famous art collection includes several significant African sculptures tucked away in storage. His proposal to add them to the public galleries is opposed by the foundation's long-time education director, who is loyal to the idiosyncratic wishes of the late Dr. Morris. Spurred on by a zealous local journalist, this clash quickly escalates to public accusations of racism and a bitter struggle for control of the collection. Permanent Collection is a searing examination of racial politics that ultimately asks how much space – literally and figuratively – the white world gives to African-Americans. What is the cost of failing to view the world through another's eyes? Written by Thomas Gibbons.

First Stage Series

Two small scale First Stage productions give student directors the ability to bring one-act plays to life in RTFP Room 127. This season includes:

Women and Wallace

7:30 p.m. Oct. 17, 18 and 19
Cost: $5 general admission
RTFP Room 127, directed by UNT student Richard T Quadri
A one-act play moves back in time to present memorable moments in the life of Wallace, now a handsome young man of 18, as he copes with growing up after finding his mother dead at the age of 6. Fast moving, and funny, the play traces the growth of a young man who must deal both with his mother's suicide and with the sometimes unsettling attentions of the various females who come into his life. Written by Jonathan Marc Sherman and featured on PBS American Playhouse.

Brightside Sociopaths

7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, 14 and 15
Cost: $5 general admission
RTFP Room 127, directed by UNT student Richard T Quadri
A hyper-violent noir, the play dives into the sociopathy at the core of the American dream. Two parents go on a kill-crazy rampage after the suicide of their homosexual daughter. The play is an examination of entitlement, greed and bloody revenge. Written by Matt Parent Higginbotham, a UNT Theatre junior.

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