Arts + Culture

UCLA theater department announces 2017–18 season

Schedule includes performances of “Spring Awakening,” “The Glass Menagerie” and the West Coast premiere of “Steel Pier”

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“Steel Pier”

“Steel Pier” is about a captivating assortment of Depression-era souls, eager to dance their way to wealth and fame.

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Mainstage theater season for 2017–18 will include Christine Evans’ “Trojan Barbie” and the West Coast premiere of “Steel Pier.”

“This season we are broadening our reach. We’ve got thrilling new plays, contemporary takes on the classics and a Broadway musical making its West Coast premiere,” said Brian Kite, chair of the theater department. “It’s an explosive combination and a season not to be missed.”

The season kicks off with the New Play Festival 2017, a collection of two plays, “Georgia Is Waiting” and “Me, Myself and the Apocalypse,” written by M.F.A. students in the theater department. Generous support for the New Play Festival is made possible by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. (Macgowan Hall, November and December).

Friedrich Durrenmatt’s “The Visit,” adapted by Maurice Valency and directed by critically acclaimed, Ovation Award-nominated director Mary Jo DuPrey, tells the story of a wealthy woman who promises to revitalize her decrepit hometown on one condition: The community must agree to murder. This macabre and entertaining parable is a scathing indictment of the power of greed and confronts the perennial questions of honor, loyalty and community. (Freud Playhouse, December)

Beth Lopes directs Evans’ “Trojan Barbie,” in which past and present violently collide when Lotte, an English tourist who repairs dolls, is captured while on a tour of current-day Troy and flung back into the ancient camp of Euripides’ “The Trojan Women.” Trojan Barbie recasts the legendary fall of the city of Troy against the vivid reality of modern warfare. It is an epic war story with a most unlikely heroine. (Little Theater, December)

“Mary Stuart” is written by Friedrich Schiller, adapted by Mike Poulton and directed by award-winning director Marya Mazor. In this drama, Stuart sits imprisoned for pushing her claim to the throne of England, currently held by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. As she waits for a pardon, intrigue and secret alliances form in an attempt to save her from execution. (Little Theater, March)

The West Coast premiere of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s cult musical hit “Steel Pier,” directed by UCLA TFT adjunct professor Jeremy Mann, tells the story of a dance marathon champion whose life is transformed by her new dance partner, a mysterious young aviator, in 1933 Atlantic City. A captivating assortment of Depression-era souls, eager to dance their way to wealth and fame, gathers on the Steel Pier in this UCLA TFT Ray Bolger Musical Theater production. (Freud Playhouse, March)

Spring quarter 2018’s first production is Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” adapted by Annie Baker, working with a literal translation by Margarita Shalina and the original Russian text, directed by M.F.A. directing candidate Charles Shichang Jin. In Uncle Vanya, a university professor and his much younger wife pay a visit to their rural estate run by the play’s melancholic title character. This classic tragicomedy has been praised as one of Chekhov’s most important works. (Little Theater, April)

M.F.A. directing candidate Jayongela Wilder directs Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “In the Red and Brown Water.” How far will fast, beautiful Oya go to make a mark in the world? This intoxicating story charts a young girl’s thrust into womanhood and her subsequent fall into the murky waters of life. (Little Theater, May)

In collaboration with UCLA Opera, UCLA Philharmonia and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA TFT presents “The Mother of Us All,” directed by professor of theater Michael Hackett, composed by Virgil Thompson with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. The production features designers from the theater department and undergraduate actors from UCLA Opera. (Freud Playhouse, May)

M.F.A. directing candidate Evelina Stampa directs the drama “Spring Awakening,” playwright Frank Wedekind’s seminal work, translated by Jonathan Franzen, in which a group of late 19th century German students navigate teenage self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety. (Little Theater, May)

The Mainstage season ends with Tennessee Williams’ classic “The Glass Menagerie,” the story of a young man who longs to escape from his stifling home, where his genteel mother worries about the future prospects of his shy, disabled sister. Directed by M.F.A. directing candidate Ying Yan. (Little Theater, June)

Swarovski is the official crystal provider and MAC Cosmetics is the official make-up provider for the UCLA TFT Theater Season.

A full schedule with dates for the 2017–18 season and a link to purchase tickets are available on UCLA TFT’s website.

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