Arts + Culture

UCLA TFT announces Mainstage theater season for 2016-17

Ranging from the classics to musicals to stories by student playwrights

Art for "Our Country's Good"
UCLA

"Our Country's Good," a play being staged in 2016-17 at UCLA, is set in the midst of the colonization of Australia.

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's Department of Theater announced its upcoming Mainstage theater season for the academic year 2016-17, which includes "Carrie the Musical," an adaptation of the popular Stephen King novel "Carrie."

"Our upcoming UCLA TFT Department of Theater season is a rich one that will showcase the remarkable talents of our students, faculty and staff," says Dean Teri Schwartz. "Our Theater Department at UCLA TFT is a crown jewel for us, and this season promises to be another outstanding one that will assuredly delight and move a very engaged theater-going audience."

"A compelling new season is coming to UCLA TFT," says Department of Theater Chair Brian Kite. "The depth and artistry of our faculty, guest artists and students is inspiring. From classic works to thrilling musicals to the inventive stories of our playwrights, it's going to be a season that is certain to electrify audiences."

The season kicks off with the New Play Festival 2016, a series of four plays written by M.F.A. students in the Department of Theater. "Cheap Laughs," "Gamers," "Monsters We Imagined" and "The Winds of Ariston" will be performed this month and early December.

"Three Sisters," adapted from the Anton Chekhov play, gives an updated look at the story of Olga, Masha and Irina, who long to leave their sleepy, provincial town and return to Moscow.

Guest director Monica Payne directs "Our Country's Good," which is set in the midst of the colonization of Australia. The story takes a look at issues of power, class, and whether or not those who are incarcerated deserve humane treatment.

Winter Quarter 2017 begins with the opera "Cendrillon," presented in collaboration with Opera UCLA, UCLA Philharmonia and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. This witty production is a new take on the Cinderella fable, complete with a wicked stepmother, a lost slipper and a clock about to strike midnight. Performed in French with English supertitles.

Euripides' "Helen" will be performed onstage in March. In the aftermath of the Trojan War, Helen finds herself stranded in a foreign land with a husband who believes she is an imposter. In this lyrical variation of the myth, Euripides presents a complex portrayal of a misunderstood heroine.

In "Sonnets for an Old Century," individuals between life and afterlife tell their tales of sunsets, lovemaking and hallucinatory visions. Funny, lyrical and poignant, playwright Jose Rivera's monologues create a meditative dreamscape of existence. This interactive production is presented in a non-traditional performance space.

The first show in spring quarter 2016 Aaron Posner's "Stupid F#@king Bird," loosely adapted from Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull." In this funny and irreverent production, a young director and a young actor rage against an older generation of artists and everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art and growing up can be.

To end the Mainstage season, an awkward teenager finds her telekinetic powers in "Carrie the Musical," and discovers she has the final revenge against the bullies at school and an oppressive mother at home.

A full schedule of the 2016-17 season is available on the UCLA TFT website.

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