Local theater favorites Paul Hope and Leslie Swackhamer will helm productions with the school for the first time and in a season first, plays directed by two of the school's master of fine arts candidates will bookend the season in fall and spring.
Also during the 2009-2010 performance season, the school will present the UH debut of the cult classic "The Rocky Horror Show" (Oct. 21- Nov. 1) and the Houston premiere of Charles Mee's "Big Love" (Feb. 26 - March 7). Also, the school's student chorographers will produce for the first time their fall dance concert in the 190-seat Jose Quintero Theatre.
The season also will be highlighted by the Theatre for Young Audiences program touring a newly commissioned play to local schools and community centers.
This season also will be the first to offer an affordable "Pick 3" subscription option, which offers three shows for $42.
"The process of selecting a season for an academic theater is always interesting. Our season is essentially a ‘lab' to train student actors, designers, dancers, choreographers, dramaturges, technicians and stage managers," said Steve Wallace, director of UH School of Theatre & Dance. "As a result, our audiences get to enjoy a very eclectic and entertaining season ranging from classics to more adventurous, contemporary offerings."
Among the other highlights of the 2009-2010 season are Christopher Hampton's seductive "Dangerous Liaisons" (April 16 - 25) and MFA directing projects of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and John Guare's "Landscape of the Body".
Season subscriptions will go on sale June 1. Details on pricing options and dates can be found at www.theatre.uh.edu/buy-tickets or by calling 713-743-2929.
- Sept. 25 - 27
"Hedda Gabler" by Henrik Ibsen; directed by Clinton Hopper, second year master of fine arts (MFA) director. This production is part of the MFA Studio, which offers free performances of full-length plays.
In Ibsen's groundbreaking turn-of-the-century play we follow Hedda Gabler, one of the most complex heroines in the history of western drama, as she tries to escape her boredom by manipulating the lives of all those around her.
- Oct. 2 - 11
"The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde; directed by Jonathan Gonzalez
Wilde's masterpiece follows two dandy gentlemen in Victorian England as they navigate love in all its guises. This trivial comedy for serious people is filled with Wilde's trademark dry humor and quick wit. There is a bit of bite to this satire and a truly clever ending.
- Oct. 16 - 18
"Landscape of the Body" by John Guare; directed by Cheramie Howe, second year MFA director. This production is part of the MFA Studio, which offers free performances of full-length plays.
Award-winning playwright John Guare references Lou Reed's song "Walk On The Wild Side" in this drama of dangerous weirdness. Innocent small-town folk move to New York City in the 1970s and quickly find that murder, crime and porn are the standard of life.
- Oct. 23 - Nov. 1
"The Rocky Horror Show" by Richard O'Brien; directed by Paul Hope.
Sex, aliens and rock n' roll...what more can you ask for? Someplace between fantasy and reality lies this punk-rock musical filled with vamps and tramps. Accompany Brad and Janet on a fantastical journey to Dr. Frank N. Furter's twisted castle where his ghoulish minions dance the Time Warp and awaken repressed sensuality.
- Dec. 4 - 6
Emerging Choreographers Showcase; produced by the UH Center for Choreography
Energy and space, form and beauty. There's always something dramatic, interesting and fun to see at this annual concert of up-and-coming choreographers. Performed in the intimate 190-seat Quintero Theatre.
- THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES: Nov. 20, Dec. 4
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson
It's 1972, and the rag-tag kids of the Herdman family are about to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Don't miss the hilarious mayhem that ensues when they participate in a church play about the birth of Jesus.
- Feb. 26 - March 7
"Big Love" by Charles Mee; directed by Leslie Swackhamer.
This spectacular, inspiring production tells the story of 50 brides who flee to an Italian villa to escape their arranged marriages. Inspired by Aeschylus' "The Suppliant Woman" and fused with Mee's bold and visceral theatricality, "Big Love" is a wild celebration of the transcendent power of love and human connection through song, dance and an unforgettable throw down.
- April 16 - 25
"Dangerous Liaisons" by Christopher Hampton; directed by Samuel Sparks.
In pre-Revolutionary France an elegant temptress and her ex-lover conspire to corrupt a recently married woman. When bets are made, intrigue and seductive games follow close behind. This elaborately costumed play brings us through passion, cruelty, innocence and revenge.
- April 30 - May 2
Spring Dance Concert; produced by the UH Center for Choreography.
Dance aficionados look forward to this annual show featuring contemporary works by faculty and guest artists that is set on the pre-professional dance company, the UH Dance Ensemble.
The UH School of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor's and master's degrees in theater and teacher certifications in dance. Its graduate program consists of a master of arts in theater and masters of fine arts in theater with specializations in acting, directing and design. Each fall and spring, the school produces five plays performed in the Wortham Theatre and the Jose Quintero Theatre, two dance concerts, four graduate directing projects, two Theatre for Young Audiences plays and the Houston Shakespeare Festival each summer. The school has benefitted from notable star faculty such as Edward Albee, Lanford Wilson, Sir Peter Hall and Jose Quintero. Among current faculty are Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow and Broadway dramaturg Mark Bly.
For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.theatredance.uh.edu.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about UH, visit the university's Newsroom at www.uh.edu/newsroom.