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Resistance Theme Resonates on Ursinus Stage

The Department of Theater and Dance has announced its 2017-18 season.

Throughout history, distinct acts of resistance and defiance have challenged, provoked and empowered people across different cultures.

And throughout time, people must often adapt to new environments—both physical and cultural—as they move through an ever-changing global landscape.

These themes and more will be embodied in five provocative performances being staged by the Ursinus College Department of Theater and Dance during the 2017-18 season in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on the Ursinus College campus.

The season opens with Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, running Thursday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 5 in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. Directed by Domenick Scudera, a professor of theater, the groundbreaking production inspired by 1960s counterculture and the sexual revolution is being presented with musical direction by Holly Hubbs, a professor of music, and choreography by Karen Clemente, a professor of dance.

“This exuberant musical is as fresh today as it was in the turbulent 1960s,” Scudera says.

Just two weeks later, the Ursinus College Dance Company (UCDC), will perform Once Removed Thursday, Nov. 16 through Saturday, Nov. 18 in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. Directed and choreographed by Jeanine McCain, an assistant professor of dance, the piece premiered in New York City last June and will be recreated featuring a cast of dance and theater students at Ursinus.

It is an interdisciplinary concert integrating dance, theater and innovative projection exploring the process of adapting to the environment and how physical and cultural landscapes affect how one moves through the world. 

Opening the spring theater offerings on a comedic note, Lysistrata comes to the Ursinus stage Thursday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, Feb. 25 in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Meghan Brodie, an assistant professor of theater, the play is an updated version of the ancient Greek anti-war comedy by Aristophanes. It features women on both sides of a war collectively resisting the men waging that war—with hilarious and productive results.

The final show of the theater season, Clybourne Park, tracks the resistance to change that happens when a racially-segregated neighborhood becomes integrated both in the 1950s and in today’s current world. Also directed by Scudera, Clybourne Park runs Thursday, March 22 through Sunday, March 25 in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.

The Ursinus performing arts season concludes with the Spring Dance Concert Thursday, April 19 through Saturday, April 21 in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. It will feature a variety of new works by Ursinus faculty, guest artists and students, and is anchored by the ever-popular African Dance Residency with Jeannine Osayande and Dunya Performing Arts Company.

For all show times and tickets, visit ursinus.edu/tickets, email boxoffice@ursinus.edu or call (610) 409-3030. Tickets to each show are $8 for general admission and $5 for seniors and students. —By Ed Moorhouse