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Theater and Dance Announces 2018-19 Season

It features a variety of performances directed by performing arts faculty and featuring an array of student performers.

Truth is the theme that will play out on Ursinus College stages this year through a variety of genres and styles, including characters debating, defining and searching for it in five different performances presented by the college’s theater and dance department. The season opens with 12 Angry Jurors, running Thursday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 7 in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. As timely today as it was when it was first written in the 1950s,12 Angry Jurors is a compelling and provocative examination of the American judicial system. Relating to the season theme, it studies how a jury’s prejudices and biases hinder them from seeing the truth. It is written by Reginald Rose, adapted by Sherman L. Sergel and directed by Domenick Scudera, professor of theater.

In November, the theater program will follow 12 Angry Jurors by staging Radium Girls, written by D.W. Gregory and directed by Meghan Brodie, assistant professor of theater. Inspired by a true story, this drama chronicles the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights the U.S. Radium Corporation responsible for poisoning its employees. The play offers an uncompromising and uncannily timely look at American obsessions with health, wealth and the commercialization of science.  It opens on Thursday, Nov. 1 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 4, in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.

The spring theater offering includes two plays performed in repertory: God of Carnage by Yazmina Reza and Agnes of God by John Pielmier, both directed by Scudera. The productions run from Wednesday, Feb. 27 through Sunday, March 3, 2019 in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.  Reza’s satire peels back the layers of forced civility, conventions of politeness, and good intentions between two sets of parents who search to understand the truth of a playground scuffle between their sons. Agnes of God tells the story of a novice nun who gives birth and insists that the child was the result of a virgin conception. A psychiatrist and the mother superior of the convent clash during the resulting investigation as they search to uncover the truth—is Agnes truly innocent or has more happened than meets the eye?

The final show in the theater season, The Medusa Play, was written by Ursinus senior playwright Angela Antoinette Bey ’19. This is a world premiere of the production and is the first student work that has been produced on the main stage in almost 20 years. The Medusa Play is a contemporary version of the Medusa myth which is focused on a group of young artists living together in Philadelphia. It runs Thursday, April 4, through Sunday, April 7, in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.

Each semester, the Ursinus College Dance Company (UCDC) brings enlivening, engaging and thought-provoking performances to the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center. UCDC will perform two concerts this season. The UCDC Fall Concert, produced by Jeanine McCain, associate professor of dance, features choreographic work by faculty, guest artists and students. This performance runs Thursday, Nov. 15, through Saturday, Nov 17, in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.  After successful runs last spring, Dana Powers-Klooster and Joshua Polk will return to choreograph a modern dance piece and hip hop piece, respectively.  As an exciting new addition, this year’s fall concert will feature select students performing alongside professional dancers in a piece by Hood Nation, a company of choreographers and dancers including faculty member Joshua Polk.  

The Spring Dance Concert runs Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27, in the Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center and will feature a variety of new works by Ursinus faculty, guest artists, and students. Anchored by the ever-popular African Dance Residency with Jeannine Osayande, Ira Bond and Dunya Performing Arts Company, this concert is sure to have something for everyone. 

Tickets for all shows are $8 for the general public and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased online at ursinus.edu/tickets and they will be available at the box office before the show. For inquiries, please contact boxoffice@ursinus.edu or (610) 409-3030. —By Taylor Manferdini ’13