Places, Everyone! The 2013-14 TFT Theater Season is About to Begin

By Noela Hueso

It’s almost time to raise the curtain on the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s 2013-14 Theater Season. Twelve exciting new and returning events, including Lainie’s Cabaret in November and The Francis Ford Coppola One-Act Marathon in May, have been planned by the Department of Theater.

The season kicks off at Little Theater on Thursday, Oct. 3 with Dreamscape, written and directed by TFT alum Rickerby Hinds, M.F.A. ’96, a distinguished UC Riverside playwriting associate professor. Through poetry, dance and beatboxing, Dreamscape explores the life of a 19-year old African American woman, Tyisha Miller (Myeisha Mills in the play), who, in 1998, was shot to death by police in Riverside, Calif., while unconscious in her car.

On Friday, Nov. 8, former students, faculty and friends will have the opportunity to celebrate the life of beloved theater professor Gary Gardner, who passed away in June, through Gary Gardner: A Celebration, an evening of song, dance and spoken word at Freud Playhouse.

The New Play Festival, which features undergraduate actors from the Department of Theater, begins Thursday, Nov. 14 in Macgowan Hall, with new works by M.F.A. playwrights Jeffrey Baker, Brian T. May and Kit Williamson.

Following its success two seasons ago, Lainie’s Cabaret at UCLA returns on Nov. 20, showcasing both songs from the Great American Songbook and undergraduate actors on the stage of the Freud Playhouse.

Undergraduate actors also take to the Little Theater stage in Aristophanes’ Women in Congress, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 3, to explore ancient Greek politics in modern times, directed by M.F.A. director Eliza Laytner.

Winter Quarter begins with Lewis Theobald’s 18th century play Double Falsehood, based on a play by William Shakespeare and fellow Jacobean playwright John Fletcher, in Melnitz Hall’s Theater Lab. Directed by TFT Associate Adjunct Professor Paul Wagar, the wildly decadent Double Falsehood is based on a last collaboration between Shakespeare and Fletcher in which an act of outrage against a young woman plagues a family.

Opera comes to the Freud Playhouse beginning Friday, Feb. 14 in the form of the classic Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte. Made possible in part by the generous support of the Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation, Don Giovanni is presented in collaboration with Opera UCLA and UCLA Philharmonia. UCLA music professor Neal Stulberg conducts, with stage direction by Jeffrey Buchman and choreography by Rosa Mercedes.

M.F.A. director Jeff Fan directs Craig Wright’s modern tragic-comedy Grace, at Little Theater in March. Grace tells the story of Steve and Sara, who move into a small Florida town with their chain of gospel-themed motels and a mission to save the world.

Also in March, M.F.A. student Xiao Wei Smile Zhou directs Letters From Cuba in Macgowan Hall. From bohemian New York City to the rooftops of Cuba, a dancer finds love, family and friendship through a series of letters. This one-act play features undergraduate actors enacting the words of the avant-garde Maria Irene Fornes, a contemporary Cuban-American playwright.

The Francis Ford Coppola One-Act Marathon kicks off Spring Quarter on May 8 in Macgowan Hall, featuring new works by Department of Theater playwrights and undergraduate and graduate actors.

Musical theater aficionados rejoice! The classic Guys and Dolls, in which gamblers, showgirls and missionaries find love and luck, will be performed in May at Freud Playhouse. This is a Ray Bolger Musical Theater Production.

The 13/14 Theater Season ends on Saturday, June 7 at the Freud Playhouse with Design Showcase West. At DSW, students from the nation's top graduate design programs exhibit innovative costume, scenic and lighting designs.

A full schedule for the 2013-14 season is available on the theater season website.

Posted: September 13, 2013

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