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University of Minnesota Theatre Arts and Dance Department announces 2011-2012 Performance Season

The University of Minnesota 's Department of Theatre Arts and Dance announced today its upcoming 2011-12 season of performances, which will be directed by a host of distinguished guest artists and faculty, and will feature premieres, new plays, as well as a co-production with the critically acclaimed Theatre Latté Da. New pricing for admission to these events was also unveiled.

"We are thrilled to bring to campus this spectrum of remarkable talent from across the nation and the Twin Cities," said Carl Flink, department chair. "Our season line-up of theatre and dance events shaped by visiting artists, directors, choreographers and collaborators will leave an indelible mark on our audiences and especially our students -- sharpening their skills, stretching their minds, and challenging their imaginations. We are delighted they have accepted our invitation to be guest artists, who together with our distinguished faculty will engage in a truly unique learning community. This season is a fantastic manifestation of our department's Reimagining Community and Arts Partnership as we continue to work to create a learning community without walls."

Reimagining Community and Arts Partnership (RiCAP) is a departmental initiative that has built a series of partnerships and joint ventures over the past two years with local arts organizations. During the past academic year students have participated in productions with numerous community-based professional arts organizations.

The admission prices for the season's 34 performances, many demonstrations, and lecture series have been reduced in an effort to attract, engage and develop new audiences. The new policy is easily explained as "Free, $5, $10." The majority of events, specifically, creative collaborations, BFA studio series, student-run experimental theatre performances, informal dance showings, and public lectures are free. Other ticketed performances are $5.00 for students with a student ID. Other members of the public will pay $10.00. This pricing policy extends to all season events, with the exception of the Spring Awakening musical. UMTAD programs are presented in the Barbara Barker Center for Dance and the Rarig Center on the West Bank Arts Quarter.

The UMTAD 2011-12 Season includes a vibrant array of events and productions:

The War Within/All's Fair, a newly devised work by Dominique Serrand and Steve Epp, former artistic directors of the internationally renowned Theatre de la Jeune Lune, now members of The MovingCompany, kicks off the season. In the war between the stuff that drives us apart and the instinct to hand together, who wins? In this comic work-in-progress, the ferociousness of being right is counterpoised by the ridiculous of being wrong (and vice versa). How do we get driven to the edge, and perhaps, off the cliff of absurdity? Deadly funny, daringly disturbing. The War Within/All's Fair opens November 10 and plays through November 13 only.

Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard will be presented in repertory by the BFA/Guthrie Theater Acting Program Senior Class. In Uncle Vanya, laughter and tears merge while hopes and dreams fade. The playwright etches such genuine and vivid characters that even life's common crises become dramatic and important, then give way to wistful yearning. Joseph Price whose credits include Kansas City Actors Theater, Buffalo's Oasis Theater, and Chicago's A Red Orchid Theater directs this production.

The Cherry Orchard unfolds as an ancestral estate is to be sold at auction, revealing the old Russian nobility's incapacity to cope as a modern world confronts them with the inevitable -- progress. Sari Ketter, whose credits include the Guthrie Theater, Great Lakes Theatre Festival and Intiman Theatre will direct. The two Chekhov masterworks will open December 1 and 2 and play alternately through December 10

Dance Revolutions, a fully produced concert directed by Toni Pierce Sands featuring choreography by Ananya Chatterjea, Stephen Petronio, Uri Sands and Helen Tamiris takes the Whiting proscenium stage December 9-11. The concert is under the guidance of Cowles Visiting Artists Ori Flomin and Dianne McIntyre.

Aristophanes' classic comedy, The Birds, explores a cautionary tale of an ideal city gone wrong. Faculty member director Robert Rosen brings his heightened sense of fun and satire to this outrageous tale adapted by William Arrowsmith. The Birds begins February 23 and plays through February 26.

University Dance Theater will show their fresh thinking and moves in their Spring Concert, March 2 and 3 with two performances per evening.

Spring Awakening, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, will be staged by Peter Rothstein, artistic director of the critically acclaimed Theater Latté Da, in a co-production. Denise Prosek will provide musical direction and Carl Flink will create the choreography. Spring Awakening is a dynamic rock adaptation of Frank Wedekind's expressionistic play about a group of teenagers coming of age in an uncomprehending world. Banned when the play first premiered in 1891, this contemporary musical is still provocative in its uncompromising gaze at the trials, tears and exhilaration of the teen years. Spring Awakening is a celebration of the rebellious imperatives of youth. Note: this production, which opens April 14 playing through May 6, has special pricing; check theatre.umn.edu for details spring 2012.

A collection of new plays will be performed by the BFA students in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater, April 19 and close on April 29

The Vampyre! stalks the Minnesota Centennial Showboat which opens June 15, 2012 and performs eight times weekly through August. The dynamic duo of Peter Moore and Vern Sutton returns to stage this tale of true love, high adventure, sword fights and those ever popular olios -- the highly entertaining musical interludes from the days of vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley.

Free special events exploring themes and topics relating to the season's programming are planned. For example, Frameworks Lecture Series presents visiting artists and leading scholars who provide engaging and informative insights. Associate Professor Sonja Kuftinec curates this lecture series. Check the events calendar on this website for upcoming presentations.

The public is free to visit studio performances of creative collaborations guided by faculty members and affiliated faculty members. Throughout the season artists Robert Rosen, Barbra Berlovitz, Luverne Seifert, Carl Flink, Kym Longhi and Joel Sass will lead students in creating original works with masks, Greek poetry, the concept of Valhalla, and Frankenstein.

Theatre arts and dance students produce their own series for the 2011-12 season in the Nolte Xperimental Theatre offering scripted plays, devised works and musical interludes. Scripts slated for staging in the coming weeks are Hamlet, The Great(er) American Passtime, Stop Kiss, and Equivocation. Devised works include Bagging History, The Found Orchestra Project, Animus and 24-hour theatre.

For specific information on performances presented by the University of Minnesota's Department of Theatre Arts and Dance contact this website's events calendar.

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