Texas Tech University

School of Theatre & Dance Announces 2020-21 Virtual Season

Anna Hedges

October 2, 2020

A dusty pink-colored poster with aviator sunglasses and the words: 20/20 Visions: The Violet Response Project in typewriter font

The season kicks off Oct. 8-11 with the online devised experience “20/20 Visions: The Violet Response Project.”

Texas Tech University's School of Theatre & Dance, housed within the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts, announces its virtual 2020-21 theater and dance season featuring nine shows that navigate the muddy waters of the political world and its impact on personal journeys.

“We gave this season a theme, ‘The Personal and the Political,' based on through-lines we felt connected the plays selected and the dances to be choreographed,” said Mark Charney, director of the School of Theatre & Dance. “Ironically, our season has grown both more personal and political in the last few months. Rather than be constricted by the choices made pre-pandemic, we are embracing the concept of a fluid season, one that is continuing to evolve based not only on the world around us, but the community within the Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theatre.”

The season features Henrik Ibsen's psychological thriller “An Enemy of the People,” in a new adaptation by Brad Birch; “Sonnets for an Old Century,” a deeply poetic play with music and dance by José Rivera; “Blown Youth,” a Shakespeare-inspired comedy by Dipika Guha; the spring dance concert, “DanceTech;” and “A Chorus Line,” the intimate musical classic with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante.

The season begins Oct. 8-11 with “20/20 Visions: The Violet Response Project,” the first show in the New Voices Series. An online devised experience using movement and music, “20/20 Visions” examines the current moment in history and the unique challenges of 2020.

The New Voices Series highlights exceptional student-driven work and introduces audiences to a new generation of playwrights, choreographers, performers and directors. The three additional shows in the 2020-21 season included in the series are “The Blue Flower,” “Fall Dance Festival” and “Frontier Fest.”

Unless otherwise noted, all performances in the 2020-21 season will be presented virtually on Zoom and are viewable on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android devices. Tickets are $5, free for Texas Tech students, and available for purchase online through the “Productions” menu on the School of Theatre & Dance website. To access free tickets, students can use their student ID number, or R-number, as a discount code during checkout.

2020-21 Theatre & Dance Season:

  • Oct. 8-11: “20/20 Visions: The Violet Response Project,” directed by Hillary Boyd, is an online devised experience that incorporates movement, music and original scripted material to examine the current moment in history. Through innovative coupling of performance and design, the ensemble speaks artistically to the unique challenges of 2020 and invites the audience to reflect on issues of race, gender, health and politics.

  • Oct. 22-25: “The Blue Flower” written by Bryce Real and directed by Jesse Jou, is an engaging and bittersweet fable about what it means to be a man. In the kingdom of Kleinfurden, a lonely outsider named Hackett goes on a quest to find the Blue Flower, a magical plant that will grant his wish to become a lovable man. As he encounters new friends and enemies, Hackett struggles with his own insecurities.

  • Nov. 5-8: “An Enemy of the People,” the 1882 classic written by Henrik Ibsen, becomes a psychological thriller for the 21st century with a new streamlined, contemporary adaptation by Brad Birch, directed by Bill Gelber. Geologist Tom Stockmann discovers that the baths at the new spa, which will soon bring an economic boom to the town, will actually poison its citizens. His primary opponent to getting the news out is his brother, Peter, the mayor.

  • November 2020 (dates will be announced later this fall on the School of Theatre & Dance website): “Fall Dance Festival” is an evening of original choreography and performances by Texas Tech dance students, featuring student designers.

  • Feb. 4-7: “Sonnets for an Old Century,” written by José Rivera and directed by April Langehennig, examines what it means to be alive at this particular time and place and what traces each of us will leave behind. In a series of exquisitely written monologues, using dance and live music, “Sonnets” captures the subtle, often overlooked treasures of everyday life.

  • Feb. 18-21: “Blown Youth,” written by Dipika Guha and directed by Leah Johnson, is inspired by Shakespeare and set in those hazy post-college years and examines what happens to the universe when a woman is at its center. As an aspiring actress and founder of a feminist commune, Celia wants one thing: to play a great role. But despite her sophisticated education and commitment to helping women, Celia, like Hamlet before her, cannot act.

  • March 2021 (dates will be announced later this fall on the School of Theatre & Dance website): “DanceTech” is an evening of dance featuring original choreography by Texas Tech dance faculty and guest artists.

  • April 8-11: “Frontier Fest” is an evening of one-act plays and choreographed pieces by Texas Tech students.

  • April 29 to May 2: “A Chorus Line” was conceived, originally choreographed and directed by Michael Bennett, with a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban. The show will be directed by Ronald Dean Nolen and co-choreographed by Bob Avian and Kyla Olson, with musical direction by Casey Keenan Joiner. “A Chorus Line” is a concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. Exploring the inner lives and bittersweet ambitions of professional Broadway performers, the show features one powerhouse number after another. A complex fusion of song, dance and compellingly authentic drama, “A Chorus Line” was instantly recognized as a classic.