Texas Tech University

School of Theatre & Dance Announces 2021-2022 Season: Awakenings

Cory Norman

September 24, 2021

The season opens Oct. 5-10 with Lauren Yee’s dark comedy “In a word.”

Texas Tech University's School of Theatre & Dance, housed within the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts, announced its 2021-22 theater and dance season. The season is composed of eight shows that encourage audiences to embrace intimate stories of awakening: love and desire, joy and grief and self-understanding and compassion.

“After 18 months away, we are eager to welcome audiences back to the theater,” said Mark Charney, director of the School of Theatre & Dance. “To explore the theme of awakenings, the season offers well-known musicals; boldly theatrical, moving and often hilarious plays by exciting playwrights; and imaginative choreography that engages both with contemporary questions and personal reflections from our community of artists.”

The season opens with the dark comedy “In a word” by Lauren Yee. Highlighting the complexity of language, “In a word” moves audiences through grief and loss while reminding them that deeply traumatic moments in life can be absurdly funny.

The season also features Mike Lew's Generation-Z comedy, “Bike America”; the dazzling rock musical “Spring Awakening” by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik; the student-choreographed Fall Dance Festival at LHUCA's Firehouse Theatre; Caridad Svich's compelling drama “Guapa;” the annual spring dance concert DanceTech featuring choreography by international breakdancer (b-boy) and hip-hop artist YNOT; and the enchanting musical classic, “A Little Night Music” by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. Closing the season will be Frontier Fest, a week-long new-works festival showcasing choreography, short plays and full-length plays by Texas Tech students.

Curtain times for the 2021-22 season are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

All performances except for the Fall Dance Festival will take place in the Maedgen Theatre & Dance Complex, located on 18th Street between Boston and Flint avenues. The Fall Dance Festival will take place in LHUCA's Firehouse Theatre located at 511 Ave K.

The 2021-22 select productions will have a virtual viewing option for patrons who are not able to attend the live, in-person performances.

Tickets for all performances are $15 for individuals and $5 for students with a valid ID. Free student-reserve tickets are available on a limited basis to Texas Tech students one hour prior to curtain time on the day of the performance. For more information visit the School of Theatre & Dance website or call (806) 742-3603.

2021-2022 Theatre & Dance Season

Fiona's young son disappeared two years ago and the detective on the case is no help. Despite her husband's urging to move on, she combs through her memories of that tragic day, grasping at clues and uncovering new meaning in shifting words. Highlighting the complexity of language, “In a word” moves audiences through grief and loss, serving as a reminder that deeply traumatic moments in life also can be absurdly funny.

  • “Bike America” by Mike Lew
    • Directed by Bill Gelber
    • Oct. 19-24, 2021
    • Student preview Oct. 18
    • Studio Performance Lab, Theatre & Dance Complex

Penny bikes across America to discover herself, followed by her lovesick boyfriend. What will she learn from the journey and the motley group of riders who travel with her? Mike Lew's snapshot of Gen Z is both comical and enlightening.

  • “Spring Awakening” music by Duncan Sheik; book & lyrics by Steven Sater; from the play by Frank Wedekind
    • Directed by Jesse Jou
    • Nov. 9-14, 2021
    • Student preview Nov. 8
    • The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theatre

As a group of young friends search for their own paths on the way to adulthood, they must face the repressive society in which they live. Tempted by and unprepared for their emerging awareness of sex and their maturing bodies, they discover that their innocence and ignorance come with tragic consequences. The award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” features a dazzling alternative rock score by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater.

  • Fall Dance Festival 2021
    • Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Firehouse Theatre, 511 Ave. K
    • Nov. 19-20, 2021, matinee and evening performances Nov. 20
    • Student preview Nov. 18

The Fall Dance Festival, a capstone project by fourth-year dance students, features original choreography that examines awakenings and experiences through movement.

  • “Guapa” by Caridad Svich
    • Directed by Carlos Medina-Maldonado
    • Feb. 8-13, 2022
    • Student preview Feb. 7
    • The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theatre

Single mom Roly lives in a dusty Texas border town that everyone longs to escape. She's never seen anything like Guapa, a natural-born athlete with a fiery ambition to become an international soccer star. When Guapa joins Roly's family, everyone's life is turned upside down. With only one shot to reach the big leagues from the barrio, how can Guapa convince the non-believers to let go of their doubts, spread their wings and fly?

  • DanceTech 2022
    • March 3-5, 2022
    • Student preview March 2
    • The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theatre

Engaging both with universal questions and personal reflections from our community of artists, DanceTech 2022 explores moving bodies in space and features new choreography from dance faculty and guest artists, including b-boy hip-hop artist Anthony Denaro, aka YNOT.

  • “A Little Night Music” music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; book by Hugh Wheeler; orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick; suggested from a film by Ingmar Bergman; originally produced & directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
    • Directed by Casey Keenan Joiner
    • April 5-10, 2022
    • Student preview April 4
    • The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theatre

Romance, intrigue and a lush score by Stephen Sondheim highlight the lives of the idle rich as a group of unlikely characters converge in the countryside. As a flighty actress and her lawyer paramour attempt to rekindle their love from days gone by, many lives hang precariously in the balance.

  • Frontier Fest
    • April 25 to May 1, 2022
    • The CH Foundation Legacy of Christine Devitt Black Box Theatre | Studio Performance Lab

Frontier Fest is a festival of short plays, choreography and full-length plays by Texas Tech students, showcasing adventurous new work on the edge of the known.