Spring 2022 Theatre Arts & Dance Season

Return . Restore . Renew
She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen. Photo by Dan Norman
She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen, 2021. BA Performance. Photo by Dan Norman

The University of Minnesota’s Department of Theatre Arts & Dance announces its 2021-22 Spring season: Return, Restore, Renew. This season’s performances include mainstage productions, specialty productions, and an extensive studio series including Rarig Center, Barbara Barker Center for Dance, and site-specific productions.

This upcoming season is an exemplary example of how all of the programs within the department focus on creating, studying, and producing works of theatre and dance that educate our students and our diverse audiences about the performing arts and the social issues and human emotions that the arts speak to so powerfully.

E. Gaynell Sherrod

E. Gaynell Sherrod Informal Showing

Friday, February 4, 2021 4:30pm Barbara Barker Center for Dance, Studio 100

Featuring the choreography of Cowles Visiting Artist Dr. E. Gaynell Sherrod and Dance Major Students

This event is free, registrations are required.

Elgie Gaynell Sherrod, Ed. D. Gaynell began her formal dance training in high school with Dr. Kariamu Welsh and (the late) Pearl Reynolds, studying African-derived dance forms Umfundalai and the Katherine Dunham technique. In 2014, Dr. Sherrod joined the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as Chair of the Department of Dance and Choreography, for which she served for three years. Currently, she is an associate professor in Dance at VCU, after having served as the Interim Executive Director of PHILDANCO! from 2019-2020.

This program is made possible by The Sage Cowles Land Grant Chair /Cowles Visiting Artist Residency Program. 

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Directed by Harry Waters Jr.
Music Director Andy Fleser
Choreographer Sandy Agustin
Presented by BA Performance Program
February 24-March 5, 2022 Stoll Thrust Theatre ASL/AD available Sunday February 27, 2:00PM

Buy Tickets

Six awkward tweens vie for the coveted spelling championship in this fast-paced, Tony Award-winning comedy. As they fight to stay in the contest, the students – each with their own quirky and engaging personality – share hilarious and touching tales from their home lives, ultimately learning that winning isn’t everything. Featuring an addictive original score and riotous competition, Spelling Bee is an instant musical theatre favorite.

Watch an interview with the Director, Cast and Crew: StudioU Off-Transcript Podcast

“‘Putnam County’ is that rarity of rarities, a super-smart show that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser.”

–The Wall Street Journal

UDT Spring

UDT Spring Concert, TWINE!

Featuring the choreography of Cowles Visiting Artist Dr. E. Gaynel Sherrod and Dance Major Students Tessa Russ, Milo Sachse-Hofheimer and Autumn Strittmater

Directed by Professor Joanie Smith with Assistant Director Laura Selle Virtucio
February 25-27, 2022, Barbara Barker Center for Dance, Studio 100

Buy Tickets

In this work, set in the 1930’s in the wake of an era of deep-seated segregation and economic depression in the US, Dr. Gaynell Sherrod’s TWINE! explores the ways in which poor people created group identity, a sense of belonging, cultural validation and autonomy through the transformative action of embodied practices. TWINE! seeks to dismantle more oppressive hierarchical social relationships in form, and instead celebrates and values the human experience through shared cultural spaces and the recognition of the power of the collective “I.” “What’s in your hand? … You’ve got in your hand the power …” Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1967)

This program is made possible by The Sage Cowles Land Grant Chair /Cowles Visiting Artist Residency Program. 

TWINE! … “a strong string of two or more strands of hemp or cotton twisted, and then intertwined together” (originally done by hand) … “to cause to encircle or enfold something” … “interlacing, or embracing” … “cause to wind or spiral round something.”


Antigone by Ann Carson

By Sophocles
Adapted by Anne Carson
Directed by Ben Lohrber
Performed by the BFA 3rd Year Company

February 25-27, 2022, Kilburn Theatre

This event is free, registrations for Antigone by Ann Carson are required. 

Ancient Greece looks suspiciously similar to the present day in the hands of world-renowned poet and MacArthur Genius Anne Carson (The Autobiography of Red). Antigone has lost two brothers but by law can only bury one. She takes a stand for her beliefs, pitting morality against patriotism, and in doing so starts a series of events that threaten the newfound national peace. It’s one of the most famous myths of all, told and re-told for more than two thousand years, but what use is a cautionary tale if no one heeds it? Carson’s biting and thrilling free translation brings Antigone to new light and casts unexpected shadows on issues of loyalty and family.


Rare Diseases

Creative Collaboration: Rare Diseases Project

The University of Minnesota Center for Orphan Drug Research and the Department of Theater Arts and Dance Presents a new production focusing  on bringing attention to those diagnosed with a rare disease in collaboration with Nationally renowned storyteller and playwright, Kevin Kling.

February 25-27, 2022, Nolte Xperimental Theatre


This event is free, registrations for Rare Diseases Project are required.

The collaboration adapts the Greek tragedy, Philoctetes, to help a Minnesota-wide audience gain greater awareness and deeper understanding of the medical, economic, psychological, and social challenges facing people with rare diseases.

Romeo & Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Directed by Keely Wolter 
Performed by the BFA 2nd Year Company
March 31-April 3, 2022, Stoll Thrust Theatre

This event is free, Registrations for Romeo and Juliet are required.

The greatest love story of all time. Verona’s Montague and Capulet families have been feuding for ages, and whenever they meet, violence breaks out. But when Romeo glimpses Juliet across a crowded dance floor, something different happens. Can star-crossed love survive in a world of rivalry and rage?

“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

-William Shakespeare


Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Directed by Bruce R. Roach 
Performed by the BFA 2nd Year Company
April 1- April 3, 2022, Stoll Thrust Theatre

This event is free, registrations for Hamlet are required.

First performed around 1600, Hamlet tells the story of a prince whose duty to revenge his father’s death entangles him in philosophical problems he can’t solve.Shakespeare’s best-known play is widely regarded as the most influential literary work ever written.




School for Lies

The School for Lies 

By David Ives, adapted from Le Misanthrope by Molière
Directed by Stephen DiMenna 
Performed by the BFA 4th Year Company

April 15-23, 2022                                                               
Dowling Studio at the Guthrie

Buy Tickets

Guthrie's Vaccination and Mask Policies

Adapted from Molière’s The Misanthrope, Tony Award-nominee David Ives’s The School for Lies tells the comic tale of Frank, who shares with Molière’s Alceste a venomous hatred of the hypocrisy that surrounds him. Like his predecessor, Frank gets into trouble for insulting the work of a dreadful poet and falls in love with Celimene, a witty widow. Borrowing from Shakespeare, reality TV, and everything in between, The School for Lies is an inspired entertainment as well as a pointed study in self-delusion, all rendered in sparkling couplets. This blissfully entertaining night promises to keep you laughing all the way home.


Creative Collaboration: Ostara

A Creative Collaborative celebration of the Spring fertility festival, the vernal equinox, a time of ritual cleaning to sweep away any of old patterns and brewing renewal. This is a free outdoor performance. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 8:00PM

Location: Amphitheatre next to Ferguson Hall, School of Music, West Bank Campus.



Headshots of each of the 2025 BFA Class are arranged in a circle. Inside the circle of photos reads the show information: "The Company of 2025 Presents Fresh Scenes, Out of Bounds" and the dates.

Fresh Scenes: Out of Bounds

Fresh Scenes 2022: Out of Bounds
Directed by Bruce Roach and Lucinda Holshue
Presented by BFA Acting Program Company of 2025 

April 21-23, 2022 Liu Stage | Kilburn Arena Theater 

Out Of Bounds is the performance debut of the BFA Acting Program Company of 2025: a collection of Scenes, Monologues, Interview Projects, Songs, Poetry and Movement.

This event is free with registration.


Four images are in the background of text that reads "Capstone Festival 2022". Shadows of graceful hands and bodies are shown over a purple and orange sunset; a person with brown shoulder-length hair has dandelions over their eyes; the word "recession" is on a grainy old TV; and the word "free" accompanies a woman standing in a field of delicate flowers.

BA Senior Capstone Festival

April 30 - May 1, 2022
Liu Stage | Kilburn Arena Theater 

Join the Theatre Arts & Dance department for the BA Capstone Festival 2022, featuring the original work of seven graduating seniors.  The presentations include physical theatre, dance, comedy, and staged readings.

Admission to any of the Festival presentations is free – but please register for the performances as seating is limited.




More information

For more information on performances, press inquiries, or general production information please contact Qiuxia Welch at huxx0071@umn.edu or (612) 625-5380.

For information on our curriculum and degree programs, visit TheatreDance.umn.edu or call 612-625-6699 (Theatre Arts) or 612-624-5060 (Dance). 

Health & Safety

We are excited to resume in-person performances for our 2021–2022 Season. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, artists, audiences and guests continues to be our top priority. The policies outlined below are subject to change based on evolving University of Minnesota, city, state and CDC guidelines and will remain in effect until further notice. 

Masks are not required to attend performances, but strongly encouraged. Performers on stage will be unmasked. Tickets are general admission without social distancing. 

University Mask Protocol

Please stay home if you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19 or don’t meet the requirements outlined above. You may call the Northrop Box Office at 612-624-2345 or Email: umntix@umn.edu to exchange your tickets or request a refund.

Share on: