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 even 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
Director: Harry Waters Jr.
Music Director: Andy Fleser
Choreographer: Sandy Agustin
Presented by BA Performance Program
February 24-March 5, 2022 Stoll Thrust Theatre

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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.

“‘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
Directed by Professor Joanie Smith with Assistant Director Laura Selle Virtucio
Performed by University of Minnesota Dance Major Students
February 25-27, 2022, Barbara Barker Center for Dance, Studio 100

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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 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.

Creative Collaboration

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 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 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.


The school for Lies

The School for Lies 

By David Ives, adapted from Le Misanthrope by Molière
Stephen Dimenna - Director
Performed by BFA 4th Year Company
Dowling Studio at the Guthrie

**Ticket information Coming Soon**

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. 

April 22, 2022, 7:30PM (Rain Date: April 23, 2022), 

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


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. 

Performances will be sold to 50% capacity without social distancing. Masks are required for all ticket holders regardless of vaccination status. Mask has to securely cover the nose and mouth (no bandanas or neck gaiters). 

Ticket holders who do not comply with these policies will not be admitted. 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.

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