The BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts will bring drama, laughs and wonder to campus and community audiences in their new season of shows.
Under the artistic direction of Megan Sanborn Jones, the 2019-20 season will showcase longtime favorites, including three short Thornton Wilder dramas in A Wilder Night, a production of Much Ado About Nothing performed on a reconstructed Globe stage, and a modernized Young Company take on Hamlet.
The March musical will bring Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s beloved horror-comedy Little Shop of Horrors to the Pardoe Theatre stage for the first time.
The season will also feature newer works, opening with the Young Company’s exploration of the ways in which family love can tie us down and help us fly in With Two Wings. During the show’s run, the TMA department will host their first ever sensory-friendly performance, designed to welcome families and children who have sensory or other sensitivities.
Fall semester will conclude with an MDT workshop of Rump, a new play by Tim Threlfall adapted from the book by BYU graduate Liesl Shurtliff, and winter semester with Wendy and Peter Pan, a retelling of the J.M. Barrie classic.
BYU theatre will continue to present Microburst Theatre — an evening of student-written 10-minute plays — and staged readings of award-winning plays in the second annual Contemporary Voices Festival.
“I am so excited for this year’s season, a perfect blend of old and new,” said Jones. “Half of our plays are some of the best-known and most beloved titles in the English language canon and the other half are new works in their BYU premieres. As always, our students are taking the lead in acting, designing, stage managing and dramaturging the productions. And for the first time ever, every single mainstage production will have an undergraduate theatre student assistant director helping to stage it.”
Season tickets are now available. Individual tickets go on sale approximately four to six weeks before the first performance of each production. Tickets can be purchased in person at the BYU Ticket Office (with locations in the Harris Fine Arts Center and the Marriott Center), as well as over the phone at (801) 422-2981 or online at byuarts.com.
BYU Theatre 2019-2020 Season
With Two Wings YOUNG COMPANY
By Anne Negri
Directed by Julia Ashworth
This award-winning new work, based loosely on the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, is perfect for all ages. Nestled in a forest, far from civilization, flightless young Lyf is on the cusp of life-changing choices. Your whole family will find hope in this story of learning to let go and gaining the courage to fly.
Oct. 9-11, Oct. 16-18 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 12, 19 2:00 & 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 16 will be a sensory-friendly performance. Audiences are invited to a sensory-friendly preparatory tour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. before the show begins.
A Wilder Night: Three Short Plays DRAMA
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Adam Houghton
Join us for an evening of one-acts from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder ( Our Town). These three plays — The Longest Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha, and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden — each explore life in all its fullness, unbounded by time, space, or even the earth itself. This will be a wonderful night of the best of American theatre.
Nov. 8-9 ,13-16, 20-23
Nov. 9, 16, 23 2:00 p.m.
Much Ado About Nothing COMEDY
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Megan Sanborn Jones
Shakespeare’s most beloved comedy, presented in a modern-day transformation of the Globe Theatre! Our Shakespearean troupe will frolic with the first blush of love, wage a “merry war” of wit, and be caught out with their “hands against their own hearts.” Filled with brilliant banter, Much Ado About Nothing is a sharp look at human nature — and the transformative power of love.
Nov. 15-16, 20-23, Dec. 4-7 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 16, 23, Dec. 7 2:00 p.m.
Hamlet YOUNG COMPANY
By William Shakespeare
To skate or not to skate, that is the question! What do YouTubers, skateboarders, and Shakespeare have in common? Find out with Young Company’s vibrant adaptation of Hamlet — the context is modern, but the dialogue is just as the Bard wrote it. As Hamlet, Ophelia, and their friends hit the streets, they ask the soul-searching questions we all face.
Feb. 5-7, 12-14 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 8, 15, 2:00 pm & 4:00 p.m.
Little Shop of Horrors MUSICAL
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Original book by Howard Ashman
Directed by George Nelson
From songwriting duo Ashman and Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin) comes this deliciously devious sci-fi hit of both Broadway and Hollywood. Hopelessly nerdy Seymour must sacrifice love and blood to feed his beloved alien plant, who — unfortunately for humankind — has plans for global domination.
March 6-7,11-14,18-21 7:30 p.m.
March 7,14, 21, 2:00 p.m.
Wendy and Peter Pan FANTASY
By Ella Hickson
Directed by Kris Jennings
Straight from the Royal Shakespeare Company to BYU, this new take on a much-loved adventure reimagines the story from Wendy’s perspective. You’ll be surprised and delighted as our ensemble transforms a black box theatre into WWI London and then into Neverland — using only their theatrical skill and the power of imagination.
March 20-21, 25-28, 31-April 3, 7:30 p.m.
Microburst Theatre NEW WORKS
By BYU Student Playwrights
Directed by David Morgan
This fast-paced, annual festival showcases the best of student playwriting in an evening of 10-minute plays, performed by an ensemble of our brightest young actors. Support new work and become acquainted with the next generation of playwrights who will change the world.
Oct. 24-26 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 2:00 p.m.
Rump: A (Sorta) True Rumpelstiltskin Musical MDT WORKSHOP
Adapted by Tim Threlfall, from the book by Liesl Shurtliff
Directed by Tim Threlfall
Based on The New York Times bestselling novel by BYU alum Liesl Shurtliff, this fractured fairy tale follows the adventures of Rump, a young man who discovers that sometimes the greatest gifts come with the most terrible curses. Told inventively through an a cappella musical score, this workshop performance is an exciting world premiere.
Dec. 5-7, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7, 2:00 p.m.
Contemporary Voices STAGED READINGS
Join us for an evening of script-in-hand readings of the best of contemporary American theatre. Engage with the work of master playwrights whose important voices might otherwise not be heard in our university community. Students bring life to these scripts through carefully rehearsed readings, and the audience is invited to a post-show conversation about the themes, complications, and joys of these plays.
By Jenifer Nii
By Stephen Karam
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
By Christopher Durang
Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m. The Humans
Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. Suffrage
Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m. Suffrage
Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m. The Humans
Jan. 18, 7: 30 p.m. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Prometheus Unbound GREEK THEATRE
de Jong Concert Hall
Sept. 23, 5:00 p.m.
Final Cut FILM FESTIVAL
Oct. 17-19 7:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.