Current Season

Department of Drama | 2017-2018 Season


by Barbara Hammond
September 28 & 29 at 8pm, September 30 at 2:00pm, and October 4 & 5 & 7 at 8:00pm
Director: Marianne Kubik
Ruth Caplin Theatre

In 2012, members of the Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot danced, kicked, and shouted their punk prayer “Virgin Mary, Chase Putin Away!” on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. When video of their protest went viral, three Pussy Riot members were hunted down, put on trial, and convicted for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Their trial was covered internationally by the media with open support through public acts of solidarity, launching this post-Soviet art-activist group into the global public sphere. This play recounts their story as all eyes looked to Russia for its next political move. (Adult themes and content)

P3M5 Project (The Plurality of Privacy Project in Five-Minute Plays)

October 27 & 28 at 8:00pm and October 28 at 2:00pm
Project Director: Doug Grissom
Helms Theatre

The Plurality of Privacy Project in Five-Minute Plays (P3M5) is a groundbreaking transatlantic theater project focused on the value of privacy. In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Washington, theaters across the US and Europe have commissioned five-minute plays exploring the central question, “What does privacy mean to you in the digital age?” The results will be presented in different formats by a network of theaters between January 2017 and June 2018. As a contributor to this project, the UVA Department of Drama will present performances and community forums to create an artistic and cultural dialogue centered on the theme of privacy.  P3M5 is presented with support from the Mead Endowment.

Seven Guitars

by August Wilson
November 9 – 11 and 17 & 18 at 8:00pm and November 12 & 19 at 2:00pm
Director: Theresa M. Davis
Ruth Caplin Theatre

This poetic, bittersweet play is part of August Wilson’s The American Century Cycle, which illuminates the African-American experience through each decade of the 20th century. Set in 1948 in the backyard of a Pittsburgh apartment house, Seven Guitars follows blues guitarist Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton as he desperately tries to rebound from serving jail time on a trumped-up vagrancy charge and find his way to Chicago, hoping to make a new hit record. Through Floyd’s friends and neighbors—the seven voices of the play—a rich, melodic tale of passion and pain plays out to reveal the desires and dreams of those sharing life in this urban backyard community. (Adult themes and content)

Virginia Players Lab Series

The Last Five Years

Written and Composed by Jason Robert Brown
November 18 at 2:00pm and November 19 at 5:00pm

Helms Theatre

Fall Dance Concert

Artistic Director: Kim Brooks Mata
December 1 & 2 at 8:00pm and December 2 at 2:00pm
Culbreth Theatre

Each semester the Dance Program presents eclectic, provocative, and engaging choreographic works by students, faculty, and guest artists.

Love’s a Bitch

by Dave Dalton
(freely adapted from Don Gil de las Calzas Verdes by Tirso de Molina)
February 22 – 24, 27 & 28 and March 1 at 8:00pm
and February 24 at 2:00pm
Director: Dave Dalton
Ruth Caplin Theatre

Jilted by her boyfriend for a richer woman in the big city, Doña Juana discovers what she’s really made of by dressing as a man, stealing her
boyfriend’s identity, and seducing the rich woman before he can reach her. In Dalton’s free adaption of this classic, we learn that love can hurt, heal, and
kick a little ass.  (Adult themes and content)

Please note: for this production, wheel chair and walker accessibility is available in Row H only.  All other seating is accessible by stairs.


Music by Mark Hollmann, Lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, Book by Greg Kotis
March 29 & 30, April 3 - 6 at 8:00pm & April 7 at 2:00pm
Director: Robert Chapel
Culbreth Theatre

Urinetown is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and musical theatre itself. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the chaos, a hero decides that he has had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom. (Adult content)

Spring Dance Concert

Artistic Driector: Kim Brooks Mata
April 12 – 14 at 8:00pm
Ruth Caplin Theatre

New Works Festival

Producers: Dave Dalton & Doug Grissom
April 26 - 29
Helms Theatre

The New Works Festival brings together all aspects of the collaborative process for presenting new works: writing, dramaturgy, directing, choreography, design, technology, construction, acting, stage management and backstage run crews. Produced by UVA Drama for the purpose of providing an all-encompassing experience for students, this festival also offers mentoring and feedback from professional guest artists. New Works Festival is supported by an Arts Enhancement Grant from the Office of the Provost & the Vice Provost for the Arts.

This year we have two distinct nights of theatre.  The play Canaan by Micah Watson preforming on Thursday, April 26 at 8pm; Saturday, April 28 at 8pm and Sunday, April 29 at 12 & 4pm.  Playwright Micah Watson is a 4th year Drama major who is the co-recipient of The Kennedy Center National Undergraduate playwriting Award for Canaan and we are pleased to showcase this award-winning work.  

  • During the one of the most tumultuous years in American history, Canaan tells the coming-of-age story of a teenager and his community, caught between love, activism, and spirituality. In 1968, generations collide as Washington, D.C. neighbors must decide where there loyalties lie when the Civil Rights Movement takes a turn.

On Friday, April 27 at 8pm and Saturday, April 28 at 2pm, we will present four new one-act plays by student playwrights and four new devised works by student director-devisers.  The devised works by Jessica Harris, Ali Cheraghpour, Madeleine Goggin, and Tiara Sparrow are on themes of internalized biases, modern-day fairy tales, self-exploration, and addiction secrecy.  The four one-act plays are:

  • White Zinfandel by Savannah Hard
    Laurel is a bubbly housewife with a love of attention, but her family and friends have to decide whether to take a stand against her drinking and her delusions.
  • Old Flame by Christine McLennan
    The sacred flame of the Vestal Virgins is in danger of dying out, and they desperately need new recruits to keep it going. At a college activities fair, they find an interested student, but she isn’t sure she can commit to the Vestal’s demanding standards. Can anyone?
  • Can’t Stay Here by Kate Doughty
    Liz is a recently single college student who tries to get some distance from the demands of her social life in a surprising and hilarious confrontation with her own anger, sadness, and desire to party.
  • Every Little Soul by Christine McClennan
    Rosie’s drug use has pushed Mama to her limit. She lays a trap for her daughter in an effort to bring her home and bring her peace.