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Rock musical, ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ highlight 2013-14 UCD theater slate

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From page A7 | September 18, 2013 |

The UC Davis department of theater and dance’s 2013-14 season includes three productions directed by internationally renowned Granada Artists-in-Residence, three student showcases, one Shakespeare on a Shoestring class production as well as unticketed Institute for Theatre, Dance and Performance programs that open up the artistic process to the community.

Opening Nov. 21 is “Spring Awakening,” a rock musical and winner of eight Tony Awards with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik. The play is directed by Granada Artist-in-Residence Stafford Arima.

“Spring Awakening” is a provocative exploration of the journey from adolescence to adulthood based on the play by Frank Wedekind. This bold and poignant story follows a group of teenage friends as they cope with the agonies and ecstasies of discovering their sexuality. The characters struggle to figure out who they are while dealing with difficult issues including abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide.

This production is rated R for adult material, including violence, sexuality, nudity and language.

Granada Artist-in-Residence Miles Anderson will direct an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s epic novel “The Grapes of Wrath.” The play focuses on tenant farmers seeking jobs, dignity and a future during the Great Depression and will be staged March 6-16.

March also brings Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.” Full of intrigue, love and courtroom drama, the play is centered on the much-maligned moneylender Shylock and the lawyer-in-disguise, Portia. This is the second Shakespeare on a Shoestring production for the department of theater and dance.

Professor Bella Merlin will direct a cast of students from her Shakespeare and His Contemporaries class.

The March 13-16 performances of “The Merchant of Venice” are unticketed, with seats available on a first-come, first-served basis at Wyatt Pavilion Theatre.

Spring quarter brings a campus-based Institute for Theatre, Dance and Performance piece by Deirdre Morris, graduating master of fine arts candidate, titled “LAKE & The Death Star Migration.”

LAKE (which stands for Land Acquired Knowledge Embodied) is a practice-as-research project exploring concepts of human-to-place relationships and embodied wilderness through multimedia, interdisciplinary performance.

“LAKE & The Death Star Migration” is unticketed. Specific dates, times and location will be announced later.

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