University Theatre announces 2016-17 season schedule

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University Theatre announces 2016-17 season schedule

The University Theatre at Fresno State will present six modern works from a diverse selection of contemporary female playwrights in the 2016-17 season.

The lineup includes an examination of police brutality within the African-American community, a loss of innocence amid a serial killer at-large, the staging of the passion across time, a contemporary dance ensemble, the revelation of a childhood trauma and a darkly hilarious Broadway musical.

The fall 2016 semester begins with “Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments,” directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis, Sept. 30 through Oct. 8. Through a series of seven emerging African-American playwrights, the play examines police violence.

Near Halloween, from Oct. 28 through Nov. 5, director J. Daniel Herring will present “Tar Beach,” written by Tammy Ryan. The story takes place in 1970s New York City as teenagers navigate adolescence, a failing marriage and a power outage while the Son of Sam roams free.

Director Ruth Griffin will present “Passion Play: Part 1 and Part 2,” written by Sara Ruhl, Dec. 2 through 10. This humorous but unsettling journey is filled with lust and whimsy as the death and resurrection of Christ is staged in Queen Elizabeth’s England and Hitler’s Germany.

The spring 2017 semester begins with the energy, passion and movement of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble Feb. 17 through 25. Artistic Director Kenneth Balint brings guest artists and choreographers together to present rhythm, physicality and collaboration in contemporary dance.

“The Great God Pan,” directed by Kathleen McKinley and written by Amy Herzog, will be staged March 21 through April 1. The production explores the impact of a childhood trauma and what is lost and won when the truth is exposed.

The season closes with “Heathers the Musical” May 5 through 13, 2017. Directed by Brad Myers, the production centers on a high school student hustling her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique. The hilarious, heartfelt and homicidal musical is an unflinching look at the highs and lows of high school.

“University Theatre is excited to share voices and perspectives that have historically been underrepresented in theatre for our upcoming season,” said Herring, theatre arts chair and director. “From the African-American perspective within the epidemic of police brutality to the inclusion of three prominent female playwrights, this next season will highlight contemporary voices that will have a powerful impact on our campus as well as in the community of Fresno.”

Tickets are $17 for adults; $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni and military; and $10 for students for all shows, excluding musicals. Individual tickets for musicals are $20, $18 and $12.

Season subscriptions will be available to purchase online on Aug. 15 at The theatre arts box office in the Speech Arts building will open for the season on Aug. 29. Box office hours are noon to 4 p.m. on weekdays and one hour before each performance. Parking passes must be purchased at a kiosk for all Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances.

For more information, contact Anthony Cody at or 559.278.7512 or visit Theatre Arts.

University Theatre 2016-2017 season schedule

“Hands Up,

7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments”

Sept. 30-Oct. 8

Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre


“Tar Beach”

Oct. 28-Nov. 5

Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre


“Passion Play: Part 1 and Part 2”

Dec. 2-10

John Wright Theatre



Feb. 17-25

John Wright Theatre


“The Great God Pan”

March 24-April 1

Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre


“Heathers The Musical”

May 5-13, 2017

John Wright Theatre