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Friday, May 20, 2022

Theater

Theatre season to be one for the playbooks


Like the 2009 Halloween production of “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” this season features “Zombie Prom” in October at the Cullen Performance Hall. | Pin Lim/Forest Photography

Like the 2009 Halloween production of “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” this season features “Zombie Prom” in October at the Cullen Performance Hall. | Pin Lim/Forest Photography

The upcoming academic year promises a number of things for Cougars, one of which is a showstopping season for the School of Theatre & Dance. With a number of pieces lined up ranging from the off-broadway musical “Zombie Prom” to Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” expect sensational performances from all students involved.

Along with its lineup of performances, the School of Theatre & Dance is also bringing back a bit of its history in the production of “Zombie Prom” under the direction of a guest director from the Alley Theatre. It is slated to go on in the Cullen Performance Hall in October — something the school hasn’t done since it moved from its original home in the Cullen building to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center decades ago.

“We’re trying to help position the Cullen Performance Hall into part of the social activities on campus,” Steve Wallace, Director of the School of Theatre & Dance said. “I picked ‘Zombie Prom’ because it’s going to appeal to a broad range and it’s kind of fun.

“We’re doing the full-length New York version of ‘Zombie Prom,’ which is the first time it’s been done in Houston.”

Another notable piece hitting the stage is “The Crucible,” guest-directed by award-winning artistic director and playwright Gus Kaikkonen, who also directed “Wild Oats” this spring.

“‘The Crucible’ is part of the University Resident Theatre Association accreditation, which accredits our graduate program,” Wallace said. “It is the professional organization that is the crossing-over point between the professional training programs and the profession itself — with a Tier One University, we should be an accredited professional training program.”

This season will also feature “Fragments,” written and directed by our own Pulitzer Prize-winning professor Edward Albee.

“We’re the only school in the country that has a piece that’s being directed by Edward Albee,” Wallace said. “He also has a new piece that’s opening in New York in February.”

Also on the roster are “Hot L Baltimore,” “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” and “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” With the talent and work the directors and students of the School of Theatre and Dance put into their productions, this season is shaping up to be solid.

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