The Theatre Program in the Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media normally stages three full main stage shows and five smaller scale shows (known as Lunch B.H.A.G.G.s) every academic year. The productions allow faculty, staff and students to work, both onstage and backstage, on full-scale productions. Students from all levels of the theatre program act, direct, and participate in the shows for the season while the backstage students set the stage, cue the lights, and make sure each show runs on a professional standard.
During the Covid-19 pandemic some creative changes have been employed!
The University of Manitoba Theatre Program Presents
An Original Play written for Zoom by Debbie Patterson
March 24 - 27, 2021 at 8pm ~ Free
As stages across the globe remain closed, theatre has moved online, generating many innovative and surprising new forms. UM Theatre wades into this fray with the world premiere of Zoom Lens, an original play that focuses its lens inward, exploring the challenges of life, art, and learning in post-secondary pandemic education.
In the midst of a lockdown, eight university students have signed up for “Cultural Representations of Pandemics,” a brand-new course taught by a professor working from home amidst a marriage breakdown. Together, they struggle to navigate the relationships that the class builds, and to master a variety of cultural offerings influenced by disastrous epidemics. Somewhere along the way, art and life intertwine with surprising, and even life-threatening, results.
Zoom Lens is the result of a collaborative workshop process that grew from a year-long, Program-wide focus on new play development in 19/20. Prestigious Winnipeg theatre artist and UM sessional instructor in playwriting, Debbie Patterson, took her commission to write a play for UM Theatre and made a significant pivot to address the unexpected moment we find ourselves in. Patterson wrote this play specifically for Zoom and every aspect of the production, including auditions and rehearsals, has taken place online. Patterson chose a University setting intentionally, using this context to create a multifaceted story told from many diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
Featuring a talented cast of UM Theatre senior student actors, designers and technicians, Zoom Lens is directed by faculty member Katrina Dunn and dramaturgy by faculty member Bill Kerr. Dunn says, “Debbie’s script masterfully handles the Zoom platform. She has so many remarkable things to say about pandemic experience and living life online, and she has given us very memorable characters to live and speak those truths.”
To attend any of the four performances, click on the event links below to gain access. These are direct Zoom Webinar links that once clicked, will take you to the event, no pre-registration required. Please click on these links or copy/paste the links to your browser to join the event at the time of the show. You may wish to save a link of your choosing on your own device for ease of access. Please join our Zoom Webinar rooms 15 minutes before the show.
WED MARCH 24 8PM https://zoom.us/j/91753946701
THURS MARCH 25 8PM https://zoom.us/j/92015363819
FRI MARCH 26 8PM https://zoom.us/j/96006326529
SAT MARCH 27 8PM https://zoom.us/j/97613994012
Zoom Lens invites you to be a part of the show! Share a selfie using the Dropbox link for use in the show. Make connections with the cast, crew, and other fellow audience members.
For further information, contact: Evan Friesen at email@example.com
Fire in the Hole (FITH) is an exciting U of M Theatre production that showcases the incredible work of student playwrights through a series of staged readings directed and performed by students. We are happy to be able to offer FITH through a virtual platform this year. Tune in December 5th for The Roommates, December 9th for A Work in Progress, December 13th for New Year’s Eve, and December 16th for Beach House. Hope to see you there!
2019-2020 Mainstage Season
Mainstage 1: Look Homeward, Angel by Ketti Frings November 20-November 30 DETAILS
Look Homeward, Angel traces the coming of age of Eugene Gant, as well as the lives of his family members. Set in the town of Altamont, North Carolina, Eugene's mother, Eliza, runs a boarding house, "Dixieland", where boarders often interact with and affect the lives of the Gants.
His father, William Oliver, runs a marble sculpture shop, where he has his prized possession, a statue of an angel. It is a richly layered, period coming-of-age story, based on the early life and history of Thomas Wolfe. Directed by George Toles.
Mainstage 2: Macbeth by William Shakespeare January 22- February 1 DETAILS
The play follows a General, Macbeth, who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself before being wracked with guilt and paranoia. This interpretation of Macbeth will explore themes of masculinity and gang mentality. Directed by Bill Kerr.
Mainstage 3: Capture Me! by Judith Thompson March 11-March 21 DETAILS
Capture Me focusses on Geraldine (Jerry), a junior kindergarten teacher, who falls in love with an Arabic refugee and tries to connect with her estranged biological mother, all while being hunted down by her monstrously abusive ex-husband. While Jerry and Aziz are united and yet alienated by their respective tragic pasts, Jerry finds strength in her relationships, especially in her friendship with her fellow teacher, Minkle. Directed by UofM alumna, Robyn Hasselstrom.
2019-2020 LunchBhagg Season
Lunch BHAGG performances are scheduled over the noon hour, and yes! you may bring your lunch! Length of show is less than an hour.
EVERYONE is WELCOME and admission is FREE! (Evening performance is PWYC - pay what you can)
The 39 Steps: A Live Radio Play DETAILS
Written by Joe Landry, directed by Evan Friesen, inspired by Hitchcock's classic tale and performed as a live period radio play, this romantic thriller is a fast-paced ride through the signature world of the Master of Suspense.
Tuesdays & Sundays DETAILS
A story of two young people that once lived in the rural community of Margate, PEI near the turn of the 20th century. A chance meeting at a New Year’s Eve party brings them into a tale of love and youth that ages them far beyond their years. Written by Daniel Arnold & Medina Hahn.
A Worthy Opponent DETAILS
"A Worthy Opponent" by Meg Braem is a lighthearted comedy that takes place over the course of one evening at Hop House Dinner Theatre. We watch the hilarity and humility unfold as Penelope, the bug scientist, surprisingly discovers she will be a mother-in-law to her son's careless and detestable girlfriend Ivy ... her words, not ours.
The Actor's Nightmare DETAILS
Christopher Durang's hilarious take on the actor’s perspective, or should we say an accountant’s perspective, as he takes the stage for what seems to be the first time.
Fire in the Hole 4 DETAILS
Fourth annual student theatre festival of performances resulting from theatre students' work in a playwriting and a dramaturgy class in the Fall term and a directing course in the Winter term. All performances are considered staged readings as the works are still in progress. April 2-4 at 7pm in the John J. Conklin Theatre, Gail Asper Performing Arts Hall, 3rd Floor Taché Arts Complex, 150 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba.