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2021-22 Season

MainStage Productions

VUTheatre plans to produce plays throughout the 2021-22 academic year. 

All VUTheatre patrons are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. 
No one will be admitted without a properly worn mask. 

As of February 2022, VUTheatre performances are open to all audience members. Vanderbilt ID holders will need to present their ID for entry. All others will need to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. 

Fall 2021

Plays from the Pandemic

Our season begins with four new short plays that reflect on the pandemic we continue to live through. Three of the plays were commissioned and are written by professional playwrights Ran Xia, Megan Tabaque, and Amina McIntyre (who is also a PhD student in Vanderbilt’s Religion Department) — and the fourth play is by Theatre student Will Henke. The plays range from fantastical meditations on butterflies and Britney Spears to the advice of questionable dating coaches and more realistic depictions of love and the challenges it poses.

Brit Approximately: A pop greek tragedy reflecting on the pandemic
By Megan Tabaque
Directed by Brooke Dennison

Brit, who resembles a certain captive pop star, asks paparazzo Jason to help her free herself from her TV host father Creon’s grasping clutches. Will he? And what will Creon do to maintain control? How far will Brit go to make herself heard?

To Stab a Butterfly Through the Heart, or,
Vladimir Nabokov on a Westbound Train
By Ran Xia
Directed by Dr. Leah Lowe

How do you love a butterfly? Do you hold it carefully and preserve it so that you can admire it forever? Or do you release it into the wild and hope for the best? Is it better to creep along with certainty or risk everything in flight? On a westbound train, a passenger wrestles with these questions while her cat, Vladimir Nabokov, considers her from afar.

Brit Approximately and To Stab a Butterfly Through the Heart
will be presented as a double bill. 

Oct. 1 @ 8pm   -   Oct. 2 @ 8pm   -   Oct. 3 @ 2pm

By Amina S. McIntyre
Directed by Brooke Dennison

Asali and Ajene, a young married couple, are calling it quits but a mysterious inheritance leads them to question their choices. Working together, they discover that love that can be resilient and true even when challenged by unimaginable hardship. 

Wingman Telegram
By Will Henke
Directed by Dr. Leah Lowe

Rueben has been quarantined on his own for far too long. His life skills are rudimentary, at best. He’d love to date, but it all seems a little beyond him. Fortunately, help arrives in a cardboard box delivered to his door.

Lovelaces and Wingman Telegram will be presented as a double bill. 
Nov. 12 @ 8pm   -   Nov. 13 @ 8pm   -   Nov. 14 @ 2pm


Spring 2022

Our season continues with two full length productions of plays by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Gurgis and renowned novelist and playwright Pearl Cleage. 

The Last Days of Judas Iscsariot
By Stephen Adly Gurgis
Directed by Dr. Ibby Cizmar

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot chronicles the afterlife and trial of one of the most infamous figures in theology. Set in a courtroom in Purgatory the lawyers call witnesses from hell and heaven including Mary Magdalene, Sigmund Freud, Pontius Pilate, and Satan among many more. The play also reveals flashbacks to imagine how Judas’s childhood may have affected his choices as the most reviled sinner in biblical history. Employing raw language, this funny, poignant, and thought-provoking play asks audiences to question their own assumptions about forgiveness, compassion, and faith.

Feb. 24 @ 7pm  -  Feb. 25 @ 8pm  -  Feb. 26 @ 8pm  -  Feb. 27 @ 2pm

Blues for an Alabama Sky
By Pearl Cleage
Directed by Dr. Kristyl Tift

In 1995, Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky premiered at the Alliance Theater under the direction of Tony Award-Winner Kenny Leon. This production and a subsequent production at Arena Stage starred Tony Award-Winning actress Phylicia Rashad (as Angel Allen). Set in 1930s Harlem, New York—a time and place that exploded with African American artistry, intellectualism, culture, and social activism—Blues centers around Angel Allen, a thirty-something, former Cotton Club dancer, who has lost everything in one night:  she has no place to live, no boyfriend, and no job. With the help of her Harlemite friends, Guy, Sam, and Delia, and Leland—a southern stranger who falls in love with her at first sight—Angel has the opportunity to rise from a deep depression and create a new life for herself. However, her self-centered approach to survival threatens the stability of those relationships.

Apr. 13 @ 7pm  -  Apr. 14 @ 7pm  -  Apr. 15 @ 7pm  -  Apr. 16 @ 2pm

Student Productions

Throughout the academic year, there are opportunities for student directors, actors, designers, and technicians to collaborate on performances that supplement the department’s four mainstage productions.

The annual 24-Hour Production is an opportunity for VUTheatre students to write, stage, and perform new plays in a single day and night.

Students from Playwriting and Screenwriting courses typically present work at the end of each semester.  

Senior Performance Ensemble, a capstone course, culminates in an original devised work developed and performed by graduating senior majors at the end of the academic year.


Fred Coe Artist-in-Residence Program

The Fred Coe Artist-in-Residence Series brings theatre professionals to Vanderbilt to perform, direct plays, teach classes, and contribute to departmental productions in a variety of ways. It provides students with direct exposure to professional theatre artists from all areas of theatrical practice. We are working to bring several theatre artists to campus in 2021-22.


The Man Who Came to Dinner