Arts & Culture

UK Department of Theatre and Dance announces 2022-23 season

Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance announces their 2022-23 season, featuring classics with a contemporary spin, several regional premieres and the annual dance concert with works by faculty and student artists. Tickets to all shows are available now through the Singletary Center for the Arts Box Office at or by calling 859-257-4929.  

“I am delighted to share this brilliant array of creative work with the broader university community,” said Stephen Wrentmore, lecturer and season producer for the UK Department of Theatre and Dance. “These productions spotlight the fantastic diversity of talent within our students, faculty and staff. There is a poignant mix of drama, dance, laughter, satire and serious discussion about the world we live in and, perhaps, the one we aspire toward. Also, look out for productions from our Studio Season, student-led productions celebrating the hive of creativity within the Department of Theatre and Dance.” 

"Radium Girls" by D.W. Gregory 
Performances: Oct. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 15-16 at 2 p.m.  
Directed by Peter Stone  
Briggs Theatre 
General Admission: $10 for students/ $15 for adults (plus $2 ticketing fee) 
In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie was an international celebrity and luminous watches the latest rage — until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, "Radium Girls" traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. 

Written with warmth and humor, "Radium Girls" is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece. Called a "powerful" and "engrossing" drama by critics, "Radium Girls" offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth and the commercialization of science. 

"School for Scandal" by Richard Brinsley Sheridan 
Performances: Dec. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3-4 at 2 p.m.  
Directed by Christina Ritter 
Guignol Theatre 
General Admission: $10 for students/ $15 for adults (plus $2 ticketing fee) 

This comedic, satirical play is a scathing attack on pretention and hypocrisy. It was originally staged in 1777 in London’s Drury Lane Theatre. In this play, gossip and scandal, fueled by sexual intrigue, dominate the high society and aristocracy of England. Often considered the highlight of the “comedy of manners” plays, Sheridan’s plot delivers a caustic rebuke of the lack of honor, lax morality and conceits of the idle rich, who spend their time in constant turmoil striving for superior position and advantage amongst themselves and destroying all that surrounds them. 

On-stage seating — general admission. NO LATE SEATING WILL BE PERMITTED.   

"Rooted Forces" Dance Concert 
Performances: Jan. 27-28 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.  
Guignol Theatre 
Assigned Seating: $10 for students/ $15 for adults (plus $2 ticketing fee) 

The annual dance concert features new dances by faculty, guest artists and student work. Aligned with UK as a leading research university, the choreography is rooted in inquiry, exploration, risk taking and creativity. Through an extraordinary breadth of multifaceted perspectives and creative processes, the concert is an eclectic mix of modern and contemporary dance. 

"Blood at the Root" by Dominique Morisseau 
Performances: Feb. 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25-26 at 2 p.m. 
Briggs Theatre 
General Admission: $10 for students/ $15 for adults (plus $2 ticketing fee) 

A striking ensemble drama based on the Jena Six; six Black students from Louisiana who were initially charged with attempted murder for a school fight after being provoked with nooses hanging from a tree on campus. This bold play by Dominique Morisseau ("Sunset Baby," "Detroit '67," "Skeleton Crew"), whose title is inspired by the song "Strange Fruit," recorded by Billy Holiday, examines the miscarriage of justice, racial double standards, and the crises in relations between men and women of all classes and, as a result, the shattering state of Black family life. 

"Shakespeare in Love" by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman adapted for the stage by Lee Hall 
Performances: April 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. 
Directed by Stephen Wrentmore  
Guignol Theatre 
Assigned Seating: $15 for Students/ $20 for Adults (plus $2.00 ticketing fee to SCFA) 

Based on the Academy Award-winning movie, this enchanting, hilarious, romantic stage play reimagines William Shakespeare's creative process — and explores his inspiration — as he writes "Romeo and Juliet." Young Will Shakespeare has writer's block. The deadline for his new play is fast approaching, but he's in desperate need of inspiration. That is, until he finds his muse ... the feisty, brilliant and beautiful Viola. This crafty young woman is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms, inspiring him to write his greatest romantic masterpiece. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.