Arts & Culture

Journey Through Life, Fantasy With UK Theatre and Dance’s 2019-20 Season

photo of web banner for "Black & 25 in America"
Theatre alumnus Jeremy Gillett brings his one-man show, "Black & 25 in America," to UK Sept. 13-14.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2019) The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance 2019-20 season will present an array of award-winning modern and classical works that promise to take audiences on journeys through life, and even fantasy, all from their seat in Guignol Theatre.

To start the season, UK will welcome home 2010 theatre graduate Jeremy Gillett to present “Black & 25 in America.” Written and performed by Gillett, this one-man play explores the experience of being a young, black adult in today’s America. Before “Black-ish,” “This Is Us” or “The Chi” — Gillett was developing his story as an undergraduate at UK. “Black & 25 in America” will take center stage Sept 13-14.

Next up, UK Theatre will stage the award-winning musical “Cabaret.” When American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, takes a train to Berlin in 1931, his life is forever changed. Join Cliff, Sally, the Emcee and the dancers of the Kit Kat Club on a seductive journey through the decadent cabaret lifestyle and seedy underground of Weimar Berlin as the shadow of Nazism slowly begins to creep into life as they know it. “Cabaret” steals the spotlight Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

Sophie Treadwell's expressionistic play about a woman’s monotonous life in the “machine” of industrialized capitalism will close out 2019 for UK Theatre. An unflinching and poignant examination of the working class, “Machinal” tells its social commentary in an evocatively theatrical way — unafraid to dive into topics like homosexuality and abortion. This groundbreaking work premiered nearly a century ago and still resonates with today's audience. “Machinal” will command the stage Dec. 5-8.

In the new year, UK Theatre hits the pavement in “Bike America.” Pedaling across America from Boston to California, Penny is looking to have her very own “Eat, Pray, Love” experience. Is Penny having a “millennial moment” or is this the genuine rite-of-passage journey every generation has earned? Take a journey with “Bike America” Feb. 13-16.

The UK Dance Program will move audiences with its ninth annual dance concert, “Amplified” the following month. “Amplified” features a program of new dance works in a variety of genres from faculty, guest artists and one of UK’s own dance students. Each choreographic work uses movement to celebrate the art form, explores issues and topics facing society today, and ultimately brings people together through the power of dance. “Amplified” charges the stage March 6-8.

UK Theatre will close out the season with one of The Bard’s most popular plays. William Shakespeare’s rom-com masterpiece, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” comes to life in this new adaptation by director Stephen Wrentmore. The world is turned upside down and the gods walk among us, using mortals as aphrodisiacs for their own conquests and fantasies. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is set to enchant April 23-26.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2019-20 UK Theatre and Dance season. All productions will be presented at the Guignol Theatre, located in the Fine Arts Building on Rose Street. For specific times and dates, visit UK Theatre online at

Tickets to "Cabaret" are $15 for students with a university ID and $20 for the general public. Tickets to all other shows are $10 for students with a university ID and $15 for the general public. To purchase tickets to UK Theatre and Dance's productions at Guignol Theatre, contact the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visit online at, or visit the ticket office in person.

The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students in the department get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design and technology. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.