MU Theatre Announces its Spring 2021 Schedule

spring theatre graphic



The Miami University Department of Theatre continues to meet disruption with innovation in their 2020-2021 Season. As in-person performances in the traditional theatre setting have been limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, theatre productions have had to find new ways to reach audiences. MU Theatre follows an exciting Fall 2020 schedule that included its first Digital Fringe Festival with a mix of live-streamed, pre-recorded, and in-person performances. 

The Spring semester will begin with the student-run annual Miami University Independent Artist Series (IAS). The series is modeled after the "storefront" theatre movement and is produced entirely by students who serve as directors, designers, technicians, performers, stage managers, and marketers. This semester will feature three shows that each premiere at 7:30 p.m. on February 19, 20, or 21. 

The first show is titled nonSense by Micki Smolenski and combines poetry and dance around a central theme of the five senses. The second show is titled Amazon Crime, written and devised by Ash Aiobheil, Bex Gray, Laura Smith, and Charlotte Snee. The storyline follows an oddball group of assassins planning their next target, Jeff Bezos. The third show is titled Tell Me About the Other Side by Eleanor Alger; it is about three genocides in the 20th century and their particular impact on women. The play is based on extensive research and interviews. Digital Reading Series

The spring will continue with the department's first-ever Digital Reading Series. A selection committee read 30 plays submitted by a diverse community of professional and academic playwrights and directors and selected four shows to be featured over Zoom between March 6 - 27. The department wanted to present new works or plays that have not been widely produced and scripts that provide a unique perspective on our contemporary moment, shine a light on injustice, and/or share stories from underrepresented voices.  

One of the benefits of a virtual theatre world is that thriving Miami University alumni can participate in the season. When the department presented The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare over Zoom in the fall, Steve Wilson ‘94 was cast in the play. The upcoming Digital Reading Series has also excitedly selected a play from the American playwright and Miami alum Rajiv Joseph, '96.  He was named a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. He also won an Obie Award for Best New American Play for his play Describe the Night, the play featured in the Digital Reading Series. 

The series will also feature The Helpers by Maggie Lou Rader and directed by Augusta Mercer, Baby Camp by Nandita Shenoy and directed by Jenny Mercein, and the profoundly moving Silas the Uninvited by Derek J. Snow and directed by Daryl Harris. These timely plays address issues such as survival, resistance, and social justice. Please be advised that the series includes works that depict violence and trauma; audiences should review available information before deciding to attend a reading. 

The spring's final production will take place in-person on the Arts Quad in a socially-distanced outdoor setting between April 28 and May 1. MUT's Climate Change Theatre Action will consist of short plays that will include an original piece written by Tyler Creech and a devised work authored by Worley Stidham, both current theatre students. The Climate Change Theatre Action will explore environmental questions through dance, stories, and visual imagery and engage in satire, comedy, mythology, tragedy, and audience participation. The performances will be free, but tickets are required to ensure safety.  

Live streams for the Digital Reading Series and the Independent Artist Series can be accessed on the College of Creative Arts YouTube Channel, Tickets for the Climate Change Theatre Action will be available through the Miami University Theatre website.


Digital Reading Series Full Schedule: 


The Helpers, written by Maggie Lou Rader, directed by Lindsey Augusta Mercer

The Helpers is a new perspective from the other side of the most famous bookshelf in history.  Miep Gies, an immigrant, and secretary for Otto Frank's famous Opekta company, lead a group of helpers to preserve the Secret Annex residents and the spirit of goodness and survival during World War II. The Helpers is a tale of joy, hope, friendship, and resistance during one of history's darkest moments.

Saturday, March 6 @ 7:30pm


Baby Camp, written by Nandita Shenoy, directed by Jenny Mercein

When Toni, Maria, and Aditi arrive at the Future is Freedom Retreat, they do not know what to expect, but their fearless guide Lois is eager to share her plan to take back the power from conservative forces in government.  Set in the not-too-distant future, Baby Camp asks whether adopting the opposition's playbook is really the path to freedom and whether power is worth any cost. 

Saturday, March 13 @ 7:30pm


Silas the Uninvited, written by Derek J. Snow, directed by Daryl Harris

Silas tells the all-too-familiar story of a Black man in rural Louisiana who has just been lynched by a mob in 1930 yet finds himself mysteriously alive. In the events to follow, he is confronted with a choice to live again in another time as a Black Man in America and deal with some of the many complicated struggles with race and time that have always plagued this country.

Warning: Violence and Trauma.

Saturday, March 20 @ 7:30pm


Describe the Night, written by Rajiv Joseph, director Stephen Stocking

Set in Russia over the course of 90 years, this thrilling and epic new play traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth, and conspiracy theories. In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel wandered the countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashed in the Russian city of Smolensk.

Saturday, March 27 @ 7:30pm