This season, our 80th, will be unlike any in the history of our school. The COVID-19 pandemic has darkened theatres around the globe and raised big questions about the nature and future of our artform. Simultaneously, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) theatre practitioners and audiences have demanded that theatres and theatre training institutions—including the School of Drama—reckon with our role in perpetuating racism within our field, and work swiftly and purposefully to dismantle systems of oppression that have long harmed our BIPOC colleagues and students. We join our colleagues in the conviction that, from this time of disruption, a better theatre, a better school—a better world—can emerge.
Amidst all of this, the school’s mission to prepare exceptional theatre artists and scholars remains unchanged. This moment has deepened—but not fundamentally changed—the questions we ask ourselves as theatre educators. What will the world look like when our students complete their studies? What will it mean to be poised to lead in this new world? And how can we—as an institution—meet the challenges of this moment with those same qualities we try to cultivate in our students: courage, character, and craft?
Our answer is the season you’re about to discover, a season that is flexible enough to stretch into new modes of making and sharing theatrical work—indeed, of thinking about what theatre is—and malleable enough to respond to whatever the conditions of the world around us may be at any given moment in time. It’s a season that embraces the moment we are in, wherever we may be experiencing it: the now and the here.
This is not the kind of season you are used to seeing from us. Some projects are more settled, while others are still conceptualizing. In fact, every project we are sharing today—as well as the dates of productions—might change. And while we hope to be able to return to our theatres by this spring, we recognize that there is no guarantee of that. This is why we will not be selling traditional subscription packages this year. Instead, we are asking our patrons to join us as All-Access Members. Members will get online access to every show in our public season. In the event that we are able to welcome audiences into our theatres in the spring, our All-Access Members will get the first invitations to join us there.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a colossal financial impact on our sector, and the School of Drama is not immune from that impact. Your support in the form of a season membership will be a critical part of ensuring that we have the resources to return to our spaces once the pandemic is over.
Moreover, your membership will gain you access to an exciting array of theatre, from devised work to radio plays to masterworks of the 19th and 20th centuries. This season also includes a first-of-its-kind tri-production between the UW School of Drama, Cornish College of the Arts, and Seattle University. Read on to learn more about our 2020-2021 public season, and thank you for sharing space with us—be it virtual or physical—in this complicated, potent, and galvanizing moment.
NOTE: At the time of publication, we anticipate that all productions in our public season will be offered to audiences online. If this changes, our All-Access Members will receive the first invitations to join us in person in our theatres. Please see the All-Access Membership Levels section for more details.
***ALL TITLES AND DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE***