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Announcing the 2021-22 Theatre Season

As we celebrate the completion of the academic year and 2020-21 Theatre Season, we send enormous thanks to you - our audiences, donors, and underwriters. Your willingness to come along on the journey to our digital stages during the pandemic has been appreciated beyond words. Theatre students, faculty, and staff worked very hard this year, showing extraordinary flexibility and strength - but we truly could not have done it without your support.

In this spirit, we are thrilled to announce the 2021-22 Season, chosen by a committee of students, faculty, staff. As with the past year, production modes will be determined according to the Protect Purdue guidelines on events and safe practices next year. We hope to offer in person seating, along with digital options to allow maximum accessibility, and to benefit from all that you helped us learn this year.

We will be sending out our full season brochure later in the summer with further details, as well as information on memberships and ticketing. If you would like to sign up to receive a 2021-22 Season brochure, please visit

Here is our 2021-22 Theatre Season!

by Lynn Nottage

September 23, 7:30 pm – Preview Performance
September 24, 25, 30; October 1, 2 at 7:30 pm
September 26; October 3 at 2:30 pm
Nancy T. Hansen Theatre
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, this 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. Inspired by true stories of union workers in Reading, PA, Sweat explores the underlying connection between racism and economics in a post-industrial US.

Fefu and Her Friends

by María Irene Fornés

November 11 at 7:30 pm – Preview Performance
November 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 pm
November 14, 21 at 2:30 pm
Nancy T. Hansen Theatre
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

Written in 1977, this early immersive drama is one of the best-known plays of María Irene Fornés, Cuban-American playwright and matriarch of Latine playwriting and avant-garde theatre traditions. Set in the 1930s, eight women gather at their friend Fefu’s home to plan an educational fundraiser. While a seemingly simple plot, the play is anything but. As the audience moves through the stage space to experience scenes in a different order, Fornés dramatizes the complex traumas and oppressions, as well as the loves and joys, experienced by and between women in the context of patriarchal culture.

Twelfth Night (or What You Will)
by William Shakespeare

February 17 at 7:30 pm – Preview Performance
February 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm
February 20, 27 at 2:30 pm
Nancy T. Hansen Theatre
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

When twins Sebastian and Viola are separated following a shipwreck, neither knows that the other is alive. Disguising herself as a young man in order to survive, Viola goes into service for Count Orsino and is sent to woo the Lady Olivia on his behalf. But Olivia falls for her instead, while Viola herself has fallen for Orsino! Shakespearean shenanigans ensue: Twelfth Night contains all the mistaken identities, gender play, joyful discovery and love that one could hope for from the Bard.

Men on Boats
by Jaclyn Backhaus

April 14 at 7:30 pm – Preview Performance
April 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 pm
April 17, 24 at 2:30 pm
Nancy T. Hansen Theatre
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of fallible yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. By casting the historical characters (who were all men) with women and gender non-conforming actors, Backhaus playfully destabilizes cultural assumptions and norms, using the theatre to explore new modes of storytelling and open more expansive territories for all, on stage and off.