Uncommon Sense Series

2015-16 EVENTS

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT web_banners4
Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle,
Music by John DuPrez and Eric Idle

Talkback with the Cast
Thursday, April 28, following the 7:30 performance

Monty Python and the Musical: Creative Team Discussion
Saturday, April 20, following the 2pm matinee
Join designers and cast members to discuss how Spamalot merges the world of Monty Python with that of musical theatre. We will discuss inspirations behind the scenic design, how the visual world of Monty Python was brought to the stage, and the many ways Spamalot pays tribute to the traditions of musical theatre.
Sense and Sensibility adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and JR Sullivan 
from the novel by Jane Austenweb_bannersx
Cast and Creative Team Talkback
Thursday, March 3, after the 7:30 performance
Join the cast and crew for a post-show conversation on the creative process.
Austen Then and Now
Saturday March 5, after the 2:00pm performance
Join UConn English Professor Jean Marsden and members of the cast to discuss Austen’s enduring literary legacy, and what it is like to bring her worlds and her characters to life today.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

TBD – Following the 7:30pm performance
join the cast and crew for a post-show conversation on the creative process.




Thursday November 5 – Following the 7:30pm performance
join the cast and crew for a post-show conversation on the creative process.
Saturday November 7 – Following the 2:00pm performance join CRT artists and guest speakers as we explore pressing questions about migration and citizenship, from the plight of refugees around the world to the concerns of undocumented students here at home.
Eleni Coundouriotis, Professor of English and Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism at the Human Rights Institute
Students Without Borders, UConn’s student group that works to advocate for the undocumented population at Uconn
Vincent Tycer, Director, Profesor of Drama, works with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights on “Speak Truth to Power”
Connecticut Students for a Dream, a statewide network for undocumented youth and allies fighting for educational equality


The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later
By Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber
Laramie 10 years
One Night Only
Tuesday October 13, 2015 – 7:30pm
Nafe Katter Theatre
Tickets: Students: $7, Subscribers: $5, General Admission: $10
Please join the cast of The Laramie Project for a special reading and discussion of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.
In 1998, following the brutal murder of of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, members of the Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, WY and conducted interviews with the people in the town.  What emerged was a powerful play, chronicling the life of the town in the year after the murder.  Ten years later, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder.   What they found was a town struggling with its identity and place in history.  They also spoke with the two murderers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, and Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard.  This companion piece to The Laramie Project asks “How does society write its own history?”

Thursday October 15 – Following the 7:30pm performance
join the cast and crew for a post-show conversation on the creative process and documentary theatre.
Saturday October 17, Following the 2pm matinee, join WFSB anchor Mark Zinni and renee dininio zinniRenee Dinino, Community Affairs director at iHeart Media for a post-performance conversation on the role of the media in reporting and influencing the perception of high profile tragedies in the United States.


ACTRESS (2014)
Directed, Edited & Photographed by Robert Greene
Produced by Douglas Tirola & Susan Bedusa
Starring Brandy Burre
Thursday September 24, 2015 – 8pm
von der Mehden Recital Hall
Tickets: $5 Students and $10 General Admission / Free for CRT subscribers.
Cash only – at the door.


Actress Brandy Burre is currently a guest artist
performing in CRT’s The Laramie Project (October 8-18, 2015), Join CRT for a special screening of this documentary film, followed by a Q & A with the actress, Brandy Burre.
Brandy Burre had a recurring role on HBO’s The Wire when she gave up her career to start a family.  When she decides to reclaim her life as an actor, the domestic world she’s carefully created crumbles around her.  Using elements of melodrama and cinema verité, ACTRESS is both a present tense portrait of a dying relationship and exploration of a complicated woman, performing the role of herself, in a complex-yet-familiar story.  It’s a film about starring in the movie of your life.

ACTRESS (trailer) from Cinema Guild on Vimeo.


Split Knuckle Theatre’s The Curious Case of Phineas Gage
Created by Split Knuckle Theatre
Written by Nick Ryan
Directed by Vincent J. Cardinal

The Curious Case of Phineas Gage is a new devised theatre phineas gage fbpiece by Split Knuckle Theatre () and directed by CRT Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal. Inspired by the life and times of Phineas Gage, one of the most famous cases of traumatic brain injury in all of neuroscience. In this hysterical journey reminiscent of Monty Python, a trio of 19th-century conspiracy theorists follows young Phineas’ exploits in PT Barnum’s feakshow as he disovers the secret history of psychic aliens on Earth.Endurance, The Band of the Black Hand.

CRT Subscribers & Drama students can see this thrill packed show before it heads to NYC’s Fringe Festival in August.

Friday August 7, 2015 – 2pm
Nafe Katter Theatre
RSVP by calling the Box Office at 860-486-2113


2014-15 EVENTS


Gallery on the Plaza
Homer Babbidge Library
Now through June 15, 2015


In “ThePlay’s the Thing: Shakespeare at UConn,” Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s (CRT) Managing Director Matthew Pugliese and Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts Lindsay Cummings show the creative work of the students and artists of the Department of Dramatic Arts and Connecticut Repertory Theatre. The scholarship of professors from English to Digital Media, highlights the many academic, social, and cultural ways we interact with Shakespeare on campus and in our lives. The University’s roots as an agricultural institution are also featured, focusing on herbs and their symbology in Shakespeare’s work.

Last year, UConn was invited to join the Folger Institute’s Consortium. The Folger Institute is a center for advanced study and collections-focused research in the humanities at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.


HUNGER: A Play for Two VoicesCurlew Theatre presents Hunger
Tuesday, April 14, 11 a.m., Nafe Katter Theatre
Curlew Theatre presents Eamon Grennan’s play on the Irish Famine

Performed by Tegolin Knowland and Sean Coyne.

Co-sponsored by Dramatic Arts and Irish Studies. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL.
Join the Department of Dramatic Arts and the Irish Studies Program on Tuesday, April 14 at 11 a.m. in the Nafe Katter Theatre for Curlew Theatre’s devised work, Hunger, which dramatizes witness accounts, documentary evidence, and oral histories to give voice to what has been described as an unspeakable trauma in Irish history.

About the Company
Curlew Theatre Company performs five ‘plays-for-voices’ devised, written, and directed by Eamon Grennan. Each piece takes a crucial element in Irish history and explores it in depth.

Curlew Theatre Company aims to produce performance pieces relying almost solely on text and voice. With only two actors (playing many voices), a minimum of props, and not much stage “business,” their work explores in an immediate way their chosen subjects and bridges an intimate relationship between players and audience. By so doing, the issues (big, small, historical, political, personal) gain a recognizable human face and an intensely human sound.


featuring Kerry Kennedy
President, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
Free Admission

4:00p.m. – Reception
Co-sponsored by Community Outreach 20th Anniversary Commemoration
5:00p.m. – Staged Reading
Dramatic reading of excerpts from the play Speak Truth To Power: Voice from Beyond the Dark by Ariel Dorfman based on the book by Kerry Kennedy with photographs by Eddie Adams.

Co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute in collaboration with the School of Fine Arts. Directed by Vincent J. Cardinal, Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts and Artistic Director of Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

5:45p.m. – Sackler Distinguished Lecture
“Speak Truth To Power”
Kerry Kennedy

6:30p.m. – Audience Questions
Kerry Kennedy, Director Vincent J. Cardinal and actors


Daughters of the Moon_Poster

By Reginald Edmund
Directed by Gerry McIntyre

A staged reading of Reginald Edmund’s play following a young slave girl who escapes the brutality of the plantation through acts of violence of her own.  Her journey towards freedom is costly for all, but survival is a must.

Friday, April 3 at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 4 at 11:00am

Nafe Katter Theatre
Free and Open to the public.




Cast and Creative Team Talkback
When: Thursday April 2 after the 7:30 pm Performance
Saturday March 28 after the 2:00 pm Performance

Please join us for a discussion with members of the cast and creative team of this new piece of devised theatre.



Cast and Creative Team Talkback
When: Thurs., March 5 after the 7:30 pm Performance

Please join us for a discussion with members of the cast and creative team.

From WACS and WAVES to Bombshells and Babes: Women and War
When: Saturday, March 7 after the 2pm matinee

By setting Lysistrata in World War II, a period who’s iconic images of women range form Rosie the Riveter to the “bombshell” images that decorated the noses of fighter planes, director Jen Wineman asks us to think about the complex relationship between woman and war—all through the lens of Aristophanes’ irreverent comic tone. Join us for a conversation on these topics and more, with Christine Sylvester, professor of political science and of women’s studies at UConn, and members of the cast.

THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEECompetition Uncommon Sense Graphic

Cast and Creative Team Talkback
When: Thurs., Dec. 4th after the 7:30 pm Performance

Please join us for a discussion with members of the cast and creative team.

Teens, Tweens and In-Betweens: Staging Adolescence
When: Sat., Dec. 6th after the 2pm Matinee

Popular culture is full of teen drama. From angst, to social awkwardness, to hormonal upheavals, the teen and pre-teen years offer rich material for film, television, literature, and the stage. What do these representations tell us about adolescence, and what does our enduring interest in this age tell us about our culture and our adult selves? Please join us to discuss these issues with members of the cast and special guest Victoria Ford Smith, Assistant Professor in the Department of English and a specialist in Young Adult literature.

COMPETITION: From Student Athlete to Student Mathlete

When: Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 4-5:30 pm.
Where: Homer Babbidge Class of 1947 Room

What do theatre, sports, and spelling have in common? As we prepare to stage The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, we invite you to join us for a conversation about competition from the athletic field, to the class
room, to the stage. Whether it’s a football game, the National Spelling Bee, or American Idol, competition keeps us on the edge of our seats. What is it about competition that drives us and draws us in? What do athletics and academics have in common? And what does it all have to do with entertainment? CRT brings together a diverse panel to explore these issues from a range of perspectives.

Featured Speakers:

Dr. Adrienne Macki-Braconi
Assistant Professor, Department of Dramatic Arts
Faculty Affiliate, Africana Studies Institute and American Studies Program

Dr. Scott W. Brown
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology
NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative
Co-Director, The GlobalEd 2 Project
Coordinator, The Cognition, Instruction and Learning Technology Program

Dr. Justin Evanovich
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Managing Director, Husky Sport

Joseph S. Renzulli, Director
The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented
University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Raymond and Lynn Neag Professor of Gifted Education and Talent Development
Winner of the 2009 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education

CLOUD 9Cloud 9 Graphic - Extra
Conversation with the Cast and Creative Team
Oct. 30, after the 7:30 performance

Please join us after the show for a conversation with the cast and other members of the creative team.

Beyond Binaries: Identity in Cloud 9
Nov. 1, after the 2pm matinee

Famed for its cross-gender and cross-race casting, Cloud 9 poses provocative questions about how we form identities and how those identities interact with, support, or challenge systems of power. These questions are as pressing today as they were in 1979, when the play was first produced. For this discussion, cast members will be joined by Fleurette King, Director of UConn’s Rainbow Center, A Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Center.


Conversation with the Cast and Creative TeamFederico-Garcia-Lorca
Oct. 9th after the 7:30 performance
Please join us after the show for a conversation with the cast and other members of the creative team.

Lorca’s Legacy
Oct. 11th after the 2pm matinee
We are pleased to have Christopher Maurer, a scholar and Lorca translator from Boston University, join playwright Michael Bradford and members of the cast for a conversation about Federico García Lorca—his art, his impact, and his role in history.



2013 – 2014 EVENTS

by Ellen McLaughlin

Running Time: 90 minutes; No IntermissionWhen: Wednesday April 30th, Thursday May 1st, Friday May 2nd
(Special performance for the drama department Tuesday April 29th)
Time: ALL performances begin at 7:30 pm.
Where: The Mobius Theatre, DRAMA/MUSIC building.

There will be a talkback after the show on Thursday May 1st with directors, designers, and members of the cast. Talkback will run less than 30 minutes, all are invited to stay and ask questions.


Cast and Creative Team Talkback
April 26, after the 2pm matinee

Join us for a discussion with the cast and other members of the creative team.

Women and Law: A Conversation with Elizabeth Conklin
May 1, after the 7:30 performance

May 1, after the 7:30 performance

While the character Elle Woods shows us that blonde hair and a preference for pink have no bearing on a person’s intelligence, it nevertheless remains the case that women can face discrimination based on their physical appearance. To talk about these issues, we will be joined by Elizabeth Conklin, Associate Vice President of the Office of Diversity and Equity, and UConn’s Title IX Coordinator; Nicole Rothgeb, a specialist in discrimination and harassment cases; and cast member Courtney Hammond who plays Elle Woods.

From Power Suits to Power Pink:
Professional Women in Pop Culture

Nancy Bilmes, Director, Center for Career Development
Lucy Gilson, Associate Professor, Academic Director: Geno Auriemma Leadership Conference, School of Business
Courtney Hammond, Actress, “Elle Woods” in Legally Blonde: The Musical
Susan Schmieser, Professor, School of Law

In connection with the Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, this panel discussion will explore how professional women are expected to look and dress, and what judgments are still being made about women based on their physical appearance. While the character Elle Woods showed us that blonde hair and a preference for pink have no bearing on a person’s intelligence, it nevertheless remains the case that women can face discrimination both in hiring and pay scale based on their physical appearance. Speakers will discuss everything from what women should expect in hiring situations, to legal cases in involving discrimination based on a woman’s appearance, to the tension between images of professional women in popular culture and expectations in the board room.

Where: UConn Women’s Center
Open to the Public – No Admission Charge

UCONN Humanities Institute presents A WEEK IN THE HUMANITIES

DRAMATIC READING: Ahmed Hasan Al-Banna’s “In Search of Said Abu Al-Naga,” 
based on a translation by Dr. Mohammed Albakry, UCHI External Fellow.
Directed by Associate Professor Michael Bradford
Thursday, April 24 at 2:30pm
Student Union, Rm 304 B&C

Created and Performed by Carlos Garcia
Studio Theatre, DRMU Building
Sunday, 30 March, at 8PM

Solo dell’ Arte is an introduction to the audience of one of the most ancient types of theatre, the Commedia dell’ Arte, and the presence of this art into our days. In this show there is an empty space, masks, an actor and the audience. And three stories: The moon of Santiago, Lola ‘La nuit’ and Tito’s dream. Carlos Garcia, who is in residence in the School of Fine Arts as a UConn Guest Professor, will be performing his acclaimed one-man show for one night only. The performance is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested.  

RSVP w/ CRT Box Office at (860) 486-2113 


Objects, Environments, and Actants:
Intersections in Material Performance Symposium,
March 29-30, 2014

Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry

UConn’s Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and Theatre Studies Program will host a symposium titled “Objects, Environments, and Actants: Intersections in Material Performance.” Scholars, puppeteers, and theatre artists will discuss how objects and spaces perform, as well as the role of the material world in performance.

Drawing on recent scholarship in thing theory, material culture studies, puppetry studies, and object-oriented ontology, presenters will consider how puppets, props, costumes, masks, physical environments, and human actors intersect in performance.

For a complete schedule of events and list of presenters, or to register for the symposium, visit bimp.uconn.edu.

For more information, contact Emily Wicks, Program Assistant for the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at (860) 486-8585 or bimp@uconn.edu.




What does it take to bring a poem to life on stage, to integrate puppeteers with actors, to tell a timeless story of magic, enchantment, and human connection?

Because of the wide range of student work highlighted by this production – writing, acting, designing, and puppeteering – we are offering an expanded schedule of post-show discussions!

Join us after the following performances for a conversation with performers and members of the creative team:

Sat., March 29, 8pm
Thurs., April 3, 7:30 pm
Fri., April 4, 8pm
Sat., April 5, 2pm
Sat., April 5, 8pm



at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetryreverse cascade
Downtown Storrs
A new University of Connecticut Puppet Arts Production
by MFA candidate Anna Fitzgerald.

Based on the life of Judy Finelli, Reverse Cascade tells the story of a remarkable circus performer who loses control of her body and the ability to perform. Eventually she receives a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis that is incurable and progressive. Her work and identity begin to slip away with her body, but the circus calls back to her…

This story is told through object puppetry with circus and juggling objects playing the characters, and musicians playing original music.
Performed by puppeteers and musicians from the University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program and Music Program.

The show is completely non-verbal, 50 minutes long and geared towards adult audiences, or ages  12+.

March 1 – 1pm & 3:30pm
March 2 – 8pm
March 4 – 8pm
March 7 – 8pm
March 8 – 2pm & 8pm
March 9 – 2pm & 8pm


By William Shakespeare
Much Ado about Love and Laughter
March 1, after the 2pm matinee

Much Ado about Nothing is famous for the “merry war” of wits between its reluctant lovers, Beatrice and Benedick. Join English department scholars Elizabeth Hart and Mary Gallucci and members of the cast to discuss Shakespeare’s classic battle of the sexes comedy, and to consider why love’s war provokes so much laughter.

Cast and Creative Team Talkback
March 6, after the 7:30 performance

Join us for a discussion with the cast and other members of the creative team.

“Much Ado About Dinner”  

Join professional chef and professional actor David McCann (Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing) for a Bard-inspired menu. David will guide guests through 5 courses, while sharing humorous and insightful stories about his work bringing to life many of Shakespeare’s greatest characters, and the fascinating intersection of food, art and performance.

Nathan Hale Inn & Conference Center
Sunday February 16, 2014 – 4pm
$35 per person, includes one paired wine & non-alcoholic beverages

Reservations required. Limited Space Available.

Reserve your seat by February 10.

Please order by calling the CRT Box Office at 860-486-2113 or onlinhere

Check out David’s blog This Old Chef



THE THREE MUSKETEERSThreeMsuketeers_Working

Sat., Nov. 23, after the 2pm Matinee

Join us for a conversation with the cast and creative team about the themes of the play and their relevance today.

Thurs., Dec 5, after the 7:30pm performance

Join us for a conversation with Associate Professor of History Judith Meyer and cast member Rocco Sisto (Cardinal Richelieu) to discuss the socio-political aspects of the history of the play and how Dumas’ novel has influenced popular impressions of this period of history.


Love is poetic, painful, romantic, reckless, and generally all sorts of trouble. It’s difficult enough to put into words today, but Shakespeare described it best in two: taffeta punk. Join us for a series of scenes from Shakespeare that question what that “love” thing is anyway.  After all, love is taffeta: well-dressed, elegant, and beautiful.  And love is punk: sexy, vulgar, and rule-breaking.  And Shakespeare is all of the above.


Wednesday, Dec. 4th – 7:30 pm

Thursday, Dec. 5th – 7:30 pm (post-show talkback with creative team)

Friday, Dec. 6th – 8 pm

Free Admission. Seating is limited. You can reserve tickets by email through cglennl@yahoo.com (include “Taffeta Punk” in the subject line).




Written by Gilles Sẻgal

Directed by Harrison H. Haney

The year is 1950. The war has been over for five years…or “so they say.” Yet, in a secluded basement apartment in Berlin, Germany, tucked away in hiding from the Nazi Party is a Jewish Holocaust survivor, Samuel Finkelbaum. What happens when denial becomes obsession, obsession becomes delusion and delusion evolves into reality?

Witness the exploration of one man’s journey from madness to acceptance.

Cost of attendance for THE PUPPETMASTER OF ŁÓDŹ is FREE


Thursday November 14th 8 PM

Friday November 15th 8pm

Saturday 16th 8 PM

Sunday November 17th 2 PM





THE PUPPETMASTER OF ŁÓDŹ will be performed in the Mobius Studio Theatre in the Drama Music Building

802 Bolton Rd, Storrs, CT 06269

Thurs., Oct. 31st, after the 7:30pm performance
Join us for a conversation with the cast! Facilitated by CRT Dramaturg Lindsay Cummings.

Sat., Nov. 2, after the 2pm performance
Join us for a dialogue on design, focusing on the unique and sometimes challenging aspects of Dead Heavy Fantastics style, including the use of projections and the need to represent no less than seventeen locations in one set! Facilitated by student dramaturg Emily Borne.


BigLove_WorkingOct. 5, after the 2 pm performance of Big Love: Conversation with the Creative Team

Please join us after the show for a discussion with members of the cast, crew, and creative team. Facilitated by dramaturg Anna Woodruff.

Oct. 10, after the 7:30 pm performance of Big Love:
Big Ideas in Big Love

Join us for a discussion with Eleni Coundouriotis, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism at the Human Rights Institute. Professor Coundouriotis will be joined by Big Love director Helene Kvale, Theatre Studies Professor Thomas Meacham, and performers Briana Maia and Olivia Saccomanno. We will discuss some of the many “big ideas”—from gender conflict to the plight of refugees to the foundations of democracy—found in Big Love. Facilitated by Lindsay Cummings, Assistant Professor Dramatic Arts.

The Jenin Freedom Theatre’s adaptation of The Island by Athol Fugard
September 6 at 7 pm, September 7 at 2 pm and 7 pm. • Nafe Katter Theatre

Buy Tickets Online

Directed and Designed by Gary M. English; Artistic Consultant, Nabil Al-Raee. This South African apartheid-era drama, inspired by a true story, is set in a prison and revolves around two cellmates: one who is soon to be released while the other is serving a life sentence. They spend their days at mind-numbing physical labour and at night rehearse for a performance of Sophocles’ Antigone. Antigone, who defies the laws of the state to follow her conscience, and her uncle who sentences her to die for her crime. Is Antigone guilty? Who decides?