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UR Free Theatre & Dance

The University of Richmond Department of Theatre & Dance believes in the power of theatre and dance to build community through art, and that access to the arts should not be limited in any way. In partnership with the School of Arts & Sciences, we have created the UR Free Theatre and Dance initiative in order to remove economic barriers and make theatre and dance accessible to everyone. We are committed to the theatre as a vibrant cultural force that engages audiences in meaningful and addresses important issues of our time through compelling live performances.


2019-2020 UR Free Theatre and Dance Season 


by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, October 3-6, Cousins Studio Theatre

“Appropriate is, at heart, a ghost story, in the most profound sense.” — The New York Times 

Winner of the 2014-2015 Obie Award for Best New American Play, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate, tells the story of the Lafayette clan descending upon the crumbling Arkansas homestead of their newly-dead patriarch. As they sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and junk, a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father's possessions, and the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations.


Pure Confidence
by Carlyle Brown, November 21-24, Cousins Studio Theatre

“One surefire crowd pleaser.” — The New York Times

The high-stakes world of Civil War-era horse racing is the stage for this riveting drama of slavery and Reconstruction. Both Simon Cato, a smart cocky “colored” jockey, and his horse, Pure Confidence, are owned by Colonel Wiley Johnson. Cato uses his wits and his championship winnings to buy his wife’s and his own freedom. But the Civil War changes everything, and the passage of time doesn’t bring Cato the success he expects in this surprisingly funny, daring, and emotionally moving look at the complexity of race, humanity, love, and dignity in the second half of the nineteenth century. The year 2020 marks 400 years since Africans set foot on American shores. Pure Confidence commemorates this event.


Production Studies III Showcase
February 13-16, Cousins Studio Theatre

Student-produced provocative contemporary theatre. Highlighting provocative contemporary theatre, the PS III Showcase represents the culmination of two years of intense theater study. PS III students select, produce, direct, and design a fully mounted, full-length play under the guidance of department faculty. The play the PS III students select to produce promises to be a compelling, entertaining, and thought-provoking evening of theatre.


University Dancers 35th Anniversary Concert
Feburary 28-29, March 1 
In conjunction with the Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts 
directed by Anne Van Gelder
costume design by Johann Stegmeir
lighting design by Maja E. White 

University Dancers celebrates thirty-five years of engaging dance with their annual concert that brings to the University of Richmond the work of innovative choreographers Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Camille A. Brown, and Sean Aaron Carmon. These artist residencies are supported in part, by the Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts (Dancing Histories: This Ground), hosted by the Department of Theatre & Dance. Salt Lake City-based choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen’s collaborative work challenges perceptions of what defines dance, while not rejecting tradition. Boye-Christensen is the founder of NOW-ID, an interdisciplinary contemporary performance company known for its site-specific work and its commitment to inventing unique forms. Camille A. Brown’s critically acclaimed choreography has been seen in concert venues, on Broadway, and on television. Following the success of his 2018 premiere for University Dancers, Sean Aaron Carmon returns to Richmond to create a new work. Formerly an artist with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Carmon is an accomplished dancer and choreographer who currently performs in Disney’s The Lion King. 

The concert will also feature new works choreographed by Richmond favorite, Starrene Foster, founder/artistic director of Starr Foster Dance; Eric Rivera, assistant professor of dance in Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Dance and Choreography and former dancer with Ballet Hispánico; and Anne Van Gelder, department faculty member and artistic director of University Dancers. Outstanding adjudicated student choreography and live music will be featured, and department faculty members Johann Stegmeir and Maja E. White will design costumes and lights, respectively. Do not miss these talented dancers perform in a variety of contemporary works.


How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
by Karen Zacarías, based on the novel by Julia Álvarez
April: 16-19, Alice Jepson Theatre

“García Girls succeeds most vividly as a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy, one not afraid to reflect on various degrees of women’s grown-up disillusionments.” — Washington Post 

Based on Julia Álvarez’s critically acclaimed, best-selling novel, Karen Zacarías’ play follows four sisters who emigrate from the Dominican Republic to New York City in 1960 because of political strife and personal danger caused by the governmental situation in their homeland. The newly arrived immigrants must adjust to a new life and a new culture while meeting the challenges that are a part of growing up. This wonderful bilingual production mixes all the elements of good theatre with a compelling story to produce an exciting evening of thought-provoking entertainment. In English and Spanish.



All performances are free for all, but reservations are required.

To reserve tickets visit the individual performance ticket links above, or visit the Modlin Center Box Office.