Theatre UCF, part of the UCF School of Performing Arts, focuses its 2015-16 season on love and laughter. This is the first season planned by Artistic Director Earl D. Weaver and it includes musicals, plays, and the second annual UCF Celebrates the Arts festival.

“This year’s programming is a mixture of classic and contemporary plays and musicals that offer our students and audiences a wide variety of theatrical experiences. As we began the process of selecting the season, we focused on show titles that would serve our department mission of exposing students to various theatrical genres during their four-year cycle at UCF. As well, we wanted a good balance of comedic and dramatic pieces. The upcoming season is full of different options that will assist us in furthering the education of our students as well as introducing our patrons to classic and new works. Our motto continues to be ‘what is going to serve the educational training of our students?’ We hope to maintain that focus as we select future seasons,” says Weaver.

The academic season begins in August, with a remount of Oscar Wilde’s classic The Importance of Being Earnest. The classic comedy ran for three weeks in June 25 and is being returns to the Main Stage from August 27-30 to welcome everyone back to campus.

In September, Theresa Rebeck’s Kafkaesque comedy The Understudy opens in the Black Box. This contemporary play runs in repertory with Charles Busch’s The Divine Sister. Theatre UCF often schedules repertory shows in the Black Box during the fall, as it allows the large university to schedule smaller-cast shows and still offer plenty of performance opportunities for the students.

The fall musical is the American tribal love-rock musical Hair. The production runs from October 15-25 and patrons will be asked to bring a canned good to help support the UCF Knights Pantry, an on-campus food pantry run by students for students with limited financial resources. The Pantry “strives to ensure that UCF students would not have to choose between buying text books or buying groceries.”

In November, George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman will be in the Black Box. Director Lani Harris says she is taking a feminist perspective on the script. “The Feminist edge will be done through media and projections, and with certain props and costuming elements, as well. We are setting it in England at the turn of the 20th century, and will quietly bring in information highlighting the women’s suffrage movement through projections and non-verbal interactions.”

In January, Theatre UCF partners with the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community for a production that will be an official part of the 27th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA! Festival 2016). A production of Spunk will take place on the Main Stage from January 21-31, 2016.

 Spunk is a rarely-produced play, based on Ms. Hurston’s short story and script of the same name. The playwright, who is best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, is from Central Florida and often writes about her hometown of Eatonville in her stories. This production of Spunk celebrates the 125th anniversary of Ms. Hurston’s birthday.

Reeling, which runs February 21-31, is a wordless play based on the life of Buster Keaton and presented in the style of the silent films of the 1920s. With Keystone Cops, pratfalls, and an impossibly happy ending, this is a play the entire family can enjoy together.

The spring musical is She Loves Me, a warm and romantic comedy about two feuding perfume clerks who are involved in pen pal relationships with unknown admirers. She Loves Me will run from March 17-26. Note that the second matinee will be held on Saturday rather than Sunday due to the Easter holiday.

UCF returns to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for the second annual UCF Celebrates the Arts. More than 13,000 tickets were issued to the inaugural event, and the second year will be expended to two weekends, so that even more people can enjoy this free and open event. More specifics will be released closer to the event, but save the dates now: April 7-17, 2016.


Productions at a glance:


The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Mark Routhier

July 10, 16, 18 at 7:00 pm

August 27, 28, 29 at 8:00 pm

July 12, August 30 at 2:00 pm

A delightful romp of mistaken identities, witty banter, and larger-than-life characters!

While Gwendolyn and Cecily both fall in love with a man named Ernest, Jack and Algernon learn the importance of being earnest.

The Importance of Being Earnest is the rare work of art that achieves perfection on its own terms.” The New York Times

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Main Stage, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?

Book by John R. Powers; Music and Lyrics by James Quinn and Alaric Jans

Based on a novel by John R. Powers

Directed by Earl D. Weaver

July 9, 11, 17 at 7:00 pm

July 19 at 2:00 pm

A musical for anyone who ever survived middle school

Focusing on eight children during their Catholic elementary and high school education in the 1950s, this musical captures the funniest aspects of youthful growing pains and the trying moments of adolescence.

“The audience … was beside itself with glee.” – Philadelphia Daily News

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Main Stage, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



The Understudy

By Theresa Rebeck

Directed by Mark Brotherton

September 17, 18, 19, 30, October 2 at 8:00 pm

October 4 at 2:00 pm

An exploration of the existential vagaries (and comedy) of show business and life

Stage manager Roxanne is barely holding the show together with a stoned lightboard operator, an omnipresent intercom system, and an understudy who happens to also be her ex-fiancé. Can she save this show?

“…deliver[s] a clever indictment of contemporary theatre while making the characters’ personal circumstances ever more Kafkaesque: They are no more in control of the forces of celebrity, art, money, and Broadway than they are of their own fates.” —The New Yorker
$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Black Box, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



The Divine Sister

By Charles Busch

Directed by Kate Ingram

September 24, 25, 26, October 1, 3 at 8:00 pm

September 27 at 2:00 pm

An outrageous comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns.

St. Veronica’s indomitable Mother Superior is encountering plenty of hurdles on the way to building a new school for her convent, but the biggest obstacle might be herself.

“Cue the Hallelujah chorus! Charles Busch has put on a nun’s habit and is talking to God, from whom he has evidently received blessed counsel.” – The New York Times
$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Black Box, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando




Books and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado

Music by Galt McDermot

Directed by Earl D. Weaver

October 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 at 8:00 pm

October 18, 25 at 2:00 pm

In the age of Aquarius, peace, love, and freedom reign
Flower Power comes to life in Hair with a vitality, a timelessness, and a philosophy that bridges generations and cultures. The rock music score includes popular favorites like Aquarius, I Got Life, and Let the Sun Shine In.

“Hair is more than just a musical: it is a social and cultural phenomenon, a jubilant assertion of life and freedom and a cry of protest against politicians who, in the late 1960s, sent a generation of young Americans to war.” –The Guardian

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Main Stage, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



Man and Superman

by George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Lani Harris

November 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 at 8:00 pm

November 15, 22 at 2:00 pm

A witty classic and philosophical debate disguised as a romantic comedy

Considered to be one of Shaw’s comedic masterpieces, Man and Superman involves the simple premise of a man determined not to marry his ward, who is equally determined to land him.

“The intellectual parrying is great entertainment.” —The Austin Chronicle

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Black Box, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando




Based on the original script by Zora Neale Hurston

Directed by Be Boyd

January 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 8:00 pm

January 24, 31 at 2:00 pm

A collaboration with the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community and an official part of the ZORA! Festival 2016 program

Treasured local author Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) weaves together song and story in a dramatic retelling of her award-winning short story of the same name.

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Main Stage, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando




By Barry Kornhauser

Music composed by Michael Koerner

Directed by Christopher Niess

February 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 8:00 pm

February 21, 28 at 2:00 pm

The timeless style and joy of vintage film on the stage

Based on the life of Buster Keaton, Reeling tells the light-hearted story of Little Fellow’s trials and triumphs as he navigates the big city and love, without using a single word. Appropriate for all ages.

“The show’s roots lie in the time-transcendent soil of the pratfall and the struggle of the little guy to make good. From that fertile ground comes laughter – and wisdom – that rings loud and clear.” – St. Paul Pioneer Press

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Black Box, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



She Loves Me

Book by Joe Masteroff

Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Based on a play by Miklos Laszlo

March 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8:00 pm

March 20, 26 at 2:00 pm (note: Saturday matinee due to the holiday)

Two feuding perfume clerks have no idea they are in love

In a 1930s perfumery, rivals Amalia and Georg respond to a “lonely hearts” ad in the newspaper, in hopes of finding their soulmates.

“…a continuously melodic evening of sheer enchantment and complete escape.” –New York Times

$20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Main Stage, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



UCF Celebrates the Arts 2016

April 7-17

The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts comes alive with a showcase of UCF music, visual arts, dance, and of course, theatre!

From a 2015 attendee: “I enjoyed EVERYTHING! The students were amazing and we really enjoyed seeing some familiar faces. Providing free performances allows those who normally wouldn’t be able to come to the theater a chance to do so.”

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando


For more information about Theatre UCF, visit