Theatre UCF will present two showcases as part of the weeklong UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The two events highlight the work that the theatre and dance students have been doing in their classes for the past year.

The Theatre UCF Showcase will have performances on Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, directed by Theatre UCF artistic director Earl D. Weaver, and will include musical selections from Nine and Hair, student monologues, stage combat demonstration and more.

Monologues will be performed by a range of students, from first-year acting students to those who are in the Masters of Fine Arts acting program. Be Boyd, theatre faculty member and acting coordinator for this event, says that there is an energy in the air that she hasn’t seen before.

“It feels different than a play. The students are presenting studio pieces and they are all very interested in seeing what each other is doing. They are all very excited to be presenting their own work to the public and to each other,” says Boyd.

Visiting professor and Theatre UCF alumnus Jordan Reeves is leading a group of students in “Guerilla Shakespeare.” The students are presenting a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which they will be presenting in entirety later this month.

“It’s a student-driven independent study about bringing Shakespeare to a modern audience. Our goal is to make these plays immediate and accessible to today’s audience, while the students learn how to create, produce, and act. They are learning to use whatever resources are at hand, even if that is only three blankets and a string a lights, to bring one of Shakespeare’s texts to life. It has instilled training, confidence, and a true sense of joy while working on the bard’s classics.”

Weaver is incorporating UCF alumni into the program’s finale: “The Age of Aquarius” from Hair, which is Theatre UCF’s fall musical.

“Since this is the first celebration, we wanted to include both current students and alumni in the event,” said Weaver. “We have alumni spanning 40 years of Theatre UCF history participating. It also will provide an opportunity for current students to meet alumni who are working professionals.”

Simply Dance, the dance showcase, also has two performances, on Sunday, April 12, and Monday, April 13. “Our patrons will get to see quality student and faculty choreographed works spanning a broad range of dance styles from ballet to jazz to modern to tap,” he said.

Judi Siegfried, director of the Simply Dance showcase, said this year-end performance is important to the students in the dance program. “The opportunity to present on a professional stage is valuable to our students, especially those who are focused on choreography. The pieces being performed were selected from the Improvisation Composition class, where the dancers must tell their stories solely through dance.  And since the Celebration is so focused on interdisciplinary work, several of our choreographers collaborated with composers to create original music to help tell their stories.”

Advance tickets for the Theatre UCF Showcase and Simply Dance are no longer available, however, walk-in seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Guests hoping to attend these performances should join the queue outside of the Jim & Alexis Pugh Theatre at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

All events to UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 are free, but tickets are required for many of the programs. The April 10-15 festival will feature studio art, music, theatre, dance, gaming, animation, photography and film at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando.  Visit for more information, tickets and updated scheduling.