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Curtain Going Up

Campus Theatre Season Begins

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UMass Lowell Theater Arts season kicks off with Caryl Churchill’s “Top Girls” Oct. 27 to 30 with support from the Gender Studies program.

By Julia Gavin

Theatre-goers will have several opportunities to take in the talents of UMass Lowell’s actors in the coming months in three different productions, including one featuring an all-female cast and another produced completely by students.

 “Involvement in campus theatre is a fantastic way for students to explore the arts,” says Stephanie McGrath, who works in costume design and marketing for the program. “It’s rewarding for students to be a part of a collaborative process that creates a living, breathing work of art for audiences to enjoy. Also, theatre enriches the campus with art and culture.”

“Top Girls”

Exploring the decisions and dilemmas facing women throughout history in a touching and comedic way, Caryl Churchill’s “Top Girls” will be staged by the Theatre Arts program Oct. 27 to 30 with support from the Gender Studies program.

“‘Top Girls’ is a funny and fascinating play about women and success.  It was written in the 1980s but it's still hugely relevant for us today,” says Prof. Nancy Selleck, Theatre Arts director for the University. “The story centers around Marlene, a London executive who's just been promoted, and the play starts with her wild and weird fantasy dinner party with extraordinary women from history and fiction.  By the end of the play, we are deep into Marlene's own past history, which includes the kind of tough choices faced by so many modern women trying to ‘move up.’”

Student-Produced One-Act Plays

While students act and work hard on all productions on campus, a few professors and professionals are usually involved in some fashion. From Dec. 8 to 11 the students will truly take control as the Off-Broadway Players (OBP) present “What Not to Say: A Night of One-Act Plays.”

The one-act plays, directed by Mario Marchesi, include dramatic and comedic themes, demonstrating the range of the student actors. Jacob Hajjar, president of OBP, is proud to say that this production is completely student-built from designing to marketing and all tasks in between.

“We chose to do one-acts because they provide tons of opportunities to students while still being very minimalist, allowing for us to produce an entirely student-run production,” says Hajjar. “Being a part of OBP is more than just shows, it's all about building a community of theatre-lovers on campus and making some great things happen.”


For one night only, UMass Lowell theatre students will perform several scenes from Shakespeare's comedic work related to the theme "What Are Friends For?" Audiences can expect to see both well-known and more obscure scenes from the Bard's work at the free performance on Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

All shows are open to the public and will take place in the Comley-Lane Theatre located on South campus. Tickets will be available at the Student Information Center in McGauvran Hall and at the door.