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KU Theatre & Dance to launch season with ‘Labyrinth of Desire’; collaborative productions to come in spring

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Talented Jayhawks will stand in the spotlight for a variety of productions offering “lightness, love and plenty of action,” according to a season announcement from the University of Kansas Department of Theatre & Dance.

The two spring productions are collaborations of the University Dance Company and University Theatre.

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First up, “The Labyrinth of Desire” will debut Friday, Oct. 14, with five additional showings planned through Saturday, Oct. 22. 

“Masquerading suitors pursue Laura for her beauty, her wit and her dowry,” according to the announcement. “When Florela’s fiancé Alejandro joins the pursuit, Florela pursues him. Florela goes undercover, befriending Laura and falling in love with her, too. This breezy comedy of romance and hijinks asks, ‘What compels us to hide our true self?’ and ‘To what lengths will we go to satisfy desire?'”

The production will be guest directed by Paris Crayton III. 

Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. A Sunday matinee starts at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 16, and the performance on Friday, Oct. 21 will be available via livestream. Learn more and secure your tickets at this link

In the University Dance Company Fall Concert, set for Nov. 11-13, “Electrifying works explore the connection between emotion and physiology, as well as the agency we give ourselves – and others give us – to feel happiness and pleasure,” according to the announcement. 

Look also for the newly formed Jayhawk Tap Company to be featured in the concert. Learn more and find tickets at this link.

Closing out the fall, “Everybody,” with performances set for Dec. 2-8, will invite the audience to help the cast explore the question, “What would happen if Death called?”

“Random is not random. Chance is not by chance. These themes are explored in this modern adaptation by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins of the 15th century morality play,” the announcement states. 

“Each night the audience will choose which member of an ensemble cast will face Death and who will play the people, things and morals of which their life (was) composed.”

Tickets and more information are available at this link.

“In ‘Love and Information,’ student actors, dancers and designers are given the freedom and responsibility to make a play that resonates for them and their unique perspectives, choosing the order and setting of short scenes which explore the intersections of emotion, knowledge and the search for community,” according to the announcement. 

This will be the department’s first fully collaborative production between theatre and dance, and those in attendance will “witness a kaleidoscope of experiences and encounters that investigate how humans create meaning and purpose,” according to the announcement. 

That production is set for Feb. 9-19. Learn more at this link

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Finally, the Tony Award-winning “Cabaret” is set for April 20-30.  

Unique staging at KU will allow the musical to provide a more immersive experience for audience members, according to the season announcement. 

In this production, “the euphoria of free expression, new relationships and the seedy nightclub scene slowly fades away against the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party,” the announcement states. “An ominous and violent situation begins to emerge; some remain oblivious or apathetic, while others sound the alarm or flee. With grit, dance and a highly celebrated musical score, ‘Cabaret’ ultimately proclaims, ‘It can happen here.’”

The April 29 show is currently reserved for the program’s “Alums Come Home” reunion event, according to the website. 

Learn more and find tickets to “Cabaret” at this link.

Individual and season tickets are available via kutheatre.com, by calling 785-864-3982, or in person at the box office in Murphy Hall from noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays. 

Attendees are encouraged to wear masks to performances. Find information about accessibility at kutheatre.ku.edu/accessibility

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