Welcome to the 2023-24 Theater and Dance Season at Bates College and to gathering together once again to experience live theater and dance!  We’re grateful to be delving into these incredible creative projects by these wonderful writers, makers and choreographers.  We’re also thrilled to be able to collaborate with several professional guest artists throughout the year.  

This season starts off with MacArthur Genius Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Associate Professor Tim Dugan. Fresh off of its recent Broadway run, FastHorse crafts a shocking satire that examines one of America’s most prolific myths when a troupe of really well-meaning theater artists dream of creating something revolutionary: a culturally sensitive, totally inoffensive Thanksgiving school pageant that finally gives a voice to Native Americans. Things start to get absurd quickly when good intentions go awry.  Professional set designer and Bowdoin Assistant Professor of Theater, Germán Cárdenas-Alaminos, joins us as a guest artist. Thesis students Paige Magid ’24 and David Walker ’24 (Acting) will also be part of the creative team. 

The department is pleased to then offer The Fall Dance Concert with Artistic Direction by Assistant Professor Brian J. Evans.  The concert is primarily comprised of student compositions made in the Advanced Composition Seminar. Additionally, work of Dance Majors’ Thesis and Independent Studies are showcased in a fully supported production on Schaeffer stage. Student choreographers cast their pieces in the beginning of the Fall Term and conduct a semester long rehearsal process, complete with showings, feedback and collaboration with designers, all leading up to the performance. A tremendous amount of effort is poured into these works of art from student artists all across campus.

In the spring, we are thrilled to welcome guest artist Kevin R. Free (Resident Artistic Director at Frigid New York and Artistic Director of Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, New Jersey) to direct The Gravediggers Union by Brian James PolakPolak’s play is about a group of people who all work together digging holes and passing the time at a cemetery in central New Hampshire.  When the WalMart of cemeteries opens across the street everybody begins to worry about losing their jobs, so they plan to put on a play to raise money to buy the cemetery themselves. The only problem: nobody goes to plays anymore.  Thesis students David Allen ’24 and Caroline Cassell ’24 (Acting) will be part of the creative team. 

Next up thesis student, Miguel Pacheco Gonzalez ‘24, presents his devised project El Próximo Tren. It is an intent of collective memory and dreaming workshopping. Beginning with Alfredo Rosenbaum’s El Próximo Tren, it explores the reality of immigration and diasporic experience of movement. Inviting to witness and question el próximo tren in its exploratory process, su hora de llegada y nuestros rituales.

Our season concludes in partnering with Bates Dance Festival for the Marcy Plavin Spring Dance Concert with Artistic Direction by Assistant Professor Tristan Koepke.  Celebrating the legacy of Marcy Plavin, the founder of the Bates College dance program, this concert will feature works from faculty and nationally renowned repertory artists. Student artists engage with the choreographers throughout the Winter semester in the Dance Repertory & Repertory Styles courses and bring their dynamic works to the stage. Each repertory artist’s diverse way of moving and creating art empower student artists to expand their definition of dance as a powerful mode of artistic expression.

Tickets are available at batestheateranddance.eventbrite.com or through the box office 207-786-6161 (open Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm).