University at Buffalo Theatre and Dance Announces 2022 Spring Season

Two students dancing with a black background.

Release Date: February 14, 2022


BUFFALO, N.Y.  – Join the University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance for a unique spring season of dance and drama. Nationally recognized directors and choreographers will work with esteemed faculty and emerging student talent to produce innovative original productions which both entertain and explore the human condition.

The spring 2022 season represents a return to live, in-person performances at the department’s home in the UB Center for the Arts, on UB’s North Campus, as well as selected performances at the UB Katharine Cornell Theatre.


Zodiaque, UB’s pre-professional dance company and one of the longest lasting university groups in the country, will be back on the UB Center for the Arts Drama Theatre stage, highlighting the rich versatility and creativity of UB Dance. The 47th spring program of Zodiaque includes jazz, tap, modern, afro-fusion and contemporary dance works. The show is under the co-direction of Kerry Ring, clinical associate professor, and Michael Deeb Weaver, clinical assistant professor.

Choreographers include Ring, Deeb Weaver, and dance faculty members Jenna Del Monte Zavrel, and Thomas Ralabate. Guest choreographers include Buffalo artist Megan Rakeepile and alumni Richard Ashworth and Julie LaMancuso.

The show is punctuated by the contributions of professional guest choreographer Takehiro “Take” Ueyama, from the Take Dance Company.

Live Performances:
March 11 - 12, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
March 12 – 13, 2022 at 2 p.m.
UB Center for the Arts
Drama Theatre
$20 Adults | $10 Students/Seniors


Now, in its third season, ChoreoLab is a performance and choreographic research laboratory for faculty, graduate and undergraduate dance students and guest artists. Dedicated to fostering a diverse, creative environment to explore movement, ChoreoLab embraces contemporary trends, while supporting dancers and investigate the role of dance within society and culture.

Under the leadership of Jenna Del Monte Zavrel, artistic director and clinical assistant professor, ChoreoLab’s spring program will include thirty-three undergraduate and graduate student performers.

Ariel Nereson, director of graduate dance, is creating a work to be performed by the entire MFA Dance cohort along with three undergraduate dancers, and additional collaborators from other disciplines, including MA theatre candidate Kaylie Horowitz and English PhD student Dana Venerable.

Guest artists Paul Ocampo and Chien-Ying Wang of the OcampoWang Dance Company are creating a new contemporary piece for ChoreoLab during their spring 2022 residency. Hailing from Taiwan and the Philippines respectively, the pair have been making dances together since 2001. Their works have been presented in their home countries as well as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, China, Indonesia and the United States. Ocampo and Wong are noted for their “world-embracing approach to culture.”

Student choreographers include Ruby Abraham, Anna Caison Boyd, Lyssie Hartzog, Melanie Kaisen and Theo. Alongside Zodiaque Dance Company, ChoreoLab provides versatile choreographic and performance opportunities for UB students that reflect the current dance landscape.

Live Performances:
April 1 - 2, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
April 3, 2022 at 2 p.m.
UB Center for the Arts
Drama Theatre
$20 Adults | $10 Students/Seniors


The annual MFA Dance Thesis Concert will feature the premier of new works by MFA Dance candidates Jacqueline Cherry and Meg Kirchhoff, with performance by MFA dancers Anna Caison Boyd, Abby Cass, Natasha McCandless and Samantha Schmeer, and undergraduate dancers Gabi Marshall, Kelly Quinn, Celia Ramos and Hayley Timberlake. The faculty advisor is Ariel Nereson, assistant professor and director of graduate dance.

The production showcases the culmination of Cherry and Kirchhoff’s creative research from their Thesis project, a requirement for the conferral of the degree Master of Fine Arts. The concert features collaborations with media artists and the student performers.

Cherry’s work is a collection of thought-provoking pieces that reflect her points of view on various concepts and experiences culminating from studies in Black Feminist Thought, Sociology, Embodiment and Somatic practices.

Kirchhoff’s piece, which explores the physicality of responsiveness, attention and intra-activity, is supported by a Public Humanities Grant and features live music performed and composed by UB PhD candidate Thomas Little.

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance is the equivalent of the PhD in a scholarly discipline and represents the synthesis of years of study and the honing of artistic sensibilities. The MFA Dance Thesis Concert is an opportunity to see new works by the next generation of doers, makers and thinkers in the field.

UB Dance is built on the belief that dance is a fundamental expression of humanity with the ability to inform, reflect upon, lead, and transform local and global change in the 21st century. With close faculty mentorship and numerous opportunities to create and present work, MFA Dance students engage in advanced practical, theoretical, and critical inquiry while honing their abilities as artists, dance makers, educators, innovators, and leaders. Students create a research path that fits their interests, culminating in an MFA creative thesis project and the MFA Thesis Concert.

April 8 - 9, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
UB Center for the Arts
Drama Theatre
$20 Adults | $10 Students/Seniors
More information on the UB Dance MFA and to apply  


"Twelfth Night" is the story of a woman who finds herself in a world where she doesn’t belong, and features characters freshly grieving the loss of cherished loved ones. We recognize ourselves in the characters, whose plights are familiar and with whom we can easily empathize. Despite the themes of loss and grief, "Twelfth Night" doesn’t linger in sorrow but rather presents a world full of hope and merriment – a zany comic romp through mistaken identity, the thrill of falling in love, and the discovery of lost things found once more. The show is directed by Danielle Rosvally, clinical assistant professor.

Shakespeare’s audiences also needed comfort. "Twelfth Night" was first performed in early 1602 and was likely written in 1600-1601. The play makes several references to plague, death, and disease, almost certainly an acknowledgment of the Bubonic plague which ravaged England in the late sixteenth/early seventeenth centuries. In 1603, it killed one fifth of Londoners. Playhouses in London were closed when weekly deaths exceeded 50 persons, including eighteen months in 1582-83, eleven months in 1593, and thirteen months in 1603-04. Between 1603 and 1613, it closed the theatre in London for a total of 78 months, or 70% of the time. Shakespeare’s audiences were well aware of communicable disease and the lethal potential of mass gatherings.

However, the spring 2022 production of the show is inspired by the joy of returning to the theatre together to make art once more. The comedy of "Twelfth Night" links us to the audiences of that moment. The comfort and joy that can be gleaned is as relevant now as it was to early modern Londoners as we celebrate ourselves, our past and each other. The production will remix Shakespeare’s language with classic popular music as a nostalgic ode to the sounds of joy that, we hope, will lift the audience’s spirits.

Live Performances:
April 21 - 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
April 23 - 24, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Black Box Theatre
$20 Adults | $10 Students/Seniors


"Vinegar Tom" was written in 1976 by British playwright Caryl Churchill, who collaborated with the feminist theatre company Monstrous Regiment after meeting some of its members at a pro-choice protest in the 1970s. Their hope was to create a play about the difficulties of women’s lives in 17th century England and how women who didn’t live by the mores of the time or were perceived as “difficult” would often be branded as witches. It was also intended as an allegory for women’s lives in the 20th century.

The music was composed by Helen Glavin, co-founder of Monstrous Regiment, and the show was created collaboratively over several months before its debut on Oct. 12, 1976 at the Humberside Theatre in Hull, England.

The protagonist is Alice, a woman in her twenties living in a small village with her mother Joan. The pair are accused of witchcraft after an argument with their neighbors Jack and Margery. The neighbors have struggled economically and there are issues surrounding their sex life. Fearing that God is against them, Jack and Margery choose to believe that their misfortunes are the result of Joan's witchcraft, and act with malice.

It is later implied that Joan's cat Vinegar Tom may have been responsible. Accusing others of witchcraft in order to shift blame towards nonconforming women, including the single, old, poor, shrewd or accomplished, was not uncommon in 17th century England, and so became a narrative theme of the time. It was another means to disempower women. "Vinegar Tom" is directed by Guest Artist Kelli Bocock-Natale.

Live Performances:
April 29 - 30, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
UB Katharine Cornell Theatre
$5 All Seats


Violet is a musical about a young woman on a quest to right the wrongs of her past. Based on The Ugliest Pilgrim, by Doris Betts, the award-winning production travels from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to Tulsa Oklahoma in 1964. The music is by Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori, known for many successful shows, including: Caroline, Or Change, Fun Home, Shrek the Musical, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Book and lyrics are by Brian Crawley. Violet features a vibrant range of American roots and gospel music that depict the journeys of the soul, including the show-stopping inspirational song “Let It Sing.”

Violet is directed and choreographed by award-winning Guest Artist Terry Berliner. Her work has been seen on and Off Broadway, in regional theatres and universities across the country. Twenty-five years after the original production of Violet at Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons-where Ms. Berliner served as assistant director-she is thrilled to create a whole new production for UB students and audience, inspired by her knowledge of the past, while shining a bright, glorious light on our collective future.

The cast and designers are students from the Department of Theatre and Dance. Musical direction is by Alison d’Amato, clinical assistant professor and director of Music Theatre. The guest dramaturg for the production is Buffalo-based author and artist-filmmaker Annette Daniels Taylor, whose storytelling practice reminds audiences of forgotten histories.

UB Theatre and Dance’s 2021-2022 season sponsors are Fox Run at Orchard Park and Lake Shore Savings Bank. We are grateful for their continued support.

Live Performances:
May 5 - 7, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
May 7 – 8, 2022 at 2 p.m.
UB Center for the Arts
Drama Theatre
$20 Adults | $10 Students/Seniors

UB Theatre and Dance’s 2021-2022 season sponsors are Fox Run at Orchard Park and Lake Shore Savings Bank.

Directions to Venues

Tickets for performances at UB Center for the Arts
Information or charge by phone: 716-645-6915
Online purchase:  

Tickets for performances at Katharine Cornell Theatre
Information: 716-645-6921
Charge by phone: 716-645-6915
Online purchase:   

Group Sales:
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UB Department of Theatre and Dance

UB Center for the Arts

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