On-campus theater programs offer diverse shows

The spring season is often the most thrilling time of year for the Broadway community. A huge number of shows open in the year’s early months, creating serious buzz among theater-goers. But only a few blocks downtown, NYU’s spring theater season is just as exciting, offering performances that range from university theater groups to West End productions.

At the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, NYU will be hosting two National Theatre Live screenings this spring.  National Theatre Live, which screened “Othello” and “Frankenstein” at Skirball last semester to great success, is a program that makes top-notch London productions available in cinemas throughout the world.

This semester, Skirball will be showing Shakespeare’s tragedy “Coriolanus,” starring “Avengers” star Tom Hiddleston and “Sherlock’s” Mark Gatiss, on Feb. 5.  On March 2, Skirball will screen “War Horse,” Steven Spielberg’s big-screen adaptation from 2011 of the the Tony Award-winning play about a young boy and his horse during World War  I.

On Feb. 28, Skirball will host “Past/Forward, 2014: Women at Work.” This dance show features the work of female choreographers who have graduated from the Tisch dance program. The choreographers span several generations and range from those just starting out to those who are already established in the dance community.

Within NYU’s theater programs, several groups will have productions running this spring. The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development will present the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical “Carousel.” The story of carnival barker Billy Bigelow, this tragic romance will run Feb. 6 through 9. Additionally, Steinhardt’s Educational Theater Program will be performing the late-18th century play “The School for Scandal” Feb. 28 through March 9.

The Tisch School of the Arts’ graduate acting program is presenting two plays, Shakespeare’s best-known history “Richard III” and the Tony Award-nominated “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play).” “Richard III” will run Jan. 30 to Feb. 4, and “In the Next Room” will run Jan. 29 through Feb. 3. The graduate acting program will also host “Freeplay ‘14,” a week-long festival of plays from the Graduate Acting Class of 2011, which will run Feb. 25 through March 2.

The College of Arts and Science Theater will have two spring plays — “The Laramie Project,” a play based on the murder of a gay college student in 1998, and Neil LaBute’s “Some Girls.”  “The Laramie Project” will run April 4 through 6 and “Some Girls” will run March 28 through 30.

From Shakespeare to Rodgers and Hammerstein, the theater available on campus this semester is sure to be wonderfully entertaining. Every student should make an effort to attend at least one of these upcoming productions. After all, not every college has this much theater to offer so close to home.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 27 print edition. Dylan Jarrett is books/theater editor. Email her at [email protected]