Theatre Arts at RIT

COVID-19 impact on performing arts.

The show must go on, perhaps even virtually!
Learn more about our plans related to COVID-19

Setting the Stage

Whether you are under the lights on stage or you’d rather be working the lights as a force behind the scenes, getting involved in theatre at RIT is easy. With for-credit and extracurricular offerings, you’ll be sure to find classes, productions, workshops and other programs that allow you to incorporate theatre experiences into your time at RIT. Expert faculty and instructors will help you grow in your understanding of theatre, and joint theatre seasons between RIT and NTID provide opportunities to perform in unique and inclusive ways.

Theatre Minor and Immersion

As part of their bachelor’s degree requirements, RIT students must complete an immersion—a concentration of three courses in a particular area. Undergraduate students also have the option of completing a minor, which can complement their major or enable them to pursue an area of personal interest.

Theatre Arts Minor
Theatre Arts Immersion

Performing Arts Certificate

NTID Department of Performing Arts offers a special certificate in performing arts that documents the academic training students receive while actively participating in Performance or Technical Theatre activities.

NTID Performing Arts Certificate

Theatre Courses

There’s nothing like the thrill of a live performance. Whether you’re a participant in the planning, a key player in the execution, or an enthralled member of the audience, you’re a part of something special. At RIT, all aspects of what goes into planning and executing a performance are covered, ensuring that when it’s time for the show to go on, you’ll be ready.

Theatre Courses

Productions

A collage of the posters for various productions of the performing groups at RIT.

Current Season

Coming Up

The CLA/NTID Joint Collaboration Committee will announce the 2021-2022 season in February 2021.

Past Seasons

2019-2020

October 25 - 27, 2019
1510 Lab Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Director: Andy Head
Play by Lauren Gunderson
One afternoon, Anthony arrives unexpectedly at classmate Caroline's door bearing a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, an urgent assignment from their English teacher. Homebound due to illness, Caroline hasn't been to school in months, but she is as quick and sardonic as Anthony is athletic, sensitive, and popular. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, this seemingly mundane poetry project unlocks a much deeper mystery that has brought them together. I and You is an ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness.

Showtimes
Friday, October 25, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

More information

November 15 - 17, 2019
Robert F. Panara Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Directors: Patti Durr and Karen Christi
The show is a unique work showcasing slices of Deaf lives-both contemporary and historical. Created collaboratively by the cast members, audiences will be treated to various genres of ASL performance art—poetry, narrative personal experiences, creative storytelling, reenactment of historical events, as well as dramatic monologues and dialogues. Woven into the action on stage will be film clips and live painting. Bookending the play will be a contemporary encounter with a well-known historical Deaf figure who still has much to teach us.

Accessibility Information
November 8th - ASL and Voice Interpreted  (open to the public as part of the ARTiculating Deaf Experiences Conference)
November 15th - ASL only performance
November 16th at 2pm - ASL only performance
November 16th at 7:30pm - ASL and Voice Interpreted
November 17th - ASL and Voice Interpreted

For other accommodations please contact Patti Durr at paddhd@rit.edu.

Showtimes
Friday, November 8, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

More information

February 28 - March 1, 2020
1510 Lab Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Director: Luane Davis-Haggerty
Written by Frederick Knott
Tony Wendice has married his wife, Margot, for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason. He arranges the perfect murder. He blackmails a scoundrel he used to know into strangling her for a fee of one thousand pounds, and arranges a brilliant alibi for himself. Unfortunately…the murderer gets murdered and the victim survives. But this doesn't baffle the husband: He sees his hireling's death as an opportunity to have his wife convicted for the murder of the man who tried to murder her, and that is what almost happens. Luckily, the police inspector from Scotland Yard and a young man who is in love with the wife discover the truth, and in a scene of almost unbearable suspense they trap the husband into revealing his guilt, thus freeing Margot.

Showtimes
Friday, February 28, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

More information

March 27 - 29, 2020
Booth Black Box, Booth Hall A428

Director: Matthew Nicosia
Written by Martin Sherman
In 1934 Berlin on the eve of the Nazi incursion, Max and his lover Rudy are recovering from a night of debauchery with an SA trooper. Two soldiers burst into their apartment, thus beginning a nightmare odyssey through Nazi Germany. Eventually taken to a death camp at Dachau, Max is branded with the "pink triangle" but clings to his hope for survival.

Showtimes
Friday, March 27, 2020 - time tba
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - time tba
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - time tba

More information

April 17 - 19, 2020
Robert F. Panara Theatre, LBJ, NTID

Director: Thomas Warfield
Conceived by Thomas Warfield
“Dance: The Rhythm of Motion and Light” is multi-arts, multi-experiential dance performance utilizing innovative collaborations with technology and live music. The performance utilizes Augmented Reality and the choreography is created from the technology itself. This will be a true spectacle of color, light, movement and music.

Showtimes
Friday, April 17, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

More information

2018-2019

April 2019
MAGIC Spell Studios, Sound Stage West

By David Munnell
Directed by Patricia Lewis Browne

A new sci-fi thriller inspired by Oedipus Rex.

Free admission. Limited seating.
*Not appropriate for children under 12.*

More information

 

November-December 2018
Panara Theatre, NTID

Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Director: Andy Head

Willkommen to the Kit Kat Klub! In this secret haven of a club, the music is loud, the dances are flashy, and the party rages on. The club's newest headliner, Sally Bowles, meets American writer Cliff Bradshaw and their lives become entwined. But as the power of the Nazi Party spreads, and Germany grows more unstable, how will the club and its patrons fare? "Cabaret" is the well-loved musical sensation that opened on Broadway in 1966 and won 8 Tony Awards that year. So leave your troubles outside, because life is beautiful at the cabaret. Not appropriate for children under 12.

More information

 

2017-2018

March 2018
University Gallery

By Aaron Posner
Director: Andy Head

An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother's generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood start for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be in this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov's "The Seagull", Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all.

More information

 

November 2017
CLA's Pop-Up Black Box Theatre Tent, Pocket Park by James E. Gleason Hall

By Katherine Royal
Director: David Munnell

Michelle and Jason, two undergraduates, must determine whether a sexual encounter they shared at a party can and should be considered a sexual assault. Uneasy and hungover the following day, Michelle puts it to the both of them to independently decide the nature of their experience over the course of the final week of school before she graduates. We follow Jason and Michelle throughout this process amidst flashbacks to the night in the question. Girls Can Tell seeks to shed light on the problematic nature of school policies regarding sexual assault and the dehumanization that can occur when submitting oneself to these systems.

This production contains adult themes of a sexual nature including simulated sexual activity. Not recommended for children under 17 years of age. Trigger Warning: The topic of this play concerns a non-consensual sexual encounter.

More information

 

2016-2017

April 2017
Panara Theatre, NTID

By Hillary DePiano
Director: Melanie Blood

The Love of Three Oranges is based on a commedia dell’arte scenario by Carlo Gozzi in the eighteenth century Italy. However, that history is misleading unless you know something about commedia; the actors improvised all lines based on a given plot and their stock characters, making up dialogue that incorporated local references and topical humor along with slapstick, verbal gags and audience interaction. Our adaptation takes Hillary DePiano’s script and localizes it to RIT today, including local and topical references and performing in a local coffee shop created on the Panara stage. We hope you enjoy the sheer silliness of our presentation, but also find the power of communal laughter to distract and heal.

More information

November 10-13, 2016
1510 Lab Theatre, NTID

Director: Andy Head

Seven plays inspired by seven Shakespearean sonnets

More information

Workshops

Each semester, the RIT Theatre Arts Program offers a variety of theatrical events including guest artist workshops and informal play readings. We believe that students truly benefit from multiple artistic perspectives, so we invest in bringing working theatre professionals to campus for workshops that are both engaging and educational.

Take charge of the space in which you perform! Working with objects and boundaries, participants will gain a grounded understanding of movement principles and the laws that govern a live theatre space. Omen Sade is an actor and physical theatre creator based in New York City. He has studied classical theatre in London, commedia dell'arte in Italy and Holland, and completed graduate level physical theatre training at the celebrated École Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Friday, 2 /21
6-9pm
A120/ 130, SAU

Saturday, 2 /22
10-2am
A120/ 130, SAU

In the Fall of 2020, Omen will be returning to RIT/NTID to direct a new, devised play called "SOMNIUM". After the Saturday workshop, the first round of auditions will be held for this production.

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop. This is a free workshop! Space is limited. Email awhgla@rit.edu to reserve your spot. Please note: this is a two-day workshop.

Improv Workshop
 with Megan Mack

Sponsored by the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

In this workshop, you will learn the fundamentals of improvisation, including "yes, and", teamwork, and making character and scenic choices in the moment. You will play theatre games and perform short scenes, while learning how to "get out of your head" and trust your instincts. Not only is improv fun, but it is a tool for life: it can make you a better listener, public speaker, and creative thinker. Megan Mack is an improviser, sketch comedy writer, and television and radio producer. She is a graduate of the Conservatory and Writing Programs at The Second City Training Centre in Toronto. She performs with two sketch comedy and improv troupes—Thank You Kiss and Canary in a Coal Mine.

Saturday, 2/8
11am - 1pm

Dance Lab (LBJ-1831) NTID


Interpreters have been requested for this workshop.
 This a FREE workshop!
 Space is limited.
Email awhgla@rit.edu to reserve your spot.
 

Hip Hop Dance Workshop
Sponsored by the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Sunday, 9/22
12:30-2pm
Panara Theatre, NTID

This a free workshop!

International performer and teacher James "Cricket" Colter

“Cricket” teaches at dance festivals worldwide including: the famous Bates Dance Festival in Maine, and the international SDK (Street Dance Kamp) in Europe; he has performed as a featured dancer in tv commercials, the successful Disney movie “Step Up 2 the Streets,” and music videos for recording artists such as Boyz II Men, KRS-1, Will Smith, Eve, Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, Chris Brown; and was host of MTV Japan’s “Dreamers” television show.

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop.

PUSH Physical Theatre Workshop
Sponsored by the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Wednesday, 10/2
3-4:15pm
Panara Theatre, NTID

This a free workshop!

Intense athleticism, gravity-defying acrobatics, and soulful artistry are the trademarks of award-winning, genre-defining PUSH Physical Theatre. Founded in Rochester, NY in 2000 by husband-and-wife team, Darren and Heather Stevenson, out of a desire to “push” the boundaries of conventional theatre, PUSH has since earned an international reputation as one of the U.S.’s leading physical theatre companies.

Interpreters have been requested for this workshop.

COLA Off-Stage Readings

For those who want to participate in a low-commitment theatre project, there is College of Liberal Arts OFF-Stage, an informal play reading series that provides RIT/NTID students, faculty, and staff opportunities to easily participate in or watch a one-night "performance" of popular pieces. The reading series is open to anyone and no prior experience is necessary. Contact Andy Head at awhgla@rit.edu for additional information.

Theatre Groups

RIT Players

RIT Players is a student-run theatre group. From the acting, directing, and choreography to the set construction, lighting, and sound, RIT students are the driving force behind our productions.

Learn more about RIT Players

Sunshine 2.0

Sunshine 2.0 is a professional traveling theatre troupe based at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The troupe provides performances and activities for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults that highlight the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), as well as educational topics pertaining to the Deaf experience.

Learn more about Sunshine 2.0