Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance

Center for Performance Experiment | Season 2017-2018

Location: 718 Devine St.

Tickets: Prices vary.   Tickets available only at the door.

Invention and imagination come to the fore at the Center for Performance Experiment.  Established in 2009, the CPE is a unique performance space dedicated to actor training, which presents new and traditional works in exciting, experimental ways!

September 21-23, 2017

By Shogo Ohta
Directed by Steven Pearson

Sept. 21: 3:30pm  |  Sept. 22: 3:30pm & 8pm  |  Sept. 23: 8pm

Influential Japanese director Shogo Ohta’s poetic masterwork The Water Station (Mizu No Eki) utilizes his revolutionary style of slow tempo and silence to explore human relationships with the elements and each other.  Through riveting slow movement and only the actor’s silent expressions, the play depicts the dramatic stories of travelers, displaced by an unspecified atrocity, making their way to a public water spigot.  

“….hypnotic and transporting…an evocative antidote to our daily cacophony, offering quietude as a way of theater.” — The New York Times

October 26 - November 4, 2017

By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Lindsay Rae Taylor

8pm October 26-29  |  8pm October 31 - November 4

Esteemed British playwright Caryl Churchill’s Obie-winning Top Girls is a witty and thought-provoking look at the sacrifices women make to achieve success in a male-dominated world.  Churchill begins her inventive script with a surreal dinner party in which a young businesswoman, Marlene, celebrates her recent work promotion with a group of barrier-breaking females from across the ages.  Once the party ends, however, we’re witness to the devastating personal cost of Marlene’s ascension up the corporate ladder, both to her family and herself. 

“A blistering yet sympathetic look at women who achieve success by adopting the worst traits of self-made men… Truly original.” — The New York Times



November 30 - December 3, 2017

SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Steven Pearson


10X3 Ten-Minute Play Fest
Directed by Stan Brown

3pm & 8pm Daily

The CPE presents two outstanding theatre events, performed in alternating repertory!  Silent Sky tells the true story of pioneering 19th century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, played out against a landscape of fierce sisterly love, early feminism, universe-revealing science, and a time when humans were called “computers.”   10 x 3 features three actors performing a collection of ten-minute plays.



February 18-20, 2018

Written, Directed and Performed by 2nd-Year MFA Actors

Feb. 18-19: 7pm & 8:30pm  |  Feb. 20: 7pm

As part of their MFA thesis, our graduate acting students must research, write, edit, direct and perform in a solo performance piece. Come see eight new short plays showcasing the second-year actors in brand new, original work. Come on two consecutive nights to see all eight, or join us for the marathon on the final day.



April 22-29, 2018

Conceived and Directed by Steven Pearson
Text by Robyn Hunt

Apr. 22-27:  8pm
Apr. 28: 3pm & 8pm
Apr. 29: 8pm

Theatre Professors Steven Pearson and Robyn Hunt developed their original play about aviation’s unsung female pioneers here at the University in 2009, before taking it on tour to venues around the country.  Loosely inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, this “theatrical poem” follows two daring French actresses, subjects of a documentary by a similarly trailblazing female filmmaker, who are preparing to make a history-making flight from Paris to Moscow in 1913. Flight opens eyes and hearts to the long-forgotten stories of the courageous women for whom the sky was not the limit.