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Public offerings, including concerts, recitals, lectures, exhibitions, theatre performances, etc., are cancelled or postponed at least through March 29. UCF Celebrates the Arts 2020, planned for April 7-19 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, is also cancelled, as are several other events extending into April. Click here for more information.

College of Arts and Humanities

The Understudy

September 17 - October 4
Theatre, Black Box(128)

Cost: $20 standard, $18 senior, $10 student

The Understudy is sold out. We look forward to seeing you at Hair.

By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Mark Brotherton

An exploration of the existential vagaries (and comedy) of show business and life

Stage manager Roxanne is barely holding the show together with a stoned lightboard operator, an omnipresent intercom system, and an understudy who happens to also be her ex-fiancé. Can she save this show?

“…deliver[s] a clever indictment of contemporary theatre while making the characters' personal circumstances ever more Kafkaesque: They are no more in control of the forces of celebrity, art, money, and Broadway than they are of their own fates." —The New Yorker

The Understudy is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

This show will be performed without intermission and contains strobe lights, a gunshot and profanity.


Photo by Tony Firriolo Photo by Tony Firriolo Photo by Tony Firriolo Photo by Tony Firriolo Photo by Tony Firriolo Photo by Tony Firriolo
  • Further Reading

    A Note from the Director

    “You can choose what you want, but what you want is not your choice.”
    —Theresa Rebeck, The Understudy

    A play within a play, a rehearsal with a new understudy for another understudy understudying someone else. Sound confusing? Add to this, that the play within the play is a newly discovered play by Franz Kafka. Oh, and the stage manager running this rehearsal just might have some personal relations with both understudies.

    Well, now we’ve gone from merely confusing to the stuff nightmares are made of in Theresa Rebeck’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and Kafkaesque play, The Understudy.

    What is our role in this world? Is it what we choose or what is chosen for us? Do we have a real identity created by ourselves, or is one put upon us by some unknown, unseen, omnipresent force?

    Enjoy watching our three protagonists as they fight for what they know and love, recognize their faults, and attempt to rise above it all as they discover and accept who they truly are.

    —Mark Brotherton, Director

    A Note from the Dramaturg

    Franz Kafka is an erudite challenge, and those approaching the task of unraveling his work must be patient in order to reveal what it has to offer. Kafka is often cited as the unwitting patron saint of the pseudointellectual, and the merits of his work are shrouded in the self-actualizing agenda of his readers. However, the descriptor “Kafkaesque” has become a colloquialism because even the idea of approaching Kafka’s work fulfills the definition.

    The experience of Kafkaesque is deliberately marked by the confusingly absurd matched with the notion of harrowing disorder. In Theresa Rebeck’s The Understudy, the audience is given the opportunity to enter the heightened realm of a Broadway show in a tense moment of transition. Circumstances, both industry-driven and personally driven, create a crucible in which everyone involved must confront the individual demons of their past, present, and the existential terror they must face together.

    —Teresa Kilzi, Dramaturg

  • Cast

    1. HarryColton Butcher, U/S Logan Ayala
    2. RoxanneHelena Whittaker, U/S Sami Cunningham
    3. JakeTerry Farley, U/S Aaron Glogowski

    Creative Team

    1. DirectorMark Brotherton
    2. Scenic DesignerBert Scott
    3. Costume DesignerSarah Johnson*
    4. Lighting DesignerHaleigh Dunn*
    5. Sound Designer Robert Dagit
    6. Stage ManagerJena Chang*
    7. Assistant DirectorVictoria Gluchoski*
    8. DramaturgTeresa Kilzi*
    9. Assistant Stage ManagersJessica Karlen*, Savanna Shurman*
    10. Design Advisor (Costumes)Daniel M. Jones
    11. Design Advisor (Lighting)Vandy Wood
    12. Production ManagerPeggy Carter*
    13. Technical DirectorJohn Heil
    14. Assistant Technical Director.. Michael Layton
    15. Paint ChargeBonnie Sprung
    16. Props MasterTommy Heller*
    17. Assistant PropsLily Novak*
    18. Costume Shop SupervisorEmily Wille
    19. Master ElectricianMatt Decker
    20. Light Board OperatorNeelam Harinandansingh*
    21. Sound Board OperatorMax Vojcsik*
    22. Automation OperatorJack Audet*
    23. Run CrewChris Armellino*, Rico Lastrapes*, Brenden Rourke*
    24. Wardrobe HeadAlexander Hehr*
    25. Wardrobe CrewKathleen DeRosa*, Brenden DiBerardino*, Douglas Jensen*

    * UCF Student. All cast members are students.

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