School of Theatre and Dance Takes Production Virtual in Fall 2020

The School of Theatre and Dance's Fall 2020 mainstage productions will soon be available to view on a screen near you. Throughout the semester, School of Theatre and Dance students, faculty, and staff have worked to find innovative and creative ways to bring performance and design to life amidst a global pandemic, taking choreography and storytelling into the virtual world. 

In keeping with the Ohio Department of Health and CDC's guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19, the School of Theatre and Dance will release pre-recorded performances of its Fall faculty dance concert, "Dance 2020/Virtual Vision," Dec. 4-6; a new play "The Zoom Play That Has A Title," Dec. 11-13; and the musical "In Pieces," Dec. 18-20. All performances will be streamed at 7:00 p.m..

There is no cost to view any of the School of Theatre and Dance's Fall 2020 productions, however reservations are required. RSVP at the links below!

Under the artistic direction of associate professor Dance Division coordinator Jeffrey Marc Rockland, "Dance 2020/Virtual Vision" is a versatile concert featuring choreography by Kent State faculty members Jennifer Black, Theresa Holland, Samuel McIntosh, Catherine Meredith, Jeffrey Marc Rockland, and Erin Smith and associate professor Barbara Allegra Verlezza will reconstruct a piece by legendary choreographer May O'Donnell. 

Conceived and created with the cast and production team, written by B.J. Tindal, and directed by associate professor Amy Fritsche, "The Zoom Play That Has A Title" is a timely and visceral look at our 2020 experience. The new play uses the concurrent pandemics of coronavirus and racial injustice to explore our actions and reactions within an environment dominated by misinformation, virtual learning, cancel culture, overwhelming stress, and a reckoning on the subject of systemic racism. 

Directed by associate professor Fabio Polanco and with book, music, and lyrics by Joey Contreras, "In Pieces" is a contemporary musical about the unpredictable journey of our romantic lives. Set in modern day New York City, Joey Contreras' new musical explores how the many different pieces of our love lives align, differ, and interact.

As part of the Fall 2020 mainstage season, the School of Theatre and Dance welcomes playwright B.J. Tindal and composer Joey Contreras as Roe Green Visiting Artists. Tindal joins the School as playwright for the new work, "The Zoom Play That Has A Title," and Contreras joins the School to produce his musical "In Pieces."

Performance Information

All School of Theatre and Dance performances for Fall 2020 will take place virtually. Admission is free, however reservations are required. After you RSVP, you will be emailed a link to access the broadcast.

"Dance 2020/Virtual Vision"

Friday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m.

RSVP to View Dance 2020/Virtual Vision

"The Zoom Play That Has A Title"

Friday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m.

RSVP to View The Zoom Play That Has A Title

"In Pieces"

Friday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m.

RSVP to View In Pieces

About the 2020-2021 Roe Green Visiting Artists

BJ Tindal
B.J Tindal 
(they/them) is a Black queer playwright, teaching artist, and sour candy enthusiast. BJ spends their creative time writing plays, poetry, and lists on lists on lists. They recently moved back to their hometown of Philadelphia after completing their MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage at Northwestern University. Since moving back to the city, BJ has been working with a number of organizations devoted to Arts-Education, including Philly Young Playwrights and After-School Activities Partnerships. BJ’s play Goodnight, Tyler received its world premiere in February 2019 at the Alliance Theater. Another play, What We Look Like, had its inaugural production at Oberlin College’s new Irene and Alan Wurtzel Theater also in February 2019. BJ is thrilled to be collaborating with students and professors at Kent State this Fall.



Joey Contreras
Joey Contreras
 is a musical theatre and pop songwriter originally from California. He is internationally known for his first album Love Me, Love Me Not, which featured an all-star lineup of Broadway talent including Jeremy Jordan, Lilli Cooper, Kyle Dean Massey and Katie Thompson. In 2014, his second and more pop-focused album, Young Kind of Love, immediately debuted in the iTunes Pop Charts. Out Magazine labeled the sophomore effort “sexy and catchy,” and branded Joey a “Broadway-pop crossover extraordinaire.” In 2016, Joey wrote the music and lyrics for the Disney Junior animated short, “Kiwi’s First Flight,” featured in the series, “Lights, Camera, Lexi!” In 2019, Joey released his third album, Joyride, which once again landed in the iTunes Pop Charts sparking an artist profile in Huffington Post. His standalone singles, Break from the Line (featuring Natalie Weiss & Taylor Louderman), Wild (featuring Antonio Cipriano) and a new acoustic arrangement of Love Me, Love Me Not (featuring Natalie Weiss & Ben Fankhauser) collectively hit over 1 million streams in 2019 alone. In 2020, he released the singles Safer (with husband and frequent collaborator Brian Russell Carey), Even If It Might Hurt Me (with Carl Culley) and a new arrangement of his 2014 song, Another New York Love Story (featuring Leslie Hiatt).  

Hailed as one of Playbill’s “Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know,” Joey is a 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, and his musicals with bookwriter/lyricist, Kate Thomas, include All the Kids are Doing It (Provincetown Playhouse, Tisch, IWU, O’Neill NMTC Finalist), Forget Me Not (NYTB New Works Series, The Dare Tactic, dir. Catie Davis; Tisch New Studio on Broadway, dir. Ilana Becker) and Elements. He is currently developing Heartbreakers in Hell, a new musical with bookwriter/lyricist Benjamin Halstead, which has a planned premiere with The Rubber City Theatre in September 2021. He also has written the music and lyrics for the song-cycle, In Pieces (originally presented at Lincoln Center), which is now available for licensing and live streaming rights. 

As a strong supporter of arts education, Joey has served as Artist-in-Residence with Broadway Dreams Foundation and has contributed original music and arrangements to Broadway in South Africa. He also regularly teaches masterclasses with The Growing Studio in New York. Joey is an alumnus from the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (2010 ASCAP Max Dreyfus Scholarship Recipient) and the 2017 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project. 


Kent State University's production of Joey Contreras' In Pieces is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 4:38pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 4:09pm