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Marion Kleinau Theatre Performance Season

The Kleinau Theatre returns to a full, in-person season, complying with all masking and social distancing protocols as deemed necessary by the university. The Kleinau Theatre is Rm 2018 on the second floor of the Communications Building

All shows premiere at 8 pm CST. For information, contact

Reservations & Information
(618) 453-5618

Fall Semester

September 10, 2022
Graduate Student Performance Spotlight (free)

New and returning graduate students present work in a variety of performance genres.

September 22-24, 2022
Left on Read
Written and Performed by Zoë Freedkin
Co-Directed with Jesse Snider

How has online dating altered the way we affectionately converse? For most Gen Z’s and Millennials, dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have conditioned us to act a certain way when meeting potential partners for the first time. How should I act? Did I say too much? What should I say to keep the conversation going? These are all questions we have asked ourselves but don’t deeply examine justifications for. Employing personal narrative, theories of social psychology, theories of the virtual self, and digital performance, this solo show dissects how and possibly why computer-mediated communication influences how we date. MATURE THEMES.

October 13, 2022
Sister Unity: Drag Nun Ruins Story Time (free)

Guest artist, Bennett Schneider, brings Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, Sister Unity, to the stage to share stories drawn from Hindu mythology, Grimms’ fairytales, and the contemporary socio-political landscape. Sister Unity queers stories from myriad traditions, demonstrating the power of drag and LGBTQ advocacy through camp performance. Schneider teaches by combining ritual, spirituality, gay history, queer theory and practical theater in a variety of contexts which have included: UCLA, The Hollywood Bowl, the Lee Strasburg Theater Institute, Radical Fairy gatherings, various Men’s Gatherings, Highways Performance Space, and other theaters and universities. MATURE THEMES.

October 27-29, 2022
Sound Story
Directed and Compiled by Jonathan Gray
Devised by Cast

While productions often give much attention to set design, blocking, mediated images, and visual metaphors, a staged performance also creates a powerful soundscape. This cast-devised performance begins in a sound studio, where performers use technology not just to record performances but as tools for creating and composing them. Crafted and edited soundscripts are brought to the stage, where they serve as the primary guide for showing, telling, visualizing, and embodying the stories they make audible. This show poses the question: what if the soundtrack, instead of being layered into the production late in the process, were the principle means of composing the performance? MATURE THEMES.

December 1-3, 2022
FANGIRL: Fandoms, Feminism, and Strong Female Characters
Written and Performed by Alicia Utecht
Co-Directed with Jonny Gray

For decades in media, there has been discourse around “strong female characters”—who they are, what makes them worthy of such a label, and why there aren’t more of them. As a lifelong fangirl involved in many, many fandoms, Alicia has felt their presence, their absence, and their influence throughout her entire life. In this performance, she examines her relationships to characters ranging from Wonder Woman to Elle Woods seeking an answer to the question: what is the impact of strong female characters on someone trying to be a strong female person in the real world?

December 8, 2022
Performance Course Spotlight (free)

Undergraduate and graduate students in performance courses present their best work, as selected by instructors.

Spring Semester

February 4, 2023
Faculty Performance Spotlight (free)

Faculty in the School of Communication Studies present work in a variety of performance genres.

March 2-4, 2023
Ways to Say Goodbye
Written and Performed by Craig Gingrich-Philbrook
Co-directed with Shelby Swafford

How does one mourn the largely intangible—a sister one didn’t know one had, an entire species, an ideological illusion? In this solo performance, Gingrich-Philbrook tracks four years of personal loss—familial, ecological, and cultural. How do we talk about grief in ways that transcend the personal while also acknowledging that our bodies and subjectivities are the “screens,” the sites where we meet the suffering and passing of other people, species, ideas, and ways of life? How do we invent “ways to say goodbye” even as we change—like the universe, the planet, and loved ones—and eventually disappear? MATURE THEMES.

March 24, 2023, 4 pm
Tales from the Epidermis: Reflections on Performing (Sk)in (free)
Presented by Jade C. Huell

Beauty is only skin deep. No skin off my nose. Or is it my back? Love the skin you’re in. Put some skin in the game. One could go on with these tedious yet revelatory common phrases for some time. Join artist in residence Jade C. Huell as she interrogates and irritates the skin’s surface through, history, story, and sensorial production. Dr. Huell is an associate professor of Performance Studies at California State University Northridge. Her research rests at the intersections of live performance practice, African American Studies, and Memory Studies.

March 25, 2023
Skintimate Encounters (free)
Directed by Jade C. Huell
Devised by Cast

This performance was developed by participating students in a week-long residency with guest artist, Jade C. Huell. The workshop consisted of writing, reflecting, moving, and creating around issues of and associated with their skin experiences. The culminating evening of performances showcases both the process and the products of the workshop. MATURE THEMES.

April 27-29, 2023
After the Revolution
Adapted and Directed by Alex Lockwood

In the year 2070, twenty years after the collapse of the old United States, extremist militias battle in the crumbling Republic of Texas. As the violence spreads, three unlikely allies work together in an act of resistance to stop the advance of the Christofascist 'Heavenly Kingdom.' Adapted from the novel by Robert Evans, After the Revolution envisions a world of unfolding crisis amid advanced technology. A world where, beyond the wars and collapse, new liberatory ways of life become possible. MATURE THEMES.

May 6, 2023
Performance Course Spotlight (free)

Undergraduate and graduate students in performance courses present their best work, as selected by instructors.

General Information

Unless otherwise marked:
All shows begin at 8 pm CST and there is no admittance once the performance has started.
General Admission: $7
Students with ID: $5

For reservations, call 618/453-5618

For information, contact

The Kleinau Theatre is located on the second floor of the Communications Building.