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With the above rallying cry,

the UMass Amherst Department of Theater embarks on its Rights of Spring festival, a mix of virtual and live, outdoor, socially-distanced events scheduled to take place from April 22 to May 2.

What better antidote to the isolation and disconnection of this particular winter than to gather to celebrate who we are and what’s important to us. Join UMass Theater for a series of events meant to inspire, amuse, entertain, and spark hope for what’s to come.

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The beauty of festivals, says Professor Judyie Al-Bilali, who conceived the idea for the Rights of Spring, is that they serve as a way for a culture to rehearse, renew and if necessary, revise its core myths — to examine its values such as liberation, community, and heroism. All of the events that make up a festival, collectively, tell a story about the people who participate in it. This festival, coming after a hard year of massive social upheaval, serves as a statement from a culture that’s redefining what’s important.

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Collectively, these events and the other pieces on the schedule are focused about creating community by any means available — in Zoom rooms, in conversations, through a unified appreciation of beautiful work. They represent a redefining of what we fit under the definition of theater — those aforementioned Zoom rooms, performances created by teams creating from scratch, scenic installations that spread out across the campus, web-based design presentations that encompass beauty, environmental awareness, and the wonder of old-fashioned story-telling.

Explore this website to discover how to register for events, and to attend online gatherings.