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Click through to attend as
events become available.

All times EST.

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This project explores the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. Three professional playwrights have each written a 30-minute play of visionary fiction that confronts urgent issues of our time, and each has been paired with an activist whose work intersects with the play's subject matter to create work that is visionary in its approach while also grounded in contemporary activist thought.

Watch Now, on-demand


To mark the centenary of Yusef Lateef’s birth, the UMass Fine Arts Center celebrates his life with a multi-faceted, online project that includes: a live virtual concert, an exhibit of his visual art, a photo gallery of images, readings of scholarly papers relating to Lateef, dramatic readings of his fiction, film excerpts about Lateef, and 100 short video responses to Lateef by a cross-section of musicians, writers, former students, friends, colleagues and family. This link takes you to the UMass Fine Arts website in a separate tab.

Yusef Lateef:
A Centenary Celebration

Photo by Michael Di Donna

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A Five College African Studies Council panel presentation featuring conversations with Stephanie Shonekan, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Science and Professor of Music at the University of Missouri, and Michael Veal, the Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music and African-American Studies at Yale University. Moderated by Bode Omojola, Five College Professor and Chair, Department of Music at Mount Holyoke College.

Fela Matters:
A Conversation about
the King of Afrobeat
April 23rd   3:30-5pm EST
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COVEN-19 is a community of artistic witches who are called upon to own our individual and collective power, make meaning out of utter chaos, and manifest tangible, seismic change. This spring, the Coven will collectively create a process-driven ritual in honor of Beltane, or May Day. The time is ripe for magick-making! Registration to access this performance is required as spaces are limited. Click a date below to sign up to attend your desired night. Check out the Coven 19 zine by visiting the blue zine page button.

April 29 & 30 & 
May 1 at 7:30pm EST

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Presented live, online through this portal via Zoom on May 1 at 2 pm
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Through the WORD! Festival, professors in the Five Colleges identify and nurture student writers who engage in multicultural themes and aesthetics. Our efforts build community between and among the departments of theater and the communities of color on each respective campus as we take turns hosting this celebration of new work. The playwrights who present their work receive an award of $100 from the Five College James Baldwin Memorial Fund. We are proud and excited to host the 2021 online version of this event as part of our Rights of Spring Festival this year.  

May 1st at 2pm EST

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A Gathering of Grandmothers

May 2 @ 4:30pm EST

Via a mix of recorded and live material, Brown Paper Studio presents a collage of conversations with elder Black women of the Five Colleges and community about the history of New Africa House and the impact of Black culture in the Valley. This event requires registration. The performance link will be emailed to you from the box office.

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Graduate Student Exhibits

The Cunning Little Vixen
Storytelling and sustainability fold into a vivid presentation in costume designer Mikayla Reid's work, as she creates character designs for this vibrant Czech opera while also investigating the viability of natural, more environmentally-friendly dyes.

Made possible in part by a grant from the UMass Arts Council.

Notre Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre-Dame 
Scenic and costume designer Calypso Michelet and lighting designer Sydney Becker use new technologies such as 3D modeling, 3D printing, and laser cutting to bring to life a world that bridges past and present in their vision of the French musical, Notre Dame de Paris.

Made possible by the UMass Arts Council.

Zal & Simorgh

For scenic design grad student Maryam Hemayati, who is from Iran, her thesis became a chance to offer her take on an epic Persian story through stop-motion puppetry. Zal & Simorgh is a section from the Persian poet Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, an epic poem of Persian kings, and tells the story of, Zal, an albino prince cast out by his father, the king, and raised by a mythical phoenix bird, Simorgh. Hemayati's work is influenced by kheime shab bazi (Iranian Traditional Marionette Theatre) and shadow play found in old Iranian history, but is  filmed in stop-motion, which means for every 10 seconds of finished work there will be 300 or more synchronous photos to be subsequently edited and formatted.

Made possible by the UMass Arts Council.

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Student Showcases

Voices from the Void (Premiering on April 26 at 7:30pm EST),

RESPIRATION (Premiering April 27 at 5pm EST),

and Festival Podcasts (Premiering April 24th).

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