The University of Alaska Anchorage next month with a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Ahead of it, we caught up with UAA Department Theatre and Dance Chair Dr. Brian Cook.

What do you have coming up this fall at UAA Fine Arts? 

Our fall theatre production is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (directed by Ty Hewitt). When Romeo and Juliet, children of enemies, meet at a fateful dance, a love for the ages ignites. Ultimately fate and a legacy of hatred intervene and turn the world against them. Join us for an unforgettable performance of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, featuring sword fights, dancing, elaborate costumes, and original musical compositions. The show runs 90 minutes. Oct. 11-20, 2019; UAA Mainstage Theatre; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 5 p.m. More info at

Fall is also home to the 2019 Dance in Performance show. Diversity in choreographic styles and movement ideas distinguishes this popular production. The theater will be bursting with energy as the next generation of Alaskan contemporary choreographers share 9 dynamic dances in an evening packed with creative innovation and over two dozen performers. Nov. 14-17, 2019; UAA Mainstage Theatre; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 5 p.m. More info at

Are there any UAA PFA events that you are especially looking forward to?

In addition to our two mainstage productions, we are producing a Climate Change Theatre Action event with the Anchorage Museum on the first Friday in November (Nov. 1, 2019). UAA directing students will produce between 8-10 short plays on the themes of environmental justice, civic action, and climate change, and they will be performed all over the museum throughout the evening. 

Are there any students or faculty you want to brag about (summer achievements, upcoming roles, etc? 

Theatre major Brighton Coggins is designing the costumes for Romeo and Juliet, which will be his second mainstage production. He also completed a summer internship in wardrobe at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival this summer.

Anything you want our readers to know? 

Despite the university's budget woes, we are still here and are ready to create some amazing theatre and dance performances this season. We intend to hit the same high standards for production values and student performances that we have become known for, and we welcome all of our past audiences to come see us again this season!

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