USD Theatre Announces 2017-2018 Season

Photo of backstage lighting at USD theatre production. The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents four shows this season on the mainstage of the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents a season that includes classics, new work, and contemporary takes on old favorites. Season ticket packages are currently available for the four-show mainstage season in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre.

The season begins with Eugène Ionesco’s seriocomedy Rhinoceros. In a small village in France, the townsfolk are, one by one, transforming from humans into wild rhinoceroses. Ionesco’s classic tale of individualism and repression is hysterical, absurd and the perfect antidote to the mundane. This unique play runs Sept. 28 – Oct. 8.

The fall semester concludes with a musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic American novel Little Women. Follow the stories of the four March sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy and the many colorful characters in their lives as they come of age in Civil War-era New England. With music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and book by Allen Knee, this beloved musical captures the essence of Alcott's novel while making it accessible and relevant to 21st century audiences of all ages. Little Women runs Nov. 17 – Dec. 3.

In February, USD Theatre will travel in time to pre-revolutionary Russia with Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece Three Sisters. Olga, Masha, and Irina traverse their predictable daily lives while contemplating their own purpose in their modern world and the choices that have brought them to this existence. This new translation by acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl revels in life’s most joyous and painful moments. Three Sisters runs Feb. 15 – 18.

The USD Theatre season closes with the iconic musical Cabaret. Fifty years after its Broadway premiere, this groundbreaking show is as resonant as ever. Alternatingly hilarious and chilling, Cabaret juxtaposes its up-tempo music and choreography with the rise of the Nazi party in Berlin. From the exuberant “Willkommen” to the mesmerizing title song, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s score is a favorite of theatregoers around the world, and Joe Masteroff’s book remains one of the sharpest in musical theatre history. Cabaret runs April 12 – 22.

These four diverse shows will be presented in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Season tickets, which provide a 25 percent savings over standard ticket prices, are $45 for adults, $36 for senior citizens (62+), $30 for youth (k-12) and non-USD students, and $15 for USD students with a valid ID. A form for ordering season tickets can be downloaded from the USD Theatre website or can be requested by calling 605.677.5400 or emailing us at

In addition to our four-show mainstage season, the Department of Theatre is excited to present two additional offerings. The intimate setting of the Arena Stage will be home to a collection of three One-Act Plays, each directed, designed, and performed entirely by students, from Oct. 20 – 22. In the spring, we present Circle Mirror Transformation by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Annie Baker. This beautiful piece, which runs March 15 – 18, explores how four strangers explore themselves by taking part in a seemingly innocent six-week acting class filled with games, struggles and creativity.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News