Ground and Field Theatre Festival 2018
Wyatt Pavilion Theatre

After a successful launch in fall 2017, the Ground & Field Theatre Festival (GFTF) at UC Davis returns to introduce new works for the stage. Co-produced by the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance and the Theatre and Dance Ensemble, the festival’s public performances take place Oct. 4-6 in the historic Wyatt Pavilion Theatre.

During a month-long intensive, GFTF develops new plays and musicals under the guidance of the festival’s co-artistic directors Broadway veteran Mindy Cooper and award-winning director/producers Tom Burmester, Lisa Quoresimo and Danika Sudik. Collaborating with ensemble members, comprised of UC Davis students and guest artists, they nurture a playwright’s vision to create vibrant storytelling for our time. The intensive includes workshops and invited readings that culminate with the public festival performances.

GFTF’s charter year saw readings of over a dozen new plays from playwrights and composers from across the country. Its weekend of public performances, with many of the writers in attendance, featured two separate programs each presenting two new works. The performances drew enthusiastic capacity audiences. 

GFTF premieres on the campus of one of the finest agricultural research institutions in the world, and in a community committed to a thriving arts community committed to social, economic and environmental sustainability. With roots firmly planted in this community, GFTF welcomes diverse and exciting new voices from across the nation while giving particular consideration to those projects exploring sustainability and agriculture, either through narrative, practice or production.

“GFTF is very excited with this year’s’ crop of new works,” said Cooper. “We have chosen eight new pieces submitted by authors from all over the country, with an interesting through-line of what we are calling History and Future History. Unique voices exploring unique and vibrant ideas.” 

“Professional playwrights come to Davis from around the country to fine tune their work in our community,” Said Sudnik. “We’re creating space for them to practice within their field supported by an ensemble of dedicated student actors, a small cadre of professional actors, experienced directors, and a community of engaged audience members. We have an eye towards sustainability in all of our practices which includes laying the groundwork for the sustainable creative life of our artists and for ensuring that theatre continues to address our highest aspirations of our society.”

“This festival is an intensive training opportunity for the UC Davis students,” said Quoresimo. “The daily ensemble work they do with Tom Burmester gives the entire company a solid grounding in technique and a way of working easily together that is crucial when they are sometimes working on several different scripts in a week. Last year, we watched performers learn how to make bold choices and make them quickly; we then saw those skills and confidence carry over into the work they did the rest of the year.” 

Free performances run Oct. 4-6, Thursday through Saturday at 7p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre. For more information or to make a reservation, visit the festival’s website www.groundandfield.com.

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance and the Theatre and Dance Ensemble are members of Arts Alliance Davis. Support for this program has been provided by City of Davis Arts, Culture, & Innovation Funding.

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Letters and Science. For more information about additional performances, visit www.theatredance.ucdavis.edu.



View all UCD Arts departments and programs






Cinema and Digital Media






and Dance


Performance Studies






UC Davis Arts