Mainstage Productions

The Mainstage Productions continue to be key components in our educational mission, which is to provide opportunity and support for creative expression, intellectual development, and aesthetic appreciation for students, faculty, staff, and audience. Even in our current virtual environment, each show in this year’s varied season makes good on the department’s focus on Learn by Doing — comprehensive, hands-on training that gives students a balanced and enriched knowledge of performance, onstage and behind the scenes. 

2020-2021 Production Season

Every good story starts with a question...

In a year with many anticipated unknowns, we present a season of theatre and dance that endeavors to provide an outlet for the opportunities of community and inspiration that exist when we look to answer these questions together. 



An Iliad

by Lisa Peterson & Denis O'Hare

based on Homer's An Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles

streaming November 14 - 20, 2020

What is it like to be present at the invention of a story? A small group of narrators, burdened as the carriers of history, present the staggering tale of the Trojan War as a means for investigating and perhaps even changing human nature: our appetite for war, our petulance for destruction, and the character ‘tropes’ that have fought along the way.

more information about the production




a devised theatre piece

streaming march 6, 2021

What if your home could speak? This is the question at the center of Cal Poly’s original audio play, Shelter — an experimental theatrical experience that invites audience members to use their own personal listening devices to take a guided explorative journey of their own home. Streamed autobiographical stories, devised and written by Cal Poly students, will allow the audience to experience their own living space in a unique and compelling way.

more information about the production + how to listen through June 15



Floor Plan

Orchesis Dance Virtual Concert

streaming MARCH 13, 2021

What’s down the hallway? Floor Plan takes viewers on a tour of a house inhabited by dancers. Room by room, a single mover utilizes the space through gesture and the partnering of furniture and walls before leading the audience to the next doorway where another performer awaits. Through video editing, the individual areas within each dancer’s house will unify into one unique structure as exhibited on an actual blueprint. Choreographers include Cal Poly faculty and students plus local and out-of-state guests with the entire creative process occurring through virtual communication. 

more information about this production + how to watch through June 15




by Enda Walsh

MAY 21-23 & 28-30, 2021

How do we learn to love one another? Internet chat rooms of the early 2000s, precursors to social media of today, allowed people to virtually meet others all over the world who shared the same passions, interests, loves, hates, and loneliness. When a desperate teenager reaches out to a chat room for help, several strangers respond. But what are their true motivations? This prescient 2005 play by Enda Walsh (Once, Disco Pigs) explores the potential of online relationships to enable cruelty — and inspire kindness.

more information about this production


We are pleased to present all performances of this virtual production season free of charge, as a way to continue our commitment to Learn by Doing. If you have the means, please consider contributing $10, $15, or $20 as your “ticket” to the performances. Donations may be made online here.

We thank you in advance for your support of the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department and its students, faculty, and staff!

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