College try

It’s October, which means the theater and dance departments at the region’s four-year universities are back in action. University shows often feature the same directors and designers and even some of the same actors you’ll see on local professional stages, so they’re definitely worth a visit.

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance is sponsoring a revival of choreographer and UC Davis professor Della Davidson’s The Ten P.M. Dream, by the Sideshow Physical Theatre Company and Santa Fe’s Theater Grottesco. The show, which created a stir when it premiered in 2002, draws on poet Anne Sexton’s retelling of Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and other fairy tales. The performers are a mix of professionals and students. Performances are scheduled from October 26 through November 6 at the Mondavi Center’s Studio Theatre. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for students.

British playwright Mark Ravenhill, known for his in-your-face style, will direct two hard-hitting short plays about youth culture at UC Davis in November. Ravenhill is fresh from this August’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where he performed his monologue about a woman who falls in love with a suicide bomber. Ravenhill’s newest play, The Cut, will be staged in London during February (with Sir Ian McKellen in the cast). But in November, Ravenhill will be in Davis, directing his own play School and Julia Jarcho’s Nursery. Shows are scheduled for November 10-20 at the University’s Main Theatre. Tickets are $14 for adults and $9 for students. Call (530) 754-2787 for information on both UC Davis shows.

The comedy Anton in Show Business is midway through its run at California State University, Sacramento. Directed by Nick Avdienko (who’s also active with Beyond the Proscenium Productions), the play concerns a small theater company staging an Anton Chekhov drama. It runs Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through October 23 at the Playwright’s Theatre in Shasta Hall. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students.

CSUS will stage the Stephen Sondheim musical Company from October 28 through November 14, directed by faculty member Ed Brazo. Tickets are $18 for the performances, held in the University Theatre in Shasta Hall. Call (916) 278-4323 for more information on CSUS theater productions.