The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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The Rights of Spring Festival


Our festival has a vibrant website: that gathers our many wonderful events to attend and delightful presentations to browse in one easy-to-navigate spot. 

The Rights of Spring festival includes  a mix of pre-recorded and live online events that carry forth the innovations prompted by the need for safe ways to engage with theater-making during COVID-19. It also includes, as we take our first tentative steps back to in-person community with fellow artists and audiences, a number of socially-distanced, outdoor in-person events in accordasnce with UMass COVID guidelines. The website offers a portal that leads visitors to performance details, information about the artists, and registration links where they are required for capacity or COVID protocol reasons. 

The site, which features a spectacular landing page showcasing art designed by UMass Theater student Fleur Kuhta, was created by Melissa Vogt of The Vortex.

All events listed on the site are slated to happen April 22 to May 2 and involve UMass Theater students, faculty, staff, and select special guests seeking joy, magic, inspiration, laughter, and hope for what’s to come. As events unfold, the website will also become home to archival recordings of the live performances. Click here to view a PDF calendar listing of events color-coded by online and in-person events.

The beauty of festivals, says Professor Judyie Al-Bilali, who conceived the idea for the Rights of Spring, is that they serve as a way for a culture to rehearse, renew and if necessary, revise its core myths — to examine its values such as liberation, community, and heroism. All of the events that make up a festival, collectively, tell a story about the people who participate in it. This festival, coming after a hard year of massive social upheaval, serves as a statement from a culture that’s redefining what’s important.

The festival kicks off with an Invocation that leads us toward Earth!, an outdoor installation celebrating our planetary home. We will present two live outdoor events, Monuments of the Future and Devising a Future Together, created by teams of artists who are responding to the unique times in which we find ourselves with exciting cross-disciplinary work, as well as a virtual event, COVEN-19, that is reimagined for spring after a memorable premiere this past fall. Design students will offer exhibits of their work, and classes will showcase both online and in-person work to culminate their semesters. The Word! Festival, which UMass is hosting virtually this year, is also wrapped into the agenda and will be viewable through our website.

Be sure to visit the website to learn what events you'll be attending, and check back frequently as events and recordings are posted online.

In-person events will require advance registration and adherence to UMass COVID protocols for attendance; community members are welcome.