University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television presents HEAD OVER HEELS


CONTACT: Kerryn Negus, Director, Advancement and External Relations •  •
The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television

15-minute intermission • Danny Gurwin, Director •

Tucson, AZ – March 30, 2023

Cast of HEAD OVER HEELS, with Danny Bass (Musidorus) in center, during rehearsal. Photo by Tim Fuller

A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love

TUCSON, Ariz. – The School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) is proud to present the bold new musical comedy Head Over Heels, onstage at the Tornabene Theatre at the University of Arizona from April 9th through 23rd. The fifth production in TFTV’s 2022/23 theatre season, Head Over Heels is a hilarious, exuberant celebration of love and exploration of identity from the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening. The show follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction, only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts.

Head Over Heels weaves together a plot based on Sir Philip Sidney’s sixteenth-century romance The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia with songs by the 1980s all-woman rock band The Go-Go’s (“We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed”). It will be directed on our stage by TFTV Assoc. Professor Danny Gurwin.

“The action is set in the 16th century, offering many standard Renaissance features that we’ve turned on their heads,” says Gurwin. “There’s romance, parental oppression, death and resurrection, but the plot is emboldened by an acceptance of gender fluidity. It is a powerful message for our current day seen through the lens of an equally complex and political world of long ago.”

Danny Bass (BFA Musical Theatre, ’24) plays a lead character, the gender fluid Musidorus: “Head Over Heels is colorful, loud, and joyful, and unlike any show I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of. The cast and creative team have worked day in and day out to portray how freeing and fulfilling it is to explore your identity untethered to the expectations of society. I’ve learned so much about myself during this show, and I am confident that those watching will learn something about themselves as well.”

Alongside Bass, the cast includes Ashling Shockey (Mopsa), AJ Taylor (Pamela), Sophia Scarsi (Philoclea), Erin Rose McDaniel (Gynecia), John Henry Stamper (Basilius), Alex Simpson (Dametas), and Brach Drew (Pythio). They are joined by ensemble members James Carroll, Grace Gebara, Catherine Kim, John Henderson, Hannah Hufford, Holden Jones, Lillie Langston, Gemma Pedersen, Sydney Townsend, and Brennan Wood alongside pit singers Meghan Gray, Lily Grubert, Eliza Hitch, and Haiden Pederson.

Head Over Heels was conceived and the original book written by Jeff Whitty then adapted by James Magruder. This production will have ten performances between Apr. 9 – 23, 2023, including a special post-show discussion with cast and crew on Friday, April 21. Ticket discounts are available. This production qualifies for our newly announced free student ticket program.

What The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television presents HEAD OVER HEELS

Where Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N Olive Rd, Tucson AZ 85719

When April 9-23, 2023, with preview performances April 9 and 12


Produced by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing.

About the School of Theatre, Film & Television
The School of Theatre, Film & Television is a member of the Arizona Arts division at the University of Arizona. The school nurtures and develops artists and scholars via rigorous training and mentoring by dedicated faculty. Students have access to high-level internship, industry resources, and hands-on production experience. TFTV offers training programs to prepare students to succeed in a wide range of careers – in the industry, the arts, and higher education. Each year students can showcase their talents and tell compelling stories onstage, on the screen, and more. TFTV regularly ranks in The Wrap’s “Top 50 Film Schools” and Onstage’s “Top 30 College Theatre Design & Tech Programs.”

Kerryn Negus
Director, Advancement and External Relations
School of Theatre, Film & Television