The Amish Project opens Friday!
  Monday, February 20, 2017

The semester is well underway! This Friday we open The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey, directed by Professor Mitchell Hébert. We also have a lot of workshops, conferences, and performances coming up in the next few weeks: the Applause Construction Cabaret, a Dance Exchange showing, the TDPS New Play Workshop, Second Season's Shared Graduate Dance Concert, the Jim Henson Award for Puppetry Presentation, the Maryland Theatre Education Association's conference, the ___Face Symposium, and two workshops with Louis Colaianni (voice and speech) and Lindsey Kasabian (casting). Check out the details below.

We had a very successful run of The Importance of Being Earnest (see reviews below) and we held a lovely reception for Randy Lord '77 & Steve Fessler on opening night. Click on the story below to see photos from the celebration.

Also be sure to check out the huge list of 2017 Helen Hayes Award nominees from the TDPS family, including faculty, students, and alumni. Congratulations everyone!

  In this newsletter:
  • Upcoming and recent TDPS events
  • Feature Stories
  • News (Awards & Honors, Performances & Productions, Publications, other activities)
  • Opportunities (Jobs & Auditions; Scholarships, Fellowships, & Grants)
  • Other Upcoming Events (Off-Campus)

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Upcoming TDPS Events
The Amish Project
February 24 - March 3

by. Jessica Dickey
Directed by Mitchell Hébert

Shots are fired in a school house, and the world seems to stop. A stunned community — teachers, parents, friends, families of the victims and the perpetrators — must find a way to keep living their lives. This lyrical and potent drama explores the aftermath of a school shooting in an Amish community, and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake. This play was inspired by the tragic 2006 shooting at an Amish school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The Applause Construction Cabaret 2017 
February 23 at 3:15pm
Applause Construction Site

Join Scot Reese's THET451 Musical Theatre Workshop students for an afternoon of Broadway! Students will perform an hour of Broadway standards providing a lively afternoon break for students, faculty, and staff.
Dance Exchange: Informal Showing of Works-in-Progress
  Matthew Cumbie; Photo credit: Nikki Carrar 
February 24 at 7:00pm
Dance Theatre

In this work-in-progress showing, the collaborators seek to find analogous processes of dance-making: where the performance is the live result of well-crafted, movement-based practices framed by choreographic structures. Brought together by Dance Exchange, Sarah Gamblin, Joy Davis, Matthew Cumbie and Sam Horning, who have never worked all together before, will share the results of a week-long residency at TDPS as they dance through these questions.

TDPS New Play Workshop
  Photo by Dylan Singleton
February 19-26
Cafritz Theatre

The  TDPS New Play Workshop is an opportunity for student playwrights at UMD to develop a short play in a supportive environment. Each selected playwright is assigned a mentor—a professional dramatist living and working in the Baltimore-DC corridor. Mentors serve as guides through the process of rehearsing with a director and actors, filtering and implementing feedback, and revising. The weeklong event kicks off on Sunday, February 19 with a panel discussion about new play development. It will conclude on Sunday, February 26 with staged readings of the new plays.

The TDPS New Play Workshop is supported in part by the Dramatists Guild of America.

Second Season: Shared Graduate Dance Concert

March 3 & 4
Dance Theatre

Featuring provocative choreography by MFA candidates in dance, serving as an unguarded exploration of these young artists' talents and interests.

This concert focuses on new works in development. As the first opportunity for students to put material onstage and see what develops, the concert often contains the seeds of movement ideas that will be featured in their MFA Thesis programs.

Free tickets (available 2/27 at noon)

Jim Henson Award for Puppetry Presentation
March 16 at 7pm
Cafritz Theatre

This showcase presents puppetry projects created by four TDPS students selected for the  Jim Henson Award for Puppetry : “The Milkman of Human Kindness” by Mark Costello (MFA Design), “The Missing Link” by Nitsan Scharf (BA Theatre), "The Children of Lir" by Anders Tighe (BA Theatre ’16), and an as-yet untitled project by Stacey Carlson (MFA Dance). 

  Anders Tighe (bottom left), Stacey Carlson (top left), Mark Costello (top right), Nitsan Scharf (bottom right)
Workshops & Conferences
MTEA Thrive Conference 

February 25
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

The MTEA THRIVE Conference is a theatre educator empowerment conference with experiential workshops that are designed to give theatre educators the opportunity to explore their craft. 

Attendees will experience the joy of reconnecting with their craft as theatre-makers; learn tools and tips to apply to their own classes; and gain a unique opportunity to connect and network with theatre educators and organizations from across the state of Maryland. All attendees will select three workshops that they would like to attend during the online checkout process.


____Face Symposium: the afterlife of racial masquerade
  An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, July 2017 / Photo credit: Scott Suchman
March 3 from 10am - 9:30pm
Cafritz Theatre

___Face symposium is a daylong scholarly and performance event examining the history and cultural reverberations of racial masquerade. Specifically, the symposium looks to flip the script on past research that considers racial masquerade as a means of white identity formation, highlighting how scholars and artists of color engage with and subvert the performance technologies of black, red, yellow, brown, and whiteface as they have traveled across time, idiom, sense, and medium. 

The day will consist of three invited lectures, a moderated roundtable discussion, and selected scenes from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's upcoming July 2017 production of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon. Confirmed event speakers include Brian Herrera (Princeton University), Soyica Diggs Colbert (Georgetown University), and Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson (Northwestern University). 


Voice and Speech Workshop with Louis Colaianni
March 5 - 6 from 10am - 6pm
Rever Rehearsal Studio

Louis Colaianni - a voice, speech, text and dialect coach for theatre, film and television - is offering a two-day workshop including voice, speech, accent and text work with a foundation of Linklater Voice. The workshop will feature "phonetic pillows" and many exercises adapted from Kristin Linklater's Sound & Movement work and the Linklater Voice Progression.  

The regular workshop fee is $350, but if you enroll before February 15th and you will receive a 50% discount of $175! (Non-refundable)

Please make payment directly to Louis Colaianni by calling 816-419-6915Questions and registration: contact Ethan Watermeier at 

Casting Workshop with Lindsey Kasabian
April 7 at 12pm
Rever Rehearsal Room

Join  Lindsey Kasabian (BA Theatre ’03) for a workshop about casting and entering the professional job market in New York City and Los Angeles. She will offer a brief lecture about her theatre experience at UMD and her decision not to pursue professional acting, but instead find alternative routes to remain the industry. She will offer advice on networking and finding job opportunities in NYC and LA, and she will break down the intricacies of navigating the television business. In particular, she will focus on the casting process and will invite students to participate in a mock casting session. The workshop will also provide students with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss. Check out the flyer.

Reception for Randy Lord '77 & Steve Fessler

On Friday, February 10 we celebrated Randy Lord and Steve Fessler’s generous gift to the UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS). Last fall, we announced that Randy--a 1977 graduate of what was then called the Speech & Dramatic Arts program--and his husband Steve committed to endow a graduate assistantship in theatre. The reception was an opportunity for TDPS faculty, students, staff and alumni to meet Randy and Steve and thank them in person for their generosity.

  Randy Lord ’77 delivering remarks.
Photo by Geoff Sheil, The Clarice. 
TDPS in 2017 Helen Hayes Nominations

Congratulations to everyone in the TDPS family—faculty, students, and alumni—who was nominated for a 2017 Helen Hayes Award! TDPS will represent 20 of the nominations at the award ceremony in May. We are doing extraordinary work in the DC theatre scene!

You can see the list of TDPS nominees here and the full list of 2017 Helen Hayes nominees here.

Bonnie Nelson Schwartz (left) and Deb Sivigny (MFA Design '04) (right) announce the 2017 Helen Hayes Award nominees. Shannon Finney Photography. 

TDPS Accompanist Bob Novak’s Recording Studio Project Featured in Baltimore Sun

"The duo launched an Indiegogo campaign in early 2014 and raised an initial $10,000, which helped get them into the space at the Historic Savage Mill.

Both have full-time jobs during the day — Novak providing drum and piano music accompaniment for the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, Eberhardt as coordinator of music for Howard County Schools — so they knew finishing the studio would take time."

Bob Novak, left, and Terry Eberhardt own and operate Red Bridge Studios in Savage Mill. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group) 

MFA Dance Alum Stephanie Miracle ‘14 Receives US State Department Individual Grant

Congratulations to MFA Dance alumna Stephanie Miracle ‘14 on receiving a US State Department Individual Grant to collaborate on a dance project in Russia! Stephanie will be working with Anna Shchekleina in Yekaterinburg on a cross-cultural exchange project, with the aim of challenging cultural biases and fostering empathy among the community.

Stephanie will be in Russia from March 11-April 4.

Stephanie Miracle and Anna Shchekleina in St. Petersburg, June 2014.

The Importance of Being Earnest: the reviews are in!
Radcliffe Adler (BA Theatre) playing Lady Bracknell. (Cassie Osvatics/UMD Writer's Bloc Reporter) 
Radcliffe Adler (BA Theatre) featured in UMD Writer's Bloc Article

"Radcliffe Adler, a senior theatre major, transitioned from female to male when he was 19. In the upcoming play at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, he has been cast as a woman: Lady Bracknell, a trying and sassy aunt. He swoops onto stage in a purple and silver flowing dress and feather hat ....

'It was empowering to be a transgender theatre artist and to be cast in a very queer and subversive role it’s like, yeah, absolutely that’s my role, that role was made for me,' Adler said."

Read more

  The cast of  The Importance of Being Earnest  at The Clarice, directed by Amber Paige McGinnis. 
Set design by Matthew Buttrey; Costume Design by Jeannette Christensen; Lighting Design by Brandi Martin; Sound Design by Neil McFadden.  Photo by Stan Barouh.
"[A] deeper look at the play suggests that it is much more than a farce – it’s a subtle commentary on social conventions and the alternative identities we construct to get by. Seamless sets and rich costumes stole the show in the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies’ production of this Victorian classic." - DC Metro Theater Arts
     The cast of  The Importance of Being Earnest  at The Clarice. Photo by Stan Barouh.
"When Oscar Wilde's farcical comedy seems more pertinent than ever, the University of Maryland [School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies'] production of  Earnest provides a sliver of hope in a time that has been difficult for many .... This university's production of the show, directed by Amber McGinnis, pushes the social consciousness of the play even further." - The Diamondback
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    Reminder: NextLOOK Call for Proposals

Are you a local performing artist who is interested in developing new work? Do you or your company want audience feedback on projects you are designing? Do you value input in your creative process? Apply to be a part of the 2017-2018 NextLOOK series!

Established in 2014 through a partnership between The Clarice and Joe’s Movement Emporium, NextLOOK supports the development of new music, plays, dance and other experiences by performing artists based in DC, Maryland and Virginia who are looking to incorporate audience feedback into their creative process.

Visit to download the full RFP and learn more about the NextLOOK series and its proposal requirements and to access the online proposal form. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 3, 2017. Decisions for the 2017-2018 NextLOOK season will be made in early April 2017.

Headshots with ClintonBPhotography

Sessions available TODAY (February 20) and February 21 - 22!

ClintonBPhotography is offering a President's Day special rate for headshots. For more information on the packages offered and session details, click here.

  • The Maryland Dialogues is holding the Express Yourself! competition, open for ALL students to share their unique experiences and perspectives about race and racism.  Categories include essays, visual arts, and creative arts. The contest includes cash prizes: $200 for each College undergraduate and graduate category winner, as well as $1,000 awarded by the Provost to overall category winners. More information on the contest is available here.
  • The University of Maryland Communications and Marketing department is holding a writing competition open to any current Maryland student. The winning written piece will be used as narration for an upcoming University of Maryland video that will be distributed to vast network of alumni, students and staff via email and UMD’s social media channels, as well as live on UMD’s YouTube channel Send writing samples to Mark Sherwood ( by March 1, 2017 for best consideration. For more details, click here.

Conference Calls for Papers

  • The Latin American Studies Center Annual Student Conference is calling for papers on this year's conference theme: Sanctuary, Refuge, Oasis. The conference is scheduled for May 4-5, 2017 on the UMD campus, and will include two days of panels, a keynote panel discussion (scholars, activists, policy makers), and a music filled closing reception. Graduate students and advanced undergraduate student submissions are welcome to submit. Please submit abstracts of approximately 250 words, proposing individual paper presentations, panels, posters, performances, or other creative formats, by March 10, 2017, to the Latin American Studies Center at the University of Maryland,

Jobs, Internships & Auditions
  • Forum Theatre is casting for non-speaking roles in the regional premiere of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, directed by Amber McGinnis (also Director of The Importance of Being Earnest at UMD TDPS). Those cast must be comfortable wearing a one piece bathing suit on stage. This is an unpaid volunteer opportunity. If interested, email casting director Jenna Duncan:

  • On February 27, the Career Center is hosting two panels on careers in entertainment at Hornbake Library: Careers in Film & Entertainment (5-6pm) and a Hollywood Radio & TV Society Virtual Panel (7-8pm) For the complete list of panelists, click here. Please RSVP for one or both events through links above.  Questions? Please email Kate Juhl at
  • The Career Center's Intern for a Day program connects undergraduate students with alumni, parents, employers and community partners for one day internship/shadowing experiences. The program is holding mandatory orientation events for spring 2017 from February 27 - March 2 at the Hornbake Library. Click here to see event details and RSVP. 

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The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
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Kate Spanos, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Jonelle Walker, Graduate Assistant