Playing this week: Bento Bonchev and UMoves!
  Monday, May 1, 2017

Don't miss The Schooling of Bento Bonchev and UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert as we finish up our 2016-2017 season! Also check out this summer's TDPS course offerings, listed below.

  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)

Want to share your news with the TDPS family? Have a story you want featured? Have suggestions to improve the TDPS newsletter and communications?

Tell us about the creative, collaborative, innovative, and entrepreneurial work you're doing!

Email  and  share with us on social media .
TDPS Main Season
The Schooling of Bento Bonchev
Playing through May 6
Kogod Theatre
Directed by Yury Urnov

Love and lust are the ultimate Hallmark emotions, right? According to Bento Bonchev, they’re saccharine marketing gimmicks designed to sell flowers and candy to those gullible enough to believe. But Bento’s world is turned upside down when an astounding discovery forces him to rethink his dogma. Set in the not-so-distant future where love is thought to be a myth, this Russian absurdist satire offers a truly novel take on an age-old question of the heart.

UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert
May 5 - 7
Dance Theatre
Directed by Christopher K. Morgan

Undergraduate TDPS Dance students present a concert of original choreography. The program includes new works created and/or performed by undergraduate students as they explore their choreographic voice and vision, plus pieces developed throughout the year by guest choreographers.

TDPS Summer Courses

THET110: Introduction to Theatre

Summer I: May 30-July 9, 2017 & Summer II: July 10-August 20, 2017
M, Tu, W, 10am-12:15pm
Kelley Holley (Summer I) & Emily Warheit (Summer II)

In the age of pop music and blockbuster films, of memes and viral videos, we often forget that theatre was one of the original forms of popular entertainment. We will focus on theatre practitioners including actors, directors, designers and backstage personnel to understand how theatre is produced. We will also consider popular entertainment in Europe and America, with a particular focus on musical theatre and Broadway to explore how theatre communicates, resonates, and remains relevant to all audiences.

*** This course fulfills the Humanities Gen Ed! ***

THET222: Foundations of Acting
(required for all Theatre majors)

Summer II:  July 10-August 20, 2017
M, Tu, W, 10am-12:15pm
Robert Jansen

Students will become familiar with the tools and process of acting through the discipline of acting exercises, analyzing character and performing. Students will research various theatre artists that have contributed to the acting process. Through monologue and scene work students will learn listening skills, communicative, collaborative and embodiment skills and will learn how to use the self in the imaginative process and research. And, most importantly, students will learn creative process through practice.

THET285: Art of Presentation and Communication

Summer I: May 30-July 9, 2017 (0101)
M, Tu, W, 10am-12:15pm
Sara Thompson

July 19-July 7, 2017 (0501)
M, Tu, W, Th, 2-5:30pm
Patrick Crowley

An introduction to the fundamental practice and theory of public speaking and oral communication using theatrical techniques of both performance and the craft of storytelling.

 *** This course fulfills the Oral Comm Gen Ed! ***

THET428B: Improvisation Basics and Scene Work with Mary Coy

July 31-August 18
M, Tu, W, Th, 10am-1:30pm
Mary Coy

Students will participate in improvisation and games that provide an opportunity to enhance creativity, increase flexibility, improve responsiveness and create group cohesion. Games and exercises include, 'Make Your Partner Look Good' practices relating to others without being negative; making mistakes with confidence; exercises in creativity and trusting your imagination.
THET428C: Unarmed Stage Combat
May 30-June 16, 2017
M, Tu, W, Th, 1-4:30pm
Casey Kaleba

Open to all students! This class will provide students with a solid foundation in Unarmed stage combat. Through an exploration of fight choreography and theory, applied directly to performance, students will acquire practical skills required for physically safe and theatrically effective hand to hand fight scenes. Students will have the opportunity to test for certification with the Society of American Fight Director's recognition in Unarmed ideal for an actor, stage manager, teacher or directors skill set.
THET408B:  Sistah Outsider: Contemporary Black Women Playwrights
Summer I: May 30-July 9, 2017
M, Tu, W, 10am-12:15pm
Khalid Yaya Long

In this interdisciplinary course, students will critically examine the plays of contemporary Black women playwrights, from Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play, A Raisin in the Sun, to recent works of Lynn Nottage, Katori Hall, and Dani Gurira. Students will engage critical essays and other mediums, such as film and music, as catalysts to look in-depth at the intersections of identities: race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Upcoming TDPS Events
  MFA Portfolio Exhibition at Studio Theatre
May 15, 2017
Studio Theatre (DC)

Attend the MFA Design program’s annual Portfolio Exhibition, which will be held at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC next month.

This year the exhibition is co-hosted by DC's artistic directors: David Muse, Janet Griffin, Adam Immerwahr, Jason Loewith, Ryan Rilette, Eric Schaeffer, Howard Shalwitz, Janet Stanford, and writer/director Aaron Posner. The event will be catered.

Emily Ames receives Maryland Summer Scholars Award

Congratulations to Emily Ames (BA Dance) on receiving a Maryland Summer Scholars Award  from the UMD College of Arts & Humanities! Approximately 30 undergraduates receive the financial award each year to support a summer research project that further enhances their undergraduate education.

Mia Levenson receives KCACTF Undergraduate Scholar Award

Congratulations to Mia Levenson (BA Theatre '17) for winning the KCACTF Undergraduate Scholar Award recognizing an outstanding research paper in theater written by an undergraduate student. Mia's paper is titled “A Tedious Theatre: The Spectacle of the Body in 17th Century Anatomy Theatres and in Webster’s THE DUCHESS OF MALFI.”

Jared Mezzocchi continues to garner award nominations for Vietgone

In addition to his recent Lucille Lortel Nomination, Design Professor Jared Mezzocchi has been nominated for an Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award for Best Projection Design in Vietgone!

Congratulations on your continued accolades, Jared!

Alan Cumming visits Professor Scot Reese's Musical Theatre class!
  Have you recently received an exciting opportunity, award, or accolade?
Please email

  • Signature Theatre in Arlington is now receiving applications from directors under 40 for SigWorks: Young Directors Musical Theater Workshop. Up and coming directors chosen as participants will work with Signature's Artistic team in a two-day intensive to learn about directing musical theater, working with designers, and budgeting. Participants will also see a performance of Signature’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar

  • Discount tickets available for CityDance DREAMscape on May 6!  DREAMscape is CityDance's annual gala performance, hosted by Emmy award-winning dance icon Debbie Allen, features show stopping performances by the nations hottest dancers. Use the code College to buy $20 discount tickets.

  • AVADance is seeking a summer intern to work closely with ACADance and Joy of Motion Founder Michelle Ava. This intern will have the opportunity to collaborate with Michelle and her team as they design future projects of the AVAdance Legacy Company. The internship requires an ideal commitment of 20 to 35 hours per week. This is an unpaid internship, though AVAdance will comply with university requirements for internship credit. For more information on the internship and how to apply, click here.
  Have an opportunity you want to share?
Please email
  Do you have news to share with the TDPS community?
Email and share with us on social media!

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
advances and transforms the research and practice of the performing arts
through a commitment to excellence and innovative education .


Kate Spanos, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Jonelle Walker, Graduate Assistant