Congratulations to our graduates & have a wonderful summer, TDPS!
  Monday, May 15, 2017

Congratulations to all our graduates! Join us on Saturday, May 20 at 10am for TDPS commencement in the Kay Theatre. Check out profiles of each of our graduating MFA, MA, and PhD students below.

This is the last TDPS newsletter of the 2016-2017 academic year. We're taking a break for the summer and will start up again in mid-August. A big thank you to Jonelle Walker for putting together each newsletter this year!

Please email if you have any suggestions for improvements to the newsletter, and keep sending your news throughout the summer.

Congratulations on a wonderful year!

  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!

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Recent TDPS Events
Scholarship Reception
May 5, 2017
Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate our TDPS scholarship recipients
at a reception after the opening night of UMoves on Friday, May 5!
Photo credit:  Montana Monardes.
Karen Bradley's Retirement Party
May 13, 2017
Thanks to everyone who joined us on Saturday to celebrate Professor Karen Bradley’s tremendous teaching, activism, leadership, and mentorship throughout her career!

Photos will be available on our website and social media soon. In the meantime, check out this awesome appreciation video that Paul Jackson made.
Graduation Spotlight
  Congrats to MFA, MA, and PhD students
on their successful thesis and dissertation defenses!
MFA Dance Graduates
Colette Krogol is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance. While at UMD she deepened her research, both written and embodied, on themes of identity, journeying, and displacement. Her company Orange Grove Dance created nine new works during her tenure leading to awards, residencies and commissions, both locally and internationally.  This summer, she will be performing at The American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow with Dendy/Donovan Projects while also choreographing at Andy’s Summer Playhouse. 
Chris Law is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance. He performed in Megan Abadoo's "Wake Up", Sinclair O'gaga's "Nyam Chiem", and Matt Reeves' "Tom in the Machine" as well as presenting his own choreography including: "The more things change, the more they stay the same", and "Full Circle"; both performed at Second Season Shared Graduate concerts. In December 2016, his thesis concert "Full Circle: Bridging the Gap," examined themes of cycles, community, and police brutality in America.
Matthew Reeves is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance. While at the University of Maryland he has had the wonderful opportunity to choreograph, dance, and design 9 new original works including "Tom in the Machine" and "Waking Darkness. Waiting Light." His work with Orange Grove Dance fed by his research here at UMD has garnered the Choreographers Showcase 2017 Audience Choice Award, two Nextlook Artist Residencies, and an ACDA Gala Selection.  
MFA Design Graduates
Lighting Design
Connor Dreibelbis is graduating with a Masters in Fine Arts in Lighting Design. While at the University of Maryland, Connor has had the opportunity to design lighting for seven productions, and one floor. Most recently, Connor designed  The Schooling of Bento Bonchev, his thesis piece. Connor previously worked in various regional theaters as Lighting Designer and as Scenographer and Lighting Designer in Germany. He will be moving back to Germany this summer to continue his career there. He would also like to thank all of his friends, family and instructors for their unwavering support over the last three years.
Rob Siler is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design. At the University of Maryland, he has designed lighting for over fourteen productions, art installations, or events including  The Orpheus AdventureThe Wild PartyHatched with guest artist Mamela Nyamza,  Legacy & Liveness, and  Baltimore. Rob has also worked as an assistant in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, locally at Studio Theatre and Olney Theatre Center, and on Broadway with Brian MacDevitt on  A Delicate Balance.
Costume Design
Heather C. Jackson is graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design. At the University of Maryland she most recently designed the Maryland Opera Studio’s  The Orpheus Adventure. She designed costumes for TDPS productions Baltimore and her thesis project  The Wild Party. Heather has served as assistant designer locally at Round House Theatre, Studio, Imagination Stage, and Wolf Trap Opera. She has designed with area companies including Mosaic Theatre and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, where she is a company member and designing an upcoming production of  The Tempest. She will be working as an assistant designer for the Virginia Opera Company this summer.
MA Graduates
Renee Cyr is graduating with a Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies. Research interests include performances of ritual and religion, grief and forgiveness, storytelling, body studies, and theatre for social change. Her thesis was an archival and ethnographic study, titled "Staging Sacred Space: A Ritual Performance History of the UMD Memorial Chapel." UMD credits:  Tartuffe (assistant director),  The Amish Project (dramaturg). She has worked professionally as a director, dramaturg, stage manager, and teaching artist.
Jacqueline Joké Hammond is graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance Studies. Her research and practice centers on the theatre of the African Diaspora with particular concentration in the Caribbean Basin Region. She is an alumna of the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A in Theatre. She has taught Acting and Voice production at Carnegie-Mellon University, New York University and Florida State’s Acting Conservatory program at the Asolo State Theatre and is presently teaching Theatre at Bowie State University. Coaching the voices of UMD’s recent production of  The Call is one of her most enjoyable recent accomplishments. Proudly returning to academia after decades of professional work in Theatre, Arts Administration, and family responsibilities, Joké is appreciative of the Golden ID Program, and the staff/faculty/students of TDPS for supporting this aspiration of graduate study in Theatre.
Leticia Ridley is graduating with a Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies. She is a dramaturg, playwright, and scholar with interests including Black Theatre and Performance, American popular culture, and Black Feminist Thought, with an emphasis on the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality.  While at Maryland, she staged a reading of her new play titled  Blood Memory, an adaptation of Angelina Weld Grimke’s  Rachel. She has received the prestigious Pre-Doctoral Ford Foundation Fellowship, which she will use towards completing her PhD at UMD TDPS starting next fall.
Jonelle Walker is graduating with a Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies. During her time at the University of Maryland she served as a dramaturg for the Kennedy Center’s  New Visions/New Voices festival, director for the TDPS New Play Workshop, and playwright for  Second Season: Blood Memories ( Prophets of Doom). Accolades for her writing include a nomination for the 2017 Helen Hayes Award for Best Play or Musical Adaptation ( TAME.) and honorable mention for the 2016 ATHE Theory & Criticism Graduate Student Essay Contest. She will continue her doctoral studies at UMD TDPS in the fall as a Flagship Fellow.
PhD Graduates
Allan Davis is graduating with a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. His dissertation, “Organizing White Femininity through Amateur Theatre: Pageants, Residential Gardens, Department Stores, and the Drama League of America, 1912–1946,” examines how Anglo American women contributed to the racial formation of whiteness in the early twentieth century. By using gendered spaces like amateur theatre, white women gathered racialized things from their live and staged new racial identities. After graduation, Allan will relocate with his husband to Kansas City.  
Jeff Kaplan is graduating with a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. While at UMD, Kaplan has presented scholarship and/or performances at conferences in Barcelona, Stockholm, and Hamburg (this upcoming summer), as well as Minneapolis, Chicago, Baltimore, Palo Alto, and New York. In addition to his doctoral project, he has published articles in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism; Nordic Theater Journal; and has a forthcoming chapter in an anthology on dramaturgical adaptation. He has also expanded his repertory of solo dance-and-theater work, including "Gestures in the Shadows," based on the biblical Witch of En-dor; "Tense and Release," about the expression of time across languages; and "Involuntary Motion," a critique on United Nations categories of refugee status. Jeff will be starting a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of Dance and Theatre at Manhattanville College in New York in the fall.
Jess Krenek is graduating with her PhD in Theatre History & Performance Studies. Her dissertation project focused on female fans of professional wrestling, especially ideas about empowerment and representation in traditionally male hobbies and interests. While at UMD, Jess appeared in  Spring Awakening, directed for Second Season, and had her work appear in multiple Capital Fringe productions. She was recently hired as the College Park Scholars Administrative Coordinator after three years as a Graduate Assistant Director of Arts Scholars.
Emily Jane Warheit is graduating with a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. Her dissertation "Forum Theatre as Theatre for Development in East Africa" explores the use of interactive participatory theatre in global public health programs. She is a recipient of the James A. Harris Visionary Arts Scholarship and the Ann Wylie Dissertation fellowship. She is also active as a dramaturg, director, teaching artist, and consultant specializing in applied theatre and theatre for social change.
Jared Mezzocchi Wins Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Projection Design

Congratulations to Professor  Jared Mezzocchi on winning the  Lucille Lortel award for Outstanding Projection Design for his work on Vietgone! This was the first year that projection design was recognized as a category, in 32 years of Lucille Lortel awards.

Go, Jared!

  Jared with Keegan Michael Key (left).
Gabrielle Welsh is a Finalist for a 2017 University Medal

Gabrielle has been selected as one of six finalists for the 2017 University Medal, which recognizes the most outstanding graduate of the year. According to the selection committee, Gabrielle has “a superb record of academic distinction, extraordinary character, and significant extracurricular contributions to the University and the larger public.”

Paige Hernandez ‘02 featured in Terp Magazine

"She’s developing 'Clove,' a piece that will premiere next spring at UMD. Based on interviews and conversations with current students, 'Clove' will explore the nature of home, community and belonging. 'A clove is the perfect metaphor for community,' says Hernandez. 'A clove of garlic, for example, is part of a whole, but when you pull it apart, is it different? Is it just as intense if it doesn’t have all its parts together?'"

Shuping Yang to Speak at UMD’s University-wide Commencement

Congratulations to Shuping Yang (BA Theatre and Psychology ‘17) on being selected as one of two student speakers for the University-wide UMD Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21! 

Dr. Jeff Kaplan Hired as Assistant Professor in Dance and Theatre at Manhattanville College in New York

After graduating with his PhD this Spring, Jeff Kaplan will start a position as Assistant Professor in Dance and Theatre at Manhattanville College in New York in the fall.

Congratulations, Dr. Kaplan!

Professor Esther Kim Lee on NPR podcast Code Switch on Miss Saigon

Professor Esther Kim Lee is featured on the May 10 episode of NPR podcast Code Switch, entitled "The Blessing (And Curse?) Of Miss Saigon."  In the episode, Esther provides historical context for controversies surrounding yellowface performance in Miss Saigon.

Orange Grove Dance’s One Mile Radius Project reviewed by Dance Metro DC

Dance Metro DC reviewed The One Mile Radius Project by Orange Grove Dance ( Matt Reeves and Colette Krogol). The performance was presented by The Clarice’s NextLOOK series at Joe’s Movement Emporium and in the neighborhood of Mount Rainier, MD.

  Have you recently received an exciting opportunity, award, or accolade?
Please email

  • Momentum Dance Theatre is hiring a Technical Director, Lighting Designer, and Light Board Operator for their spring show, Alice, at the Logan Theatre of the Capital Fringe, May 19-21. Applicants must be comfortable working with children (mostly child cast). If interested, contact the company at or 202-744-6430.

  • Check out upcoming events and classes at Dance Place, a dance theater and community center in Washington, D.C! Student drop-ins are all $13 and use the discount code STUDY20 for 20% any of performance tickets through August. You can see their full season of performances here and read more about upcoming classes on their flyer.

  • Center Stage is hiring a Marketing & Communications Intern for the summer. This intern will assist in the day-to-day activities of the department and a variety of special and ongoing projects.  Applicants should possess excellent writing and editing skills, strong organizational and time management skills, have some experience in marketing and/or communications, and a strong interest in marketing for the performing arts. To apply, send your resume, cover letter, two references, and two writing samples to or by mail to 700 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD  21202

  • Mad Science of Washington is looking for performing arts student who are interested in extra money while honing their craft on the weekends. Mad Science customarily books between five and ten birthday parties every weekend in the Washington, DC area and pay between $50-$100 per one hour program. Must have a car. Email Will Naron at for more information.

  • Arena Stage is looking for undegrad and grad students, or career changers to apply for their Marketing and Media Relations Fellowship. This is a full season, full-time position (September - May) with a $300 weekly stipend. Candidates are not required to have a degree in Theatre, but only a love for the arts. Interested applicants can email Sean-Maurice Lynch at

  • Paid summer internship opportunity with Dance Omi! This internship is an opportunity to meet dance artists from all over the world, support their work, and learn about artist residencies and administration, all in a beautiful setting two and a half hours north of New York City. For more information on this internship, click here.

  • WSC Avant Bard is currently recruiting paid house managers fortheir production of King Lear, running from May 25th through June 25th at Gunston Arts Center in Arlington, VA. For more information, including a detailed calendar of open shifts, please email Quill Nebeker ( with a resume detailing past theatrical experience, especially any experience in box office or front of house.
  Have an opportunity you want to share?
Please email
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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