Congratulations to our graduates and have a great summer!
Monday, May 20, 2019

This is our last TDPS newsletter of the 2018-2019 academic year! We'd like to congratulate all of our students, faculty, and staff on a successful year of productions, research, and learning. Special congratulations to our undergraduate and graduate students who will graduate at our commencement ceremony this Thursday, May 23.

We are finishing up the year with a slew of stories featuring the incredible work of our students. Check out the features below about Dance major Angad Kalsi's piece for UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert, Theatre major Samara Brown's work in our Puppet Cinema class, and the recipients of our first TDPS Board of Visitors Student Awards. Also check out the photos from our recent UMoves concert and MFA Design Portfolio Review.

We wish you a wonderful, relaxing summer!
  In this newsletter:

  • Upcoming and Recent Events
  • Featured Stories
  • Graduating graduate student profiles
  • Opportunities

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Upcoming and Recent Events
Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Our Spring 2019 commencement ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 23 at 10am in the Kay Theatre at The Clarice. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Kogod Theatre.

Please come celebrate our graduates with us!
UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert

May 10-12 / The Clarice / Photos by David Andrews
MFA Design Portfolio Review

May 13 / Studio Theatre / Photos by David Andrews
Featured Stories
Dance and design
coalesce in “UMoves” concert
The "UMoves" dance concert preps undergraduates for professional dance world. Find out more about senior Dance major Angad Kalsi's original piece "-tion" and his collaboration with junior Theatre major Jasmine Mitchell (costumes), junior Dance major Sydney Lemelin and MFA Design candidate Jacob Hughes (projections), MFA Design candidate Chris Brusberg (lighting), and MFA Dance candidate Ama Law (graduate mentor).

Read the full story here.

Photos by David Andrews
Samara Brown / photo by David Andrews
Samara Brown '19 finds
inspiration in everyday objects
Samara Brown '19 looks to puppetry to tell stories both silly and inspiring. Learn more about how Samara and her classmates are bringing inanimate objects to life in Puppet Cinema: When Film & Puppetry Meet on Stage, a class co-taught by Zvi Sahar and Leslie Strongwater.

Read the full story here.
Jasmine Mitchell and John C. Ford
Sophia Mattison and John C. Ford
First TDPS Board of Visitors Student Awards announced
We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the first TDPS Board of Visitors Student Awards! Third-year Dance major Gabriela Grant, third-year Theatre major Sophia Mattison and third-year Theatre major Jasmine Mitchell received this year's awards.

The Board of Visitors Student Award was established by the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies Board of Visitors in 2018. Sophomores and juniors with good academic standing are eligible to apply for the merit-based award to fund projects supporting career training and choices in the performing arts or entertainment industries.

Read more about the awards and recipients here.
Gabriela Grant and John C. Ford
Graduating graduate student profiles
Congratulations to our graduating graduate students! We are proud of all the work you have done here at TDPS and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
Kristen P Ahern - MFA Design (Costumes)

Kristen P Ahern has an enthusiasm for teaching people about history, cultures, and each other through her work, while building a stronger foundation for environmentally and socially conscious art. She’s collaborated and designed clothes for many UMD and local productions. Most recently, she highlighted her love of research, upcycling and authenticity in her thesis project, Street Scene . Next, Kristen is excited to return to Monumental Theatre and Imagination Stage for second productions with both companies.
Olivia Brann - MA Theatre & Performance Studies

Olivia Brann’s research focuses on puppetry studies surrounding the theories of Edward Gordon Craig and the works of Jim Henson. She was a recipient of the Jim Henson Award for Puppetry and has received an apprenticeship with Bread & Puppet Theatre where she will be spending the rest of Spring in Vermont focusing on puppetry construction and manipulation. Afterwards, Olivia will be working in China with the Zaifen Huangmei Opera Arts Company for the summer. She will be relocating to Los Angeles in the fall with a job in film production. 
Chris Brusberg - MFA Design (Lighting)

Christopher Brusberg has designed several shows, including TDPS’s The Amish Project and Hamlet Replayed , ambiguous gaps , Hamlet , and dwelling , and Maryland Opera Studio’s Dialogues of the Carmelites , Zaubernacht & Mahagonny Spiel . During his time at UMD, Chris was able to create and teach a class called Opera & Stage Design which looks at designing for opera through the lens of Opera History. Chris focused his thesis on looking at a designers large conversation with Style and Aesthetics. 
Stacey Carlson - MFA Dance

Stacey Carlson received a grant from STREB GO! Commissioning Project that will be performed this June in New York City. During her tenure at UMD TDPS, she deepened her movement and scholarly research in dance, circus, and puppetry and will continue to do so after graduation.
Paul Deziel - MFA Design (Projections)

Paul Deziel designed Prometheus Unbound , Love & Information , Akwantuo: The Plight of the Immigrant , Clove , The Triumph of Isabella , Hamlet , dwelling , Zaubernacht & Mahagonny Songspiel here at The Clarice. During his tenure at UMD, Paul received two Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations for professional designs, travelled to London with the Triumph of Isabella exhibition, and slept on the grad pad floor at least once. Gross.
Jordan Ealey - MA Theatre & Performance Studies

Jordan Alexandria Ealey is proud to receive the Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies. Her research interests are in Black Girlhood Studies, Black Feminist Theory, and Musical Theatre. She successfully defended her MA Thesis, “Theorizing the Brave: Black Girlhood, Affect, and Performance in Kirsten Childs’s The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin .” In addition to her scholarly work, Jordan is also a playwright and is excited to pursue the PhD at UMD TDPS next year!
David Gregory - PhD Theatre & Performance Studies

David Gregory spent the past few years chasing musical theatre artists across Spain for his dissertation: “El Broadway in Spain: Musical Theatre, Cultural Transpositions, and Artistic Process.” He spent years performing, directing, and teaching while in the DC/Baltimore area. David continues to research the razzle dazzle of Broadway musicals abroad, having decided to stay in Europe with his partner and two boxers. He currently teaches in Spain while working for a theatre marketing agency in London – and continues to run the tapas restaurant he owns with his partner.
Christine Hands - MFA Dance

Christine Hands earned her BFA in Dance and her BA in English from the University of Iowa. Originally from Chicago, she has toured her choreography nationally and taught internationally. Christine spent her graduate career researching dance and access. With funding support from ARHU and IPCCR, she traveled to California and the United Kingdom to conduct research. She will be teaching dance in a charter school in New York City next fall.
Ama Law - MFA Dance

Teaching artist. Hip hop guardian. DMV representative. Ama Law is an African dancer at heart and a hip hop fusionist who loves to share her knowledge. Although teaching is her passion, she is a lifelong learner. She is a mother, lover and achiever who enjoys spending time with her family. She often teaches and performs with her husband Chris as Project ChArma. Post graduation plans include adjunct teaching at UMD and teaching, performing and developing the youth at Dance Place in D.C.
Peter Leibold VI - MFA Design (Lighting)

Peter Leibold VI has designed six mainstage shows at UMD including Shook , Eurydice , Little Shop of Horrors , and Street Scene . In town, he has assisted on shows at The Kennedy Center and Studio Theatre, as well as designed shows at Dance Place, Signature in the Schools, and The Kennedy Center.  Peter consistently works with Orange Grove Dance, Sierra Repertory Theatre, and Andy's Summer Playhouse. Here’s to continued work with fantastic collaborators.
Shawn Stone - MFA Dance

Shawn Stone is a contemplative artist rooted at the intersection of acrobatics, modern dance, visual art and meditation. Stone connects the mind and environment through his research of queerness and gender fluidity.  He is currently integrating his movement research of gymnastics, acrobatics, modern dance, and mindfulness at Physicality DC and will present his work at Joes Movement Emporium in the 2019/20 season.
Dylan Uremovich - MFA Design (Lighting)

Dylan Uremovich is completing his MFA with focusing on Lighting Design and Projections and Multimedia Design. At the University of Maryland, Dylan has designed 13 university productions as well as designing for several professional companies including Lumina Studio Theater, 4615 Theater, SJ Ewing & Dancers, Kalanidhi Dance, Imagination Stage, and Mosaic Theater Company. Dylan also taught multiple lighting design courses and created a course, Coding For Live Performance , integrating Java programming with live interactive design.

B. Benjamin Weigel - MFA Design (Costumes)

Benjamin Weigel has designed six productions at the University of Maryland, including The Schooling of Bento Bonchev , Eurydice , and Little Shop of Horrors for TDPS. He has also collaborated with the Maryland Opera Studio to design Dialogues of the Carmelites and Zaubernacht and Mahagonny Songspiel . Locally, he has assisted designers at Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Rep Stage, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and Arena Stage. Ben plans to continue to work in the D.C. area.
  Have news you want to share?
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  • NEW Bethesda Conservatory of Dance is seeking to teachers to work with dancers under 10 years of age. Candidates should be technically proficient in a variety of styles, have strong classroom management skills, and be willing to work with a strong team. Production development skills a plus. Administrative support tasks available for the right candidate. A minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and weekend availability a must. If interested, send a resume and cover letter to apply at

  • A new apartment community, Alloy by Alta, at 4700 Berwyn House Road, is looking for different artists to perform on every Friday night in May. They will have food trucks on site from 5-7pm and would love for you to showcase your talents as guests enjoy their meals. Stipend available to all performers. They are interested in any and all submissions, including: contemporary dance, improvisational dance, contemporary jazz combo to play sets, improv actors to engage with audience in a stand up comedy routine of sorts, a cappella performance group to sing, etc. Please submit all submissions to Cultural Development Manager of Alloy by Alta, Rachael Coad, at ASAP to be considered and book a Friday.

  • Joe’s Movement Emporium is seeking an experienced part-time Arts Educator Program Assistant. The position would assist in daily service delivery to 60-75 children ages 5-12 after school and during the summer. More information and application here.

  • The UMD Academic Achievement Program (AAP) is recruiting for a THET110 tutor for the Summer II semester. This position is paid. For more information, see the attached flyer and visit, or email Shakeena King at

  • College Park Academy Plus is seeking instructors who are interested in teaching in after-school programs during the 2019-2020 school year. Compensation commensurate with experience. For more information, see the attached flyer or email Bernitta Johnson at

  • Graduate film student at American University, Nicc Gadsden, is seeking actors for the three leading characters of his thesis film “Three Way,” a jazz film about three musically talented Baltimore youths. See the attached synopsis and character descriptions here. If interested, email

  • The Traveling Players Ensemble is seeking directors, designers, and teachers for their Summer Theatre Program in Washington, DC. Visit their website and read their flyer for more information.

  • Summer at Norwood, a camp based in Bethesda, MD, is looking for a theatre teacher to teach one or two theatre classes at camp from July 8-19. Classes are for 1st-4th graders (divided by age group), and teachers must have a degree from a college or university. More information about the camp can be found here.

  • CCA/Creative Cultural Alliance is launching their inaugural Summer Program. The program will provide week long intensives with Jan Fabre's and Anne Bogart's Companies. There is also a 20% tuition discount for a limited amount of applicants. For more information, visit the CCA Facebook page here.

  • Folger Shakespeare Library is seeking an assistant stage manager and lead house manager for its 2019/2020 season. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume on their website.

  • Capital Fringe is looking for staff and interns for a variety of positions for the 2019 Capital Fringe Festival from July 9-28. For more information, visit their website and check out their flyer.
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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
Renee Gerardo, Graduate Assistant