Have a wonderful and relaxing winter break!
Monday, December 21, 2020

We made it! Congratulations to everyone on getting through this tough semester. We could not have done it without the support of our fellow students, faculty, and staff.

Check out our feature story below to see how TDPS students have continued to #KeepCreatingUMD this semester. Students explored virtual performance, including video game design, short comedies, stop motion animation, dance for the camera, and video essays, in a course on the intersections of art and technology in virtual performance, taught by our new faculty members Sam Crawford and Marielis Garcia. Great work, everyone!

And special congratulations to our winter 2020 graduates! If you missed yesterday's Winter Commencement ceremony, you can watch it again at commencement.umd.edu. Check out the details below.

We hope you have a wonderful, healthy, and relaxing winter break! ❄️
 In this newsletter:

  • Upcoming and recent events
  • Feature stories
  • News
  • Opportunities
Upcoming events
Virtual Winter 2020 Commencement Ceremony

The university hosted a campus-wide virtual commencement ceremony yesterday, on Sunday, December 20. The ceremony included an official commencement address from three-time Olympian and Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes ’02. Degrees were officially conferred during this ceremony. You can watch it again by visiting commencement.umd.edu.

Immediately following the main campus-wide virtual commencement ceremony, the College of Arts and Humanities hosted a separate ceremony for ARHU graduates. To watch the ARHU ceremony again, click here.
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Feature stories
Creating Alternate Worlds Through Digital Performance

Theaters may be dark this year, but the virtual stage is illuminated with bright ideas from theatre and dance students in a new course exploring digital technologies in performance. 

Co-taught by new faculty members Sam Crawford, a sound and media technologies specialist, and Marielis Garcia, dance artist-in-residence, THET458B: “Exploring and Creating Virtual Performance” guides students through an exploration of virtual performance, including video game design, short comedies, stop motion animation, dance for the camera and video essays. Students have spent the semester developing a project around a concept of their choice and researching the digital technologies that will help them along the way.

“The project is meant to further their own exploration of digital performance,” said Crawford. “Everything is a choice, and students are encouraged to find their own aesthetic.”

Find out how students are creating new worlds through technology. Read the full story here.

  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Tara Demmy on being one of three recipients of the James F. Harris Arts and Humanities Visionary Scholarship from UMD’s College of Arts and Humanities!

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Apply for TDPS Awards

  • EXTENDED DEADLINE Applications for TDPS’ Annual Jim Henson Award for Puppetry are due on Tuesday, January 5. The Jim Henson Fund for Puppetry was established by the Jane Henson family to honor the memory of Jim Henson (1960), creator of the world famous Muppets. Up to 4 awards in the amount of $1,500 will be offered to undergraduate or graduate students in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies for the creation of a puppet project or performance. To apply, see the guidelines and email Susan Miller with your application at smille13@umd.edu by Tuesday, January 5.

  • EXTENDED DEADLINE The TDPS Board of Visitors Student Award is available to undergraduate and graduate students in theatre and dance and may be used to fund projects supporting career training, study abroad, research projects, unpaid internships, and more during the summer of 2021. Check out the guidelines, deadlines, and the application form and email Susan Miller at smille13@umd.edu with any questions. Deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 5.

  • The Clarice’s Queer Objects is an opportunity for students who are interested in music, sculpture, and/or LGBTQ+ to be involved with making sound sculptures to be apart of a score and set for "A Kind of Ache." This piece, commissioned by The Clarice, will premiere in Fall 2021. Living Earth Show, a collective of artists based in the Bay Area, is collaborating with composer Sarah Hennies and artist Terry Berlier to work with students on this project by giving prompts for the creation of sonic and/or sculptural elements to be worked on throughout the semester. These elements will be shipped to the artists and a 10-minute piece will be presented, using the contributed elements, in April, along with a public conversation that looks at issues in the LGBTQ+ community, including mental and physical health challenges, civil rights, and more. See flyer for more info.
  • Check out a new course offering next spring at UMD: Augmented Reality Design for Creatives and Coders, co-taught by theatre director and actor Jonathan David Martin, is seeking a healthy mix of students from both creative and technical backgrounds. IMDM498A: "Special Topics in Immersive Media; Augmented Reality Design for Creatives and Coders" is an upper level course for students with an interest in interactive media and performing arts. Find out more on Testudo.

  • Beyond the Stage Door, a new education initiative conceived, created, and sponsored by the team at Baseline Theatrical (Hamilton, freestyle love supreme, The Cher Show), offers the opportunity to learn Broadway theater management from working industry professionals in New York City without the financial burden. This immersive and educational four-week program, planned for June 2021, will provide five BIPOC students from across the US with round-trip tickets to NYC, housing, food stipends, transportation and subsidized theatre tickets as they study alongside industry leaders. This program gives students a deep dive into the management side of Broadway and will offer students the chance to learn from and develop long-lasting professional relationships with industry leaders in all areas of theatre including public relations, casting, marketing, directing and more. The inaugural application will tentatively be available in December 2020 and due by March 2021. Chosen applicants will be notified in April 2021. Get more information on their website.
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Kate Spanos, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Graduate Assistant