We made it! Happy end of semester!
Monday, December 9, 2019

We made it to the end of the semester! 🎉

Please join us for winter commencement on Wednesday, December 18 at 9:30AM in the Kogod. Congratulations to all of our graduates! We hope you'll keep in touch with us.

Don't forget that TDPS is hosting the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) from January 14-18. If you are interesting in being involved in the festival, check out their website or talk to Professor Scot Reese for more details.

The TDPS newsletter will be taking a break along with you all over the next few weeks. We'll return in January when the spring semester starts up.

Have a wonderful, restful winter break. See you in the new year!
  In this newsletter:

  • Upcoming events
  • Feature stories
  • News
  • Opportunities

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Are you a TDPS student, faculty member, or staff member? Show us what a week in your life at TDPS looks like!

If interested, contact Kate at tdpsmarketing@umd.edu .
Upcoming events
Winter Commencement
Wednesday, December 18, 9:30AM
Kogod Theatre

Join us in celebrating our latest graduates at winter commencement on Wednesday, December 18 in the Kogod.

Graduates—we are proud of your hard work and look forward to seeing what you do next.

There will be treats after the ceremony!
Photo credit: David Andrews
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF)
January 14-18, 2020
The Clarice

Join us for KCACTF 2020! The festival offers student opportunities in acting, directing, playwriting, devised theatre, dramaturgy, and more. Check out their website to find out about student volunteer opportunities to receive major discounts on registration.
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Recent events
Second Season
Congrats to all the students involved in our two most recent Second Season productions! Second Season is a series of all-student produced work that includes original and adapted theatre, dance, and music. All cast and crew members—from performers, directors, and choreographers to designers, stage managers, and marketing managers—are undergraduate or graduate students.
"Breath, Boom" by Kia Corthron; directed by Jasmine Mitchell; costumes by Hana Huie, fight choreography by Anthony Barnes II, lighting by Ilana Simon, scenic design by Mary Beckely, props by Ryan Coia, projections by Ghazal Bazargan, movement direction by Kevin Romeo Ortiz, sound design by Denisse Peñaflor, and stage management by Beth Rendely.
"Revolt" written and directed by Walker Green; musical direction by Liezel Werner, choreography by Kevin Romeo Ortiz, vocal coaching by Allie Pecoraro, dance captain Katie Hindenach, projections by Sergio Bastos, props by Ryan Coia, costumes by Victoria Scherini, lighting by Ilana Simon, and stage management by Beth Rendely.
"Soundtrack" by Diallo Adams; directed by Jasmine Mitchell, choreography by Nana Edu, lighting by Kelsey Diggs, and costumes by Hana Huie.
"Triumph of Horus" translated by W.H. Fairman; adapted, directed, and dramaturged by Allison Hedges assistant direction by Fraser Morris Stevens, technical direction and sound design by Christen Mandracchia, costumes and props by Kira Peck and Madeline Redding, lighting by Kelsey Diggs, fight choreography by Tara Demmy and additional choreography by Kevin Romeo Ortiz.
Photo credit: David Andrews
Feature stories
Off the Wall: Students Bring Historical Figures to Life at Portrait Gallery

By Sala Levin ‘10

“The Measure of Our Lives” is a partnership between associate professor Leslie Felbain’s class in character development and the Smithsonian Institution's Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. 

In this class, students learn the centrality of research while still looking to the art for guidance. Felbain explains, “If you keep staring at your portraits, you will become them.”

Re ad the full story here.
Photo credit: Geoff Sheil
A Curious Incident

By Jessica Weiss ‘05

Assistant professor Jared Mezzocchi is co-director and projection designer for the current production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at Round House Theatre. He worked with a team of UMD alumni and students on this innovative and inspiring production: Paige Hathaway (MFA Design ‘14, set design), Deb Sivigny (MFA Design ‘04, costume design), Orange Grove Dance's Matt Reeves and Colette Krogol (MFA Dance ‘17, choreography), and Taylor Verrett (MFA Design ‘22, assistant project design).

Read the story here. The Washington Post also published two articles about the production, here and here. Congrats to the whole team!

CURIOUS INCIDENT runs until December 22, so get your tickets now!
Photo credit: C. Stanley Photography
"Daughters of Lorraine," a podcast by grad students Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey, features reviews of Black theatre productions and conversations about Black theatre in the United States. Listen here .
  • PhD student Jared Strange was recently hired as the dramaturg for National Theatre’s High School Ticket Program. In this job, he prepares study packets and conducts talkbacks for high school students for this season’s productions. The program collaborates with organizations such as Young Playwrights’ Theater and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

  • Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Visit, presented earlier this semester, on earning two certificates of merit from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Director Brian MacDevitt and assistant director Fraser Stevens received a certificate for directing and the entire ensemble received a certificate for ensemble work.

  • TDPS is on the interwebs! We have two TDPS-related podcasts to share with you:

- PhD students Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey have created a new podcast called “ Daughters of Lorraine ,” available on HowlRound Theatre Commons. The podcast features reviews of Black theatre productions, current national conversations around, within, and about Black theatre, academic discussions concerning Black theatre, recommendations on Black theatre scripts, and interviews with Black theatre artists.

- BA Dance alum Jonathan Hsu ‘15 has a new podcast with Kathryn Butler called “ Still in Motion ” about all things related to dance photography and capturing movement.
TDPS Opportunities
  • New Vital Theatre with assistant professor Jennifer Barclay. Winter term: January 2-22, 2020. An ONLINE 3-week, 3-credit analytical and creative course. "New Vital Theatre" is for aspiring theatre-makers who want to be on the vanguard of explosive, fresh, ground-breaking, and inclusive theatre. We will read brand new plays from the U.S., England, Ireland, and Canada; plays which challenge assumptions about storytelling, bring under-represented voices to the forefront, and reimagine how to interact with our audience in the ritual of live performance. You will analyze these plays as practitioners (playwrights, directors, actors, designers, dramaturgs), and will be challenged to create your own ideas for dreaming forward the art of theatre. Course work will include discussion boards, creative writing exercises, and analytical essays, and you can do the work on your own schedule. Our class vocabulary will be centered around the ideas laid forward by the new, industry-shaking book Theatre of the Unimpressed by Jordan Tannahil. See the flyer for more info.
  • We are happy to offer the TDPS Board of Visitors Student Award for both undergraduate and graduate students for Summer 2020. Applications are due December 13. This prestigious merit award is available for undergraduate and graduate Dance and Theatre majors and may be used to fund projects supporting career training, study abroad, research projects, unpaid internships, etc. during Summer 2020. Please see attached for guidelines, deadlines, and the application form.
Additional Opportunities
  • NEW Student opportunities at KCACTF - January 2019 This January, TDPS will be hosting the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival — a huge honor. If you are in the area, you should make it a priority to attend this unique opportunity. There are workshops, symposiums, panels, etc. for every aspect of theatre, and there will be performances each evening in the Kay Theatre. Additionally, it is a great networking opportunity and you will meet students from other universities. And if you volunteer, you get to participate in the festival at a major discount! Please contact Scot Reese at sreese@umd.edu if you have any questions. See the flyer for more info.

  • NEW Maryland Lyric Opera is seeking two male supernumeraries for their production of Massanet’s Thais this January. The schedule will be from January 8 to February 1. If interested, email Kyle Schick (kschick@marylandlyricopera.org) for more details. Applications will include a resume, headshot, and full length shot (if possible).

  • NEW The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is seeking actors for the spring 2020 student matinee production of Romeo and Juliet. Over 9,000 middle, high, and homeschool students from the mid-Atlantic region will attend one of ~34 performances in the spring of 2020. Auditions are in December and rehearsals begin in February. Performances are most weekday mornings in March and April. Minimum payment is $3350 ($275 per week of rehearsal; $75 per performance); housing not provided. For more specific information about auditions and roles available, visit their website.

  • NEW Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA is looking to expand their carpentry and rigging overhire labor pool by reaching out to area colleges. Please contact Tim Jarmon (tim.jarmon@sigtheatre.org) if you are interested in joining their overhire crews for load-ins.

  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is launching their Bruce E. Coyle Acting Internship Program for the 2020-2021 season. For questions about the program or audition process, please contact Education Associate Producer Rebecca Armstrong at rebecca.armstrong@cincyplay.com. More information about the internship program can be found on their website

  • The Shakespeare Theatre Company is seeking part-time Assistant House Managers. Under the direction of the Theatre Services Manager, this position serves as a key member in welcoming our patrons to the theatre and ensuring their safety. Responsibilities for this entry-level position include training ushers, greeting and seating patrons, and maintaining a high level of customer care and safety under the direction of the Lead House Managers. Must be available for at least two shifts per week, including nights and weekends. Apply on their website or send a cover letter, resume, and references to employment@shakespearetheatre.org.
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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 Aurelia Spanos, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Krissy Aurelia Harris, Graduate Assistant