Welcome back from spring break!
Monday, March 22, 2021

Welcome back from spring break! We are now in the sprint to the end of the semester, and we have lots going on. Check out all of our upcoming productions, symposia, and other events below.

Huge congratulations to everyone involved in "The Revolutionists," which was livestreamed on March 10 & 11. We were thrilled that playwright Lauren Gunderson joined us in the digital audience, and then tweeted about it! We also had lots of questions about how our team pulled off the incredible technology—check out this story that details the lighting design technology in particular.

Look back on the production with these amazing photos:
Directed by Leigh Wilson Smiley. Scenic design by Yi Lin Zhao, costume design by Madison Booth, lighting design by J. Mitchell Cronin, projection design by Zavier Taylor, sound design by Justin Johnson and vocals design by Sam Crawford. Photo credit: David Andrews.
 In this newsletter:

  • Upcoming events
  • Feature stories
  • News
  • Opportunities
Upcoming events
RESET at Woolly Mammoth

We are excited to share Woolly Mammoth's RESET, a new, free digital collection featuring historical resources, excerpts, and video performances. Curated by six Black cisgender women theater artists, scholars and activists, this collection highlights works historically overlooked by the Western canon.

Congratulations to the MANY TDPS folks involved in the curation and web design of this incredible project!

Visit the project here.
Tré Cotten masterclass
March 24, 10-11:30AM

Join TDPS' Voice for the Actor 1 class for a special masterclass with guest artist Tré Cotten, a voice and speech coach who was recently featured in the New York Times.

Cotten says of his work, "One of the most repressed things for Black people in this country has been our voice. Right now, we’re seeing if we can really find our voice, at this time, and this specific moment, to specifically tell this story — this beautiful thing — the way the [production] team wants it to be told.”

Cotten's virtual visit will take place on Wednesday, March 24 from 10-11:30AM. If you would like to participate or watch a recording afterwards, email Lisa Nathans at nathansl@umd.edu for details.
Black Theatre & Dance Symposium

Part II: March 26, 3-6PM

Join us virtually for the second part of our 2021 Black Theatre and Dance Symposium on Friday, March 26 from 3-6PM. The first part took place on Friday, February 12.

The 2021 Black Theatre and Dance Symposium (BTDS) will be a fresh experience for the virtual platform, with new topics, dynamic speakers and conversations and exciting workshops. Emphasizing the importance of artist-leaders, this symposium fosters dialogue and action among professionals, scholars and students as we convene to discuss, devise and actualize efforts to influence and expand inclusive practices, civility and social well-being in the performing arts and beyond.

More information on our website. Register for free tickets here.
Side Step: Graduate Dance Works

Streaming online
April 1, 7:30PM

Join us for an evening of new dance works filmed and choreographed by TDPS graduate students in dance. They will share twelve screendances for a one-night only virtual experience.

Register for free tickets here.
Rebels and Revels: A Virtual Symposium on the Theatre of the Middle East 

Symposium Dates: April 1, 8, 15, and 22 at 3PM
Performance Dates: April 19 and 21 at 7PM, April 20 at 5PM

Rebels and Revels: A Virtual Symposium on the Theatre of the Middle East is a public humanities event that explores through scholarship and performance how theatre in the Middle East is shaped in its diaspora, and how the artists navigate Middle Eastern theatre history in their creative processes.

See the full schedule and details on our website. Register for free here.
Spring Dance Concert
Patrik Widrig, director

Streaming online
May 7 & 8, 7:30PM

In this varied, vibrant and celebratory dance presentation, the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies offers new works of art in motion. The performance consists of a selection of undergraduate and graduate dance student choreography and works by artist-in-residence Marielis Wentworth Garcia and guest choreographer Chuck Wilt, artistic director of UNA Productions based on the west coast.

Register for free tickets here.
MFA Design Portfolio Review

May 18, all day

Please save the date to join us for our MFA Design Digital Portfolio Showcase!

At the end of each academic year, our MFA Design candidates present their design portfolios for review by faculty and local design professionals. This year, the portfolio review will take place on Zoom. Design portfolios include studio projects as well as fully realized academic and professional scenic, costume, lighting or projection designs.

More details about registration and the full schedule coming soon.
Have an event you want to share?
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Feature stories
Lighting the Digital Stage
With storytelling occuring in a virtual Zoom room instead of a shared theater space, UMD lighting designers get creative to convey emotion to audiences watching from their homes.

TDPS is harnessing innovative lighting technologies developed by a faculty and alumni duo for a fully digital production of Lauren Gunderson’s “The Revolutionists,” a raucous comedy juxtaposed against the somber background of the French Revolution that touches on themes of feminism and activism. Despite the fact that each actor, designer and production crew member is in physical isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is working to create a sense of shared space and intimacy through lighting.

Read the full story here.
“We are using new technology that enables us to control lighting remotely,” said Director and Associate Professor of Theatre Leigh Wilson Smiley. “This expands the possibilities for our school to produce high quality virtual theater.”
TDPS' Maya Brin Institute for New Performance announcement featured on ABC 7 News - WJLA
TDPS was featured on ABC 7 News - WJLA to talk about the generous gift from former UMD professors Michael and Eugenia Brin and the Brin Family Foundation. As we announced in the last newsletter, the gift will establish the Maya Brin Institute for New Performance.

See the full video segment here.
"We've honestly always been striving to experiment and to change what theater means and I feel like this gift is really going to help that mission," said theatre major Maria De Barros.
  • Associate professor Jared Mezzocchi wrote an article, "The Technological Theatre Experimenters," in Howlround about making theatre during the pandemic. In the essay, he calls for artists to think about the future of theatrical experimentation and storytelling in the digital age.

  • TDPS' marketing communications coordinator Kate Spanos will be offering a free interactive workshop in Irish dance, in partnership with the University of Maryland’s Global Communities Living-Learning Program and EducArte. Participants will learn about the history of Irish dance in Ireland and the United States, and how it contributes to the Irish diaspora community worldwide. Participants will also learn some basic Irish dance steps to celebrate March, the month of St. Patrick’s Day. Register for the free workshop here.

  • TDPS alum Sisi Reid's (BA Theatre '15) first Washington, DC regional theater commission as a playwright, "The Ice Adventures," premiered this month. Sisi is also part of the first Lo-Fi Language Learning's Arts 'n EFL Teacher Training, hosted by Lo-Fi Language Learning and sponsored by Partners of the Americas & the U.S. Department of State's Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund. She is getting a BridgeTEFL 120 Hour Master Certificate and learning how to incorporate hip hop into EFL classrooms. Keep up with Sisi's latest projects on her Instagram.
Have news you want to share?
Please email tdpsmarketing@umd.edu

  • NEW $1,780,000 in Grants for Black Artists provides a list of best grants for Black filmmakers, painters, game developers, dancers, designers, musicians, photographers, and artists of all kind. Subscribe for Artizen updates and see the full list of opportunities here.

  • NEW The Joffrey Ballet School is offering 2021 summer internships (see the flyer above). Find out more on their website.

  • The NextLOOK program has announced this year's request for proposals for the 2021-22 season. Established in 2014 through a partnership between The Clarice and Joe’s Movement Emporium, NextLOOK supports the development of new music, plays, dance and other experiences by performing artists based in DC, Maryland, and Virginia who want to understand how their audiences can become a creative partner. See the call for proposals here; applications are due on Friday, March 26.

  • Studio Theatre has opened applications for next year's apprenticeship program. As a respected midsized theatre, Studio is both ambitious enough to provide invigorating programming and small enough to allow its apprentices unique access to the theatre’s artistic and administrative leadership. The work is rigorous and rewarding; apprentices have a full schedule, and work together with the staff to meet the demanding deadlines of the field. Night and weekend hours are sometimes required. Learn more about the apprenticeship program and apply here.
Have an opportunity you want to share?
Please email tdpsmarketing@umd.edu

 Do you have something you want to share with the TDPS community?
Email tdpsmarketing@umd.edu 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