A message from the Director and highlights from The Wild Party.
TDPS Newsletter
  Monday, November 14, 2016
A Message from the Director

Dear TDPS Community,

Excellence in the performing arts is synonymous with inclusivity and in-depth research that illuminates multidimensional expressions of being human. In the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies we reveal human stories through our embodied creative research in dance, performance, design, and critical scholarship.

The integrity of our research, teaching, and our work relies on clear and authentic communication. Yesterday, the day after the 2016 Presidential elections was a day of stunning despair for some, and validation for others. In the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, we invited all members of the community to a Town Hall where a safe space was created in which each individual’s unique relationship with the outcome of the election could be spoken.

The impact of this 2016 presidential election changes the conversation of this nation. This national shift does not change the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies’ mission or vision. Rather we must intensify our commitment to research that is inclusive of different gender, race, ability, economic background, sexuality, and point of view. As scholars, educators, staff, artists, and students, we must aim for even stronger ethical standards, acknowledge our biases, and work toward a fuller sense of who we are within the framework of the art and scholarship that we teach, learn, and express. Only then will we truly contribute to the the efforts towards mending the nation's deeply divisive wounds and the complex societal issues we encounter every day. We can no longer afford to look away.  Let us now work together to develop stronger bonds of acceptance of each other and ourselves and in doing so, strengthen our educational offerings.

Many students, faculty and staff in the days since the election have expressed their fears. I want to share with you that whatever your background, whatever your race, whatever your sexuality, whatever your gender, whatever your political leanings, you are a valued member of our School and your essence is what makes us strong and unique.  

Let us continue to talk, to hold Town Meetings (next meeting is 12:30 to 1:30 PM on Monday November 28 in the Choreography Studio – room 1611), and to affirm our commitment to embracing a multiplicity of ideas, cultures, and people in order to further our mission and our understanding of the human condition about which we create our art and scholarship.

I leave you with the words of the great Frederick Douglass:

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Those who profess to favor freedom

and yet deprecate agitation,

are men who want crops

without plowing up the ground,

they want the rain

without thunder and lightning.

They want the ocean

without the awful roar of its many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one,

and it may be both moral and physical,

but it must be a struggle.

Power concedes nothing without a demand.

It never did, and it never will.”


Leigh Wilson Smiley

  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)

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TDPS Events
Delta Chi Xi Honorary Dance Fraternity:
New Dances
November 17, 7:30pm
Dance Theatre

DCX presents an evening of original dances, created and produced by UMD student members.

Second Season:
Blood Memories: Women and Violence Repertory
November 18 & 19
Cafritz Foundation Theatre

An evening of original plays by MA candidates Jonelle Walker and Leticia Ridley that focus on women as victims and perpetrators of both systematic and physical violence, in the present as well as in the past.

Feature: Photos and Reviews of The Wild Party
Congratulations to the cast, crew, and production team of  The Wild Party! The show closed last Friday and enjoyed a sold out house. Check out some photos and reviews of the production below.
" ... The Wild Party  captivated me and left me thinking ....
Audience members won’t regret paying a visit to Queenie’s."
" The spoken word and rhyming couplets combined with some truly phenomenal vocals kept the musical engaging. Add a visually stunning set, and The Wild Party is a show you won’t want to miss."
  "' The idea of it is we didn’t just want to do another musical;
we wanted to do a musical that’s going to enhance the training and enhance the experiential elements for our students,' [Director Alvin] Mayes said."  - UMD Writer's Bloc

Photography credit: Stan Barouh
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Jobs & Auditions

  • There will be an improvisation workshop and informal audition for Jen Graham’s MFA Dance Thesis Concert on November 18 from 6-8:30pm in Dance Studio 2.

  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is recruiting for its 2017-2018 acting internship program. The program includes professional performance opportunities and training. More information and application details available here.

  • Lean & Hungry Theater is now hiring production positions for King Lear: production manager; stage manager; asstistant stage manager; and lighting, set, and costume designers. Rehearsal begins March 6; tech begins March 27; performances run through 4/24. Dates and application info are available here.
Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants & Competitions 
  • Undergraduate students: Applications for the Academic Achievement Programs' Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program are open! The program is designed to prepare high academic achievers from traditionally underrepresented groups to matriculate into graduate programs & earn doctoral or terminal degrees. Apply online; applications due January 8.

  • Undergraduate students: The Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research's 2017 Maryland Summer Scholars Program (MSS) is offering awards of $3,000 to approximately 25 undergraduate students conducting summer research. Application are due February 8. More information is available here.

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Other Upcoming Events
  • Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center will host an event on November 18th at 6pm for their newest exhibit. Through Their Eyes, which features artwork from Suitland and Northwestern High School graduates. Check out the flyer for more information.

  • The Arts and Humanities Staff Council is collecting gifts and personal items for the families at the Shepherd's Cove Shelter. Donations will be collected at  campus locations until November 30. Items purchased from the Council's Amazon Wish List should be delivered directly to the shelter by December 5. More details available on the initiative's 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
Jonelle Walker, Graduate Assistant