Flyin' West opened this past weekend!
Monday, November 4, 2019

This weekend we opened Flyin' West (running until November 9) and the Madden Dance Project will take place the weekend of November 15. Don't miss these last two Main Season productions of the Fall semester! Check out photos from Flyin' West below.

We have two TDPS award opportunities available right now: the annual Jim Henson Award for Puppetry and the second annual TDPS Board of Visitors Student Award. Check out the details below—applications are due in December!
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Flyin' West
By Pearl Cleage
Directed by Scot Reese and Alvin Mayes
Fannie (Gabrielle Allen ’21) and Sophie (Miranda Hall ’20) receive a letter at their home in Nicodemus, Kansas.
Sophie, Fannie and Wil (Elijah Williams ’21) wait for Minnie and Frank at the train station.
Frank (Kyle Starling ’20) and Minnie (Aliyah Jackson ’21) arrive in style at the Nicodemus train station.
Miss Leah (Gislaine Hoyah ’20) lovingly braids Minnie’s hair.
The family gathers around the table for a meal.
Scenic design by Jack Golden (MFA Design ’21), costume design by Channing Tucker (MFA Design ’21) and lighting design by Michael Winston (MFA Design ’21).

Photos by David Andrews.
Upcoming events
Flyin' West
November 1-9
Kogod Theatre

Written by Pearl Cleage
Scot Reese, director
Alvin Mayes, director

Set in 1898, Flyin’ West is the vivid and spirited story of African American women pioneers who settle together in the all-black town of Nicodemus, KS. After emancipation, the play’s four women have taken advantage of the Homestead Act to leave the oppressive South in hopes of finding the freedom that had been denied to them for so long. Cleage’s work explores themes of determination, racial pride, intermarriage and the power of love to highlight the female empowerment that she sees as vital to the African American community.

Kreativity Open Mic Night

November 8, 7:30PM
Cafritz Foundation Theatre
Free, no tickets required

Join the Kreators of the Kreativity Diversity Troupe for an open mic night, full of music, dance and spoken word. Want to try out your own performance chops? Show up and sign up! Just looking for a night of entertainment from some of the most talented students in the metro area? Simply take a seat and enjoy the show. For more information click here.

...and, check out Kreativity's

End of Semester Show
November 20, 7PM
Dance Theatre
Free, no tickets required

For more information, click here.

Interested in learning more about Kreativity? Email  and  like them on Facebook !
IPCCR Presentation:
Professor Dan Conway

November 19, 2:30PM
TDPS Conference Room 2804

Please join us on Tuesday, November 19 for a presentation by Professor Dan Conway. He will be talking about his trip to the Prague Quadrennial this past June on a grant from the International Program for Creative Collaboration & Research (IPCCR). Professor Conway's scenic design for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's production of Macbeth was chosen to represent the United States as a featured design exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial (PQ) in June 2019. The design was chosen from hundreds of design applications, and he was one of five American featured set designers at the PQ. For more information, check out this feature Q&A about his trip.
Madden Dance Project
November 15-17
Dance Theatre

untitled sad piece by elephant JANE dance
Heidi Henderson, choreographer

untitled sad piece examines small sadnesses, those moments when we allow ourselves to not be chipper. In reiterative solos and tender duets, the dancers of elephant JANE dance see into each other's eyes and touch, sweat and galumph. The movement is effortful. These dances are real— messy, emotional, highly structured, single-minded, fluid, quiet and virtuosic.

Burnish (Magenta #08) by BANDportier
Kendra Portier, choreographer

Burnish (Magenta #08) renders the magical phenomenon of magenta into live performance. Unlike other colors, magenta does not have a wavelength and is only perceived as such because of the absence of green waves of light. In this way, magenta is a metaphor for what is experienced through absence.

Second Season:
"Breath, Boom" and "Revolt"

November 22-24
Various locations at The Clarice

"Breath, Boom"
Written by Kia Corthron
Directed by Jasmine Mitchell
This impressionistic, episodic play by UMD alumna Kia Corthron creates a voice for Black women in today’s society, portraying them as multidimensional, empowered and demanding of respect. Rather than seeing them thrive unrealistically against all odds, we see them crack and break, ultimately supporting each other to build agency and resistance.
Written & Directed by Walker Green
Music Direction by Liezel Werner
Revolt is a monologue-based historical play that pays homage to young activists, protestors and revolutionaries who were harmed or killed for their activism. A mosaic of stories represents the perspectives of youth who were involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict, resistance to Nazi Germany, the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, Mississippi’s Civil Rights movement and more. This play encourages political activism among students and meaningful engagement in today’s politics.

Monica Bill Barnes: Happy Hour
November 21 & 22
MilkBoy ArtHouse

A dance show turned into an after-work office party. Come for the free drink, stay for the hope of a life-changing experience. Monica Bill Barnes and company insert dance into unusual contexts, moving as fluidly on the world’s largest stages as in an art museum or at the fictional after-work party of “Happy Hour.”

“Like all good happy hours, this one has plentiful munchies and libations. And like the best ones, it offers abundant laughter.” —The New York Times

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Feature stories
Theatre major Denisse Peñaflor ’20 challenges herself through on campus opportunities and D.C. internships

“TDPS is great in that they allow us to try everything and anything as long as we ask,” she said. “It’s up to us to say ‘Hey, I would like to learn to do this.’” 

Read the full story here .

Photo by David Andrews
Playwriting professor
Jennifer Barclay helps launch District Dramatists

Congratulations to TDPS playwriting professor Jennifer Barclay on working with playwright Tim Lord and the Kennedy Center's Gregg Henry to launch a new DC-based playwright resource group called District Dramatists.

Their group aims to be inclusive of playwrights at all stages of their careers, and will provide opportunities for development, education and community building. Their goal is to strengthen the visibility of the playwriting community in the DMV area, both locally and nationally.

Last week they held their kick off meeting, and 42 playwrights and theater artists gathered together at the Kennedy Center, including many TDPS alumni: Liz Maestri, Brett Abelman, Whitney Geohagan, Natalie Ann Valentine Piegari, April Monu, Molly Boyle, and Agyeiwaa Asante.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Barclay.
  • MFA Design candidate Lauren Gallup was selected for ETC’s 2019 Fred Foster Student Mentorship Program. Recognizing the importance of mentorship in any lighting professional’s career, ETC has sponsored students at the annual Lighting Design International (LDI) conference for the past twenty years. Each mentee is paired with a mentor and receives a trip to Las Vegas with a full LDI conference pass.

  • Interested in joining The Clarice Production’s Facebook page? Join here to receive updates and find out what’s going on with our building’s production team.
TDPS Opportunities
  • Annual Jim Henson Award for Puppetry applications are due Monday, December 2 by 5pm via email to Susan Miller at The Jim Henson Fund for Puppetry was established by 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. You may not be awarded the Henson Award for two consecutive years. Application for the award includes the name of the project, an abstract, a detailed written concept, your intended audience, and an itemized budget. Current projects or already-made items are not eligible. There will be a 30-minute performance/presentation showcase for each project awarded during the Spring 2020 semester in the Cafritz Theatre. A tech rehearsal will be scheduled for the day before the performance/presentation. Guidelines and application info here.
  • NEW 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 Shakespeare Opera Theatre is seeking an entry-level assistant stage manager. ASM is hired per show, generally one month of commitment per show. Small stipend will be paid. Shakespeare Opera Theatre is in The Plains, VA and they produce four shows per year. Please email with your experience so far, or what makes you want to learn about the wonderful world of stage management. Visit for more information.  

  • Nu Sass is seeking stage managers for their upcoming season. They are a theatre group that works to support marginalized genders in the arts in DC, and they will be committing to The Jubilee in 2020-2021. Check out the attached information and email if interested.

  • Applications are now open for the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant For Queer Women(+) Dance Artists. This $10,000 grant is awarded to US-based artists for making cutting-edge dance and movement-based performance work. Queer|Art strongly encourages self-identified women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary artists to apply. Named in honor of visionary dance curator, critic, and educator Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the grant is administered through Queer|Art by a panel of queer women and nonbinary judges and seeks to highlight the important contributions queer women and nonbinary artists have made to dance throughout history. Applications close November 10. Learn more and apply here.
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