Little Shop of Horrors opens next week on October 5!
September 24, 2018
Our first production of the academic year, Little Shop of Horrors , opens next week on October 5! Make sure to get your tickets now and support our amazing School.

Congratulations to the many students, faculty, and staff who participated in The Triumph of Isabella Experience , the inaugural production of the International Program for Creative Collaboration & Research (IPCCR), directed by Professor Frank Hildy. This project is a collaboration between TDPS, the School of Music, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

We filled The Clarice with the sights and sounds of the 17th century Ommegang, featuring a multimedia presentation by street theater specialist Dr. Susan Haedicke, an immersive experience in which paintings came to life through high-tech animation by our graduate students, and exciting performances by TDPS and School of Music students and alumni. If you missed this multimedia immersive experience, make sure to check out The Triumph of Isabella exhibition at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, on until May 2019.
The Triumph of Isabella Experience - photos by Nicky Everette and Renee Gerardo
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TDPS grieves the loss of Doug Lawler,
accompanist, music director, friend, and collaborator
It is with a heavy heart that the UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies is grieving the loss of Doug Lawler, our wonderful friend, collaborator, teacher, accompanist, music director and mentor.

We were lucky to have had Doug for our last musical The Wild Party . Doug reduced and arranged the score from full orchestra to single piano and drums. The sound he created was more beautiful than the full orchestra version. You heard Doug in every song and lyric. Doug treated the students as professionals and they rose to the occasion. Some of our favorite memories are from musical theatre classes in the Cafritz. He created a safe space for each student to do their best work and if a student was having a hard time they were sent to “Club Doug.” Club Doug was the place where you would go and sing with just Doug, the piano and a cabaret stool. The rest of the class disappeared as the warmth and love of Doug made it the safest place on the planet to perform. The class would sit in awe as students who had struggled with a song magically transformed into a seasoned performer before our very eyes. That was the special talent of Doug - getting the best out of every student - with love and compassion - reminding them of why they love to perform - and sometimes tears would follow. Other memories were performing our musical theatre showcase with Doug at the Kennedy Center, afternoon Applause Cabarets, Maryland Day and master classes with the likes of everyone from Adam Lippa to Alan Cumming. Where students might be thrown singing in front of these celebrities and venues - Doug had done so much professional work - that his ease and professionalism rubbed off on the students. Doug made the students shine like they’d been on Broadway for years. No nerves - just the joy of performing.

Because of Doug and his teaching, many students entered the professional arena right out of school - winning awards and going on to successful careers. After graduation many a student would tell me their audition went well because Doug was there playing with them and for them - just like class. And since Doug played in the pit of most of the orchestras in town - students would always delight in seeing Doug do professionally what he was teaching in class - always the sign of a true teacher.

The mark Doug has left is a great one and because of that his music will always be a part of each and everyone he knew. This is devastating to all of us and it’s a great loss. Doug was such a kindhearted, generous person and our students especially were all recipients of his kindness and generosity. I hope that everyone will be comforted by the memories we share and continually think of Doug and keep him in our hearts.

With love and sadness,
Professor Scot Reese & the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
Upcoming Events
Little Shop of Horrors
October 5-12, 2018
Kay Theatre

This classic sci-fi musical comedy packs a gleefully witty Motown/pop-rock score from the creative team behind Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and more.

Get tickets here .
Fall MFA Dance Thesis Concert
October 12 & 14, 2018
Kogod Theatre

dwelling by Stacey Carlson
This multidisciplinary work explores the myriad subtleties of dwelling. What implicit meaning does the word suggest? Internal versus external, shadow against light, our perspective versus what we perceive. Spaces near and far, up and down, seen and unseen. The choreography uniquely intertwines dance with puppetry, projections, aerial arts and other mysterious elements.

Hamlet by Christine Hands
If Shakespeare’s Hamlet had existed in a dystopian, futuristic world, would things have turned out differently? This work of highly physical dance theater, set against fresh sci-fi-inspired design, takes on the timeless tragedy. The emotionally evocative, soul-rending choreography explores the characters’ duplicity and basic truths about the human experience, while inviting the audience to come to their own conclusions.

Get tickets here .
UTAS Town Halls in Fall 2018

Mark your calendars!

UTAS will be holding two more town halls this semester on October 15 and November 19 at 12PM in Mulitz-Gudelsky Rehearsal Room (3730).

EVERY BODY is invited! Please come, bring your lunch, listen, and contribute to the conversation.
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Feature Story
Professor Mitchell Hébert , PhD student Jonelle Walker , and a cast and creative team largely composed of of UMD TDPS students and alumni will open Illyria, or What You Will at Avant Bard in October.

“Jonelle Walker’s feminist revisioning of The Taming of the Shrew, TAME , received a Helen Hayes nomination and Mitchell Hébert, recipient of Helen Hayes Awards for both acting and directing, teaches at the University of Maryland. The Illyria cast and creative team are made of many UMD alumni." Read more about the production here .

Illyria, or What You Will begins previews October 18, 2018, and runs through November 18. Performances are at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Tickets available here .
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  • Susan Miller received the Staff Service Award for Service to the Department at this semester's ARHU Convocation! We all love you, Susan!
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  • The team of Second Season's hell is a bubble tea shop by Hana Huie is seeking sound, scenic, and costume designers. Contact Jasmine Mitchell at for more information.

  • Swing Gate Creative Group is seeking comedic actors for short video piece. Contact Brenda Celdran for more information.

  • City of Rockville Recreation & Parks Department is hiring a program specialist to support local artists, cultural activities, and community events.

  • VT (Vincent Thomas) Dance is seeking 8-10 community dancers to be part of the upcoming performances of What's Going On at Joe's Movement Emporium in October and November. Check out the details here.

  • Need music transposition, creation, or arrangement for an audition or performance? Beth Rendely offers music arrangement and transposition services. Check out her flyer here.

  • Did you know that Round House Theatre has expanded their Free Play ticketing program to include college students? Book seats and find out more about the program here.
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Other Events
Measure for Measure by Cheek by Jowl and Pushkin Theatre Moscow at the Kennedy Center
  • The Kennedy Center is presenting Cheek by Jowl and Pushkin Theater Moscow’s groundbreaking production of Measure for Measure in October. The collaboration between Pushkin Theater Moscow and Cheek by Jowl shines a unique light on the classic story and will be directed by Declan Donnellan and performed in Russian. Check out the flyer with a special promo code here.

  • Do you want to move with others with the guidance of a caller? Do you want to dance like Jane Austen? Would you like to participate in an activity where others extend a hand to you with a smile? Check out English Country Dance with the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. See a video of them in action here. For more information, email
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The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
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Kate Spanos, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications
Renee Gerardo, Graduate Assistant