What's Now: February/March 2015

Here's an update on what The Clarice is up to in February and March!

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies has provocative works on tap for this winter.

Good Kids

Good Kids photo by John Consoli

Good Kids, written by Naomi Iizuka, opens on Friday, February 27, 2015 and is the first play of the Big Ten Theatre Consortium initiative, an arts research opportunity that came as a result of UMD’s recent membership in the Big Ten Athletic Conference.

The Big Ten Theatre Consortium is creating work to investigate concepts that can advance the art forms of theatre and playwriting. In order to directly impact the shortage of female playwrights in the U.S., the Consortium is commissioning, producing and publicizing a series of new plays by women.

Good Kids, the Consortium’s debut production, is based on the 2012 Steubenville rape case. The play explores a casual sexual encounter gone wrong, and its very public aftermath. Who is telling the truth? Whose version of the story do you believe? The play disarms the crippling power of silence that often follows rape, and contributes a voice to the current dialogue around rape and sexual violence on campuses everywhere.

The Consortium’s second play, Baltimore by Kirsten Greenidge, will be produced in 2015 – 2016 at the Big Ten universities, including UMD. Award-winning playwright Rebecca Gilman has agreed to write the Consortium’s play for the following year.

TDPS will explore another important current topic with its second annual Black Theatre Symposium on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Theatre professionals, scholars and students from across the Washington region will converge for a day-long dialogue at The Clarice intended to challenge assumptions about race and the future of black theatre.

Who are the exemplars of excellence in black theatre? Which institutions are successfully cultivating black theatre practitioners? How do we facilitate inclusion and diversity in the technical and administrative aspects of the field?

Symposium sessions will include panel discussions, workshops and a special performance of Seret Scott’s one-woman play, Artistic Housing. One ticket to TDPS’ production of Good Kids is included with payment of the full Symposium registration fee.

The School of Music gives high schoolers a broad range of new experiences.

National Orchestral Institute

National Orchestral Institute photo by Geoff Sheil

Announcing the School of Music’s latest initiative to create the future of the arts! Debuting in the summer of 2015, the UMD High School Music Academy will pair talented local students entering grades 9 – 12 with SOM’s renowned music faculty for a five-day, comprehensive exploration of music-making at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The Academy will provide a lively and supportive setting in which students will have the opportunity to participate in masterclasses, ensemble rehearsals and discussions.

The Academy differs from other high-school-level programs, which often use their time in preparation for a final public performance. Instead, the UMD High School Music Academy is committed to providing participants a broad range of musical experiences. Beyond masterclasses and rehearsals, students will enjoy mini recitals from SOM faculty, take private lessons and get a close up look at the National Orchestral Institute.

The Academy also plans to hold a college fair with representatives from the country’s top music programs, giving participants a leg-up on college planning. This variety of activities allows young artists a taste of the life of a college-level music major.

And here's something very NextNOW from the Artist Partner Program.


UNIVERSES photo by Saddi Khali

Once you’ve experienced Party People Salon, you’ll never be quite the same. UNIVERSES’ unique, participatory event engages you in the revolutionary spirit of the Black Panthers and Young Lords Movements of the 1960s–1970s.

Known for breaking the rules of traditional theatre, UNIVERSES fuses poetry, jazz, hip-hop and Southern blues to create powerful performance experiences for diverse audiences. The Clarice’s national and international Artist Partner Program brings you this award-winning ensemble at The Clarice on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

Throughout the Salon, performance is interspersed with conversations among veteran Black Panthers and Young Lords members. They share their moving, personal stories of everyday women and men who became leaders and activists. The Party People Salon offers a rare opportunity to discover what has become of these inspiring and at times controversial citizens whose movement to make change still reverberates today.