September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Photo by Alison Harbaugh


I first arrived at College Park August, 2002 to rehearse with the marching band. There’s no real way to describe the joy and sense of belonging you get immediately upon finding a group of 250 people who all feel the same passion that you do. It essentially is a very large family, and at an institution like Maryland it’s really important to find a family to be a part of. And I found one.

The reaction the community had to all of us being down there is something I’m going to take with me the rest of my life.

September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Photo by Mike Ciesielski


The Center’s presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this season brings back memories of my first date with Romana. We go back to 1954 for that one. I was a young man in the army, stationed at Walter Reed, and I read whereby the Old Vic Company and the Saddlers Wells Ballet had put together a joint performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Being in the military, I ran right down to the USO and got a pair of tickets, which I found out later were scarcer than hen’s teeth.

I called a friend of mine up in New York (where I'm from) and said, “Look I’ve got two tickets to this performance, do me a favor — get me a special date.”

September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Anne-Marie Lemaire

Photo by Mike Ciesielski


When I was a young girl growing up in Vienna my family used to go to the Salzburg Festival and I remember the first time I ever saw their presentation of Jedermann (this means Everyman in English). It’s a medieval morality play about a rich man and what he has to do to save his soul on judgment day, a classic play. The festival displayed it outdoors in the plaza in front of the Cathedral. It was so impressive; I think it was one of the greatest things I ever saw.

I have adapted to this country, I’m happy here, I like it. But there’s always a certain nostalgia for this kind of a life.

September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Photo by Alison Harbaugh

EMILY CANTRELL, BM Viola Performance, UMD School of Music

I've been studying a musical instrument since I was two-and-a-half, and studying viola since I was 10. So going on 12 years I’ve really been preparing for a life as a performer.

Everyone in the audience, at least in my experience, wants you to do well. They’re there to see a performance that they can connect to and there’s this indescribable energy emanating from them.

September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Photo by Alison Harbaugh

JANE HIRSHBERG, Community Engagement Manager, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

A while back I was working on a project with a 200-year-old shipyard located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We asked people to share personal stories and historical events from the shipyard. One of the groups we worked with was the Officers’ Wives Club, who had all kinds of stories about the challenges of being in military families, especially when their husbands were on submarines for months at a time.

One day, as he was standing next to a friend at the open locker, the friend asked, “What in the world is all that??” The officer/husband said, “That’s my baby!”

September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Photo by Tom Wolff

ANGEL GIL-ORDÓÑEZ, Music Director, PostClassical Ensemble

I was studying in Madrid at the university and at the same time at the conservatory in April 1978. A conductor I knew only by name — but knew by reputation as a very strange person, difficult to deal with — arrived in Madrid as a guest conductor with the London Symphony. I went to that performance, and that’s the reason I’m a conductor right now, because that experience was a lifetime experience.

I never in my life heard an orchestra sound like this. I thought, “What is going on here?” It was a total discovery.

September 29, 2012 - 12:12AM -

Photo by Mike Ciesielski

ANA PATRICIA FARFÁN, MFA in Dance, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and Fulbright Scholar

When I was fifteen and living in Mexico City, I had the chance to attend a concert given by a marionette company. They “played” Rossini, Schumman, Revueltas, Cage … The precision and grace in the movement that these stick-boned beings showed that night left a deep mark on me.

I was looking up, admiring the mastery of these Moiras’ fingers while feeling myself tangled, trying to decipher the exact source of the marionettes’ movement.

September 28, 2012 - 5:05PM -

Ruth Watkins

RUTH WATKINS, Theatre major, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Marketing major, UMD Robert H. Smith School of Business

I spent my last semester abroad in London, which was fantastic and I was able to do it partially because I had received a scholarship from the donors at the Clarice Smith Center.

The best part was seeing that there is an audience for the kind of theater I want to do.

September 27, 2012 - 10:10AM -

Helen Huang

HELEN HUANG, Costume and Set Designer, UMD Professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance

As a costume designer who emigrated from China to the United States, I always find a personal connection with plays in which the protagonist is searching for his or her place in the world.

…this play changed my perspective on the meaning of home…

September 27, 2012 - 9:09AM -

Laree Ashley Lentz

LAREE ASHLEY LENTZ, MFA Costume Design 2012, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Costume Designer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream/仲夏夜之梦

Last May I embarked on an international journey that opened my eyes to a new culture when, along with a few designers and UMD theatre faculty, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Beijing.

…I learned the importance of expression and the simplicity of line.