Multimedia performance BASETRACK LIVE examines the cost of war, November 1

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

CONTACT: Sarah Snyder

College Park, MD—BASETRACK LIVE, a multimedia performance piece, examines the cost of war at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on November 1 at 8pm. By utilizing a live musical score, film, photographs and text from social media exchanges, BASETRACK LIVE shows how war affects not only service members and veterans but also their families and communities. Join the artists for a conversation with the audience following the performance. 

Since the piece is designed to raise public awareness of the impact of war on service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Clarice is also presenting a special Creative Dialogue in connection with the performance, The Narrative Elements of War: An Embedded Conversation, on October 30 at 7pm. A group of veterans and artists will engage in a conversation about war, art, trauma and memory.


BASETRACK LIVE is an ambitious collaboration between award-winning theatre company En Garde Arts and corpsmen from the 1st Battalion/8th Marines. The show was inspired by an original, online citizen journalism project called Basetrack that was created by the nonprofit organization November Eleven, and funded by a News Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation. The citizen journalism project launched in 2010 and followed the 1st Battalion/8th Marines for the first five months of their deployment in Afghanistan.  Project director Teru Kuwayama, who worked as a freelance journalist in Afghanistan for nine years, sought new methods of in-depth embedded reporting after the military lifted its ban on social media.  Using Twitter, Facebook, the iPhone photo app Hipstamatic and a website, a team of photojournalists, including Balazs Gardi and Tivadar Domaniczky, documented Marine life and interactions with Afghan people through photo essays.

BASETRACK LIVE combines these photos with verbatim text from social media exchanges and interviews as well as music and film.  The performance chronicles the firsthand experiences of soldier AJ Czubai, played by Marine veteran Tyler LaMarr; Czubai’s ex-wife, Melissa, played by Ashley Bloom; and the soldiers and families of Marine Unit One-Eight.  The powerful combination of multimedia reflects the uncertainties and separation that are byproducts of war.

The project was created by Edward Bilous; co-composed by Edward Bilous, Michelle DiBucci and Greg Kalember; adapted by Jason Grote in collaboration with Seth Bockley and Anne Hamburger; and directed by Seth Bockley with music direction by Michelle DiBucci.


More information can be found on our website. Tickets for this performance are $25/$20/$10 (Regular/NextLEVEL/Students), and can be purchased online or by calling (301) 405-ARTS (2787).


Located on the University of Maryland campus and a part of the College of Arts and Humanities, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is a premier presenting arts venue and collaborative laboratory shared by the Artist Partner Program (APP), the School of Music (SOM), the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS), Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library (MSPAL) and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC).  The Clarice made its debut in 2001 and has grown into a national model for campus performing arts centers, presenting performances and programs by artist partners as well as by students, faculty and alumni of SOM and TDPS. The Clarice is building the future of the arts now.

Presented with generous support from UMD Veteran Student Life.

Funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.