FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sarah Snyder
October 9, 2012 – College Park, MD – In the Red and Brown Water, November 9-16 at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, takes a vibrant look at community through metaphor, myth, movement and the collage of pop culture. This presentation by the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) is co-directed by TDPS professors Alvin Mayes and Scot Reese.
The first work in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, In the Red and Brown Water tells the story of Oya, a teenage sprinter looking for a way out of her limited circumstances. McCraney’s spare, muscular language and inventive approach elevates Oya’s ordinary life — and the lives of those around her — into a semi-mythic story of universally shared human experience.
The artists will present a Talk Back after the November 13 performance and, on November 14, guest panelists Patricia Hill Collins, Walter Dallas and Jeffrey McCune will engage audiences in a post-performance discussion.
Myth, Metaphor and Community
In the Red and Brown Water is a coming-of-age story set in a Louisiana bayou housing project. Drawing on folk tales, Yoruba mythology and contemporary poets and playwrights, the piece captures the essence of community and the forces that hold people together — or tear them apart. Co-director Scot Reese notes, “This piece harkens back to the most ancient and ritualistic version of storytelling, which is a tribe and a community telling stories around a campfire.”
Reflecting In the Red and Brown Water’s thematic focus on community, this production embraces the concept of collaboration. Not only have Mayes, Director of Undergraduate Dance Studies, and Reese, Head of Theatre Performance, collaborated on direction, everything from the set design to the dramaturgical work has been a lesson in working together for TDPS students. Mayes says, “This collaboration has been unique in the way that we’ve come together as a community of artists. It has been an enlightening and nurturing experience for everyone involved.”
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. Learn more about the Clarice Smith Center's donor support.