The NextNOW Fest Celebrates Fun, Frolic and the Future of the Arts, September 11-14

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CONTACT: Sarah Snyder

College Park, MD – For the first time ever, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (The Clarice) is kicking off our season with four days of fun and frolic with the NextNOW Fest, September 11-14, 2014.

The NextNOW Fest features more than 50 artful, participatory and surprising events, including audience-integrated theatre from dog & pony dc and the Neo-Futurists; sonic massages by Wollesonic Laboratories; a dance club DJ party by UMD’s Terrapin Beats Society; daredevil aerial dance by Australia’s The Fruits at the first-ever UMD Arts Tailgate; an Opera Jam Session with UMD School of Music’s Maryland Opera Studio; and electrifying dance performances from Nichole Canuso Dance Company and NextDANCE, which features UMD’s finest choreographers—faculty, students and alumni from the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies — culminating in the world premiere of GROOVE by Fulbright recipient Stephanie Miracle. Most events are free. All events are freeing. A full schedule of events and performers can be found here.

“The Clarice is building the future of the arts,” said Martin Wollesen, executive director of The Clarice. “We cultivate singular experiences for artists and audiences and redefine how we create, participate in and experience the arts. We are the NextNOW.”

The Clarice breaks through traditional boundaries in art-making through the work of its 5 partners: the School of Music (SOM), the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS), the Artist Partner Program (APP), the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library (MSPAL) and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC).

Igudesman and Joo and the NextNOW Fest Brunch

In addition to the free activities, two ticketed events are planned: Igudesman and Joo and the NextNOW Fest Brunch. On Friday, September 12, 2014, Igudesman and Joo will perform A Little Nightmare Music in The Clarice’s Dekelboum Concert Hall at 8pm. Their unique and hilar­i­ous the­atri­cal shows com­bine com­edy with clas­si­cal music and pop­u­lar cul­ture, and they’ve received over 35 million YouTube Hits. The performance is being presented in partnership with UMD’s 34th Annual Family Weekend.

The NextNOW Fest Brunch on Sunday, September 14 at 11am allows guests to share a meal with musicians from the SOM’s UMD Symphony Orchestra. This brunch is an intimate and unusual musical experience.

Arts Tailgate

On September 13 from 9am to noon, The Clarice will hold its first-ever Arts Tailgate before the Maryland Terrapins football team’s noon game. The Fruits Daredevil Aerial Dance, a Melbourne-based performance art troupe that fuses theatre, dance and circus, creates work on 16-foot-high flexible poles and mesmerizes audiences below. Presented by M-NCPPC, the Arts on a Roll van will give participants a chance to show their team spirit by making Terp-themed crafts to wear to the game. BOMBSHELL BOOM BOOM (!) is a do-it-yourself band creating instruments from anything and inviting everyone to participate. There will be a pre-game parade to the stadium with the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band.

Before the parade, The Mighty Sound of Maryland will present an interactive history of the band in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library in a partnership with MSPAL and the University of Maryland Archives.The band will play music, and festival goers have the opportunity to get their picture taken in some of the hats the members of the Mighty Sound of Maryland have worn over the years.

Community members and veterans are also invited to participate in Combat Paper NJ, which holds papermaking workshops in which uniforms worn in service will be transformed into handmade paper. The workshops will be an opportunity to engage in the process, share experiences and create works of art.

Additional Fest Happenings

In addition to NextNOW performances, many interactive arts and food experiences will be happening throughout the Fest.

The Clarice YouBooth: The Clarice YouBooth opens for festival goers to share their stories and express themselves. These videos are available for users to share via social media and will be projected onto the walls of the Grand Pavilion.

Projections: With assistance from Jared Mezzocchi, an award-winning projection designer and assistant professor of multimedia design in TDPS, our lobby showcases stunning projections that will revolutionize the arts experience. Projections for the Terrapin Beats Society’s DJ Smackdown will be designed by TDPS students.

Balloon Art: Addi Somekh specializes in creating massive and extraordinary balloon sculptures. His thousands of designs transform The Clarice’s space.

Food Frolic: The NextNOW Fest is an artful experience with food and drink. Experience tastings, surprising menus, a full bar in the Kogod Cabaret and a Sunday Brunch in the middle of the UMD Symphony Orchestra at the NextNOW Fest Brunch.

Johann Sebastian Joust: An unusual and extremely entertaining multiplayer, no graphics video game, Johann Sebastian Joust’s objective is to be the last man standing. The game plays music from Bach’s Brandenburg concertos.

Performing Arts Library Sale: Musical scores, books, LPS and CDs will be sold at a discount. Proceeds will support the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library.

Costume Sale: One-of-a-kind clothing and accessories from The Clarice’s costume shop will be for sale.

MakerLab: Scene shop staff from The Clarice will demonstrate how we create set pieces using 3D technology and the CNC router (that’s short for a Computer Numerical Controlled cutter).Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

MFA Design Expo: UMD’s TDPS features one of the finest theatrical design programs in the world. The Dance Theatre lobby area in the Grand Pavilion displays costume, scenic and lighting designs from our student designers.


Most events at the NextNow Fest  are free. Tickets for Igudesman and Joo are $25 and $20 for NextLEVEL (limit 2 per show). Tickets for the NextNOW Fest Brunch are $65. Tickets 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.

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.