Home >> Audience >> Undergraduate


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies(TDPS) is partnering with theatre departments at Big Ten Conference schools to create a new playwriting and performance initiative. The group, known as the Big Ten Theatre Chairs, plans to commission, produce and publicize as many as five new plays in an effort to influence the national dialogue about women playwrights and the sorts of scripts needed by university theatre programs for performing arts education.

The group plans to impact the dramatic underrepresentation of women playwrights in American theatre.  In a recent study cited in the The New York Times, it was determined that of the 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists Guild and on Doolee.com, an online database of playwrights, there were twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and that the men tended to be more prolific, turning out more plays. To draw attention to this imbalance and support greater gender diversity in the field, the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plan to commission women playwrights to write the initiative’s first three plays.

The Big Ten Theatre Chairs also believe a need exists for a larger body of high-caliber plays with specific characteristics that make them effective tools for teaching theatre students.  In response to this, they intend to commission the writing of plays that each feature up to eight roles, primarily for women actors, and predominantly for characters of an age that can be credibly played by college students.

The program’s first commissioned dramatist, Naomi Iizuka, is one of the nation’s most acclaimed young authors and head of playwriting at University of California, San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Iizuka’s plays include 36 Views, Strike-Slip and Anon(ymous). Her work has been produced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Joseph Papp Public Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival Actors’ Theatre. She is the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant and Princeton University’s Hodder Fellowship. Her first draft of the commissioned work will be reviewed and discussed in October by the Big Ten Theatre Chairs in a meeting at Northwestern University.

“Iizuka is a generous and extremely collaborative artist,” said Leigh Wilson Smiley, director of TDPS.  “We are most excited to have this opportunity to support her creativity and enhance our students' experience with innovation through the development of a new play.”

A full draft of the new play will be completed by spring, 2014 and will be performed during the 2014-2015 season at one or more Big Ten schools.  The group plans to commission one play by a woman playwright each year for three years, and as the project progresses, will commit to additional years. If Iizuka's play is chosen for UMD’s TDPS 2014-2015 season, she will be invited to campus to workshop the play with TDPS students.


The College of Arts and Humanities
Office of Marketing and Communications
September 17, 2013

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center

State of the College Address 

Introduction| Building Community| Finances| Advancing our Common Purpose| Diversity|
Advocacy for the Arts and Humanities: "The Heart of the Matter"


Just two weeks ago at the Clarice Smith Center’s 2013-14 season opener, we had the opportunity to experience the artistry of Harry Belafonte, as one of the narrators of jazz bassist Christian McBride’s four-part suite, The Movement Revisited. The performance culminated the symposium, “Civil War to Civil Rights, the Well-Being of a Nation,” a collaborative partnership between the Center, the College and the Schools of Public Health and Public Policy.  Mr. Belafonte recounted a story of an earlier visit to our campus.  Though I cannot tell the story with the emotion and impact of Mr. Belafonte, I want to share it with you now.

In the mid-1960’s Mr. Belafonte recalled performing in Cole Field house at the University of Maryland in an event that included remarks by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Belafonte commented that there were a number of security guards backstage and one had a very serious demeanor. This guard did not talk with others, smile or in any way engage his fellow officers or the guests but kept a menacing countenance. Later that evening when Mr. Belafonte returned to his accommodations, he was given an envelope that had been left there for him.  The envelope, he noted was odd, and unusually heavy.  When he opened it in his room, six bullets fell out onto the desk.  The note that accompanied them said something like this:  “These bullets are from the chamber of my service revolver.  I have carried them and been trained to use them to kill in an effort to protect. However, after what I heard and saw tonight, I have been transformed.  These bullets will never be in my possession or be used to kill another human being”.     

Mr. Belafonte’s story is a fitting tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington; an interesting insight into a possible connection between University history and the history of the nation.  But the element of the story I want to focus on is transformation, specifically the transformative power of ideas and alternative visions.

Transformation is one of the highest aspirations of our educational enterprise.  A stated aim of the College mission is to prepare our students to understand the transformative power of the imagination.  The booklet, Be Worldwise, the Dean’s Lecture Series and research video series encourages members of our community to transform themselves through knowledge, experiences and ideas gleaned from encounters with the values and perspectives of the arts and humanities. 

Transformation was among my goals when I took the position as dean.  While I hold no illusions that changes I might initiate would be as profound as the kind of transformation described by the security officer, I continue to focus on making our accomplishments more widely known and better understood both on campus and off. The Year in Review for 2012-13 is in preparation and will be released later this fall. And, though we will not launch another 8-part faculty video series this year, we are planning to take advantage of an important new video about the arts, humanities and social sciences as a way to showcase the importance of our work. 

From the outset, I have framed my goals as building community and advancing our common purpose.  Since then, I return each fall to give you an update on our progress; to announce new initiatives and to share my perspective on the overall well-being of the college. Today, I want to do just that.

Building Community 

As you know, we’ve faced difficult financial times over the past several years.  Nevertheless, we’ve taken a few important steps.  With the funds we received for merit and COLA for this fiscal year - after five years with neither, and with furloughs - we took deliberate steps to begin to address issues of salary compression. In collaborations between units and the office of the dean we were able to devise strategies and direct resources to make a small dent in this large problem. We know we cannot right the compounded problems of five or more years in one year, but we now have an approach that includes affirmative steps toward improving the situation.

Under the leadership of Laura Nichols (WMST), staff members in the College have been working over the past year to develop a formal staff group that would parallel the Collegiate Council. This group would meet regularly with the dean and help to create a sense of community for ARHU staff, identify opportunities for professional development, create new avenues for communication, and provide a means for staff to become more knowledgeable about and connected with the mission and vision of the College.  


The college budget continues to improve but the process is slow and it does not fully address the major challenges we face, especially when it comes to supporting our instructional load. The underfunding of our college relative to our contributions to undergraduate education is an old story. Over the last five years, ARHU has provided approximately one quarter of all undergraduate credit hours but received far less than its proportionate share of the state budget.   Part of my job is to identify these inequities and fight to overcome them.  And, while I have reason to believe the new provost understands and wants to address this, I don’t expect that it will happen this year. 

On the positive side, the college has made great strides both through sponsored research and gifts.  In the three most recent fiscal years, research award dollars have increased 18.5% thanks largely to the National Foreign Language Center, the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, the Department of Linguistics and MITH.  Our research support activities in the College have increased and we are offering grant-writing workshops and providing consultations in grant preparation. 

Last year, the University closed the Great Expectations capital campaign having raised a record $1 Billion.  ARHU raised over $59 million of that amount and doubled the number of ARHU donors that contributed to the prior campaign.  Our efforts to launch new programs and fulfill our visions are greatly enhanced by our ability to raise external dollars to support them.

Advancing our Common Purpose

Another important way we increase our impact and realize the programs we envision is through partnerships that promote research, scholarly and educational excellence.

I want to highlight a few of our successes.

Arts and Humanities Institute

The Arts and Humanities Institute is in development and will be a dynamic and synergistic locus for interdisciplinary and applied arts and humanities research and scholarship. Through an innovative adaptation of a design school model, the Institute will stimulate, represent, and share the dynamic intellectual enterprise of the College of Arts and Humanities. It will serve as an incubator for change encouraging new initiatives in programmatic development and scholarly excellence. It will provide a transdisciplinary arena for scholars in the arts and humanities to demonstrate the nimbleness and breadth of the college in consideration of and application to the most pressing questions of our time.  As an example, the Baltimore Think-a-thon, held in May in partnership with the UM Carey Law School, was a gathering of artists, scholars and Baltimore community leaders that identified and brainstormed solutions to the city’s most pressing social problems. 

Corcoran Partnership

Closely related is the Integrated Arts initiative in the Visual Arts.  As many of you know, earlier this year the University entered into an agreement to consider a partnership with the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art and Design in Washington D.C.  Throughout the summer, faculty in our departments of Art and Art History along with the directors of Driskell Center and the Art Gallery participated in a task force that engaged in an intensive process of review and due diligence. The report and recommendations will be forthcoming soon.  The outcome will depend on actions to be taken by Corcoran’s Board of Directors and the State Board of Regents.  At this point, President Loh is engaged in discussions with both groups.

This process has brought the strengths, challenges and opportunities involved in building the visual arts to the attention of the campus, and President Loh repeatedly says that a great university must be strong in the arts and humanities, not just in the sciences. He sees this partnership as having the potential to catapult our capacities and stature in this area. 

Regardless of the outcome with the Corcoran, the process has built cross-campus relationships and generated new ideas and energy that can strengthen internal partnerships and promote future collaborations between the visual arts the performing arts, the humanities, architecture, engineering, and the rest of the campus.  For ARHU, this Corcoran initiative has led to awareness of and engagement in the arts and humanities all the way up to the level of the State Board of Regents.

Language Science

Next week, Provost Rankin and VP for Research Patrick O’Shea will formally announce a major initiative in which ARHU plays a key role; the formation of the Maryland Language Science Center (launched September 27, 2013). The Center, led by our linguistics department, is a collaborative effort involving language scientists, drawn from 14 departments and centers in 6 colleges across the university. Its goal is to foster interdisciplinary research and training that will advance a deep understanding of language, promote global engagement and deliver world-class solutions to some of society’s most pressing language problems in education, technology, and health.  Please stay tuned for more details and the full announcement.

Graduate Studies in Interpretation and Translation

Earlier this month, we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the lab for the new Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation program in the Department of Communication. The official opening of this program with a first cohort of 25 students makes the University of Maryland the first public university in the United States to provide a comprehensive training program for interpreters and translators.  The program, which offers M.P.S. degrees and certificates, is an outgrowth of partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund all of whom were represented by their top people in the field at the dedication.  The possibilities for this program, however, were cemented by a donor, Mr. Jack Cassell whose generous gift of state of the art equipment emerged from his belief that giving back to the industry in which he had made his living was “the right thing to do.”

Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative

This fall, we are also excited to launch the Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative funded by Domonique (AMST, ’04) and Ashley Foxworth (English ’06).  As young alumni of color, their support signals a new and important direction in giving to the College.  The Initiative will provide funds for the development of courses that bring students into a collaborative learning and working relationship with members of underrepresented communities on the Maryland campus and in its surrounding environs.  The announcement was sent out yesterday and I hope that those of you interested in creating such a course will go to the information session and submit a proposal.

Whether working in interdisciplinary partnerships or as independent scholars, our faculty continue to garner a number of prestigious national awards as well as important campus recognitions.  While you can learn about these in greater detail on the ARHU website or in the forthcoming Year in Review, I would like to acknowledge a few of them today.  In the past year a number our colleagues have received national awards including a Guggenheim, a Tony nomination, Year-long NEH Awards, along with numerous book awards.   Campus level awards that deserve special recognition are: Professors Robert Levine, who will be honored as a Distinguished University Professor and Marilee Lindemann, who will receive the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award at the University Convocation on October 8th.  Professor Christina Hanhardt received the Undergraduate Studies Program Teaching Award; the Department of American Studies received the Ethnic Minority Achievement Award as Outstanding Instructional Unit and Professor Lisa Mar received their Outstanding Faculty Award. Professor Sangeeta Ray was awarded Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies and Professors Laura Demaria and Psyche Williams-Forson were named Graduate Faculty Mentors of the Year.  There are numerous other outstanding faculty accomplishments and I’m sure that there are some important awards that I have inadvertently overlooked.  Nevertheless, my goal here is not just to recognize individual colleagues but to demonstrate that accomplishment at the highest levels characterize our community.

You have met our thirteen (13) new faculty and as you can see from the bios in the program, we continue to attract to our campus people with stellar accomplishments and exceptional promise.  The responsibility of those of us who are seasoned faculty is to provide the resources, intellectual climate and mentoring that will permit the talents of our new faculty to bloom and encourage them to remain rooted in University of Maryland soil.  


Linking our efforts to build community with our goals of excellence in education and scholarship is our Diversity Initiative.  Excellence in ARHU depends upon our having a diverse faculty, staff and student body along with an inclusive and supportive environment that nurtures growth and productivity.

In November 2011, I appointed a Diversity Task Force that has since examined available data, both quantitative and qualitative, and held a series of focus groups with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to assess the College’s current standing as related to diversity and inclusion.  Last spring they presented their report.  Using the data analysis and recommendations of that report, we have prepared an implementation plan.

The plan entitled Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: Task Force Report and College Implementation Plan outlines goals, objectives and actions in accordance with the three goals set forth in the university’s strategic plan for diversity, which focus on policies and structures; climate, and vision. The full Task Force report and College implementation plan will be posted online within the next couple of weeks, but I’d like to give you a few examples of what you will find when you read it:

The first Goal is: The College will provide the leadership and infrastructure needed to create a more diverse and inclusive College population.  The second, The College will create a climate in which diversity; inclusion and equity are valued and realized at both the College and Unit levels.  And the third, The College will develop a vision of diverse academic programs that make diversity and inclusion intentional in teaching and learning across the curriculum. 

Examples of implementation actions are that each member of the Dean’s senior staff  as well as unit heads are tasked with identifying specific actions related to diversity, inclusion and equity to be accomplished as part of their yearly goals.  A second example of an implementation action is for departments to have forward-looking discussions about curriculum, the anticipated make-up of their students and faculty and the relationship between them.

Be on the lookout for the announcement. I encourage you to review the plan carefully and share your ideas for implementation within your unit and within the college.

Finally, a key component of the College’s diversity efforts is our participation in the Advance Program.  ARHU’s Advance professor this year is professor Laura Rosenthal from the English Department. Laura will be working with the dean’s office, the Advance program, and most importantly with our faculty to help facilitate the college’s actions in addressing issues of diversity.  

Advocacy for the Arts and Humanities: "The Heart of the Matter"

Each year I’ve said something about advocacy for the Arts and Humanities because it is a major part of my work and the work of the college.  Our research and scholarship, our exhibitions and creative performances speak well for themselves to those who choose to listen, but increasingly we find that we must devise new ways to be heard over the din of a growing anti-intellectual and utilitarian discourse. 

Recently, debate and discussion about the future of the arts and humanities; it’s viability; it’s importance in this era of big data, technological innovation, and tight job markets increased in intensity after several Republican governors –in Texas, Florida and Wisconsin publically questioned the value of liberal arts instruction. They focused on majors in the arts, humanities and social sciences offered at public colleges and universities and they threatened to defund these programs.[1] As faculty and staff of the flagship university in our state it is important that we are aware of and engaged in this national discourse even as we critique its basic assumptions.  Our University’s mission, “to create and apply knowledge for the benefit of the economy and culture of the State, the region, the nation, and beyond,“[2] requires no less of us.

This year, we’ve chosen to approach our advocacy by engaging in a partnership with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences through dialogue on the report produced by their Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. That report, “The Heart of the Matter,” was created in response to a bipartisan request from members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that asked the commission to:  identify “the top actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?”[3]

Our participation in this dialogue will be highlighted through Be Worldwise: The ARHU Dean’s Lecture Series which will feature two members of the commission:  John Lithgow, the actor and Annette Gordon-Reid, professor of law, professor of history and professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.  

The Commission has produced a companion video that frames a conversation that we will continue throughout the year.  I want to close with a brief clip which I hope will inspire you to view the entire video on the college website, read the report, and join us in transforming public discourse on the arts and humanities. 

Thank you for your attention.  Let’s Party!

[1] Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/30/north-carolina-governor-joins-chorus-republicans-critical-liberal-arts#ixzz2eWDgsGeh
[2] Mission and Goals Statement, University of Maryland, College Park. Approved by the Board of Regents on February 1, 2006
[3] American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Heart of the Matter. Cambridge Ma: 2013, p 6.


Tawes Hall
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 9:00 AM to Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 8:00 PM

From March 27-29, leading scholars will explore the interdisciplinary relationships between sounds and texts.

The Honors Humanities Living and Learning Program, administered by the College of Arts and Humanities in collaboration with the Honors College, has announced the appointment of Gregory A. Staley as its new director.

Staley, who will begin his new position on July 1st, is an associate professor of classics in the college.  His research focuses on Latin literature, on its reception in later eras and on the role of Greek and Roman antiquity in the formation of American identity.

Staley said he welcomes the opportunity to celebrate with students all the ways in which the humanities foster self-knowledge, self-formation and self-promotion in every possible career and in every pathway in life.

As director, he plans to emphasize the intersections between the humanities and the sciences; to highlight the connections between the humanities and careers; and to honor the ways in which knowledge of the past helps to shape the future.

Selections of Staley’s work include his book “Seneca and the Idea of Tragedy” and an editing of the essay series, “American Women and Classical Myths.”  He has also written articles and essays about fictional and non-fictional figures ranging from Rip Van Winkle to Nathanial Hawthorne.  He is currently working on an article to be included in the book “Brill Companion to Roman Tragedy.”

Staley has won many awards, including the Excellence in Teaching award from the American Philological Association.  He has also served as a Lilly Fellow and been elected to the Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Maryland.

The nationally recognized Honors Humanities Living and Learning Program is one of seven living and learning programs under the Honors College. Located in Anne Arundel Hall, the program challenges students to think about fundamental questions facing humanity through their exposure to traditional practices within the humanities combined with investigations of the role of arts and humanities in the world today.

The highly acclaimed Honors College consists of a close-knit community of faculty and intellectually gifted undergraduates committed to acquiring a broad and balanced education.  The program features small classes taught by outstanding faculty who encourage discussion and foster innovative thinking. Each year, approximately 1000 undergraduates are welcomed into this highly selective program.

For more information on the Honors Humanities program, visit www.honorshumanities.umd.edu.

For more information on the Honors College, visit www.honors.umd.edu.


By Ashley David

The College of Arts and Humanities would like to congratulate its FIA-Deutsch Seed Grant Competition winners! Out of the 22 FIA grantees, 11 Arts and Humanities (ARHU) students and faculty were awarded  for two separate projects entitled, “Approach: Every Voice, Every Path” and “The Digital Cookbook: A Friendly Guide for Making the Local, Global.” Each team won up to $25,000 to carry out their research and vision.

The ARHU winners are listed below:

Approach: Every Voice, Every Path

  • Daniel Greene, Department of American Studies
  •  Jarah Moesch, Department of American Studies (*DCC Graduate Assistant)
  •  Paul Nezaum Saiedi, Department of American Studies
  • Jessica Kenyatta Walker, Department of American Studies
  • James B. Wills, Department of Computer Science (DCC Student)
  • Dr. Jason Farman, Department of American Studies (Faculty Mentor) (DCC Faculty)

The Digital Cookbook: A Friendly Guide for Making the Local, Global

  • Jennifer Hottle, College of Journalism (DCC Student)
  •  Kelsey Hughes, College of Journalism (DCC Student)
  • Claire Naylor, Information Systems (DCC Student)
  •  Eliana Vornov, Computer Science and Linguistics (DCC Student)
  • Dr. Evan Golub, Department of Computer Science (Faculty Mentor) (DCC Faculty)

*Digital Cultures and Creativity (DCC) is an interdisciplinary living and learning program in the Honors College with students and faculty sharing a common passion for the digital world that goes beyond any particular tool or platform. To find out more about DCC, please click here.

The Future of Information Alliance (FIA) was launched at the University of Maryland in 2011 to serve as “a catalyst for discussion, research and action on campus and beyond.” The FIA focuses on “transdisciplinary dialogue and research on evolving issues related to the role of information in our lives.” The FIA Seed Grant Competition is designed to encourage teams of students to engage in research projects that lead the way to innovative solutions for key information-related challenges.  The teams of undergraduate and graduate students came together with a faculty mentor to create innovative solutions to challenges that face us in a rapidly evolving information landscape.

For more information on the awarded projects and for the complete list of winners, please click here.

By Jackie Zakrewsky

Hacker. Brainiac. Creative genius. Email savior.

These labels don’t faze software entrepreneur Dave Baggett ’92, founder of the Bethesda, Md.-based company Arcode – though they’re flying thick and fast in the flurry of reviews generated among tech bloggers about Arcode’s first product, Inky.

“So much for the slow organic growth path,” the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Arts and Humanities noted in a recent email.

That ubiquitous technology, which Baggett simply calls “mail,” happens to be his current entrepreneurial target. Through a simple download at inky.com, Baggett aims to offer the world a better email experience, with “smart” features such as a unified inbox that consolidates a user’s email accounts and sorts messages by relevance.

Baggett is the first to admit Arcode wasn’t ready to unleash Inky on the world.

“We’re hardly out of [initial] alpha [testing] at this point and are focused primarily on fixing bugs,” he wrote in late December in a post on the Hacker News website.

But Inky’s unexpected debut in the tech community has found Baggett fielding questions about a host of issues, ranging from security and privacy concerns to requests for mobile versions of Inky. The magna cum laude graduate with a double major in linguistics and computer science offers straight-up answers, no matter how much “geek argot,” or tech lingo, is thrown his way.

If you question whether Inky is “wrapped with Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF), with web page JavaScript calling native Python scripts,” Baggett has a simple answer that doesn’t give away the company store: “Yes, it embeds Python and uses CEF. But there’s a lot of other native code running there as well.”

For the past two decades, Baggett’s programming acumen and entrepreneurial spirit have served him well. As he wrote on Hacker News, “I'm a hacker who (long ago) co-wrote Crash Bandicoot (1&2) and co-founded ITA Software, which was sold to Google in 2010.”

That track record led to an extensive overview of Inky in the influential online media hub known as Tech Crunch and prompted one blogger to write, “I’ll try Inky just because of your credentials.”

Meanwhile, the hard work of getting Inky right continues. In an interview at Arcode last year, Baggett noted that making “this transition from the dumb mail client to a smart one entails solving a lot of hard [technical] problems”—to the extent that “larger companies with more resources will not easily clone what you do.”

He also recognized that getting the product right wasn’t the only hurdle he faced in creating Inky.

“The biggest challenge with consumers is you have no idea what they’re going to like,” he said. “It’s worth pointing out that you have to do everything right and then get somewhat lucky to have that happen.”

You can try Inky for free at http://inky.com

University of Maryland
Monday, January 07, 2013 - 11:30 AM to Friday, January 18, 2013 - 11:30 AM

Winter Storm 2013 is open to all interested participants. Past years have attracted up to 100 participants. There is no cost for participation.



ALL events are FREE (ticketed) and open to the public.

Reserve tickets through the Clarice Smith Center online at www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu or by calling 301.405.ARTS.


David Alan Grier in conversation
Monday, November 12, 2012, 7 PM
Dekelboum Concert Hall Clarice Smith Center

The multitalented comedian and film, television, and Broadway star discusses the creative process, comedy and improvisation, music and his life experiences with culture and race. Named one of Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time,” Grier was most recently nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for his performance in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess.”

Cosponsored by The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Eric Schlosser in conversation
Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 5:30 PM
Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center

Award-winning journalist, producer of the critically acclaimed documentary “FOOD, Inc.,” and best-selling author of “ Fast Food Nation” — selected by TIME magazine as one of the top 100 non-fiction books of all time — discusses the controversial and alarming state of public health, agriculture and the food industry in America.

Cosponsored by UMD Dining Services Green Dining Program

Chimamanda Adiche
Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 5:30 PM
Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center

2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and award-winning Nigerian author of “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “Purple Hibiscus,” and “The Thing Round Your Neck,” which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in Africa, speaks to the cross-generational significance of storytelling and its enduring impact on the cultural history of our lives.

Cosponsored by the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies and The Institute for International Programs

Cathy Davidson
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 5:30 PM
Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center

Professor of English at Duke University, renowned scholar in Digital Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies, and prolific author of “Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn,” explores how the modern digital age will globally shape the future innovation of learning.

Cosponsored by the ADVANCE Program

TDPS explores the cross-cultural possibilities of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

By Beth Cavanaugh, Terp Magazine

How would Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” sound if performed in two countries by a cast speaking two languages? Like a unique cultural exchange, say organizers in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.

Two dozen Maryland faculty and students are collaborating with peers at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts to put on the play, first on campus in September, then in Beijing. They’ve been working out the challenges of a production with double sets and locations, along with the language barrier and 7,000-mile distance between participants.

 “Splitting a production in two—it sounded impossible. We really had to sit down and figure out how you do it,” said theatre Professor Mitchell Hébert, who is co-directing the production with Yu Fan Lin in China.

Noted costume designer and Professor Helen Huang first shared the idea for a co-production while teaching a master class at the National Academy and quickly won the support of faculty there.

Emails, Skype meetings, translators and visits in both Beijing and College Park facilitated the process, and by February 2011, the group decided it could be done.

Maryland faculty and students will design and construct the costumes and set, and play the parts of the fairies and mechanicals. Their Chinese counterparts will build a duplicate set in Beijing and take on the roles of the court, lovers and supernatural characters. Shared responsibilities include directing and technical aspects, such as lighting.

All actors will perform in their native language. Audiences in both countries will read translations through supertitles.

Laree Lentz, a master of fine arts student who helped design the costumes, worked closely with the Beijing academy students to develop ideas that represented both cultures. “Through this process of two cultures coming together,” she says, “we realized that no matter how different we seemed to be, we are actually similar in so many ways."


Subscribe to RSS - Undergraduate