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12/11/13

TDPS

Congratulations to Professor Karen Bradley and TDPS students Christina Banalopoulou (Ph.D. student), Drew Barker (M.A. Theatre '13), and Kate Spanos (Ph.D. candidate), along with Sargoon Nepaul (dance and neuroscience undergraduate major) and Emma Sessions (kinesiology undergraduate major) on being awarded a Future of Information Alliance (FIA) - Deutsch seed grant for their project entitled "Re-imaging and Re-imagining Choreometrics."

Their interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between TDPS, Kinesiology, Neuroscience, and Library Sciences that will create a data set of dance videos from cultures and communities all over the world that were collected by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. These clips are now buried in the Library of Congress, and the team will partner with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Association for Cultural Equity in New York to access the films. Their goal is to digitize the video and then make it widely available to scholars and communities around the world through an online collaborative Wiki.

The team was awarded $25,000 to complete the first three months of groundwork for the project, which will feed into and enable them to meet their long-term goals. The project meets the priorities that are valued by the FIA-Deutsch program, including information equity, information literacy, culture, collaboration, information transfer and emergence.

by Karen Shih '09, Between The Columns

From writing to directing to acting, women are underrepresented in every area of theater production. A new initiative from the Big Ten Theatre Chairs aims to change that by commissioning, producing and publicizing up to five new women-written plays over the next five years.

“This is a very unique initiative. It’s about raising consciousness in order to represent the student population as well as the audience, both of which are mostly female,” says Leigh Wilson Smiley, director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and a new member of the theatre chairs group. “We need to start to get the female voice 
out there.” 

The plays will not only be written by women but also feature substantial female roles. Naomi Iizuka of the University of San Diego, known for works reflecting her multicultural background, has been commissioned to write the first one. It will be ready for the 2014–15 season, and each Big Ten university will have the opportunity to perform it on a 
main stage or do a staged reading. It’s one way Maryland’s Big Ten membership is helping 
areas beyond athletics.

 “I’ll have partners across the country,” Smiley says. “This is a chance to influence the national conversation.”   

11/27/13

by Virginia Terhune, The Gazette

Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian, 73, will soon be flying in from Paris to attend an artist’s reception in his honor on Wednesday at the University of Maryland, College Park.

In 2000, Gao was the first Chinese-born writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature for his plays, poetry, short stories and novels. But Gao is also globally known as an artist and avant-garde filmmaker. His brush-and-ink paintings and films are on display at The Art Gallery in UMD’s Art-Sociology Building through Dec. 20.

The exhibit of 27 paintings and three films, called “The Inner Landscape: The Paintings and Films of Gao Xingjian” is curated by Jason C. Kuo, a professor in the Department of Art History.

“There’s a lot of interest in his work around the world because he’s multi-faceted,” said Kuo. “He writes novels, short stories, essay and art theory.”

Gao and Kuo will give an informal talk and host a Q&A during the Wednesday reception. On hand will be translators fluent in Chinese and French who will interpret for Gao, who does not speak English.

On the afternoon of Dec. 5, Gao and Kuo will attend a stage reading and discussion of Gao’s plays at the Cafritz Foundation Theatre at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts on campus. The readings will be performed in English by students in the Globalization and Theatre class.

To read more, please click here.

11/19/13

by Shannon Gallagher, The Diamondback

John Lithgow’s experiences range from acting in the popular Showtime drama Dexter and voicing Shrek’s Lord Farquaad, to writing children’s books and winning a Tony for his performance on Broadway.

Last night, Lithgow, introduced by arts and humanities college Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill as a “master of storytelling,” spoke about his time in the entertainment world to an audience of students, faculty and staff at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center as part of the Arts & Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series.

Growing up, Lithgow said, he served as his younger sister’s “go-to babysitter and her chief source of entertainment,” a role that instilled the power of entertainment in him very early.

“Just like children, adults want to be transported, to be taken on a voyage of exploration far beyond the boundaries of the world they know,” he said. “They are hungry for the heart-swelling suspension of disbelief that comes so easily to children.”

An actor of remarkable versatility, Lithgow has since taken on a wide range of roles in comedy, tragedy and horror — both on the stage and in films — in works including NBC sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun, Broadway musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and 1984 movie Footloose.

To read more, please click here
 
 

10/5/13

by Broadwayworld News Desk,  broadwayworld.com

The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) announced it will partner with the theatre departments of the 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.

To read more, please click here.

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.

By Natalie Kornicks

The College of Arts and Humanities would like to congratulate Art History and Archaeology Professor Abby McEwen on receiving the 2013 Dedalus Foundation Senior Fellowship for her project, a book titled “Revolutionary Horizons: Art and Polemics in 1950s Cuba.” The fellowship includes a stipend of $30,000, the maximum amount of money awarded to a recipient.

“The fellowship is supporting final stages of work on my book manuscript,” McEwen said. “And the stipend will support a semester of research leave from the university (in Fall 2013), as well as travel to Miami and Havana.”

Her book, which she expects to complete by the end of the fellowship year, considers the emergence of abstract art in Havana and its promulgation within a radicalized cultural filed, circumscribed by the national discourse of cubanía and the Cold War ideological divide. Abstraction, both a physical form and an ideological platform, signaled new possibilities for art as a means of social and political transformation, and is the focus of McEwen’s research.

In addition to the Dedalus Senior Fellowship, her project has also been supported by grants and fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the University of Maryland Graduate School.

The Dedalus Foundation’s Senior Fellowship program is intended to encourage and support critical and historical studies of modern art and modernism. Under this program, fellowships are awarded to writers and scholars who have demonstrated their abilities through previous accomplishments and who are not currently matriculated for academic degrees.

Congratulations again to Assistant Professor McEwen on receiving this prestigious fellowship! 

3/22/13

By Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post 

There’s an ambivalence to a lot of the art in “Network of Mutuality: 50 Years Post-Birmingham.” If there’s a commonality among the civil-rights-themed works by 21 contemporary artists at the University of Maryland’s Art Gallery, it might be this sentiment: We’ve come far since the infamous 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., that killed four girls, but we still have a long way to go.

That friction between aspiration and reality creates, at times, heat.

Archie Boston’s posterlike digital print “We’ve Come Too Far” charts the evolution of terms used by whites to describe blacks, from “slave” to “colored” to “African American,” with other names in between (including a notoriously offensive one). The last item on the list, however, isn’t a word at all but an image commonly used on handbills announcing fugitive slaves.

Read more

2/27/13

By Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post

An ambitious National Civil War Project will be unveiled Thursday at Arena Stage as major universities and flagship theaters in four cities team up to create new performances and campus programming.

The partnerships represent a “radical collaboration,” says Arena artistic director Molly Smith. Arena is working with George Washington University. The announcement is scheduled to include “artistic demonstrations” of the kinds of theater, dance, music and scholarship likely to emerge from this large-scale initiative...

Baltimore’s Centerstage and the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a pod that has already initiated a notably big project. The Kronos Quartet has been commissioned for a piece composed by jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard; the performance will involve a 500-voice choir and spoken word by 2011 National Book Award winner Nikky Finney. The result, “At War With Ourselves,” will be performed at a historically significant site.

Read more

 

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.

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