For all aspiring performing arts students, whatever their specialty, the opportunity to collaborate with professionals is critical to their education, their experience, and their resume. With our outstanding location in a vibrant art and performance community, the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies has the ability to establish partnerships with professional companies of all shapes and sizes—providing opportunities not available to students in many other parts of the nation.
The breadth of regional arts organizations in the Washington DC/Baltimore corridor has enabled the School to collaborate in-and-outside the classroom. Professional partnerships with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, and African Continuum Theatre Company have resulted in collaborative productions in our Theatre Main-Season. The productions that have resulted from these partnerships, blending student actors, technicians, and designers with professional guest artists, have become a cornerstone of our production seasons. Examples of these blended productions are: Curse of the Starving Class, The Piano Lesson, Savage in Limbo, The Distance From Here, Hotel Cassiopeia.
Collaborations with regional theatres such as The Kennedy Center and Arena Stage have resulted in workshops, master classes and other joint ventures.
We continue to explore dynamic collaborations with nationally acclaimed professional organizations; it is a priority for us to continually build new and varied partnerships. They provide ongoing support to engage professional artists -- in the creation of productions, as leaders of master classes, and as instructors for special topics.
Above, Our Class, staged at Theatre J, features Faculty member Misha Kachman as scenic designer, Ivania Stack, MFA design '09 as costume designer, and Jedidiah Roe, MFA design '12, as associate lighting designer.
In the Spring 2009 semester, Howard Shalwitz, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, taught a course THET 499D Actors and Directors United, where 11 students analyzed the script and studied movement to create their role in the premiere production of Fever/Dream. These students were then cast in the production.
by Sheila Callaghan , directed by Howard Shalwitz; costume design by Franklin Labovitz, MFA Design '10; scene design by Misha Kachman. Featuring company members Jessica Frances Dukes, Kimberly Gilbert, Kate Eastwood Norris and Michael Willis, with Daniel Eichner, Drew Eshelman, KenYatta Rogers and undergraduate students from The University of Maryland.
Out of Place
Professor of Dance, Sharon Mansur, co-directed with Ronit Eisenbach, UM Architecture and performed with Daniel Burkholder Reston, VA in Spring 2012. Photos by Zachary Z. Handler