2023 – 2024 Production Season

Plays for Our Planet

Slime

By Bryony Lavery

Directed by Nigel Semaj

April 4 – 14, 2024
Proscenium Theatre

Tickets Available Now!

View the Show Program

Performances:
Thursday, April 4th 8PM
Opening Night Reception
Friday, April 5th 8PM
 
Saturday, April 6th 8PM

Friday, April 12th 8PM 
Saturday, April 13th 8PM
Sunday, April 14th 2PM
Free Matinee for UMBC Students; Prospective Student Day; Post-show actor talk-back with Dr. Dawn Biehler of UMBC’s GES Department

American Premiere. The dystopic comedy by award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery takes place at the Third Annual Slime Crisis Conference! Seven grad students, all fluent in animal languages, linguistics, and culture, join delegates of almost every species to save life on earth from a toxic slime. As they debate and translate for dolphins, seabirds, and polar bears, they ask, “Who is coming to save us?” The answer might surprise you….

Content Disclosure: This play portrays apocalyptic scenarios, and circumstances and talks of death. It also includes kissing and embracing, and profanity.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Sustainable Theatre Design:  A Day of Hands-On Learning

Session 1: Introduction to The Sustainable Production Toolkit with NYC Designers Lauren Gaston and Sandra Goldmark

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 | 3:30 – 5:30pm
Black Box Theatre | FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Contact theatre@umbc.edu to reserve a seat.

Led by the authors of The Sustainable Production Toolkit, this talk and workshop introduces concrete tools and best practices for prioritizing the intertwined needs for greater environmental, social, and economic sustainability in the theatre industry.  Attendees will be invited to participate in a hands-on mapping activity to consider how our work as theatre makers intersects with global climate challenges and work together to identify specific goals.  Open and free to the public.

The Sustainable Production Toolkit equips performing arts organizations with tools and training to develop and implement environmental, social, and economic sustainability solutions. SPT aims to fulfill the three prongs of sustainability in theatre: 1) Ensure an antiracist, equitable, and inclusive community where all members can contribute, working in a healthy environment for fair and liveable wages and hours, 2) Protect our communities and the planet from degradation, through responsible and regenerative operating, design, and production practices, 3) Budgeting and season planning that supports sustained operations, livelihoods and equitable wages for staff and guest artists.

Session 2: Student Design Workshop

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 | 7:30 – 9:00pm
Black Box Theatre

This session will give students an opportunity to dig deeper into sustainable design and production practices and resources. Working as a team, students will develop concrete action items based on one or two goals generated in the afternoon session.

Guest Speakers

Lauren Gaston is a costume designer, illustrator, entrepreneur, and climate advocate. Lauren develops the visual identity for companies around the world. Over the last decade, Lauren has designed 50+ productions across North & South America, Europe, and Asia. Her design work has been featured by The Juilliard School in NYC, The A.A. Bakruhshin State Theatre Museum in Russia and Time Lapse Dance in NYC. While Lauren currently calls New York City base camp, she is a woman at home in the world. www.laurengaston.com

 

 

 

Sandra Goldmark, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre; Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action; Senior Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Engagement, Columbia Climate School.

Sandra Goldmark is a designer and professor whose work focuses on the circular economy and interdisciplinary climate strategies. Sandra is the Director of Sustainability and Climate Action and an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College, and Senior Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Engagement at the Columbia Climate School. Sandra teaches courses in sustainable design, circularity, and climate. Sandra is a co-creator of the Sustainable Production Toolkit, a free climate action and sustainability resource for performing arts organizations, and serves on the Board of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, the BBC, The Sunday Times of London, The Daily News, Salon.com, and many more. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale University, Sandra is the author of Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet. www.sandragoldmark.com

 

Green Theatre Revolution

Directed by Susan McCully & Katie Hileman

May 3 – 5, 2024
Black Box Theatre

Tickets Available Now!

Performances:
Friday, May 3rd 8PM
Opening Night Reception
Saturday, May 4th 8PM
Sunday, May 5th 2PM
Free Matinee for UMBC Students; Post-show conversation with Susan McCully and Nayantara Nayar

A festival of new plays and devised works about climate justice. Student-created work will be performed alongside excerpts from Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff Tick Tock While Saraswati Saves the World by Susan McCully and Lost Waters by Nayantara Nayar.

‘Lost Waters’ was inspired by research from an archival project conducted by Dr. Bhavani Raman and Dr. Aditya Ramesh. Their project, ‘Archives and Maps of Water: Environmental Justice and Cartography for a Coastal City, Chennai 1800-present’ used the Tamilnadu State Archives, the British Library, and the Wellcome Trust Collection, amongst other digital archives. It was funded by a British Academy grant.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Green Theatre Revolution at Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET)

Saturday, May 4, 2024 | Time TBA
IMET: 701 E. Pratt St. Baltimore, MD 21202 | FREE

A special performance of student works expressing climate science through theatrical representation.

Associate Professor of Theatre Susan McCully is the 2023 CIRCA-IMET Artist-in-Residence, pursuing her project “Theatrical Representation of Climate Science for a Green Theatre Revolution.” In conversation with scientists from the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, Professor McCully will experiment with dramatic forms to represent vital information about climate change for a general audience. Dr. McCully is joined by Department of Theatre student actors, designers, and artisans to create new ways of communicating science through theatre.

Post-show Conversation with playwrights Susan McCully and Nayantara Nayar

Sunday, May 5, 2024 | 4:00pm
Black Box Theatre | FREE

A post-show conversation moderated by Eve Muson, Associate Professor of Theatre and Chair of UMBC Department of Theatre, immediately following the matinee.

Guests

Nayantara Nayar is a PhD Student at the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. By attaching three contemporary dramaturgies as investigative frameworks for three different water-crisis events, her thesis studies water crisis, and the potential of theatre practices to foster different water-related imaginaries. In 2023, as part of the British Academy project, ‘Reimagining the Good City from Ennore Creek’ and working with Chennai Climate Action Group, local theatre artists, and school children, she designed and delivered a six-week theatre workshop culminating in ‘The Good City Drama’. This play uses dialogic form, song, storytelling, and group discussions to lay bare the exploitative relationship between the Chennai as a good city (modern, global, industrial) and the areas of Ennore Creek, a coastal backwater that, since the 1950s has housed the city’s heavy pollution, ‘red’ industries. Earlier in 2023, she also worked as a facilitator for the Norwich Royal Theatre’s ’37 Plays- Climate Writing’ project to help artists from Norfolk produce work about climate change and the environment.

Prior to her PhD, Nayantara worked as a playwright, researcher, and storyteller in Chennai, India. Her body of work includes, ‘The Lottery’ (short-listed for the Hindu Play Writing Award 2018); ‘The Body’ (commissioned by Rage Theatre and Enacte Theatre, California for the New Writing Festival, 2021); ‘Chicken Run’ (part of the Chennai Photo Biennale 2021-22, an archived version is available here); ‘The Sometimes River’ (published in early 2023); and ‘Curfew’ (created as part of Writing Without Borders 2022-23).

Dr. Susan McCully is a queer feminist theatre-maker and playwright. Over the past thirty-years, all of her professional efforts involve advocacy for intersectional feminist and queer theatre whether through her own playwriting, performing, and teaching or through creating opportunities for others as a producer and dramaturg. From 2005 to 2012, she served as artistic director and dramaturg for the GirlParts Festival of New Plays at UMBC. Beginning in 2015, her playwriting work focused on creating feminist and/or queer identified work for young actors at UMBC–Voracious (2015), Leah’s Dybbuk (2015) and Girls on a Dirt Pile (2019). Susan returned to performing in her plays including Inexcusable Fantasies (Prague and New York Fringe) and Kerrmoor (Women’s Voices Theatre Festival). In 2018, RepStage commissioned her play about Etta Cone entitled All She Must Possess. She is currently developing a play about climate justice with EnActe Arts in Silicon Valley.

Previously on Stage…

Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really

Based on the novel by Bram Stoker

By Kate Hamill

Originally produced by Classic Stage Company; John Doyle, Artistic Director

Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

November 2 – 12, 2023
Proscenium Theatre

View the Show Program

Performances:
Thursday, November 2nd 8PM
Opening Night Reception
Friday, November 3rd 8PM
Prospective Student Visit Day
Saturday, November 4th 8PM 
Friday, November 10th 8PM 

Saturday, November 11th 8PM
Sunday, November 12th 2PM
Free Matinee for UMBC Students

In this new adaptation of Dracula from Kate Hamill, the playwright-actor confronts the sexism in Bram Stoker’s original work, turning it into a feminist revenge fantasy.

Content Transparency: Please keep in mind, this is a play based on the classic horror story told through the lens of feminist satire. While strong elements of horror can be expected, the playwright often spoofs, critiques and investigates these horror elements, in order to comment on the patriarchy. There is supposed to be comedy and commentary. It is a revenge fantasy. If this play were a movie it would be more Jennifer’s Body or Kill Bill than Saw. This play includes staged violence/gore which includes blood and knives; screaming; depictions and talk of death/dying, and mental illness; sexually suggestive moments including biting, kissing, passionate embraces; depictions of physical and emotional abuse including the objectification of women; descriptions of graphic imagery including implied infant death, cannibalism, murder, and suicide.

Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by TRW PLAYS, 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. www.trwplays.com

shOUT: The Queer Theatre Project

Directed by Gerrad Alex Taylor
Musical Direction by Andrew Hann

December 1 – 3, 2023
Black Box Theatre

View the Show Program

Performances:
Friday, December 1st 8PM
Opening Night Reception
Saturday, December 2nd 2PM Free Matinee for UMBC Students
Saturday, December 2nd 8PM
Sunday, December 3rd 2PM
Free Matinee for UMBC Students; Actor Talk-Back

Facilitated by director Gerrad Alex Taylor, designer Eric Abele, and dramaturg Susan McCully, shOUT celebrates LGBTQIA+ playwrights, characters, and innovations. The performance includes scenes, songs, and monologues drawn from plays that show us that queer theatre history IS American theatre history. An exhibit of costume design and dramaturgy will accompany the performance.

Check out the documentary by current student Sean DiGiorgio!

 

Poster Artwork by Eric Abele.