College of Fine Arts and Communication

Department of Theatre Arts

News and Events

2015 Rubys Grants Awarded to Members of the Department of Theatre Arts

Faculty members Naoko Maeshiba and Juanita Rockwell, and MFA alumna Mara Neimanis have been awarded 2015 Rubys Artist Project Grants in Performing and Media Arts. Associate Professor and MFA Program Director Naoko Maeshiba received the award for support of her current project, Subject/Object—a solo performance that investigates the nature of ‘self’ through deconstruction and redefinition with the use of interdisciplinary artistic tools. Professor Juanita Rockwell will work on the creation of the script, lyrics and music for her play Little Patch of Ground, a play with songs set in the bloody aftermath of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Baltimore artist and MFA alumna Mara Neimus will develop Cross Over Stories--three site-specific aerial performances in urban Baltimore. Each project includes opportunities for public engagement such as a screening or performance.

For more information about the 2015 recipients of the Rubys, click here.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

In collaboration with the Department of Music, the Department of Theatre Arts presents one of Stephen Sondheim's most well-loved works. The Tony Award-winning musical explores the themes of love and revenge, with humor, suspense, and unforgettable music. The production features theatre arts and music students under the stage direction of Professor Stephen Nunns and the musical direction of the Professor Phillip Collister, as well as shadow puppets designed by Towson Theatre M.F.A. graduate Julia M. Smith, and plenty of (fake) blood. April 24th – May 2nd.
Recommended for mature audiences.

For specific showtimes and information on purchasing tickets, please visit the box office online.

Leah Englund Brick presents her MFA Final Project:
The Hyacinth Girl and Other Broken Images (April 15-18)

“April really has been the cruelest month..."

Leah Englund Brick worked with a cast and crew of Department of Theatre Arts undergraduates and alumni to create an evening of performance that incorporated dance, poetry, and shadow play in its exploration of the themes of loneliness and isolation. Using T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland as a point of departure, Brick constructed an aural landscape of Eliot’s words as well as excerpts from Aldous Huxley’s Crome Yellow, Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, and “a few lines of Baudelaire’s poetry.” Leah is the artistic director of the Baltimore-based Small Batch Theatre Company. Collaborators on The Hyacinth Girl include Towson University theatre arts students Elizabeth Scollan and Katharine Ariyan, who also worked on the company's production of Gertrude Stein’s Lucretia Borgia: A Play.

For more information on Small Batch Theatre Company click here

Wright On! Festival of New Works: A Week of Readings, Workshops, and the Sharing of Student-driven Work.

Wright On! Festival of New Works (April 9 - 11th, 2015) featured readings of 7 new plays from the Towson Theatre Lab written by graduate and undergraduate students and recent alumni. Over 30 undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and faculty supported these seven plays as directors, actors, dramaturgs, producers, and crew members. Wright On! also featured workshops with guest playwrights, dramaturgs, and professionals from Studio Theatre (DC), Center Stage (Baltimore), Ohio University MFA in Playwriting, and the Dramatist's Guild.

For more information, go to Write On!'s webpage.

Towson University Department of Theatre Arts Presents STARLING MURMURATION:  Conceived and directed by 2015 MFA Candidate Deirdre McAllister

Starling Murmuration, conceived as part of Deirdre McAllister’s Theatre Arts M.F.A. final thesis project, is a collaboratively written and devised performance inspired by elements of addiction and recovery. Throughout this fantastical and at times nightmarish journey, the 10-member ensemble (comprised of Towson University students and alumnae) will explore how our culture views and treats addicts and how addiction has functioned in storytelling.

Starling Murmuration will be performed at the Man Alive Lane Treatment Center, and proceeds will go toward supporting The Imagination Lab, a program that encourages creativity as a mode of healing for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues. The show is already sold out!

Since last September, McAllister has been working as a teaching artist in residence for Imagination Lab. With the participants of the Man Alive Treatment Center, she formed the Imagination Players. Her work with the Imagination Players informed the process and content of her work with the Towson ensemble for Starling Murmuration:
“My work at Man Alive Lane Treatment Center has helped me understand that giving people responsibility, community, and restoring belief in their own potential, is essential to change the drug culture that exists. We as artists have the power to change culture, and that is why I wanted to connect Towson students with work that has an applied purpose, and that will directly benefit those living as addicts.”

The run will include a private performance for the staff and clients of Man Alive with an open discussion between performers and the Man Alive community.


Guest Artist Rinde Eckert Begins residency with Towson Theatre Arts and Dance Departments

As part of the Rosenberg Distinguished Artist Endowment, guest artist Rinde Eckert (2012 Doris Duke Artist and 2000 Obie Award Winner for And God Created Great Whales) has been engaged to work with students in the Department of Dance and Department of Theatre in Spring 2015. Known for his own work as a “total theatre artist,” Rinde shared his expertise as a writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer, director and choreographer with students in theatre and dance courses during the first week in February. He will return in March to work with students in the MFA in Theatre Arts and to present a workshop at the American College Dance Festival which will be hosted at Towson University.

Past recipients of the Rosenberg Endowment have included Tim Miller, Liz Lerman, Geoffrey Holder, Ruth Andrien O’Neill and Mindy Cooper. Established in 1998 through the generosity of the Rosenberg Foundation, this guest residency works to bring in a diverse range of theatre, performance, and dance artists to teach and inspire both dance and theatre students to reach within as well as beyond their chosen disciplines.

For more information about Rinde, check out


Department Welcomes MFA Class of 2016 Cohort

August 12, 2014: Seven artists met for the first time as the Towson Theatre MFA Class
of 2016 Cohort. They converged from points as far away as Minnesota, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore. They brought with them a wide range of skills and backgrounds: acting, directing, puppetry, design, and technical theatre. MFA Program Director Naoko Maeshiba envisions a program that “cultivates total theatre artists who stand on the foundation of their personal and global history, invigorated with a spirit for innovation, and passionate in their inquiries about the role of theatre in the 21st century.”

Jumping ahead two weeks, the class of 2016 Cohort culminated a two-week intensive study of Ensemble Performance with a presentation of work. Students used source material, such as photos and text, they created solo piece. Ensemble pieces and duets were also developed within the class structure. Maeshiba instructed the class using explorations of a variety of movement and body-awareness techniques. She brought in local guest artist Khristian Weeks to incorporate sound and lighting elements specific to the style of each section of the performance. This total immersion into intense theatrical study created a high comfort level within the cohort and helped establish an environment in which members have a high respect for other artistic vision and are able to supportively agree to disagree. The culminating performance, attended by faculty and friends of the program, served as an informal introduction to the performance interests of the members of the cohort.

Links: Graduate Student Pages (,
News and Events January 9, 2014 (,
Graduate Theatre Program (


Posted August 5, 2014

Lily Twining Named 2014 Department of Theatre Arts Honored Alumnus


Lily Twining with Technical Director and Adjunct Professor Anthony Rosas
Lily Twining with Technical Director and Adjunct Professor Anthony Rosas

The Department of Theatre Arts proudly recognized Lily Twining ’03 as our 2014 Honored Alumnus at

this year’s Graduating Student Ceremony. The Honored Alumnus award, created in 1983, is used to recognize graduates for outstanding professional achievements in the field. Twining is the thirty-sixth alumnus to be honored. Past recipients include designers Judy Dolan, Rosario Provenza, Stephen Strawbridge and Melissa Binder, actors John Glover, Bruce Nelson and Isabelle Monk, Artistic Director of the Acting Company Ian Belknap and University President Maravene Loeschke.

In presenting the 2014 award to his former student, Technical Director Anthony Rosas quipped, “the accomplishments of this year’s honored alumnus are in spite of me and not because of me.” He shared his memory of meeting Twining when she was “an energetic and enthusiastic sophomore. She also was an excellent student with a focus and determination I had never seen before.” He continued, “Honestly, she probably wasn't too excited about having to break in a green, freshly minted technical director from a grad program no one had ever really heard of, but she was patient with me and over time we became a pretty good team.” That spirit of collaboration and mutual respect between teacher and student was evident in their joyous reunion at the Graduating Senior Ceremony. And Rosas’ description of Twining’s sizeable accomplishments demonstrated what good use she made of her education at Towson University.

After earning her B.S. in Theatre Arts, Twining attended the Yale School of Drama, where she received an MFA in Technical Design and Production. Her resume includes prestigious positions such as Technical Director for the Goodspeed Opera House, Engineer for PRG: Scenic Technologies, Production Draftsman for Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, Associate Project Manager and Engineer for Hudson Scenic Studio, and Associate Adjunct Professor at NYC Collage of Technology. Twining is the founder and owner of Blackbird Production Services and most recently served as the Production Manager for Rocky Broadway, IF/THEN Broadway, and NBC Upfront 2013.

Twining began her speech to the class of 2014 with a quote from an unlikely source, Benjamin Fairless, an early executive in the American Steel Industry: “What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” After sharing wisdom gained from her experiences in the theatre, Twining told the graduating students, “My time at Towson started me on a path to last year, last week and to where I’m going to be in 30 years. It has done the same for you, though you may not yet know where that path will lead.”



Posted January 9, 2014

The Department of Theatre Arts at Towson University Presents a Reimagined MFA Program in Fall 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –The Department of Theatre Arts at Towson University presents a reimagined MFA program in Fall 2014. The university’s innovative MFA in Theatre Arts has been redesigned to respond to a new era. Twenty years ago, the program began with a unique vision of providing a laboratory environment for the development of the self-generative artist and the creation of new work. The retooled MFA builds upon this vision and history of achievement to serve a new generation of students in a shifting theatrical landscape.

Highlights include:

• Intense small cohort brought in every other year
• 60-credit curriculum in 24-month course of study leading up to a festival
• New areas of focus on artists as entrepreneurs and in social engagement
• Nationally and internationally recognized faculty and guest artists
• Collaboration with the Center for International Theatre Development

In its 20-year history, the MFA Program in Theatre Arts at Towson University has made significant contributions to the field. Unlike other programs available at the time, the Towson University MFA in Theatre Arts was designed to serve students who cannot be content working in a single discipline or in the traditional conservatory model. Graduates of this program have gone on to produce work world-wide and to take positions of leadership in prominent educational and artistic organizations. National tours of shows have included trips to Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and Austin, Texas. Student and alumni work has been produced in cities from San Francisco to Louisville, and at a variety of New York venues including The Kitchen; Mabou Mines/Suite; The Ontological at St. Marks; HERE; New York Musical Theatre Festival; P.S. 122; The Culture Project; The Public Theatre; Arts at St. Anne’s; The Bushwick Starr; Joe’s Pub; and La Mama ETC.

Naoko Maeshiba, an artist and scholar originally from Kobe, Japan, will take leadership of the revised program. Maeshiba is a director, choreographer, and performer who holds a diverse background in literature, dance, and theatre. She has created and performed in over sixty solo and ensemble productions in both traditional and non-traditional venues in North America, Hawaii, Europe, and Japan. She brings to this new position her experience of having worked as a self-generative total artist, as the artistic director of a theatre company, and as an individual director and choreographer in regional and experimental theatre.

Maeshiba, an associate professor who has taught directing and performance classes at the university for over ten years, brings her experience and sensibility as an artist to a program that “cultivates total theatre artists who stand on the foundation of their personal and global history, invigorated with a spirit for innovation, and passionate in their inquiries about the role of theatre in the 21st century.” Through collaborative performance work, theoretical scholarship based on the avant-garde, and independent experimentation, students learn the skills and sensibilities of generative artists who can also function as entrepreneurs, educators, and active citizens of the world.

The program will continue to explore theatre through international contexts. Artists from countries such as Japan, Russia, Costa Rica and South Africa have had residencies in the program. MFA productions have toured to international festivals in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Egypt, Poland, Hungary, Latvia and Scotland. Additionally, students have studied and presented work in countries from Spain to India to Zambia. As a result of its long-standing relationship with the Center for International Theatre Development (CITD), major co-produced collaborations include the convening of the first ensemble meeting that led to The NET (Network of Ensemble Theatre); a conference, “International Origins for New Theatre Practice,” attended by 150 artists and educators from 37 countries; a multi-year collaboration of dozens of Russian and US theatre artists culminating in a conference at Towson featuring new Russian plays in translation attended by leaders from major US theatres; and a US-Polish-East Africa project where students from five countries joined together for 8 weeks of devised theatre creation.

Applications accepted now to March 1st , 2014. Financial aid available.

Contact: Temple Crocker, Administrative Director – 410-704-3251



Posted September 29, 2013

Students from TU Department of Theatre Arts and Theatre Morgan Collaborate on 24-Hour PlaySlam.

Theatre students from Morgan State University and Towson University collaborated to produce a 24-Hour PlaySlam on September 27th and 28th. 50 undergraduate students collaborated as playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and technicians to make theatre happen in one day.

The PlaySlam resulted in six new plays by 3 playwrights from Towson (TU) and 3 playwrights from Morgan (MSU): A Farce in Fragility by Steven Barroga (TU); The Greenhouse Effect by Brandon Scott Boyd (TU); The Mask of Life by Dominique C. Butler (MSU); Greg Glass by Jim Harbor (MSU); The Negro Nutcracker by Wilton Howard (MSU); Tales to Turn Fire to Ice It’s… Where Thunder Strikes Twice by Linus Owens (TU).

The plays were written overnight Friday into Saturday in Towson’s Center for the Arts and produced at Morgan State’s Turpin-Lamb Theatre on Saturday evening.

The excitement and the creativity was memorable for the audience and for the company as well. Rich in diversity, artistry and originality, this was a wily and innovative theatrical experience.

A team of journalists from the Morgan State newspaper, The Spokesman was embedded with the PlaySlam artists. Several of the journalists stayed in the building overnight with the writers, and their coverage of the event captures many different angles on this exciting event:














Meet the New Nutcracker Team
Meet PlaySlam Organizer Deletta Gillespie
PlaySlam Stirs to Life as the Sun Rises
PlaySlam Timeline
PlaySlam Collaboration between Morgan and Towson Takes Shape
Morgan and Towson Playslam Students: Breaking the Ice
Morgan and Towson Join Forces for a Day-and Night-of Extreme Theatre

Posted September 18, 2013

Mainstage Auditions for Spring 2014 Semester

All enrolled undergraduate students are welcome to audition

For: Between Trains and Lysistrata

When: September 23rd 5:00 PM and September 24th 5:00 PM

Call backs: October 1st Rooms and times TBA (Evening)

'Where: The Studio Theatre CA 3060

This is what we need you to do to prepare:

READ BOTH PLAYS! They are available for sign out from the Main Theatre Office (Room CA 3037).

Prepare the following 3 pieces, under one minute each. We will stop you at a minute each, so please time yourself once you’ve prepared:


1) Your version of a fairy tale (whatever that means to you).

2) A poem you have learned by heart. Here’s a great website where you can find poems – maybe even one that reminds you of Between Trains or of this translation of Lysistrata:

3) A verse and chorus of a song outside of the musical theatre genre. Choose a song to showcase the unique qualities of your own voice. You must use some kind of instrument or object to accompany yourself, which could mean playing the guitar or piano while you sing, playing the tambourine, or simply tapping two pens together in the rhythm of the song. We’re looking for unique voices – check out these artists for inspiration: tUnEyArDs, Joan Armatrading, David Bowie, Nico & Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, Dirty Projectors.

Sign-up for auditions in the Theatre Department office CA3037

Posted June 21, 2013

Department of Theatre Arts Announces New BFA Acting Program for Fall 2013

The Department of Theatre Arts at Towson University announces the offering of a new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting starting in the fall of 2013. The new BFA pre-professional training program will replace the current Acting Track of the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre.

The Towson University Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting fosters the growth of the whole person through a developmental sequence of courses that provides a solid foundation of acting skills. The BFA in Acting is for students who are seeking rigorous preparation for entry-level opportunities in the acting profession or for graduate study. Professional training includes courses in acting, voice, movement, and scene study. BFA students will also have the opportunity to study other areas of theatre such as playwriting, dramaturgy and directing. Lighting, sound, scenic and costume design, and technical direction will serve to round out their training in theatre. Students have the opportunity to apply their developing skills through public performances in fully-produced plays, student projects, new plays in development, and devised works.

Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, Robyn Quick, says, “This new degree builds upon a strong history at Towson University of excellent actor training within a liberal arts context. Over the years, well-know American actors such as John Glover, Charles S. Dutton, and Dwight Schultz, among others, began their education in theatre at the university.” In recent years, the acting track has offered an increasing number of advanced classes, leading evaluators from the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) to suggest that the program had reached a level of professional training generally associated with the BFA. With over five years of planning, development, and preparation by faculty and staff of the Department of Theatre Arts, the BFA in Acting has been approved by the College of Fine Arts and Communication, Towson University, The University System of Maryland, the Maryland Higher Education Commission and most recently, certified as meeting national standards set by NAST. Dean Susan E. Picinich notes, “The new BFA degree aligns with our college emphasis on quality, integrity and personal expression and our commitment to a student-centered education. The degree supports the TU2020 plan to expand our national and international reputation in the arts.”

Sixteen incoming freshman and transfer students were selected from over 60 candidates from the Mid-Atlantic region through an audition/interview process this past spring. They will become the first class to move through the new BFA program. In addition, students currently enrolled in the BS/BA Acting Track will have the opportunity to switch to the BFA program.

The Department of Theatre Arts is focused on the development of students as artist/scholars and aware and responsible human beings. Our students are taught and mentored by a dedicated faculty and staff of professional theatre artists from all disciplines of theatre offering skills, knowledge, and the means to apply them successfully in pursuit of producing art and establishing a career. Classes are taught at the state-of-the-art Center for the Arts which houses four theatres, several large performance and rehearsal spaces, technical labs, and studio and lecture classrooms.
The College of Fine Arts and Communication offers undergraduate and graduate programs in art, dance, electronic media and film, mass communication and communication studies, music, and theatre arts. Students develop their creative and analytical abilities through a broad liberal education and specialized professional training.

Posted January 14, 2013

Department of Theatre Arts Hosts Kennedy Center Regional Theatre Festival

See the full news article in The TowerlightRead here.


Posted December 20, 2012

Student Video Project Promotes Department of Theatre Arts

See theatre minor James Tunney's video project about the Department of Theatre Arts.  Watch here.


City Paper: Top Ten Stage

Department of Theatre Arts Points of Pride

3. The Brothers Size, by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Everyman Theatre)

"Daniel Ettinger’s set—the grimy metal of a barely breaking-even auto shop in rural Louisiana—sets the mood for this all-male production where the choices are as stark and unforgiving as the pipes and machinery around them. The shop’s owner has just hired his brother, fresh from prison, to prevent him from going back, but the shop isn’t much friendlier than prison was, and the brother would rather smoke weed and sleep late. (GH)"

Professor Daniel Ettinger teaches a range of design courses and serves as the coordinator of the design and production track. He is a resident set designer at Everyman Theatre, and works regularly at several other professional theatres.

5. Office Ladies, by Lola B. Pierson (Acme Corporation)

"An original production by one of Baltimore’s newest companies, this play is gorgeous on all counts: The superb script, set, acting, and music combine to create a stunning, philosophical vision of a floating world. (Baynard Woods)"

Office Ladies was created as part of Lola Pierson's final project for her MFA in Theatre at Towson University. The production was co-produced by the Department of Theatre Arts.


City Paper’s full 2012 Top Ten Stage listing.


The Glass MenageriePosted November 6, 2012

Department of Theatre Arts' Production of The Glass Menagerie in the News

91.5 FM, WBJC interviews The Glass Menagerie director, Professor Stephen Nunns.

The Glass Menagerie featured in The Towerlight




Toshiki Okada/ChelfitschPosted October 16, 2012

Japnese Theatre Artist Toshiki Okada Works With Towson University Theatre Students

Acclaimed Japanese playwright, director and choreographer Toshiki Okada, founder of the theatre company Chelfitsch, led an intensive workshop for Towson University theatre students Spetember 23rd and 24th, following the successful production of two of his pieces at the recent Philly Live Arts and Fringe Festival. His collaboration with Pig Iron Theater Company, Zero Cost House, and his own piece Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech received glowing praise from audiences.

With Chelfitsch, Mr. Okada’s distinctive methodology of creating plays includes hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique choreography. He likes to experiment with resonating sound, lighting, text and movement off of one another without necessarily unifying them. In the workshop, he led the students in an exploration of memory that put an emphasis on the synthesis of images to create a clear story for the audience through gesture and sound. Students were asked to verbally and physically take the others on a tour of their own homes. They were challenged to decrease the amount of images used in the descriptions, comparing them to film edits. “An audience perceives a more solid image once the total number of images, movements or “cuts” is decreased and that movement can be repeated or drawn out. We must take into account how being seen by an audience changes how we present a piece,” Okada explained.

Toshiki Okada is the winner of the 2007 Kenzaburo Oe Prize for his collection of novels, the 2005 Yokohama Award for Art and Cultural Encouragement, the 2005 Toyota Choreography Award for Air Conditioner (Cooler) and the prestigious 49th Kishida Drama Award for his play Five Days in March. He was assisted in the workshop by Towson University Theatre Faculty member Naoko Maeshiba, who also translated for Mr. Okada.



Posted September 21, 2012

Best of Baltimore 2012: Department of Theatre Arts Points of Pride

Best Actor: Bruce Nelson
Department of Theatre Arts alumnus, named Honored Alumnus in 2001

Best Actress: Danielle Robinette
Department of Theatre Arts, Class of 2009

Best Production: Private Lives at Everyman Theatre
The cast featured Associate Professor Peter Wray and Honored Alumnus Bruce Nelson. Professor Daniel Ettinger designed the set.

Best Theater Company: Everyman Theatre

Professors Jay Herzog and Daniel Ettinger are resident designers at the theatre. Professor Steven Satta and Associate Professor Peter Wray have worked at the theatre, and many alumni work there or regularly appear in their productions. Kyle Prue, who teaches in the department, is an actor and founding member, as well as the production manager.



Ian Belknap
Ian Belknap Artistic Director of The Acting Company 2012.

Posted September 13, 2012

Towson University Department of Theatre Arts Alumnus Ian Belknap Appointed New Artistic Director of the Acting Company

Ian Belknap, a 2006 graduate of the Towson University Department of Theatre Arts, has been named as the new Artistic Director of The Acting Company. Margot Harley, who founded the company along with legendary director and actor Houseman forty years ago, announced the appointment. “We’re a Company of young actors – founded forty years ago with the young Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, David Schramm and David Ogden Stiers right out of Juilliard – and it is appropriate that we begin our next 40 years with a vibrant young talent as our artistic leader,” said Ms. Harley, who will move from Producing Artistic Director to Producer. Harley and Houseman, who is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Orson Welles and his Oscar-winning role as Professor Charles Kingsfield in the film The Paper Chase, created The Acting Company from the first graduating class of the Drama Division at the Juilliard School. The company is known not only for the prominent American actors it counts among its alumni, but also for its educational outreach programs. The Acting Company performs each year in over 40 cities to audiences of 70,000 and reaches more than 30,000 students with its arts education programs. Its numerous awards include the Obie Award, Los Angeles Critics Circle Award and a Tony award for Excellence in Theatre in 2003.

As a student at Towson University, Belknap appeared in several main stage productions, including

Ian Belknap, Waiting for Godot
Ian Belknap in the Department of Theatre Arts Production of Waiting for Godot (2004) directed by Peter Wray.

The Servant of Two Masters, Hair, and Waiting for Godot. He was awarded the John Glover Scholarship. He directed David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago and was a leading force behind the student producing group Free Space. Belknap also began his work in the professional theatre through internships with the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival and CENTERSTAGE. While a directing intern at CENTERSTAGE, Belknap began working with director Mark Lamos. He would go on to assist Lamos at several other theatres throughout the country. Belknap also worked at the New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Stages, New Victory Theater, Guthrie Theater, The Kennedy Center, Rep Stage, Everyman Theatre, Young Audiences, Prince Music Theater, and Philadelphia Theater Company, before beginning work at The Acting Company in 2008. His production of Damascus, written and performed by Andrew Weems, ran off-Broadway. Damascus was part of the inaugural WRITE ON! Festival that Belknap created to feature new plays written by The Acting Company alumni actors turned playwrights. He directed The Comedy of Errors which premiered at the Guthrie Theater before a two year national tour. His upcoming production of Of Mice and Men will also tour as part of The Acting Company’s 40th anniversary season. Since 2011, Belknap has overseen The Acting Company’s education department, forging new relationships with Teachers College, Columbia University and Lincoln Center Theater. The partnership with Teachers College gave rise to a 40 week Shakespeare program for kindergartners at The Community School, a public school in Harlem. Lincoln Center Theater presented The Acting Company’s production of Julius Caesar in 2012 for students across New York City.

Belknap says of his education at Towson University, “The Department of Theater Arts taught me clarity. Ambiguity begets boredom. Clarity creates experience. I learned that difference from a constellation of opportunities as a student actor, historian, electrician, producer and director. The department gave me room to explore a variety of interests and that freedom led me to directing. This process from general to specific was ushered by the extraordinary faculty, in particular Professor Dr. Robyn Quick and Associate Professor Peter Wray, the finest jurors of clarity.”

See the announcement on The Acting Company's website here.


Adrian Wattenmaker

Posted July 10, 2012

Towson University Theatre Alumnus Selected for the Drama Desk Nominating Committee

Towson University Department of Theatre Arts alumnus Adrian Wattenmaker was selected to be one of six distinguished New York theatre critics and educators who will chose the nominees for the 2012 – 2013 Drama Desk awards. Since his graduation from Towson University in 2005, Adrian has worked extensively as an actor and director. He directed plays at the New York Theatre Workshop, 440 Studio, and Brooklyn WordShop. He served as an assistant director for Austin Pendleton and David Schweizer. Adrian also taught acting at Brooklyn College, New York Film Academy, University of Nevada, Reno, and the School of Creative and Performing Arts, where he is the director of their Brooklyn Campus. Adrian is currently completing his MFA in Directing at Brooklyn College.

Adrian was in the theatre studies track in the Department of Theatre Arts at Towson University. His directing projects as a student included Betrayed by Everyone and Tales, as well as a development internship at Baltimore Theatre Project, and a dramaturgy internship at CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore. He was selected to receive the department’s Steve Yeager Scholarship. Mr. Yeager, a fellow Towson theatre alumnus and director, teaches Acting for the Camera at the university.

The Drama Desk awards are among the most important New York theater honors. The awards recognize productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.



Apartment 213Seven local stage productions make "City Paper's" Top 10 in "The Year in Stage"

Theatre professor Daniel Ettinger worked on scenic design for four plays in the top 10, including "Two Rooms," "Apartment 213," "All My Sons" and "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?".

"Apartment 213," conceived and written by MFA in Theatre candidate Joseph Ritch, was performed as a co-production between Iron Crow Theatre and TU's MFA in Theatre Program. Faculty member Stephen Satta is the artistic director for the Iron Crow Theatre.

"Sideshow" was produced by MFA in Theatre graduate Jose David Gregory's company, Teatro101.

Theatre graduate Andrew Peters directed "Antarctica," produced by Glass Mind Theatre Co., for which Peters is also artistic director.

"Playing Dead," a product of the New Russian Drama Project at TU, was translated by theatre professor Juanita Rockwell and directed by Fulbright Scholar in Residence Yury Urnov.


Two MFA students are winners in the City Paper’s short fiction and poetry contents

Donna Sellinger, MFA Theatre ’ 10, won 1st place for her short fiction, “The Universal Sewer,” and Lola Pierson, a current MFA theatre student, won 3rd place for her short fiction, “Good for What Ails Ya,” in the City Paper’s 2010 short fiction and poetry content.

The Theatre Arts Department congratulates them and is very proud of their accomplishments.



Robin QuickTheatre professor Robyn Quick receives Elliott Hayes Award from The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas

The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) recognized the extraordinary achievement of dramaturg Robyn Quick, professor of theatre at Towson University, at its annual conference held in Banff, Canada, June 20-July 1. Quick received the Elliott Hayes Award and a $500 prize for spearheading the New Russian Drama Project, a major effort to bring contemporary Russian drama to an American audience. The project brought together TU's theatre department and Philip Arnoult's Center for International Theatre Development. With Quick serving as lynch pin, the two organizations partnered in a series of commissioned translations, classroom  studies, productions at the professional and university level, and a series of artistic collaborations and exchanges.

The project focuses on theatrical work created by Russian artists who came of age after the fall of the USSR. Says Quick: "Many artists and scholars still know little about this movement and have limited access to the plays themselves in translation. As a result, the plays have not yet found their place on U.S. stages or in academic study. Our project hopes to acquaint more people in the United States with this writing and to use the plays as a point of departure for enriching our understanding of the current social and cultural concerns of the Russian people. Given the historic tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as the environment of misunderstanding that still permeates our country's relationship with Russia, insights we might gain about this culture from the plays seem particularly timely and necessary." Read more.



Adam BurkeAdam Burke noted in New York Times article

Adam Nicholas Burke graduated from Towson University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in theatre design. He now works at the Charleston, S.C.-based marketing agency Rawle Murdy Associates as social media manager. He represents several major clients including, Carnival Cruise Lines, CARTA, Cheeseburger in Paradise, MeadWestVaco, Nickelodeon, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., South Carolina State Port Authority and Wild Dunes Resort. Adam was mentioned in this New York Times article.

"It was during my first job interview that I discovered the true value of the education I had received from the Theatre Program at Towson University. Where others may have been sweating through their interview suits, I was eerily collected. The time I had spent pushing my boundaries in the acting courses at TU had taught me how to develop a character with a clear goal as a way to work through uncomfortable situations; I played Happily Employed and there were no obstacles that could keep him from achieving his objective of landing the perfect job. After knocking the interview out of the park and landing the job, the writing and research skills I had developed while preparing my Bachelor's Thesis have helped me successfully explain complex social media concepts to my clients. My experiences at TU working with teams of students to produce plays and outreach programs have taught me how to work collaboratively with my colleagues to accomplish tasks. Although I may not have ended up working in the theatre Industry, the most important lesson I have taken with me from Towson University's theatre program is that 'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.' "      

Department of Theatre Arts
Center for the Arts, Room 3037 (map)
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Phone: 410-704-2792
Fax: 410-704-3914

on stage announces that theatre alumnus and Artistic Director of The Acting Company Ian Belknap will direct a staged reading of Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound, starring alumnus John Glover.






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