Aris Hines has big plans. From joining the Peace Corps to starting his own production company.
It’s all part of his drive to give a voice to people who, all too often, don’t have one. “I want to focus on stories that aren’t usually told,” says the playwright, “stories about minority communities . . . stories about people who are marginalized.”
As a theatre arts major at Towson University, the senior is building the skills and connections to do just that.
In spring 2018, his play “X-Ray,” exploring attitudes about slavery and racism, was staged at CCBC Essex in a grouping with four other short works billed as “the Uprising Plays.” That same piece was selected to be workshopped and produced — with professional actors — at New York’s famed The Acting Company, whose artistic director Ian Belknap ’06 partners with TU to offer an abundance of professional development opportunities for theatre students.
These kinds of breaks, says Hines, are critical to making it in the competitive theater realm.
“Having the opportunity to meet other people in the industry not only propels you as a student but also propels you as an artist.”
But connections only work if your product is top-notch.
Hines credits TU faculty mentors with helping him hone his skills in writing and directing.
One is professor David White, who teaches playwriting and coordinates the theatre studies track. He is a faculty adviser for an independent study in which Hines is working on his next play.
Hines appreciates how White and other faculty challenge him. “They really push me to make sure I’m doing good stuff.”