The Acting Company Collaboration

The Acting Company working with TU Students in a classroom
The Acting Company’s Artistic Director Ian Belknap ’06 and Actor Joshua David Robinson working with students in a master class.

Over the past three years, Towson University has joined with other Maryland partner institutions Morgan State University, Bowie State University, and the Community College of Baltimore County; in professional development opportunities with playwrights, actors, designers, directors and educators from The Acting Company.

In the Spring of 2017 the company will bring their productions of X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation and Julius Caesar to at all partner campuses. Company members will present workshops and support learning across the disciplines – through class visits and discussions on the issues raised by the plays. Post-performance conversations will provide the community an opportunity to reflect upon the relevance of the plays to our own world. 

Show poster for X and Julius Caesar

About the Plays:

X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation  is a new play by Marcus Gardley and directed by Towson University Department of Theatre Arts alumnus Ian Belknap ’06. The assassination of Malcolm X—both the story we think we know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared—is brought to vivid, lyrical life in award-winning writer Marcus Gardley’s new play. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar provides a framework for Gardley to deepen our understanding of one of America’s most complex, compelling historical figures and explore the tumultuous landscape of ideology and activism in the 1960s. Marcus Gardley is a multiple award-winning poet and playwright.

Julius Caesar  by William Shakespeare and directed by Devin Brain. Tackling essential questions about the balance of ambition, personal loyalty and love of country, Shakespeare’s timeless political masterpiece has never been more relevant. Through the story of Julius Caesar, a rising political star torn down by his most trusted allies, audiences witness the art of persuasion, the ugliness of backroom politics and the historical patterns we can’t stop repeating.

Events Open To The Public

Department of Theatre Arts Panel Discussion: Why This Play at This Time for This Audience?

Saturday, March 4, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Marder Theatre, Center for the Arts

Directors and actors, humanities scholar, campus community representativse discussing the contemporary relevance of Julius Caesar and X from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.


Performance and Social Change: A Panel Discussion

Monday, March 6, 2017, 2:00pm – 3:15pm
University Union 314 & 315 Conference Room 

Join artists from TAC for a moderated panel discussion as they explore how diverse narratives can highlight dramatic differences and challenge dominant cultural “norms”.


History Department Symposium

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Marder Theatre, Center for the Arts


Providing Historical Context for the Assassination of Malcolm X:  A symposium in conjunction with The Acting Company and their performance of Marcus Gardley's play, X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs The Nation.

Professors Andrew Diemer and La Shonda Mims of the History Department, along with members of The Acting Company,  will host a discussion to provide context and further analysis of the world of Malcolm X in the 1960s U.S.  Audience members are encourage to come prepared with questions for the actors and the historians.


2017 Performance Schedule

Morgan State University

X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation
March 2, matinee

Julius Caesar

March 2, 7:30 p.m.

All performances are held at Turpin-Lamb Theater.
Tickets and more information

Towson University

X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation
March 3, 8 p.m. (Open to the public)
March 7, 10 a.m. high school matinee (Tickets by special arrangement only)

Julius Caesar
March 4, 8 p.m.  (Open to the public)
March 6,  10 a.m. high school matinee (Tickets by special arrangement only)

All performances are held at Stephens Hall Theatre.
Tickets and more information

Community College of Baltimore County

Julius Caesar
March 8,  8 p.m.

Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation
March 9, 11:10 a.m.

All performances are held at Main Stage at Essex.
Tickets and more information

Bowie State University

Julius Caesar
March 10, 7:30 p.m.

Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation
March 11, 7:30 p.m.

All performances are held on the Main Stage.
Tickets and more information 

Maryland Consortium Collaborators

This Acting Company collaboration is offered through the Maryland Consortium which includes member organizations Towson University, Morgan State University, Bowie State University and Community College of Baltimore County.

The Maryland Consortium is one of The Acting Company’s National Consortia


We gratefully acknowledge support for this project from the following organizations:

PNC, Maryland Humanities Council, The Citizens of Baltimore County, The Roy Cockrum Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts

Acting Co Sponsors: PNC, The Maryland Humanities Concil, The Citizens of Baltimore County, The Roy Cockrum Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts
Related public programming was made possible by Maryland Humanities 


This project was made possible by a grant from Maryland Humanities, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Maryland Humanities.

Portions of this project have been funded by the College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean's Office and the College of Fine Arts and Communication Diversity Committee.