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 a three-year period, Towson University 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 brought their productions of X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation and Julius Caesar to all partner campuses. Company members presented workshops and supported learning across the disciplines – through class visits and discussions on the issues raised by the plays. Post-performance conversations provided 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. 

Maryland Consortium Collaborators

This Acting Company collaboration was 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.