Photo courtesy of John Consoli
Photo courtesy of John Consoli.

Good Kids Feb. 27 to March 7

Taking inspiration from the Steubenville High School rape case and ensuing controversy, Good Kids focuses on the issue of sexual assault through the lens of student life and relationships, through kids who are trying – and perhaps not always succeeding – at being good.

Good Kids was written by Naomi Iizuka, a prominent playwright, and is the first production in the Big Ten New Play Initiative. Though more women write plays than men, less of their works get produced, said Leigh Wilson Smiley, the director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. This initiative attempts to counter that by staging more female-produced plays like Good Kids.

Smiley said she hopes all students will have an opportunity to experience the production, which features a student cast and an acclaimed director, Seret Scott, and also deals with pressing social issues.

“One of the responsibilities of the theater as a social medium is to speak the unspeakable,” she said. “So we give people the permission to talk about the issues that are concerning to them. And certainly to our students this issue is concerning.”

The Lost World Feb. 13 to Feb. 21

It’s not often that The Clarice features dinosaurs in its performances, so, when it does, you should take advantage of it.

The Lost World, based on a book of the same name by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, includes dinosaurs and detailed projections in what Martin Wollesen, executive director of The Clarice, calls a “visual treat.”

The performance is produced by the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.

The story revolves around children who visit the titular mysterious locale, so it has a very childlike feel to it, Wollesen said, with fantastical props that are assembled out of everyday household objects.

“It’s gonna be just a really fun super visual exploration for audience members,” he said. “It’s really an exploration of the imagination.”

Photo courtesy of Sylvain Gripiox
Photo courtesy of Sylvain Gripiox.

Tigran TrioFeb. 27

The promise of jazz and drinks — for those of legal age, of course — may be all the excuse one needs to finish off the week at The Clarice. But the Tigran Hamasyan is also an award winner with an upcoming album on Nonesuch Records, who plays jazz with an Armenian tinge.

The Kogod Theatre will be set up like a jazz club for the night, complete with a bar, where the audience can feel more comfortable and connected with the atmosphere.

“He’s an artist that’s just now coming into his own, and we have both a 7 and 9 o’clock showing,” Asher said. “So you can come in, have a drink if you’re of age and see jazz in a much more relaxed stage. That would be a terrific date opportunity, I would say.”

Photo courtesy of Darial Sneed
Photo courtesy of Darial Sneed.

Song of the Jasmine Feb. 7

Song of the Jasmine takes traditional Indian dance forms and contemporizes it, Wollesen said. The performance, which was commissioned by The Clarice, features music from Maryland alumni and student performers.

Wollesen said Song of the Jasmine is an example of the kind of experience that is possible at The Clarice, where audience members are drawn to something new that they might not have otherwise come across.

“It walks outside genre and art form,” Wollesen said, “and brings folks together to learn new things about the arts.”

Black Theatre Symposium Feb. 28

In addition to a number of performances over the course of the month, The Clarice will host a day-long symposium to discuss and celebrate black performers, directors and others working in theater.

The second annual event will provide a number of discussions and performances throughout the day and will culminate in a staging of Good Kids. It is produced by the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.

“It’s an opportunity for folks in the field of black theater to come together and network and create and share opportunities and challenges that exist in the field of black theater, not just in our area but also regionally and nationally,” Wollesen said. “Anyone who’s interested in theater, anyone who’s interested in black theater, this is a great thing to come to.”

Marian McLaughlin and Ethan Foote Feb. 22

If you want the experience of The Clarice, but want to get outside of the performing arts center, there’s an option for you.

Local artists Marian McLaughlin and Ethan Foote will be playing their particular blend of experimental folk rock at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville on Feb. 22.

This event, part of The Clarice’s and School of Music’s Common Tone series, will be a fun way for students to get a feel for the artistic scene outside of campus, Asher said. McLaughlin and Foote play music that is artistic and relatable.

“The cool thing about this is it really blurs that line between classical chamber music and indie pop culture,” he said. “Ethan and Marian are really great local artists in D.C. Their music is really accessible but also beautifully written and has a chamber feel. They’re also working on an album so you can see that in creation. It’s free as well.”

writersblocheadshots02Joe Zimmermann is a junior English and journalism major and can be reached at

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