By Samantha Pitkin
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (CSPAC) at the University of Maryland is taking the next few weeks to prepare for their busiest months of the year.
The Clarice, also referred to as CSPAC, hosts a variety of different groups and performances each week. From the Big Ten New Play Initiative: Good Kids, a play that covers the controversial topic of an Ohio rape case, to The Westerlies, an American folk, jazz, classical and indie rock brass quartet, there is a performance for almost everyone.
The Clarice has “Free UMD Student Ticket Mondays” each week and reserves approximately five percent of the house for students who make a profile on The Clarice’s website and reserve their tickets through the ticket office, according to Sarah Snyder, Communications Coordinator at The Clarice.
On average, The Clarice hosts at least one performance per day during April and May, making it their busiest two months of the year, according to Cara Fleck, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication at The Clarice.
“These two months generate the greatest variety of performances, if students want tickets they should get them in advance,” Fleck said.
Students and the general public can now see CSPAC-sponsored performances at places outside The Clarice as well. Chelsey Green and The Green Project is a performance that takes place outside The Clarice, and is presented through the Artist Partner Program and the UMD School of Music. The performance is free to students and the general public, and is hosted at Busboys & Poets in Hyattsville, MD on Sunday, March 29 at 7 p.m.
“The goal is to connect with the community. There is something for everyone, be it jazz, classical, orchestral music, whatever it is,” said Fleck.
It turns out that University of Maryland sports teams are not the only organizations participating in the BIG10. The Clarice has jumped on the BIG10 bandwagon with its Big Ten New Play Initiative.
From Feb. 27 to March 7, The School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies is presenting the play Good Kids, which partners with other Big Ten Conference schools in a new playwriting and performance initiative, according to Snyder. Each of these plays explores a different controversial topic about women as viewed by the public. Good Kids specifically addresses a “casual sexual encounter gone wrong, and its very public aftermath,” according to play’s description.
Good Kids has eight performances, two of which are weekend matinees, and tickets run from $10 to $25 depending on whether or not you are a student, NextLEVEL member or a member of the general public. NextLEVEL is a season pass that saves frequent CSPAC performance-goers money on tickets, and provides discounts for parking as well as opportunities to meet the artists.
The popularity of each show varies on the time and day it is performed, but generally the house is pretty full, according to Fleck. Students interested in seeing a performance can find all of the information they need on The Clarice’s calendar on their website. Each show is listed under the day it is performed and includes the time it begins, who it is presented by, and a brief description of what the performance is about.
On April 18, 22, 24 and 26 the School of Music is presenting the Maryland Opera Studio’s rendition of Crime and Punishment: Operas in One Act. During each of the four performance nights, two out of three prepared operas will be performed making this an unusual performance.
“This is so exciting because they’re fully staged. They have very interesting sets and costumes, and members of the UMD School of Music are in the pit. It should be fantastic,” said Fleck.