WC Department of Theatre Announces Spring 2019 Performances

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The Washington College Theatre Department is pleased to present its Spring 2019 schedule of performances, including Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Flick, and The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Tawes Theater in the Gibson Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at the door, and for reservations, which are suggested, please visit the department’s eventbrite page.

“Our students routinely seek plays that challenge, delight, frustrate and provoke themselves, each other, and audiences,” says Chair and Theatre Associate Professor Michele Volansky. “I am so pleased at the ways that they choose to present their points of view and put their classroom learning to practice in these senior capstone experience projects. We hope that the Chestertown and Washington College community shares our excitement at the spring line-up.”

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moises Kaufman is a senior thesis directed by Jacqueline Glenn on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. In April 1895, Oscar Wilde brought a libel suit against the Marques of Queensberry, the father of his youthful lover, who had publicly maligned him as a sodomite. In doing so, England’s reigning man of letters set in motion a series of events that would culminate in his ruin and imprisonment. For within a year the bewildered Wilde himself was on trial for acts of “gross indecency” and, implicitly—for a vision of art that outraged Victorian propriety. Expertly interweaving courtroom testimony with excerpts from Wilde’s writings and the words of his contemporaries, Gross Indecency unveils its subject in all his genius and human frailty, his age in all its complacency and repression.  The Honorary Producers are Mike and Carin (Janet) Golze ’09.

The Flick by Annie Baker is a combined directing and acting senior thesis, directed by John Leslie and featuring Patrick Huff, taking place Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 in Norman James Theatre of William Smith Hall. The Flick takes place in a seen-better-days movie theater, one of the last which continues to use a 35-millimeter film projector. The story focuses on the employees whose job is to sweep up other people’s trash after the movie ends and follows as they grapple to understand themselves and each other. Annie Baker’s play challenges the audience to consider how silence is louder than words, the uniting power of movies, and how moments of theater can be found in everyday activities.

The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias by Michael Yates Crowley is a senior thesis directed by Elizabeth Clemens and will be presented on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. As described by The Playwrights Realm, “When Grace B. Matthias is raped, her world spirals into chaos. Between navigating emotionally unstable guidance counselors, overbearing lawyers, an angry championship football team, and useless Wikipedia answers, Grace tries to make sense of her world anew. A complex collision of satire and dark comedy, The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias fearlessly explores rape culture in America.” The honorary producers are John Beck ’05 and Carol Landis ’06.

For questions, please email Michele Volansky at mvolansky2@washcoll.edu. The Gibson Center for the Arts is located on the Washington College campus, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown. For more information: http://drama.washcoll.edu/

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations.With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC’s Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Presents “In the Kingdom of Devils” March 21

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Washington College welcomes Katherine Grandjean, associate professor of history at Wellesley College, for the 2018-2019 Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture, “In the Kingdom of Devils: The Harpe Murders and the Legacies of the American Revolution.”

Sponsored by the Department of History, the March 21 talk begins at 5 p.m. in Hynson Lounge and is free and open to the public.

Grandjean, who holds a B.A. in history from Yale University and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, researches early English colonization and the encounter with Native peoples, as well as the origins of American violence. In this talk, she discusses how on paper, the American Revolution ended in 1783, but for some, it continued. She investigates the violent legacies of the revolution, especially in the southern borderlands of the early republic. Following the lives of two brothers from North Carolina, who experienced some of the worst violence of the war as boys and, later in life, became killers, Grandjean will explore how the United States’s founding moment left behind so many violent, alienated men.

Grandjean’s work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Historical Association, and the Charles Warren Center for American History, and has appeared in such journals as the William and Mary QuarterlyAmerican Quarterly, and Early American Studies. A recent essay, “New World Tempests: Environment, Scarcity, and the Coming of the Pequot War,” won the American Society for Environmental History’s 2012 Alice Hamilton Prize for Best Article and the William and Mary Quarterly’s 2014 Douglass Adair Memorial Award.

She recently published her first bookAmerican Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations.With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Washington College Honors Mayor Chris Cerino and Rev. Bobby Brown

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Washington College honored two Chestertown luminaries—Mayor Chris Cerino and the Rev. Robert “Bobby” Brown—at its annual George Washington’s Birthday Convocation, conferring on both the President’s Medal.

College President Kurt Landgraf presented the awards, which recognize the accomplishments of an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of Washington College or the regional community.

Landgraf lauded Cerino for his service to the community through both his time as mayor and as Director of Education for the Sultana Education Foundation. Specifically, he cited Cerino’s “wit, grit, and nimble thinking and action to shepherd what is unquestionably the town’s most ambitious and at times contentious capital project, the construction of the new Chestertown Marina. Poised to open this spring, the new marina will preserve the town’s maritime heritage and promote tourism by creating an iconic gateway to Kent County. It will be a major economic driver for Chestertown, and thanks to the collaborative efforts led by Mr. Mayor to develop this new front porch to our community in tandem with Washington College’s waterfront campus, it has helped cement the historic connection between the town and the College.”

Mayor Chris Cerino (left photo) and Rev. Robert “Bobby” Brown (right photo), together with College President Kurt Landgraf.

Landgraf praised Brown as a bridge-builder, collaborator, and galvanizer, quoting Washington College French Professor Katherine Maynard, who has worked with Brown on the “Your Vote, Your Voice” initiative, saying “He is a community leader who builds bridges across the dividing lines that sometimes run through Kent County.” Brown, now in his tenth year as pastor of the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Chestertown, also worked with College faculty and staff to create last year’s inaugural Community Unity Day.

“His is a spiritual force that inspires the very best in all of us, always reminding us of what we are capable of,” Landgraf said. “In his actions, he shows us every day what it means to be an engaged citizen in our community and our world.”

You can watch the entire Convocation at https://www.washcoll.edu/offices/digital-media-services/live/. The President’s Medal portion runs from 1:18 to 1:25 in the video.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations.With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Senior Reporter for Vox to Speak at Washington College March 7

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Jane Coaston, a senior politics reporter for Vox and a journalist and writer based in Washington, D.C., will give a talk on contemporary American politics and culture on Thursday, March 7. Sponsored by Washington College’s Richard Holstein Program in Ethics, which promotes ethics education in the classroom, across campus, and in the community,the event begins with a reception at 4:15 p.m. at Hynson Lounge, followed by the talk starting at 5 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.

Coaston has written for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, and The Ringer. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended the University of Michigan before moving to St. Louis to work for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She covered the 2016 election for MTV News by examining the Republican party and the American right wing in depth. She has also written about college football for Every Day Should Be Saturday and covered the NFL for SBNation. You can follow her on Twitter @cjane87.

Coaston’s visit includes a discussion with journalism students at Kent County High School, led by teacher Sarah McCown.

For more information, contact Michael Harvey, curator of the Richard Holstein Program in Ethics, mharvey2@washcoll.edu, 410-778-7889.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations.With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

WC Department of Music Holds Second Annual Piano Festival in April

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Washington College’s Department of Music invites high school and college students to participate in its second annual Piano Festival, where they can develop their talents through workshops, performances, lessons, and competitions. Participants should apply by March 1 for the festival, which is set for April 20.

The featured guest artist, Yong Hi Moon, Professor of Piano at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, will teach a master class and present a concert as part of the Washington College Premier Artists Series at 7:30 p.m. on April 20 in Hotchkiss Recital Hall.

The Washington College Piano Festival is an immersive educational experience, geared to advancing participants’ skills and talents while also having a lot of fun and meeting other pianists. All students will have a chance to participate in a showcase/competition concert in Hotchkiss Recital Hall during the afternoon. They will be asked to perform a single piano piece for a panel of Washington College faculty judges, and up to $500 in cash prizes will be awarded to winners.

Other events include an informational workshop providing an overview of Washington College’s Music Department and a Q & A about practice techniques and possible careers in music. Students will have the opportunity to meet and have piano lessons with Washington College’s piano faculty, Matthew Brower and Woobin Park. In addition, campus tours will be offered throughout the day for students and their families.

To apply, students must submit a completed application, along with a recording of a single piece and a $25 application fee, by March 1. Applicants will be notified by March 15 if they have been accepted, and they will not have to pay an additional fee to participate in the festival. The application is available here: https://www.washcoll.edu/live/events/19704-washington-college-piano-festival

All events are open to the public. For more information, call 410-778-7839 or email concertseries@washcoll.edu. For more information about Yong Hi Moon’s performance, or to purchase tickets in advance, see the Washington College Concert Series at https://www.washcoll.edu/about/campus/gibson-center-for-the-arts/concert-series/.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations.With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Film Festival at Washington College on March 2

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The 2019 Jason Rubin American Musical Theater Film Festival will feature the 1985 film of the musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Tawes Experimental Theater at the Gibson Center for the Arts on the campus of Washington College. Rubin will introduce the film with a brief lecture.

Act I of “Sunday in the Park with George” follows a fictionalized George Seurat as the French Impressionist creates his masterpiece, “Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte.” Characters in the musical become subjects in his canvas. As Seurat devotes his energy to art, his love, Dot, feels neglected and moves on.

Jason Rubin

In the second act, Seurat’s fictional great-grandson also grapples with questions about art and life.

“Sunday in the Park with George” was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also won two Tony Awards for design, as well as a nomination for best musical.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the musical, and James Lapine wrote the book. It originally opened in 1983 off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons before moving to the Booth Theatre on Broadway on May 2, 1984. Patinkin and Peters starred.

Rubin began his teaching career at Washington College in spring 1986. A professional set designer since 1970, he designed sets for Theater of the First Amendment in Fairfax, Va., Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayettville, Penn., and the Folger in Washington, D.C. He was formerly artistic director of Children’s Theater Association in Baltimore and belongs to Actors Equity Association and Theater Library Association. For 10 years, he was a juror for the George Freedley Award. He has also taught at George Mason University and Loyola College in Baltimore. Rubin earned his MFA from Columbia University in scenery, costume, and lighting design in 1972 and his Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University in 1991.

Andrew Oros to Speak at the Rose O’Neill Literary House Feb. 11

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Washington College’s Andrew Oros, Professor of Political Science and International Studies and author of Japan’s Security Renaissance, will be at the Rose O’Neill Literary House for a faculty tea and talk on Monday, Feb.11, as part of the spring Literary House Series. The event at 4:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.

Oros will discuss some themes from his latest book, Japan’s Security Renaissance, in relation to the accession of a new emperor in Japan on May 1. This shift will be marked by the naming of a new era for Japan, yet to be announced—officially ending the Heisei era (“shining peace”) of Emperor Akihito that began in 1989. Japan will face many challenges in this new era, including the threats of a nuclear-armed North Korea, growing military power and ambitions in China, and uncertainty about the continuing U.S. role in East Asia under President Donald Trump.

Oros is a specialist in the international and comparative politics of East Asia and the advanced industrial democracies, with an emphasis on contending approaches to managing security and the linkage between domestic and international politics. He also serves as Associate Dean for International Education, providing oversight and strategic guidance for Washington College’s Global Education Office, the Office of English Language Learning, and international education-related issues College-wide.

He is the author of Japan’s Security Renaissance: New Policies and Politics for the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 2017) and of Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity, and the Evolution of Security Practice (Stanford University Press, 2008). He is also the co-author of Global Security Watch: Japan (Praeger Press, 2010) and the co-editor of and contributor to Japan’s New Defense Establishment: Institutions, Capabilities, and Implications (Stimson Center, 2007), Can Japan Come Back? (Pacific Council, 2003), and Culture in World Politics (Macmillan Press, 1998). Oros has shared his research in over a dozen scholarly articles and newspaper opinion pieces, in numerous mass-media quotations in publications like The New York Times and Time Magazine, and on air on BBC, NPR, CNN International, and CCTV, as well as in lectures to policymakers in Washington D.C., Tokyo, Beijing, Berlin, and elsewhere.

For more information on these events or the Literary House, visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse, or view the annual Literary Events Calendar brochure here: www.washcoll.edu/live/files/7406-2017-2018. For more information about Washington College’s international programming, visit the Global Education Office’s website here: www.washcoll.edu/offices/global-education/

Washington College to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 21

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Students and faculty at Washington College have planned a series of events that will take place throughout campus on Monday, January 21 to honor the great American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A concert by the Grammy-nominated M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio caps off a day of community service and learning led by the college’s Black Student Union.

The M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio concert will take place at 5:30 pm in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. The trio offers an evening of classics for the community to sing along to – acoustic blues, roots, spiritual music, and house-party tunes that are both uplifting and heart-wrenching, performed in the legendary Piedmont style. The band includes the accomplished harmonica player Jackie Merritt, Miles Spicer on guitar, and lead vocalist and percussionist Rosa Gibbs. Sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the concert is free and open to the public.

The Martin Luther King Day of Service and Learning kicks off with an “MLK Read-In” at 2:00 p.m. on Martha Washington Square (in the case of inclement weather, the location will be Gibson Center for the Arts). Washington College students, staff, and faculty will recite some of King’s most famous readings and speeches, including the I Have A Dream speech. Local students and community members are invited to join in with their own selected readings, poetry, and reflections on what Martin Luther King, Jr. means to them. Participating students and community members will be given priority to share their thoughts and readings at the speak-in.

From 4:00 – 5:00 pm volunteers will gather in The Egg in Hodson Hall to pack supplies for the Caring for Kids Backpack Program. This program provides lunches to qualifying elementary and middle school programs throughout the weekends when they do not have the support of school lunches.

“I have never looked at MLK Day as a day off, but instead as a day of serving those around me…our vision is to allow the community and students to have a day where they can serve each other in a meaningful way that would honor MLK and his service to the nation,” says Paris Mercier, president of Washington College’s Black Student Union.

This year’s campus event celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. coincides with the return of Washington College students from winter break. It offers an ideal opportunity for the community to come together in a meaningful way to renew their own commitment to King’s work in civil rights, social justice, and economic equality.

For more information contact Starr Center Deputy Director Patrick Nugent at pungent2@washcoll.edu or 410-810-7157.

Washington College Donates $43K to United Way of Kent County

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Washington College will donate $43,130 to United Way of Kent County this year, a sum made possible through payroll deductions and donations from 89 participating staff and faculty and a match from College President Kurt Landgraf.

“I want to thank all of the staff and faculty who have stepped up to donate even a small amount, and in the coming year I hope we can top 100 employees who are donating,” Landgraf said. “I know that it’s not always easy to choose how you’re going to give back to your community, but I can’t think of a better organization to support. United Way can lift up whole segments of our community’s population that need help the most, and that in turn helps us all.”

Landgraf also specially thanked Adam Goodheart, the Director of the College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, who on his own made a substantial one-time gift. Including that gift, staff and faculty raised $18,130, which Landgraf “matched” with a donation of $25,000.

Members of Washington College’s staff and faculty stand in Martha Washington Square to celebrate the United Way contribution this year.

“If United Way of Kent County can meet its $220,000 campaign goal, Washington College will have accounted for 20 percent of that total,” said Sarah Feyerherm, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and a member of United Way of Kent County’s Board of Directors. “Combined with all of the ways members of the College community support the United Way in other capacities, this really illustrates the College’s commitment to the greater community.”

Landgraf energized the College’s giving to United Way last year, when he asked employees to consider signing up for a payroll deduction and pledged to match whatever they raised. The total donation in 2017 was $28,154, which included $14,154 from staff and faculty, and $14,000 from Landgraf.

United Way of Kent County raises and distributes funding to multiple organizations, with a focus on improving the health, education,and financial stability of Kent County residents. In addition to the College’s donations through the workplace campaign, the College has directly supported or provided resources for many United Way member organizations including Character Counts! Kent County, the Kent Center, St. Martin’s Ministries, the Community Food Pantry, Camp Fairlee/Easter Seals, Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, Kent Forward, For All Seasons, Echo Hill Outdoor School, and the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

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