The Clarice, as it’s called, is the major performing and visual arts center for the University of Maryland. They say they are, “creating the NextNOW, building the future of the arts by educating, training and presenting the next generation of artists and creative innovators.”
The building, which opened in 2001, incorporates the School of Music, the School of Theatre, Dance and Performing Studies, the National and International Artist Partner Program, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, and the MilkBoy. Classical performers have included Yo-Yo Ma.
On the other end of the spectrum is MilkBoy, where Tommy Joyner and Jamie Lokoff (MilkBoy Studio in Philadelphia) have provided musical input and Bill Hanson has provided food and beverage industry knowledge. They’ve opened two restaurants and music venues with an expansion into the Clarice to serve the community in and around the University, providing outstanding music and fancy American comfort food.
“A hub of innovation and possibility, The Clarice is building the future of the arts now!,” says the University.
Six main venues provide intimate to large settings, all of which are wheelchair accessible.
The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Theatre seats up to 86 people in a black-box theater. It’s used for lectures, meetings, performances, and special events.
With 190 seats, the Dance Theatre has a wood-sprung floor and retractable seats. It’s used to rehearsals, lectures, workshops, and performances.
The larger Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Concert Hall features a 134-seat choir loft and can seat 962 people. Line of sight is perfect, as are the acoustics for large ensembles.
Providing a more intimate venue, the jewel-box Joseph & Alma Gildenhorn Recital Hall has 297 seats that delight solo and chamber artists and audiences.
For a classic proscenium theatre, it’s the Ina & Jack Kay Theatre with 626 seats. It seems to delight in handling large and elaborate sets and big casts.
The last official presentation space is the Robert & Arlene Kogod Theatre that is a flexible, multi-purpose black box space that can be used variously for performances and meetings (for up to 156 people) and receptions.
Actually, there are four other spaces. These are the Grand Pavilion at the main entrance (they see it as the town square of their performing arts village), the Upper Pavilion (informal reception area), Faculty/Staff Lounge, and the Theatre Courtyard (outside the Applause Cafe).
Check the calendar for upcoming events, or sign up for a season of live entertainment that should amaze you and let you remember in twenty years that you saw a certain performer when he or she was just starting a new career.
Clarice Smith is a native Washingtonian who attended the University of Maryland. She’s been painting for 35 years and has had numerous solo shows throughout the States and abroad.
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