Chautauqua Opens Series at La Plata Campus July 9, 10, 11
The College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) Twilight Performance Series returns this summer with a new line-up to include history, music and theater. The free, family-friendly, outdoor series will feature local artists performing a variety of country, traditional bluegrass, Latin jazz and folk music, as well as musical and one-act theater programs at campuses in La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick.
This year CSM will host Chautauqua at the La Plata Campus July 9, 10 and 11. Twilight performances will continue at the Leonardtown Campus on Tuesdays, July 16, 23 and 30; at the La Plata Campus on Wednesdays, July 17, 24 and 31; and at the Prince Frederick Campus on Thursdays, July 18, 25 and Aug. 1. All performances will begin at 6:45 p.m.
The annual Chautauqua program includes interactive, family-friendly presentations and is an educational program of the Maryland Humanities Council, presented in partnership with CSM. This year’s theme is “Turning Points in History,” and will feature Chautauquan actors who will portray the historical figures of Rachel Carson, the mother of the environmental movement; Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean; and Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson, the first African American player in Major League baseball. For background on the figures, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Arts/TwilightSeries/index.html. Chautauqua will open at 6:45 p.m. with a short concert by local musician Steve Hickman. Beginning as a dancer and musician in the Potomac Country Dancers, Hickman has performed at the Kennedy Center and on a regular basis in Williamsburg and in Alexandria, Virginia at Gadsby’s Tavern. He also performs at dance and music events nationally and abroad.
Twilight performances continue the subsequent weeks with local bands Jackson Murphy Band and Sam Grow; theatrical productions of “HONK!,” “The Fisherman and His Wife,” “Sure Thing” and “The Actor’s Nightmare”; and local Latin ensemble, Ritmo Caché.
The band Jackson Murphy, with former Fitzmaurice band members Maria Fitzmaurice, Brandon Snellings, Mike Simms and Jeff Covert, has opened for country music heavyweights such as The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley and others. They’ve formed a new band to expand their ever-growing style. Joined by Mark Willis on drums, the band performs everything from traditional country and bluegrass to original songs written by the band. Preview the band at http://www.jacksonmurphymusic.com/about.html or on its Facebook fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/JacksonMurphyMusic. .
Sam Grow is a musical jack-of-all-trades—a singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, bassist and drummer—who grew up in Southern Maryland. He discovered a passion for music by the age of 5 while watching his father and sister singing and playing the piano. Grow’s father introduced him to artists such as The Righteous Brothers, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Elvis Presley, who would influence him throughout his musical career. After singing in the choir at his family’s church for several years, Grow headed into the studio in 2007 to record his debut album. Grow has singles which have earned success on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts as well as the album “Reveal” which as a whole record charted at No. 11. He is currently touring the U.S. with a schedule that consists of more than 250 shows a year. Preview Sam Grow’s music at http://www.samgrowband.com/fr_home.cfm or on its Facebook fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/samgrowfans.
Under the direction of CSM Music Coordinator Dr. Stephen Johnson, Latin Ensemble, Ritmo Caché, consists of CSM students and Southern Maryland community members who share a love of Latin-American music. Ritmo Caché plays in a variety of styles including salsa, Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, Latin pop, bossa nova, merengue and Tejano.
“HONK!” is a musical about a goose named Ugly, whose odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. When Ugly is separated from his farm and family, he embarks on a rollicking and harrowing journey where he not only discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny, but also finds love and acceptance.
“The Fisherman and His Wife” is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm about a poor fisherman who catches a golden flounder that claims to be an enchanted prince. The fisherman kindly releases it but when he tells his wife of the event she says that he should have asked the flounder to grant him a wish. The fish does grant a wish, and many more that the greedy wife demands until she goes too far with her requests.
“Sure Thing” is a one-act classic of contemporary comedy—two people meet in a café and find their way through a conversational minefield as an offstage bell interrupts their false starts, gaffes and faux pas on the way to finding love.
“The Actor’s Nightmare” is a one-act play that follows George who casually wanders into a theater and is suddenly pushed on stage to replace an ailing actor. Unsure of what play is being performed, George stumbles his way through a scene from “Private Lives,” “Hamlet” and “A Man for All Seasons,” until make-believe gives way to reality.
The Twilight series will take place outdoors on the La Plata Campus Fine Arts Building Lawn, the Leonardtown Campus Great Lawn, and on the Prince Frederick Patio. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and a picnic, or purchase food on site. No alcoholic beverages are permitted. In the event of inclement weather, performances will move indoors. On the La Plata Campus performances will move to the Fine Arts Center, on the Leonardtown Campus to Building A, Auditorium, and on the Prince Frederick Campus to the Multipurpose Room in Building B.
Gold, silver and bronze sponsorship levels are available for this year’s Twilight Performance Series. For information on sponsorships call 301-934-7649 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6169, Ext. 7649 or visit www.csmd.edu/Foundation. Current support for the series is made possible through Bronze Level sponsorships with Bayside Toyota, CSC, and Research and Engineering Development, LLC; and partnerships with the Leonardtown Business Association and the Maryland Humanities Council; and grant funding from the Arts Council of Calvert County, the Charles County Arts Alliance, the St. Mary’s County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.
For information on the Twilight Performance Series call 301-934-7703 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499, or 443-550-6169, Ext. 7703 or visit www.csmd.edu/Arts.
Chautauqua is a program of the Maryland Humanities Council presented in partnership with the College of Southern Maryland. The Maryland Humanities Council, Inc. is an independent non-profit organization which receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, corporations, foundations and individuals.
CSM’s campuses are accessible to patrons with disabilities. Audio description for the visually impaired and sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired are available with a minimum two-week advanced notice. Contact the academic support/ADA coordinator at 301-934-7614.