Upcoming Events

  • September 4
    TFMS Open House, 7:30-8:30 p.m.+, Bruce Davis Theater, MH. Come enjoy the party! Mandatory for declared and intended TFMS majors.
  • September 9-10
    Auditions, Much Ado About Nothing, 6:00-10:00 p.m., Bruce Davis Theater, MH. Contact the director, Michael Ellis-Tolaydo, for information.
  • September 22
    Eighth Annual TFMS Film Series, with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer ("The Act of Killing"), 7:15 p.m., Cole Cinema, Campus Center. Free and open to the public. 
  • October 20
    Eighth Annual TFMS Film Series, with filmmaker Lynne Sachs ("Your Day Is My Night"), 8:15 p.m., Cole Cinema, Campus Center. Free and open to the public.
  • October 30-31
    Performances of "Falling Man, a dance-art project," with Leonard Cruz & Caitie Sullivan, 8:00 p.m. (Oct. 30) & 4:30 p.m. (Oct. 31), Boyden Gallery, MH. Free and open to the public.


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2014 - 2015
Season and Events

Box Office

For Reservations:
240-895-4243 or e-mail boxoffice@smcm.edu
Box Office Manager:
Leigh Callahan
Allison Wengler

For our assisted hearing patrons: The Bruce Davis Theater is equipped with a hearing assistance system. If you would like assistance, please ask one of the Box Office managers for a receiver when you pick up and pay for your tickets. Students who require a receiver will be asked to leave their student ID at the Box Office until the receiver is returned; non-students will be asked to leave their driver's license.

TFMS Alumni
Where Are They Now?

Megan Rippey

Megan Rippey (class of 2008, B.A. women, gender, and sexuality studies, minor in theater studies) recently completed her M.F.A. in acting at the California Institute of the Arts (class of 2013).

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Site maintained by:
Mark A. Rhoda
For comments about this site or suggestions for its improvement, contact: marhoda@smcm.edu

2014-2015 Season and Events


Eighth Annual TFMS Film Series: Hybrid Documentary: Enacting Actuality

Weekly Monday evening screenings
September 22 at 7:15 p.m.; October 20 & November 10 at 8:15 p.m.
Cole Cinema, Campus Center
Free and open to the public

Film series poster design by Drama Queen Graphics, http://dramaqueengraphics.com



Where does documentary end and fiction begin? For this year’s series, three documentarians – Joshua Oppenheimer, Lynne Sachs, and Terence Nance – will present work that blurs the boundaries between documentation and enactment in an emerging form of documentary practice known as “hybrid documentary.”

“The notion of cinema ‘blurring the boundaries’,” British cineaste Luke Moody says of the “hybrid” form, “has created much buzz in the documentary world but little digestive reflection. An initial point of query is: ‘Hybrid between what and what?’ One general assumption is that these works emerge from the interstice of documentary and fiction – but what other boundaries do they operate between? Observation and instigation, life and art, the actual and possible, translation and interpretation, presence and performance, construction and deconstruction, evidence and hearsay, authorship and plagiarism, meaning and abstraction.”

The following screening schedule and filmmakers' participation are subject to change. All screenings take place in Cole Cinema, Campus Center, on the SMCM campus, and are free and open to the public.

Joshua Oppenheimer
"The Act of Killing"
Monday, September 22
7:15 p.m., Cole CinemaJoshua Oppenheimer

Oscar-nominated director and producer Joshua Oppenheimer has worked as a filmmaker for over a decade with militias, death squads, and their victims to explore the relationship between political violence and the public imagination. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Oppenheimer is artistic director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster in London and a partner in the film production company Final Cut for Real in Copenhagen. Born in the U.S., Oppenheimer studied filmmaking at Harvard, from which he received his B.A., and went on to earn his PhD from Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts London, while studying on a Marshall Scholarship. His award-winning films include The Act of Killing (2012, Guardian Film Award – Best Picture; BAFTA, European Film Award, and Asia Pacific Screen Award – Best Documentary), The Globalization Tapes (2003, co-directed with Christine Cynn), The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase (1998, Gold Hugo Award, Chicago), These Places We’ve Learned to Call Home (1996, Gold Spire Award, San Francisco), and numerous shorts. Oppenheimer is co-editor of Acting on AIDS: Sex, Drugs and Politics (1997) and Killer Images: Documentary Film, Memory and the Performance of Violence (2013).

It is his debut feature-length documentary, The Act of Killing—the chilling account of the mid-1960s genocide in Suharto-era Indonesia in which key participants reenact their crimes for the camera—that thrust Oppenheimer into the international spotlight. The documentary was produced by Final Cut for Real’s CEO Signe Byrge Sørensen and filmmakers Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, with co-direction by Christine Cynn and Anonymous (unnamed Indonesian partners who, due to the nature of the film—its subject matter, production methods, and the context in which it was made—necessitated their anonymity). The film premiered at the 2012 Telluride International Film Festival and has subsequently garnered world-wide recognition and critical acclaim. In the U.S., the documentary received an Oscar, Directors Guild of America Award, and Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. For his follow-up feature-length documentary, Oppenheimer has returned to the subject of the Suharto-era killings with The Look of Silence (2014), which follows an Indonesian family that survived the genocide and explores how they were affected by it.

Check out: www.theactofkilling.com and www.final-cut.dk

Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs"Your Day Is My Night"
Monday, October 20
8:15 p.m., Cole Cinema

A 2014 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film-Video, Lynne Sachs makes films, installations, performances, and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, her work weaves together poetry, collage, painting, politics, live performance, and layered sound design. 

Since 2006, Sachs has collaborated with her partner, Mark Street, in a series of mixed-media performance collaborations they call The XY Chromosome Project. In addition to her work with the moving image, Sachs co-edited the 2009 Millennium Film Journal issue on “Experiments in Documentary” and co-curated the 2014 film seriesWe Landed/ I Was Born/ Passing By: NYC’s Chinatown on Film” at Anthology Film Archives. Sachs has received support from the Rockefeller and Jerome Foundations and the New York State Council on the Arts and residencies in both film and poetry from the MacDowell Colony. Her films have screened at the New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto’s Images Festival, and Los Angeles’ REDCAT Theatre as well as a five-film retrospective at the Buenos Aires Film Festival. Sachs teaches experimental film and video at New York University and The New School and lives in Brooklyn.

Recently, after 25 years of making experimental documentaries, Sachs discovered something about her filmmaking practice that “turned all [my] ideas about filmmaking upside down.” While working on Your Day Is My Night (2013) in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City, Sachs realized that every time she asked a person to talk in front of her camera, her subject performed for her rather than reveal something honest about his/her life. The very process of recording guaranteed that some aspect of the project would be artificial. So, Sachs invited her subjects to work with her to make the film, to become her collaborators. For Sachs, this change in her process moved her toward a new type of filmmaking, one that not only explores the experiences of her subjects, but also invites them to participate in the construction of a film about their lives.

In 2012, Sachs began a series of live film performances of Your Day Is My Night in alternative theater spaces around New York City. She then completed the hour-long hybrid video, which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in 2013 and screened at the Vancouver Film Fest, Union Docs, New Orleans Film Fest, and other venues in the U.S. and abroad.

In Sachs’s film, immigrant residents of a “shift-bed” apartment* in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown share their stories of personal and political upheaval. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of the Chinese in the United States through conversations, autobiographical monologues, and theatrical movement pieces. Shot in the kitchens, bedrooms, wedding halls, cafés, and mahjong parlors of Chinatown, this hybrid documentary addresses issues of privacy, intimacy, and urban life.

*“Shift-bed” apartments provide accommodations to struggling working-class immigrants who rent these spaces from those willing to vacate for half of the day for about $150/month.

Check out: www.lynnesachs.com

Terence Nance
"Terence NanceAn Oversimplification of Her Beauty"
Monday, November 10
8:15 p.m., Cole Cinema

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Terence Nance comes from a family of actors, photographers, and musicians. A filmmaker, musician, screenwriter, and actor, himself, he studied visual art at New York University, where he developed his art-making practice to include mixed-media installation, music, and film. Nance makes music under the name Terence Etc. His music can be classified as “Art-Funk,” drawing on familiar funk influences like Stevie Wonder and James Brown as well as less obvious composers, like Andrew Lloyd Weber, Dilla, Leadbelly, the Kronos Quartet, and Thelonius Monk. An accomplished music video director, Nance has collaborated on short films and music videos with Blitz the Ambassador, Cody ChesnuTT, and Pharoahe Monch, to name only a few. He currently resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, along with the rest of The Swarm, and is working on his next feature, The Lobbyists.

Nance’s explosively creative debut feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012), which he built around his 2006 short How Would You Feel?, is an Independent Filmmaker Labs alumnus and premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It won the 2012 Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.” In 2012, Filmmaker magazine selected Nance as one of the 25 new faces of independent film.

You’ve just arrived home after a bad day. You’re broke and lonely, even though you live in the biggest and busiest city in America. You do, however, have one cause for mild optimism: you seem to have captured the attention of an intriguing young lady. You’ve rushed home to clean your apartment before she comes over. In your haste, you see that you’ve missed a call. There’s a voice mail; she tells you that she won’t be seeing you tonight.

And so lay the premise of An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. The film is, Richard Brody of The New Yorker writes, a “sharply intelligent, deeply vulnerable romantic comedy . . . a masterwork of reflexive construction. . . . Romantic obsession has rarely been filmed as sweetly, love’s labors have rarely been revealed so insightfully as their own reward."

Check out: www.terencenance.com

The Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies would like to thank the following for their generous support of the Eighth Annual TFMS Film Series: Lecture and Fine Arts, Arts Alliance, and The Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare
directed by Michael Ellis-Tolaydo

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING poster design by Drama Queen Graphics, http://dramaqueengraphics.com


Bruce Davis Theater, Montgomery Hall Fine Arts Center
November 6-8 & 13-15, 8 PM; November 9 & 16, 2 PM

It’s Shakespeare at his rom-com best! MUCH ADO is a play about love, betrayal, and one-upness. It’s got witty dialogue, fireworks between lovers young and older (the obstinate ones, who’ve sworn never to marry . . . each other), bumbling villains, and sadly incompetent law officers. It's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, and a lot to do about us.

Let’s set the scene – Leonato, the Governor of Messina, welcomes Don Pedro and some of his soldiers to Messina. Among Don Pedro’s party are Don John (his nefarious brother), the young Count Claudio, and a gentleman-soldier, Benedick. Claudio falls (head-over-heels) in love with Hero, Leonato’s daughter; and with help from Don Pedro, he tries to win her hand. Benedick, on the other hand, is a sworn bachelor and tangles with the equally independent Beatrice. But by means of "nothing" (which sounds the same as "noting," and which is gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked by Don John into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief, propagated by Don John, that she has been unfaithful. Hero faints and dies . . . or does she? Will these two couples get together? How will the bungling Dogberry and his Watch prove Hero's innocence? At the end, Benedick and Beatrice join forces to set things right, and the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.

Auditions for MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING will take place in the Bruce Davis Theater (BDT) on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 9-10, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. Callbacks are currently scheduled for Thursday, September 11, 6:00-8:30 p.m., in the BDT. For your audition, please prepare a 1-2 minute comic monologue of your choice; a prepared (memorized) piece is preferable to a cold reading. Copies of the play are on reserve at the circulation desk of the College library, if you’re interested in reading the play before auditioning. Just ask for the “Theater Production” binder.  Please direct any questions about audition procedures or the production to the director, Michael Ellis-Tolaydo, at mellistolaydo@smcm.edu.

Reservations: To reserve tickets for MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, contact the Theater Box Office at 240-895-4243 (ext. 4243), or email boxoffice@smcm.edu. Ticket prices are $4 for students, faculty, SMCM staff, senior citizens, and Arts Alliance members; $6 general admission. Patrons must pick up their reserved tickets at the Box Office window by 7:50 p.m. for evening performances and by 1:50 p.m. for matinee performances; otherwise, unclaimed tickets will be released for sale.

Exquisite Corpse

conceived and directed by Jess Lustig

EXQUISITE CORPSE poster design by Drama Queen Graphics, http://dramaqueengraphics.com


Bruce Davis Theater, Montgomery Hall Fine Arts Center
February 25-28, 8 PM; March 1, 2 PM

Named after the parlor game, in which players add words or images to a composition in sequence, EXQUISITE CORPSE sets out to examine the ‘story’ of war through a collection of narratives about war drawn from one-act plays, dance/movement, and spoken word.

As director Lustig avers: “After every major conflict, we wring our hands and say ‘never again,’ and yet every day we hear about new conflict zones, new casualties, and new enemies to be vanquished. I believe this to be a reflection of a single narrative written for us, rather than a multi-faceted story examined by us. Each article on the news, each sensational headline, each tragic tale is the one line we are permitted to see on a daily basis. What happens, then, if we seek out other lines, if we draw the lines of ‘us’ and the lines of ‘them’ together? Might we then shape our own direction rather than follow a course dictated to us? What is the power in storytelling language? What responsibility lies with the teller and the witness? EXQUISITE CORPSE promises to be a visceral theatrical experience that examines these questions through various storytelling techniques that help deconstruct the master narrative of war.”

Auditions for EXQUISITE CORPSE will be held in January 2015. Dates, times, and location, TBA. Please check back periodically for updated information. Please direct any questions about audition procedures or the production to the director, Jess Lustig, at jtlustig@smcm.edu.

Reservations: To reserve tickets for EXQUISITE CORPSE, contact the Theater Box Office at 240-895-4243 (ext. 4243), or email boxoffice@smcm.edu. Ticket prices are $4 for students, faculty, SMCM staff, senior citizens, and Arts Alliance members; $6 general admission. Patrons must pick up their reserved tickets at the Box Office window by 7:50 p.m. for evening performances and by 1:50 p.m. for matinee performances; otherwise, unclaimed tickets will be released for sale.

Slasher (a horrifying comedy)

by Allison Moore
directed by Mark A. Rhoda

SLASHER poster design by Drama Queen Graphics, http://dramaqueengraphics.com


Bruce Davis Theater, Montgomery Hall Fine Arts Center
April 22-25, 8 PM; April 26, 2 PM

When she’s cast as the iconic “last girl” in a low-budget slasher flick, Sheena thinks it’s the big break she’s been waiting for to get her family out of hock and herself out of Austin, TX. But news of the movie unleashes her malingering mother’s thwarted feminist rage, and Mom is prepared to do anything to stop the filming . . . even if it kills her! A hilarious hit at the 2009 Humana Festival of New American Plays at The Actors Theater of Louisville, Allison Moore’s “horrifying comedy” will have you gasping and guffawing!

Auditions for SLASHER will currently take place in the Bruce Davis Theater (BDT) on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 3-4, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Callbacks are currently scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 7:00-10:00 p.m., in the BDT. For your audition, please prepare a 1-2 minute contemporary comic monologue of your choice; a prepared (memorized) piece is preferable to a cold reading. Copies of the play will be placed on reserve at the circulation desk of the College library no later than mid-January 2015, if you’re interested in reading the play before auditioning. Just ask for the “Theater Production” binder. Please direct any questions about audition procedures or the production to the director, Mark A. Rhoda, at marhoda@smcm.edu.

Reservations: To reserve tickets for SLASHER, contact the Theater Box Office at 240-895-4243 (ext. 4243), or email boxoffice@smcm.edu. Ticket prices are $4 for students, faculty, SMCM staff, senior citizens, and Arts Alliance members; $6 general admission. Patrons must pick up their reserved tickets at the Box Office window by 7:50 p.m. for evening performances and by 1:50 p.m. for matinee performances; otherwise, unclaimed tickets will be released for sale.