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September 17, 2007

UMBC Department of Theatre presents “Wild Black-Eyed Susans” by Kara Lee Corthron

Directed by Jennifer L. Nelson

October 17–21, 2007
UMBC Theatre

Contact: Thomas Moore
Director of Arts & Culture

Note: You may view or download this release as a pdf file.



The UMBC Department of Theatre presents Wild Black-Eyed Susans, a new play by UMBC Theatre alumna Kara Lee Corthron, directed by Jennifer L. Nelson. The production runs October 17th through 21st in the UMBC Theatre.

Sisters Brady and Rita imagine new lives beyond the rural existence they know. Brady is sure she’s got the right stuff to be the next big super-model, and Rita’s poetic longing flows into her songwriting. Funny and moving by turns, the play strikingly captures moments of resilience, friendship, and claims for creative space where dreams are put into action.

Wild Black-Eyed Susans features set design by Klyph Stanford, costume design by Celestine Ranney-Howes, light design by Frank Miller, sound design by Terry Cobb and original music composed by Bobby Smith.

About the Playwright, Kara Lee Corthron
Kara Lee Corthron received the 2007 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights for Wild Black-Eyed Susans. Her play Like a Cow or an Elephant was awarded the 2007 Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwrights and was produced at the DePaul Theatre School in Chicago. She was also the winner of the 2006 New Professional Theatre Writer’s Award, is a three-time recipient of Lincoln Center’s Lecomte du Nouy Foundation Award, and was a semi-finalist for the 2007 Sundance Theatre Lab and Princess Grace Award. Corthron’s plays have been developed with the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Stage (Baltimore), African Continuum Theatre (D.C.), and at the Juilliard School. Ms. Corthron is a graduate of UMBC.

About the Director, Jennifer L. Nelson
Jennifer L. Nelson is the Founding Artistic Director of the African Continuum Theatre. She has worked in professional theatre for thirty-five years as an actress, administrator, educator, playwright, producer and director. The 2006–07 season marked her 11th year with African Continuum. She recently completed two terms as President of the League of Washington Theatres.

For African Continuum Ms. Nelson has produced twenty-six plays, including several world premieres. In addition to directing for African Continuum, she has directed at many theatres throughout the Washington area, including Ford’s, Round House, Woolly Mammoth, Everyman, Rep Stage, Theatre for the First Amendment, Source, Imagination Stage, Young Playwrights and Tsunami. Ms. Nelson has also directed at Manhattan Class Company in New York, the Taper and LATC in Los Angeles, Penumbra in Minnesota, Oregon Shakespeare and the Fulton in Pennsylvania.

Her play Torn from the Headlines was awarded the Helen Hayes Award for Most Outstanding New Play. She is a three-time winner of the Larry Neal Writers Award (for poetry and playwriting), a three-time grantee of the DC Commission on the Arts Individual Artist program, and a recipient of the Mayor’s Arts Awards for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline.

Ms. Nelson has been an adjunct professor in theatre departments at George Washington University, the American University, George Mason University and UCLA. She is a graduate of the University of California at Davis.

Wednesday, October 17, 8 pm (preview)
Thursday, October 18, 4 pm (free for the UMBC campus community)
Friday, October 19, 8 pm (opening night)
    Talkback with the Playwright and the Director immediately following the performance
Saturday, October 20, 8 pm
Sunday, October 21, 4 pm

Note: The play contains adult language and content.

$10 general admission; $5 students and seniors; $3 for the preview.
The performance on Thursday, October 18th is free for the UMBC campus community.
Tickets are available through MissionTix at or by calling MissionTix at 410-752-8950.

Patrons who would prefer to pay by cash or check may make a reservation through the online Theatre Box Office or by calling 410-455-2476.

Public information: (24 hour recorded message): 410-455-ARTS
Media inquiries only: 410-455-3370

• From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Theatre.
• From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Theatre.
• From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Theatre.
• Visitor parking is available in the Commons Garage. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadways require a parking permit unless otherwise marked.
Online campus map:

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Posted by tmoore at September 17, 2007 9:41 PM