UMCP names head for arts center Director: Jeffrey N. Babcock envisions a collaborative village for performing artists from different disciplines.

Arts Notes

September 14, 1997|By Karin Remesch | Karin Remesch,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Jeffrey N. Babcock, the man behind the cultural and entertainment programs of the Centennial Olympic Games, has been named executive director of the new Maryland Center for the Performing Arts in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Babcock, a 25-year veteran arts-management executive, started in his new position Sept. 1.

He envisions the performing arts center, scheduled to open in 1999, as a collaborative village where performing artists from different disciplines can train and create together and reach out to enrich the cultural life of the community.

The 318,000-square-foot center will be situated on 24 acres at the west entrance to the campus. The $106.9 million project will be home to more than 200 faculty and 5,000 students. In addition to classrooms and offices, the center will include a 1,200-seat concert hall, a recital hall, a proscenium theater, an experimental theater and a performing-arts library.

Lectures on design and film

Graphic designer Paula Scher will lecture at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, at 7: 30 p.m. Thursday, and film director George Kuchar, known for his "no-budget" movies, will talk at 7 p.m. Friday. Both lectures, part of the college's mixed-media series, are free to the public and will take place in the Mount Royal Station Auditorium.

Scher is a partner at Pentagram Design, an international design firm based in New York. Her graphic-design work includes packaging, identities, editorial layout, promotional material and advertising for a broad range of clients, including the New York Times Magazine.

Kuchar, sometimes in collaboration with his brother Mike, made "Hold Me When I'm Naked," "Vermin of the Vortex," "The Cult of the Cubicles," "Eclipse of the Sun Virgin" and more than 160 other films and videos. He teaches video production at the San Francisco Art Institute.

For more information, call 410-225-2300.

Ten years of 'Madness'

"Shear Madness," the long-running comedy whodunit at the Kennedy Center, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Sept. 25. The play, which opened for a 12-week limited engagement in 1987, is still going strong and has been seen by nearly 1.5 million people.

"Shear Madness," set in Georgetown and filled with local color and spontaneous humor, engages locals and tourists as armchair detectives to help solve the scissors-stabbing murder of a famed concert pianist who lived above the Shear Madness unisex hairstyling salon.

The show has been produced throughout the country and internationally. The Boston production of "Shear Madness" -- now in its 18th year -- has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running nonmusical play in the history of American theater, followed by the Chicago production, now in its 16th year, in second place, and the Washington production in third.

"Shear Madness" is the longest-running play of any kind in the history of the Kennedy Center and the longest-running play in Washington theater history.

Theatre Alliance birthday

The Baltimore Theatre Alliance will celebrate its first birthday at an annual membership meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles St.

The nonprofit group was formed to strengthen and expand live theater in Baltimore. Membership ranges from professional to community companies, actors, directors and technicians. The annual fee is $10.

Call 410-783-0777.

Volunteers wanted

The National Building Museum in Washington is looking for professionals and university students in architecture, art, design, urban planning and engineering to volunteer for "CityVision," a three-month program that uses design as a framework to teach "at-risk" middle school youths how to examine their neighborhoods critically and creatively. During the workshops at the museum, students identify and propose solutions to urban problems and give a final presentation.

CityVision volunteers are asked to spend two seven-hour days a month at the museum working with the students. Sponsoring a field trip or presentation is another volunteer option. The sessions run from October through December and February through May. Call 202-272-2448.

The business side

The Columbia Association Art Center will present "The Business of Art," a lecture by author Nanette Chapman Blinckikoff, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Blinckikoff, who wrote "Promoting Fine Art: Baltimore, Maryland," will provide advice on business matters for artists. Topics will include artistic evaluation, marketing preparation, exhibitions and sales of art work.

The center is at 6100 Foreland Garth in Columbia. Call 410-730- 0075.

Auditions

* Moonlight Troupers. "The Music Man." Roles open for adults and children -- one girl, one boy and the chorus. Children 8-14 audition 1 p.m.-3 p.m. today in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts, Anne Arundel Community College, College Parkway in Arnold. Older children and adults, 7 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday. Call 410-315-7030.

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