Maryland Arts Festival

Behind the Scenes

June 20, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: A component of the college of Fine Arts and Communication at Towson University, the Maryland Arts Festival strives to provide a forum for high-quality artistic endeavors with emphasis on production and display of work by Maryland residents. The summer festival features six weeks of theater, music, art and film. Participating artists include recognized music and theater professionals, community members and students selected through competitive auditions. Festival programming is chosen to enhance accessibility of the arts to the public, to develop new works, to produce revivals of masterworks of the Broadway musical repertoire, and to present existing works that are never or seldom seen in the Baltimore area. The festival's artistic producer is Michael Decker.

Latest accomplishment: The 18th season of the Maryland Arts Festival opened Thursday with A. R. Gurney's comedy "The Dining Room," which is scheduled to run through July 2 in the Center for the Arts Studio Theater. A free exhibition of works by local artists, "Strictly Tactile," also opened Thursday and remains on view in the Center for the Arts Holzman Gallery until the festival closes July 24.

On the horizon: In addition to its opening production, the Maryland Arts Festival features "Godspell," June 25 through July 24; "Opera on Film," July 9, July 16 and July 23; and the Baltimore/Washington premiere of "Rags: Children of the Wind," a musical about immigrants, July 10-24. Festival organizers are also planning to reinvigorate programs for children and dance performances.

About the MAF: Annual attendance: 12,000. Operating budget: $200,000.

Where and when: Towson University, Center for the Arts and Stephens Hall Theatre, Osler and Cross Campus drives. Show and exhibition times vary. Box office hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 410-830-2787.

Dr. Maravene Loeschke, MAF board president and dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication: "Maryland Arts Festival is one of Towson University's most important and respected community outreach initiatives. It brings professionals, students, faculty, alumni and community actors, designers and production staff together to produce a variety of performances to summer audiences of over 12,000."

Members of the board

Michael Decker

Shawn Doyle

John Glover

Lois Hodes

Dr. Harold Kaplan

Ruth Carol Marder

Craig Martin

Nan Rosenthal

Jan Schofield

Janet Tobert

Mary Louise Williams

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