Guest Playwright Examines the SMCM “Black Experience”

On Tuesday, Sept. 27 and Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m. in Montgomery Hall 103, guest playwright-director Caleen Sinnette Jennings from American University will meet with interested students to talk about the Black student experience at St. Mary’s College. These discussions will form the basis for St. Mary’s Hear and Now, an original collaborative play, written by Jennings, on being a Black student in the SMCM community. Students are welcome to attend one or both sessions with the playwright.

The play will begin rehearsals Oct. 10 and will perform in the Bruce Davis Theater in early December. Each performance will feature highlights from a documentary film of the play-creation process by filmmaker Carl Jennings and will include post-show discussion between participant-performers and audience.

An award-winning playwright, Caleen Jennings has worked collaboratively with communities of students on original performance work about their experiential living. She invites any interested student to participate in and listen to discussions about what it is like to be a Black student at St. Mary’s College. Jennings’s goal is for participants to weave a multicultural and multi-ethnic tapestry of voices in monologues and scenes about the Black student experience. All students are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Caleen Jennings’s residency and the St. Mary’s Hear and Now project are generously supported by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty and by Arts Alliance of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

For further information about the play-creation process or about being involved in the interviews and discussions, contact the playwright-director, Caleen Sinnette Jennings, at CaleenJ6350@gmail.com or Mark A. Rhoda in the Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies at marhoda@smcm.edu or ext. 4231.

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