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Dance On Bones at Towson University

August 9, 2016

In March 2016, Dance On Bones was presented for three nights as the signature event for the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s celebration of Towson University’s sesquicentennial.  Dance On Bones is a jazz “choreopoem” portraying a world in which the sea levels are rising, trees are important, and jazz can save the world.  This is a script that I wrote to challenge traditional ideas of collaboration and the Towson production presented a unique opportunity to collaborate with students and colleagues from departments across the college, namely Dance, Electronic Media and Film, Music, and Theatre.

Each department contributed elements to different parts of the production and director Peter Wray helped each of those elements gel into the final product.  Peter has directed several of my works in both readings and production and I continue to appreciate his steady hand and attention to detail.  Peter assembled a cast of student actors, musicians, and dancers and evoked the harrowing yet hopeful world in this script.

Faculty designers and student artists contributed to the physical and visual world of the story building upon Peter’s idea of a post-apocalyptic festival celebrating the new world.  Over 100 students and artists from various departments contributed to this production, some in traditional theatre roles of scenic and costume construction, and many others in multimedia interpretations of portions of the script.  From storybook images:

page 1

Image created by Magalie Chenet-Smith.

To animated films:

To experimental films:


This is the second time that Dance On Bones has been presented (previously presented at the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan), and both times the piece is creating new opportunities for collaborations across mediums.

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