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Rising Stars: Meet Ryan Clark

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Clark. 

Hi Ryan, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I was born and raised in Baltimore and like so many folks, moved away shortly after college. I headed to the big apple to pursue my dreams of acting and directing theatre. After about eight years, I decided to head to graduate school to explore the craft of directing even further. Post-graduate school, I returned to Baltimore. At first, I planned on being here as a pit-stop to another larger city but, I fell in love with Baltimore. I saw it with completely new eyes–fresh, exciting, full of potential. After a few years, I secured my job as a professor of theatre at Stevenson University and started my theatre company, Quarry Theatre. Our mission is to explore new work with a socio-political lens. I continue to be invigorated by the energy here and look forward to an exciting future. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Securing work as a full-time professor is not easy. After a few years, I was successful. Balancing a theatre company and a college job is always challenging but after 10 years, I think I’ve got it! Finally, COVID-19 has been the largest struggle for the theatre community around the world. It will take many years for us to learn and rebound from this virus. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As a theatre director, I am a storyteller. As a child, I loved playing “make-believe.” I’m so lucky that my job allows me the opportunity to play. I enjoy theatre work that is devised–that is, not originally created by a playwright but an ensemble of actors, a director, and designers. This style of creation has been a hallmark of my work for the past several years. Devised work is often not realistic, non-linear, and abstract. I am interested in creating work that hits the pulse of the current socio-political environment. In 2017, my company, Quarry Theatre, created a piece entitled, MEDITATIONS ON NATIONALISM. This was a theatre piece exploring the dangerous threads of nationalism that seeped into the 2016 election. I’m very proud of that piece as it had a big impact on the audience and opened a discourse about the state of our identity as a nation. 

I am so proud to be part of the vibrant theatre community in Baltimore. I think we all bring something different to the table. What sets my work (Quarry Theatre’s work) apart is the complete originality of the projects–we create from scratch. 

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