March 26, 7 p.m.

Hello, and Welcome to the Performance.

This is the first time I’ve written a message to you knowing that you’ll be attending the dance performance or theatrical production virtually. You might be in your living room. You might not be in Mississippi. I will miss seeing you in a live audience, so I remind myself that this is all temporary. So until we return to live performances, let us take advantage of this moment. You will see new approaches to presenting live theatre tonight. You will see new venues for dance performances. You will see students who took risks, trusted their training, and recalibrated their artistic compasses.

I heard recently that while it’s easy to approach this moment in the performing arts as a low and insurmountable one, that is not the whole story. We are living a historical moment in the performing arts. We are making theatre and dance in a profound context. We have been asked to reinvent what we do, to connect to what we love in new ways, and dare I say, to take stock of who we are as individual artists. This is our moment. I cannot say this moment has seemed like a gift every step of the way. In fact, it’s often felt like an impossible problem that faculty, staffs and students were required to solve—and to do it with the deadline of an opening night. And this brings us to tonight.

I hope you enjoy the performance. It is nothing short of extraordinary. I’ve learned so much about my colleagues since last spring. I’ve learned the unfathomable degree to which they will reinvent their processes in new mediums and through new methods. I learned the astronomical amount of work they were willing to put in over the summer to be ready for students. I learned more than I ever thought I would know about new technology. And all of it was done for one reason: for our students. And our students do all of this for you: our audiences.

I imagine the excitement of a premiere transcends a virtual platform. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing what has happened not in our studios and rehearsal hall, but in apartments and outdoors. I am thrilled to know I will see dancers dancing and actors acting. And when we get to the other side of this, I will be curious to see what remains—what becomes permanent—even though all of this is temporary.

Stacy Reischman Fletcher

Director, School of Performing and Visual Arts

Date //

March 26 – 7:00 p.m.

Broadcast Live!

Tickets //

$5 General Admission

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Program Information //

This concert celebrates Women’s History Month, but not by requiring all of the dances to reflect one particular theme. Instead, it honors the different creative visions of women artists across identities, dance genres, and generations. Each dance you will see tonight explores and embodies ideas—from childhood experiences that taught us about the sacredness of all women to poetic explorations of how to face the challenges of our current times—while inviting you to make your own meaningfulness in relation to what you see. Thank you for being here with us, and enjoy the show!


Choreography & Videography: Candice Salyers, in collaboration with the dancers

Performance: Madison Johnson, Katie Milligan, Natalie Sunseri, Brittany Tolbert, and Hadley Voss

Music: “St. Teresa” by Joan Osborne

Very special thanks to Craig Dettman and Jay Morris in the USM Theatre Program

Where to Begin

Choreographer:  Kelly Ferris Lester (faculty)

Performers: Kelly Ferris Lester and Candice Salyers

Costume Designer:  Kelly James Penot

Text: Where to Begin  by Cleo Wade

Visual Artist Collaborator:  Hannah Cantrell

Videographer: Pashion Hinnant

This work is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Fully Disengaged

Choreographers: Brooke Legrow and Katie Milligan

Videographer: Brooke Legrow

Editor: Katie Milligan

Dancers: Emma Armstrong, Kennedy Fleming, Aki Holder, Shakeena Manning, Emaleigh Ousterhout, and Jalyn Roberson

Music: “Catharsis​” by Tim Engelhart, “Focus” by Josh Vincenzo

in existence or in absence

Concept: Candice Salyers

Contributing artists: Kaylin Wilson, Lauren Guynes, Katherine Moore, Brianna Jahn, Kelly Lester, Candice Salyers

Music: Peter Jones (originally composed for Reflecting Light by Candice Salyers)

Text: Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi

Amiss Rapture

Choreography: A’Miracle Fagan

Dancers: Pashion Hinnant, Tiana Kargbo, Damion Seymour, Jaylen Williams

Apprentice: Brooke McDonald

Music: Alone- xxyyxx

Program Note: There is nothing in the world so wonderful as to love and be loved; there is nothing so devastating as love lost.” -Larry Latta

*This dance was recorded prior to the pandemic and was meant to be included in the concert celebrating Women’s History Month 2020.

Faculty and Staff //


Stacy Reischman Fletcher – Professor in Dance, Director, School of Performing and Visual Arts

Julie Hammond – Professor in Dance, Dance Program Coordinator, Associate Director, School of Performing and Visual Arts

Leketha Hughes – Administrative Specialist

Brianna Jahn – Assistant Professor in Dance

Kelly Lester – Professor in Dance, Director, Center for Faculty Development

Katherine Moore – Assistant Teaching Professor in Dance

Dr. Candice Salyers – Assistant Professor in Dance

Lauren Soutullo Smith – Assistant Teaching Professor in Dance, Repertory Dance Company Director

Sandra Whittington – Administrative Specialist

A special thanks to the Choreography students who helped in the production of our virtual concerts. We could not have done it without your hard work and dedication.



This performance is made possible by:


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