Performing Arts Leadership & Management graduate students hosted four practicing artists/arts managers in a special panel discussion exploring the intersection between the gig economy and artist wellness at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1, in Armstrong Concert Hall. Panel participants include Stephanie Dorycott (artistic director, Motion X Dance), Ceylon Mitchell II (arts administrator, educator, Washington, D.C.), Josh Huff (general manager, Bright Box Theater), and Dorea Schmidt (private acting coach, Dorea Schmidt Studio). All Shenandoah University students, faculty and staff are invited to attend; however, seating preference will be given to Shenandoah Conservatory students with academic requirements.
Stephanie Dorrycott ’09 is the artistic director of Motion X Dance DC, a fast-growing contemporary dance company that launched in 2013. She was integrated in dance from an early age, training extensively in classical ballet, modern and jazz. Dorrycott received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Shenandoah University and was honored with the Excellence in Choreography Award upon graduation. She performed professionally for five years before she realized her truest passion was in choreography. Her choreography has been performed by various dance groups including Metropolitan Youth Ballet, Dancin’ Unlimited Jazz Company, The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax, Step Afrika and for the Youth American Grand Prix competitions. Choreographic accolades include the Monticello Award through Regional Dance America and choreographic commissions from Shenandoah University and Joy of Motion Dance Center. Motion X Dance DC has performed along the East Coast in many venues including the Atlas Performing Arts Center, The Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center, The Grace Street Theater in Richmond, Virginia, and The Charlotte Ballet Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina. Most recently the company performed her work, “Turning Point,” at the 36th Annual Choreographers’ Showcase at the University of Maryland. In addition to Motion X, Dorrycott is a passionate dance educator. She currently serves as the associate director of the Greater Washington Dance Center and is on faculty at the Metropolitan School of the Arts.
Josh Huff is a bassist, venue manager, father, and DIY enthusiast who currently lives in Winchester, Virginia, with his partner and child. Huff has served as the venue manager at Bright Box since its opening in May 2013. In addition to his work at Bright Box, he is the bassist for two bands, the education manager for NASF, a nonprofit out of D.C., and vice president of Valley Makers, a Winchester-based nonprofit makerspace.
Ceylon Narvelle Mitchell II is a professional flutist, arts entrepreneur, educator and arts advocate in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, and a graduate of East Anchorage High School, he earned a Master of Music Education degree from Boston University and a Master of Music Performance degree from the University of Maryland, in addition to a Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Journalism. Mitchell will continue his education in the Doctor of Musical Arts flute program at the University of Maryland in fall 2019. Recent achievements include participating in the National Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, and receiving the Young Alaskan Artist Award, a 2018 Prince George’s County Forty UNDER 40 Award in Arts & Humanities, and a 2019 Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council Artist Fellowship Grant. Mitchell’s mission is keeping classical music alive, authentic and accessible.
An active freelance artist, Mitchell is the co-founder, flutist and media manager of Potomac Winds, a chamber music collective. Described by the University of Maryland as “magnificent, deeply moving, and a model of alumni pride,” the ensemble is committed to promoting woodwind chamber music as a virtuosic medium through engaging performances of the highest level of artistic expression. As a music educator, Mitchell maintains a private studio in Maryland and serves as the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra flute choir conductor. He previously served as a teaching artist with the Boston Flute Academy and as the director of the Boston University Flute Ensemble.
Mitchell supports performing artists and arts organizations with digital media production and marketing consulting as the owner and founder of M3 Music Media Marketing, LLC, a multimedia organization. Tailored services include photography, videography and social media marketing. Recent clients include The Clarice, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Boulanger Initiative, Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation, the Anchorage Festival of Music, and numerous individual artists. Mitchell seeks to equip and empower his fellow performing artists for artistic and marketing success in a 21st-century landscape. Mitchell is also an active arts advocate in the D.C. area, serving as a board member of the Arts Administrators of Color Network and an Emerging Arts Advocates (EAA) member of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.
Mentors, past and present, include Dr. Saïs Kamalidiin, Ms. Janese Sampson, professor Leah Arsenault, Dr. William Montgomery, professor Linda Toote, Dr. Carmen Lemoine, and Sharon Nowak of Anchorage, Alaska, his first flute teacher. Additionally, Mitchell has performed in masterclasses for professional flutists such as Aaron Goldman, Marina Piccinini, Sir James Galway, Paul Edmund-Davies, Trevor Wye and Marianne Gedigian. He remains grateful to the entire Anchorage music community for preparing him for a promising career in the arts with encouragement and inspiration. Mitchell currently resides in Bladensburg, Maryland, with his wife, Denys Symonette Mitchell.
Dorea Schmidt is a Helen Hayes award-winning actor based in Washington, D.C. Credits in D.C. include the world premiere of “Sovereignty,” as well as “Oliver!” and “Fiddler on the Roof” at Arena Stage; “The School for Lies” at Shakespeare Theatre Company; “Caroline, or Change” at Round House Theatre; the world premiere of “Collective Rage” (Helen Hayes Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress) at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; “Carousel” (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress) and “Mary Poppins” at Olney Theatre Center; “Black Comedy,” “The Fantasticks,” and “The Last 5 Years” at No Rules Theatre Company; and “The Love of the Nightingale” at Constellation Theatre Company. Regional credits include “Crimes of the Heart” and “The Beaux’ Stratagem” at Everyman Theatre; “My Fair Lady” at The Cape Playhouse and “The Sound of Music” at the Fulton Theatre/Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Schmidt trained at the William Esper Studio and the National Theatre Institute. She is a company member of Only Make Believe, a nonprofit organization that brings interactive theatre to children in hospitals and other care facilities. She is also on the steering committee for Actors Arena, a forum based at Arena Stage that provides workshops and discussions for professional actors in the D.C. area to hone and develop skills, facilitate substantive artistic exploration and nourish the artistic spirit. Visit www.doreaschmidt.com to learn more.