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Howard Community College Presents “In the Cotton” November 9–12

part of the poster for HCC's production of

Update: A story about 'In the Cotton' and its theatrical collaboration between community colleges appeared in the Howard County Times.

Columbia, MD – The Howard Community College (HCC) Theatre Program, along with Carroll and Prince George’s community colleges, will debut an original, collaborative production of The Farm Theatre Project called “In the Cotton,” by Morgan McGuire. Performances take place November 9–12,  in HCC’s Smith Theatre, located within the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA). Directed by Theatre Department Chair Bill Gillett, “In the Cotton” is a timely play that explores perspectives of race and society, communication, and relationships. The story revolves around a hate crime that is perpetrated on a college campus, and the feelings this evokes in a group of college students.

The production represents a unique and innovative endeavor, in which Howard, Carroll, and Prince George’s community colleges have collaborated. The original work was commissioned by the three schools through the New York-based Farm Theatre Project, which connects professional playwrights with students and writers, and weaves student conversations into an original play. This series of performances mark the final iteration of a script that was previously performed at Carroll and Prince George’s community colleges, and has been continuously revised between each venue. This is the first time two-year colleges have banded together for a project like this. Previous work with The Farm Theatre Project used four-year colleges and universities.

“The project is an exciting collaboration between the three community colleges creating something new and exciting. It continues to provide students the opportunity to develop their craft, colleges to share resources, and our communities to attend a new, groundbreaking theatre experience,” says the production’s director, Bill Gillett.

“For me, this play tells a story of relationships – the vulnerability and sensation of knowing one person more than the other and how that affects the view we have on the world,” said Asia Nicholson, a student cast member.

Performances are November 9–11 at 7:30 p.m., and November 12 at 2:30 p.m., with a special matinee performance on Friday, November 10 at 11 a.m. in HCC’s Smith Theatre, located in the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA), 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland. 

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students/seniors/faculty/staff/military. For tickets, visit or call 443-518-1500. The box office will also open 90 minutes prior to each show time and Tuesday–Friday, 12–5 p.m. 


  • Written by: Morgan McGuire
  • Directed by: Bill Gillett
  • Artistic Director, Farm Theatre Project by: Padraic Lillis
  • Set Design by: Rob Berry
  • Costume Design by: Robert Croghan 
  • Sound Design by: Seth Schwartz
  • Projections Design by: Seth Schwartz and Mark Smedley
  • Dramaturgy by: Lisa Wilde
  • Stage Management by: Amanda Reandeau
About The Theatre Program

The Howard Community College theatre program is committed to helping students develop their individual creativity and artistic viewpoint. Students are provided a solid foundation of theory and technique, exposure to aesthetic and cultural diversity, collaborative skills, practical experience on and off the stage, and ample opportunities for performance. The learning process is strengthened by faculty who are known both as excellent teachers and practicing artists. The theatre program presents a variety of performances showcasing students throughout the year, including a fall play production, staged readings, the popular spring Shakespeare birthday celebration performance, and an annual collaboration of faculty, students, alumni, and guest artists performing scenes, songs, and stage combat

Topics: Arts & Culture
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