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Proving Up: Maryland Opera Studio

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  • The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Proving Up: Maryland Opera Studio

Based on a 2013 short story by Karen Russell, Proving Up, is a surreal and haunting commentary on the American dream as experienced by the Zegners, a fictional family of 1860s homesteaders. This narrative feels newly relevant at this fraught moment in the nation’s history, when people are examining and reevaluating the achievability of the American Dream. The Zegners are a family that does everything “right” and are still undermined by forces beyond their control. These characters have parallels in our contemporary world: a mother who tries to maintain control through domestic order, a father who turns to the bottle under the pressures of supporting a family, children forced to take on responsibilities beyond their years and a lone, deranged man who resorts to violence and destruction. Pushed to the edge by poverty and ultimately undermined by fate, the Zegners’ fixation on “proving up” never wanes.



The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

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