The Royden B. Davis, S.J. Performing Arts Center opened in November 2005 in the center of campus as the only building in Georgetown history designed specifically for arts education. The Center is the academic home to the Department of Performing Arts and features two theatre spaces: the 236-seat proscenium Gonda Theatre and the black box Devine Studio Theatre.
The Davis Center season unfolds in intimate dialogue with the Department’s curricular offerings, and each year hosts a thematically linked home season of cutting-edge productions for the Theater and Performance Studies Program (recent seasons include A Season of War and Peace, Nature's Mirror: A Season of Good and Evil, A Season Named Desire, Going Mad, Hidden Histories, and Classics Re-visioned.) Highlights in recent years include a major Tennessee Williams Centennial Festival which featured more than 30 events and productions in four days and drew audiences of more than 5,000 people; new works and world premiere adaptations such as The Race (with Sojourn Theater), Madness and Civilization, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Visible Impact, A Child Shall Lead Them: Making 'The Night of the Hunter,’ Trees and Ghosts, Swimmy and Other Stories, The T-Party, the world-premiere musical Wisconsin Death Trip, and new versions of Six Characters in Search of an Author and Lysistrata (with Synetic Theater); bold interpretations of classics such as Macbeth; Suddenly, Last Summer; Blood Wedding; The Winter's Tale; Our Town; and The Glass Menagerie; important contemporary plays such as Our Country's Good, Far Away, Fabulation, Big Love, Pentecost, and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi; the DC Premieres of Trojan Barbie, Eurydice, and Stuff Happens; and musicals such as A Civil War Christmas, The Gospel at Colonus, and Caroline, Or Change. Frequently these are presented as co-productions with GU’s first-rate student-theater companies (Black Theatre Ensemble, Mask & Bauble, Nomadic Theatre).
The Davis Center provides classroom research and production learning laboratories for hundreds of students every semester, and hosts numerous student-produced/ co-curricular theater productions, as well as a wide array of music and dance groups in the Department of Performing Arts, including concerts from GU Orchestra, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and various Ensembles, as well as from GU Dance Company and Black Movements Dance Theatre.
The Davis Center is a hub for interdisciplinary exchange on and off campus, as well as with the wider D.C. community, through our summer festival productions and partnership with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, as well as collaborations with Synetic Theater, Theater J, Sojourn Theater, Baghdad University, University of Maryland, Gallaudet University, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, PostClassical Ensemble, D.C. public schools, and many other artistic, scholarly, activist, social service, and cultural groups. In addition to mainstage theater productions in the Gonda and Devine Theatres, the Department sponsors numerous music and dance performances, workshops, readings, master classes, symposia, and guest lectures, placing students from the entire Georgetown community in regular contact with leading professionals from the US and beyond.
A partial and rapidly growing list of luminaries whom we have hosted and collaborated with includes:
Edward Albee, American Opera Theater, American Place Theatre, Daniel Beaty, Robin Becker Dance, Belarus Free Theatre, Theodore Bikel, Irina Brown, Marvin Carlson, Kathleen Chalfant, Rachel Chavkin, The Civilians, Nilo Cruz, DAH Theatre, Joe Dowling, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Durang, David Edgar, Rick Foucheux, Michael Friedman, Boaz Gaon, Marcus Gardley, Ed Gero, Nadine George-Graves, Katori Hall, Wynn Handman, Danny Hoch, David Henry Hwang, Michael Kahn, Moises Kaufman, Nicolas Kent, Liz Lerman, Emily Mann, David Muse, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Ping Chong & Company, Sister Helen Prejean, Heather Raffo, Clint Ramos, Tim Raphael, Michael Rohd, Ari Roth, Howard Shalwitz, Sojourn Theater, Anna Deavere Smith, Molly Smith, David Strathairn, Tony Taccone, Target Margin Theater, The TEAM, Tectonic Theater Project, Irina and Paata Tsikurishvili, John Waters, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Charles Randolph Wright, Karen Zacarías, Mary Zimmerman, Joy Zinoman, and many others.