Opened in November 2005 as Georgetown University's first building designed for the arts, the Davis Performing Arts Center is the research and teaching laboratory for the Theater & Performance Studies Program and houses the administrative office of the Department of Performing Arts. The Center honors Father Royden B. Davis, beloved former Dean of Georgetown College and a patron of the arts. Nationally recognized architect Hugh Hardy transformed the former Ryan Administration Building (expanding on the site of Georgetown's first gymnasium) for the Davis Center.
Since its 2005-06 inaugural season, Season of Transformation, the Davis Center has hosted a thematically linked home season of cutting-edge productions for the Theater and Performance Studies Program (recent seasons include Remember Me: A Season of Ghosts and Spirits, 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 Madness and Civilization, The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Race (with Sojourn Theater), Visible Impact, A Child Shall Lead Them: Making 'The Night of the Hunter,’ Trees and Ghosts, Swimmy and Other Stories, The T-Party, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, the world-premiere musical Wisconsin Death Trip, and new versions of Six Characters in Search of an Author and Lysistrata (with Synetic Theater); the DC Premieres of Slow Falling Bird, Trojan Barbie, Eurydice, and Stuff Happens; bold interpretations of classics such as Hamlet; Macbeth; Suddenly, Last Summer; Blood Wedding; The Winter's Tale; Our Town; and The Glass Menagerie; important contemporary plays such as In the Red and Brown Water, Insurrection: Holding History, Doubt, Our Country's Good, Far Away, Fabulation, Big Love, Pentecost, ...and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi; A Mouthful of Birds; 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).
In addition to mainstage TPST productions in the Gonda and Devine Theatres, the Davis Center hosts special residencies in theater, music, and dance, placing students from the entire Georgetown community in regular contact with leading professionals from the US and beyond. The Davis Center is a hub for interdisciplinary exchange on and off campus, as well as with the wider community, through our summer festival productions and partnerships, as well as collaborations with DC public schools and many other artistic, scholarly, and activist groups.