Image of players on stage a performance

Welcome to the Department of Performing Arts

Home to the College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate degree programs in American Musical Culture and Theater & Performance Studies as well as dozens of performing groups in music, theater, and dance, the Department features a renowned faculty and close partnerships with leading arts organizations from the D.C. region and beyond.

Learn More About Us

Letter from the Chair

Our department interweaves the performing arts into the esteemed framework of Georgetown’s liberal arts education. With a commitment to interdisciplinary exploration, we provide a unique learning environment where students engage in the rich world of the performing arts. Our faculty, comprising world-class artists and internationally renowned scholars, actively contribute to various fields, extending beyond the realm of performing arts into departments like Film and Media Studies, Anthropology, English, Disability Studies, American Studies, and African American Studies. As collaborators and leaders, they play pivotal roles in initiatives such as the Racial Justice Institute, the Lab for Global Performance and Politics, the Prisons and Justice Initiative, the Humanities Initiative, and the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship.

Dedicated administrative and production staff, predominantly practicing artists themselves, further enrich the student experience. Together, we foster a community of artist-scholars with a strong commitment to citizenship, actively participating in performance, intellectual pursuit, protest, arts advocacy, and collaborative events held throughout the academic year.

Our reach extends beyond campus, with faculty connections to prestigious institutions like the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Smithsonian Folkways, the PostClassical Ensemble, and Dischord Records, as well as to cutting-edge artists like David Strathairn, Santigold, and Jake Blount, influencing the diverse performances we host and produce every semester. Our programming in the Gonda Theater, Devine Theater, and McNeir Hall enhances our academic program, creating a dynamic platform for students to meet artists, authors, and other performing arts stakeholders.

More than a traditional study of the arts, our major and minor programs encourage Georgetown students to blend rigorous study with creative practices, discovering surprising connections to subjects across the liberal arts, including (but not limited to) Government, Biology, Economics, Theology, Sociology, and History courses. By expanding notions of what the performing arts can be and achieve, we empower students to imagine and implement innovative ways of practicing and supporting the performing arts, contributing to a better and more interesting world. 

Benjamin J. Harbert, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor of Music, Department of Performing Arts

“Raina’s creative research focuses on liberating and cultivating the dance-making space through harnessing the power of process-to-product collaboration. Recent creative-collaborative choreography projects include The Truth Spun Backwards (2023), ATLAS (2022), Parade (2021) and The Container (2020).”

Raina Lucas (M.F.A.), Artistic Director, GU Dance Company

“A frequent guest conductor across Europe, the United States and
Latin America, Maestro Gil-Ordóñez holds the positions of Music 
Director/Conductor of  PostClassical Ensemble in Washington 
DC, Principal Guest Conductor of New York’s Perspectives Ensemble, 
and Music Director of the Georgetown University Orchestra in DC.”

Angel Gil-Ordonez Director of GU Orchestra and Adjunct Professor of the Practice

“Maya E. Roth was founding Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center. An artist-scholar, she specializes in feminist plays and criticism, cross-cultural adaptations of classics, and new work development. ”

Maya Roth Della Rosa Term Professor of Theatre


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