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.
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).”
“Ben is author of American Music Documentary: Five Case Studies of Ciné-Ethnomusicology (Wesleyan University Press, 2018) and director of Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians (Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2013). He is the Co-Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Audiovisual Ethnomusicology. ”
“As a playwright/ adapter, Natsu’s recent credits include Thumbelina (Imagination Stage), The Lathe of Heaven (Spooky Action Theater/ Georgetown University), The T Party (writer/ director, Forum Theatre, Company One Theatre), A Trip to the Moon (writer/ director/ illustrator, Synetic Theatre), Astro Boy and the God of Comics (writer/ director, The Studio Theatre; Company One Theatre). ”