2007-2008 Theater and Performance Studies Season


The 2007-2008 Season, Hidden Histories: a Festival Season of New and Unseen Works, embraces the Theater and Performance Studies Program’s commitment to the development of new work. Each of the four works chosen deals explicitly with the relationship between history “writ large” and its more microcosmic, personal, and psychic reverberations. 

Fabulation of the Re-education of Undine

By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Isaiah Wooden
Presented in Collaboration with Black Theatre Ensemble
November 1-4, 2007

DC Premiere

A sharp and riotously comic satire, this urban parable is about the dangers of disingenuous self-creation. Undine Barnes Calles is living her version of the American Dream until her husband disappears with her fortune. Bankrupt and pregnant, she is forced to confront the past she tried desperately to kill. Fashioned with dynamic theatricality and surprising warmth, this contemporary tale of comeuppance promises to transport audiences with humor and humanity.

Trees and Ghosts

Adapted and Directed by Natsu Onoda
From the Graphic Novels of Tezuka Osamu
November 8-11, 2007

World Premiere

A new multimedia production adapted from three short graphic novels by a Japanese cartoonist Tezuka Osamu, who is considered the inventor of manga (contemporary Japanese comics). Spirits, elements of nature and memories of World War II haunt each of the stories that make up this highly visual production which employs interactive video, live on-stage drawing, and live taiko drums.

Wisconsin Death Trip

Directed by Tim Raphael
Adapted by Jeffrey Berkson and Tim Raphael from the book by Michael Lesy
Lyrics by Jeffrey Berkson and Tim Raphael
Music by Jeffrey Berkson
January 31-February 3 and 6-9, 2008

World Premiere

 A new chamber opera adaptation of cultural historian Michael Lesy’s genre-defying classic. Composed from local history and gossip, newspaper accounts and photographs, asylum records and contemporary fiction, Lesy’s hallucinogenic text chronicles the decline of a rural Wisconsin county during the Great Depression of the 1890s. Employing American roots music to shift back and forth in time between the 1890 and the 1980s, the piece tells the story of a trailer park denizen living in the margins of Reagan’s America, haunted by the nineteenth-century ghosts of Black River Falls.

Stuff Happens

By David Hare
Directed by Derek Goldman
April 10-13 and 16-19, 2008

DC Premiere

A dynamic history play that takes as its subject the diplomatic and political build-up to the Iraqi War, with familiar characters such as Colin, Condi, Cheney, Rummy, and Dubya himself. Combining documentary-style transcripts with Hare’s imaginings of conversations that took place behind closed doors, Stuff Happens examines the dynamic between private, hidden histories and the grand and more visible currents of our own contemporary history.

Anansi the Story King

Adapted and directed by Nadine George-Graves
June 12-15, 2008

World Premiere

 This new production will be an indoor/outdoor spectacle that re-imagines the legend of Anansi the spider, the classical African Diaspora trickster, using puppetry, new media, music and dance. A mash-up of the traditional African legend with the Arabian classic, Shahrazad, it is a performance for the whole family, a magical tale recounting Anansi’s attempts to prove he is king of all stories, while Sheri the firefly tries to outspin Anansi’s yarns and escape his powerful web.

The Sounds of Desire


October 1, 2007

Heather Raffo, author and actress of the award-winning one-woman show Nine Parts of Desire, teams up with Amir Elsaffar, accomplished trumpeter and Iraqi santoor player, for a dramatic evening of spoken word and music as a part of Georgetown University’s Interfaith Arts Festival. Using characters from the acclaimed one-woman show like slam poetry, together they present a concert of urban and classical sounds that spring from both their Iraqi and American roots.

The Bridge to Peace

April 13-15, 2008

The Serendipity Four – featuring renowned actor Theodore Bikel, Grammy-nominated conductor, Tamara Brooks, accordionist Merima Kljuco and Yiddish folk singer Shura Lipovsky – comes to Georgetown University for three days of musical and theatrical performances, workshops, discussions and master classes. This free series of events – entitled The Bridge to Peace Residency – reflects the Davis Performing Arts Center’s distinctive emphasis on the development of new work, socially engaged performance and interfaith dialogue. This inter-ethnic concert weaves together music from different cultures and faiths, interspersed with stories and contextualizing narratives and incorporates Georgetown student musicians for certain selections. The events include The Artist As Activist – a musical performance and discussion about the power of arts to transmit culture, hope and history, Keynote Bridge to Peace Concert, and Lives In The Theater – an interactive theatrical evening with celebrated DC actor Ed Gero featuring song, story, anecdotes and discussion.


Atlantic & Echoes Projects

October 5-December 2, 2007

The Black Atlantic Project is an innovative, transatlantic artistic exchange that explores black culture on two continents. It brings the UK and the US closer together through a shared musical and cultural experience and allows for direct, critical exchange of ideas about the links between black communities on both sides of the Atlantic. Created by Charlie Dark, the renowned UK musician, producer and poet who founded the Blacktronica movement, The Black Atlantic Project involves a musical dialogue a variety of established and emerging British and American music makers.

Taking Over

November 29-December 1, 2007

The Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program, through its partnership with Arena Stage, presents the hilarious new solo show Taking Over, written and directed by Danny Hoch, one of the Hip-Hop generation’s leading actors and playwrights. In this performance, Hoch examines gentrification in the new millennium through the tales of invading artists, hipsters, developers, real estate agents, co-conspirators and longtime community folk.

Adaptation for the Stage: Argonautika and Beyond

January 17, 2008

Tony Award-winning adapter and director, Mary Zimmerman joins the Georgetown University community for an evening discussion of adapting literary works to the stage. Zimmerman draws upon her experience as director and author of the Shakespeare Theater Company’s 2008 production of Argonautika, a tale based on The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts.

For more information about Mary Zimmerman, click here!

Love, Etcetera: Dances to William Shakespeare and Willie Nelson

February 14-16, 2008

Love, Etcetera by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange is an engaging performance that cuts across a broad swath of disciplines and communities, the creation of new work, the rhythms of deeply embodied teaching and learning and alternative ways of knowing, and the pursuit of social justice.