2020-2021 Theater & Performance Studies Season

Watering can pours a stream of water to the words Seeds of Change, which sprout roots

15th Anniversary Season: Seeds of Change: Reimagining the World

Prof. Maya E. Roth, Artistic Director

Letters & Poems Project: Episodes 1-3

Curated and Directed by Prof. Maya E. Roth

Watch the Oct. 16-17, 2020 first episode of the Letters & Poems Project, the Nov. 19, 2020, second episode, alumni share, and the Mar. 6, 2021, third episode on our YouTube Channel.

The Letters & Poems Project presents a series of devised performances presented across the Season in honor of our 15th Anniversary Season of the Davis Center. The project sources nominations from students, faculty, staff and alumni reading great letters and poems aloud, a moving way to encounter the archives & diversify memory and performance. Itself a letter to creative community, The Letters & Poems Project creates virtual community to buoy us and reflect on these times, together.

View the full Letters and Poems website.

Guerrilla Costuming

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 at 10 a.m. ET

Costume shops across the country have varying levels of resources ranging from seemingly endless to non-existent. In Guerrilla Costuming, taught by Georgetown’s costume shop manager Dorothy Barnes Driggers, three brave students with little to no prior experience explored the process of creating costumes, in a pinch, on a budget, without sacrificing design. This video will chronicle the student artisans’ semester of raiding their closets and enlisting their roommates to create three-dimensional looks from two-dimensional images. We’ll also introduce the Guerrilla Costuming Home Challenge–an opportunity to realize one of three designs rendered by our students from your own closet/living space! Prizes will be given for the Best Fidelity to the Rendering, Best Spirit, and Most Resourceful. The Challenge will be dropped on November 30 as part of the mini-documentary of the class experience. Interactive! Educational! A fun way to assess what you’ve got in your closet!

FREE | Viewable through the GU Dept. of Performing Arts YouTube channel playlist.

Colorful and impressionist x-ray of female torso has hues of red, teal, and yellow

Totally Manageable, Easily Treatable

A Creative Senior Thesis Project by Grace Crozier (C’21)
Advised by Prof. Derek Goldman

Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m. ET (Post-performance talkback)
Saturday, March 20 at 3 p.m. ET (Post-performance talkback)

GU Theater & Performance Studies Program, in partnership with the Program in Disability Studies

Autobiographical and theatrically inventive, intimate and socially engaged, this solo performance explores lived experiences of illness and wellness, access, and self-care. Devised over the course of a tumultuous year at Georgetown University, this multimedia solo piece written and performed by Grace Crozier (C’21) invites audiences to reflect on their own well-being in their bodies and the world.

View the solo virtual performance through the GU Dept. of Performing Arts YouTube channel.

Both performances had ASL interpreted and have live CART captioning.

View the Totally Manageable, Easily Treatable program.

A mosaic photo of Melisande Short Colombe, comprised of hundreds of smaller personal and historical photos from her life

Here I Am

World Premiere Virtual Performance
Created by the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics in partnership with the GU Theater & Performance Studies Program

An Original Performance by Mélisande Short-Colomb
Performed by Mélisande Short-Colomb and Somi Kakoma (Grammy Award-nominated composer and vocal performer) 

Team of Co-creating Artists

Jeremy Bennett, Multimedia
Michael Donnay, Stage Management and Research Dramaturgy
Derek Goldman, Direction and Script Development/ Dramaturgy
Jared Mezzocchi, Multimedia Design and Direction
Andre Pluess, Sound Design
Nikkole Salter, Script Development/Dramaturgy and Direction
Alberto Segarra, Lighting Design
Somi Kakoma, Composer and Vocal Performance
Alex Troesch, Original Photography

Premiering Online in Conjunction with Emancipation Day the week of April 16, 2021

Tuesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)
Thursday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET (OPENING NIGHT)
in association with the Universities Studying Slavery Annual Conference, hosted by Georgetown
Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 17 at 3 p.m. ET

A native of New Orleans who began her studies at Georgetown in 2017 at the age of 63, Mélisande Short-Colomb is a direct descendant of Abraham Mahoney and Mary Ellen Queen who were among the 314 members of the group known today as the GU272, enslaved people owned and sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838 to rescue Georgetown University from insolvency and bankruptcy.  More than an autobiographical chronicle, this ritualistic experience weaves narrative, music, and imagery, inviting the audience on an experiential journey exploring Colomb’s loving and complicated relationship with the institution that enslaved her ancestors. Interrogating uncomfortable truths, rather than offering easy answers, HERE I AM challenges participants to bear witness and to reckon with their own histories, and to imagine the future of racial justice in America.

View the trailer and read more about Here I Am.


Created by Fatima Dyfan (C’21)
Co-Produced by Black Theatre Ensemble and Theater & Performance Studies Home Season

Directed by Mar Cox (C ’16)
Advised by Prof. Maya E. Roth

Saturday, April 24 at 8 p.m. ET (VIEWING PARTY)

There’s a Little Black Girl in the window. Coily-haired…  always scared… waiting in the window for the morning light to wash me. Look beloved, you glow. With just that little bit of sun, you can grow. This is the remix to Black womanhood for the Black community – wellness, the journey and drama, history, and of course, the trauma. It all goes to a beat. And, in this mixed-media piece for several performers – we are talking about movement and jokes, music I listen to that my mama told me, don’t, a freestyle of memories and prayer. 

This new work by Senior Fatima Dyfan, an African-American Studies major and TPST minor, celebrates the magical journey of a Black radical feminist in the making.

View the performance through the GU Dept. of Performing Arts YouTube channel.

Okinawa Field Trip

Developed by Prof. Natsu Onoda Power and the Ensemble

Monday, April 19 – Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET
Monday, April 26 – Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET

All aboard! In Okinawa Field Trip, Doug, a dugong, guides groups of audiences on a virtual “bus” from Georgetown to “imaginary” Okinawa. As the bus travels through time and space, audiences will encounter a mythical creature from Okinawan folk tales, sample Okinawan delicacies, meet local artists, and participate in the contemporary-day protests against the construction of a new US Marine base in Henoko Bay. Cross-cultural and inventive, this interactive virtual performance will explore themes of US-Japan relationships, social justice, historical reconciliation, WWII, and environmental issues. Think Magical Mystery Tour meets Get on the Bus meets The March of the Penguins… but interactive!


Sí Se Puede: Puerto Rican Lighting Designers

Monday, September 28 from 7 p.m.-8 p.m.

Puerto Rican Lighting Designers share their journey through their design process— from their design ideas to opening night and beyond. Helen Hayes Award-winning Lighting Designer Alberto Segarra convenes fellow Boricua designers with origins in designing for theater for a conversation about how their training in Puerto Rico reverberates through their artistic process and the many ways they make art today across borders and contexts. Guests include Manuel Ramirez Guevara, Marién V. Rodriguez, and Alex Soto- with work ranging from museum installations to regional theater, arena concerts to private architectural spaces. 


View the performance here.

Theater of War presented by
Georgetown University, Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics, Royden B. Davis Performing Arts Center,  Harvard University, Scripps College, Duke University, Pomona College, Smith College, The Jandon Center for Community Engagement, Clarmont McKenna College, Emory University, and University of Cincinnati  

Antigone in Ferguson
A dramatic reading of Antigone, by Sophocles 

Friday, October 2 at 5 p.m. 

Translated, directed and facilitated by Bryan Doerries
Music composed and conducted by Dr. Philip Woodmore
Co-facilitated by De-Andrea Blaylock Johnson

Antigone in Ferguson is a groundbreaking project that fuses dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Antigone with live choral music performed by a diverse choir, from St. Louis, Missouri and New York City culminating in powerful, healing discussions about racialized violence, police brutality, systemic oppression, gender-based violence, health inequality, and social justice. 

View the performance here.

Co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Department of Classics, Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics, Royden B. Davis Performing Arts Center,  together with Harvard University, Scripps College, Duke University, Pomona College, Smith College, The Jandon Center for Community Engagement, Clarmont McKenna College, Emory University, and University of Cincinnati  

Flash Acts Festival

October 8-13

From more than 150 of the most innovative playwrights, directors, actors, and designers from across Russia and the U.S. comes Flash Acts, a groundbreaking virtual festival of short plays to entertain, provoke, and bridge cultural divides. Featuring newly commissioned short plays by 20 celebrated American and Russian playwrights, the bilingual project will feature newly commissioned short plays based on the timely theme of isolation: artistic, political, interpersonal, and physical: 10 by American playwrights – including Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program faculty member Christine Evans and Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics Think Tank member Heather Raffo – and 10 by Russian playwrights. GU Theater & Performance Studies Program Prof. Maya E. Roth, Prof. Natsu Onoda Power, and alumnus Isaiah Matthew Wooden also direct as part of the festival and students and alumni participate in casts and crew. This first-of-its-kind festival will premiere two productions–one in English and one in Russian–of four new plays daily. Each play will be performed by different creative teams in Russian and English. The festival will also feature six panel discussions, as well as a music lounge featuring performances by Russian and American musicians. 

Visit flashactsfestival.org

Co-sponsored by The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, the Medical Humanities Initiative, Georgetown Humanities Initiative, LGBTQ Resource Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Department of Performing Arts

The Race 2020

Tuesday, October 20 at 5 p.m.

A Virtual Performance Event Presented by The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Georgetown University’s Theater & Performance Studies Program and Sojourn Theatre

As we hurtle toward what many are calling the most important election in living memory, this participatory theatrical event explores critical questions about leadership and democracy through the voices of a diverse chorus of participating citizen artists. The Race (described here in this Washington Post article from 2008) blends performance, call, and response, question and answer, a global Skype chorus, dance, and karaoke into a participatory exploration of what America wants in a leader. As part of a national festival supporting a dozen new productions of The Race at professional theaters and universities, The Race, 2020 will revisit and update the celebrated original 2008 Georgetown and Sojourn co-production of The Race, bringing together alumni cast from that production with current GU students, DC and national guests, and The Lab’s Global Fellows. 

Watch the video here.

The Great Work Begins: Revisiting Angels in America During a Pandemic

Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m.

This special program of performance and discussion will combine scenes performed by leading professional actors from Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-part epic play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes with insights from experts from the medical, political, and artistic communities on the legacy and continued resonance of the play’s portrayal of the AIDS Epidemic in the context of the current moment. 

Watch the video here.

One Flea Spare and the Works of Naomi Wallace in the Time of COVID-19

Friday, November 13 at 1:30 p.m. ET

Sponsored by The One Flea Spare Project Co-Partners: Georgetown University’s Theater & Performance Studies Program and Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Fordham University, Princeton, SUNY Purchase, and UMass Amherst

A conversation between playwright Naomi Wallace, designer Riccardo Hernández, historian Robin D. G. Kelley, theatre director and Princeton faculty member Elena Araoz, and Georgetown Distinguished Della Rosa Associate Professor Maya E. Roth with insights on the timely nature of Wallace’s play One Flea Spare in the current climate. For more information about the One Flea Spare Project, visit https://www.theonefleaspareproject.com/

Watch the video here.

View an archive of past Theater and Performance Studies Seasons.