*** Gift from Andrew R. Ammerman enables three more years of artistic collaboration and shared resources in support of education and theater ***
(May 30, 2017—Washington, D.C.) Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater and Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program are pleased to announce a generous gift by Andrew R. Ammerman, making possible a three-year continuation of the Arena Stage/Georgetown University/Andrew R. Ammerman Partnership through 2020.
Now entering its twelfth year, this unique partnership highlights a shared commitment to the development of new work, community engagement and deepening dialogue on vital issues in the field. Partnership activities include guest lectures, master classes, conferences, shared dramaturgical expertise, post-show discussions, artist residencies and developmental workshops and readings. Arena Stage also offers free or discounted tickets to Georgetown University students for dedicated performances throughout the season.
In the coming academic year, Georgetown University will host playwright Nathan Alan Davis, who is commissioned as part of Arena Stage’s Power Plays initiative, as an artist-in-residence. This will be followed by a developmental workshop of Davis' newest play, focused on Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street.” Additional partnership activities include a Georgetown University production of Julius Caesar, directed by Arena Stage's Director of Community Engagement Anita Maynard-Losh; the opportunity for Georgetown University students to meet with the companies of Nina Simone: Four Women and Sovereignty at Arena Stage; and a discussion with playwright and Georgetown University alumna Mary Kathryn Nagle, whose play Sovereignty debuts at Arena Stage as the fourth production in the company’s Power Plays initiative in January 2018.
“With the expansion of the arts at Georgetown University and their mission to educate the whole person, paired with Arena Stage’s role at the forefront of new American play production, this partnership builds on the natural synergy between two top-notch organizations,” says Ammerman. “I am reminded of a quote from Martin Buber—‘the world is not comprehensible, but it is embraceable through the embracing of one of its beings.’ The arts make the world comprehensible through the embracing of ideas, people, compassion and insight, giving us the ability to understand and move beyond ourselves.”
“One role of an Arena Stage trustee is to be an ambassador to the community, and Andrew takes this to the next level,” shares Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. “Creating and supporting this partnership provides special benefits to Georgetown students and to Arena. It’s wonderful to be able to rely on the research and expertise available at the University, and we enjoy having the students share our work and where possible gain important hands-on experience.”
“This generous and sustained support from the Ammerman family distinguishes Georgetown's Performing Arts education and artistic and scholarly production,” adds Georgetown University Department of Performing Arts Chair and Theater & Performance Studies Program Director Soyica Colbert. “The gift enables a rich and multidimensional partnership that has shaped both institutions and the field as a whole. We look forward to continuing to develop, expand and deepen this wonderful relationship.”
Work developed through the partnership has led to productions including Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations on Broadway; Legacy of Light; Red-Handed Guitar; The Glass Menagerie Project as part of the Tennessee Williams Centennial Festival; and collaboration on festivals celebrating the works of Edward Albee, Arthur Miller and Eugene O’Neill.
Housed in the Davis Performing Arts Center, the Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program features a nationally recognized faculty of leading scholar/artists and professional practitioners, with a dynamic interdisciplinary major that emphasizes the interaction of artistic and analytic inquiry. The Program’s distinctive curriculum integrates the political and international character of Georgetown, a commitment to social justice, and high-quality, cutting-edge production seasons, including world premieres. In 2012, Backstage selected the Program as one of the top five college theater programs outside of New York. The Theater & Performance Studies Program provides unique focus on adapting, devising and developing new work, interdisciplinary research-to-performance projects such as senior theses, cross-cultural performance studies, and innovative approaches to design and multi-media, as well as playwriting, directing, dramaturgy, ensemble, and solo performance. The Program invests in a distinctive array of professional partnerships, and collaborations including the Laboratory of Global Performance and Politics, an initiative with the School of Foreign Service.
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.arenastage.org
Arena Stage Contact: Greta Hays/Lauren Alexander
Georgetown University Department of Performing Arts Contact: Laura Mertens