Theater & Performance Studies Partnerships
Georgetown University/Arena Stage/Andrew R. Ammerman F’72 Partnership
Now in its twelfth year, our unique partnership with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has been made possible by the generosity of the Ammerman Family. This partnership embodies our shared missions and commitments: development of new work, mentorship of a new generation of artists and administrators, community engagement, and deepening the dialogue on vital issues in the field.
Projects developed under this partnership have taken diverse forms. Artistic highlights have included festivals celebrating Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, and Eugene O’Neill; developmental readings of new Heather Raffo plays; and a workshop of Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, which led to a full production at Arena, then on to Broadway. Other significant collaborations have included the symposium Playing with the Past, (W)righting the Future; artistic and administrative fellowships for GU alumni; and GU nights for current students.
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 contribute to the dramaturgical workbook for Two Trains Running; to meet with the companies of Nina Simone: Four Women and Sovereignty at Arena Stage; and a discussion with the 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.
The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics
The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University is a joint initiative of the Theater & Performance Studies Program and the School of Foreign Service. Led by Professors Derek Goldman and Cynthia P. Schneider, the Lab leverages Georgetown University’s distinctive strengths in international relations and theatrical performance, developing new interdisciplinary approaches to fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, and to advancing peace and social justice through performance. The Lab’s work is made possible through grants and the collaboration of faculty and staff at every level of Georgetown University, most visibly in the Davis Center. In addition, the Lab is a generative creative space to foster collaborative artistic projects that realize these goals. Finally, the Lab is a hub and a resource center that, in actual and virtual spaces, brings together an expansive global network of artists, policymakers, scholars, cultural organizations, embassies, faculty, and students.
Past Laboratory events include the sold-out September 16-17, 2013 performances by Freedom Theatre from Jenin Refugee Camp, Palestine, as part of the company’s inaugural U.S. tour, and including post-show discussions with the artists and leading policymakers/officials. From March 12-18, 2013, celebrated playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith and acclaimed cellist Joshua Roman participated in a residency centered around the continued development of the work On Grace, including a discussion with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Lab also hosted the Convening on Global Performance, Civic Imagination, and Cultural Diplomacy from June 14-16, 2012, featuring more than 75 theater artists, policymakers, government officials, activists, cultural leaders, educators, and scholars from across the country and around the world, as well as Georgetown University faculty, students, and alumni. The gathering coincided with an on-campus residency with faculty and students from Baghdad University, whose Arabic adaptation of Heather Raffo’s award-winning 9 Parts of Desire was featured as part of the convening.
Dance Exchange is a professional company of dance artists based in Takoma Park, Maryland that creates, performs, teaches, and engages people in making art.
In February 2008, Dance Exchange in partnership with Georgetown University’s Theater and Performance Studies Program presented Love, Etcetera: Dances to William Shakespeare and Willie Nelson. In part one of the production, Shakespeare’s sonnets were brought to outrageous theatrical life in The Farthest Earth From Thee, a vibrant dance/theater work that featured explosive movement, stage-filling video, and an all-abilities cast of daredevil performers. The second piece, Nocturnes, choreographed by Founder Liz Lerman, was a poignant and playful dance suite set to songs by country-western balladeer Willie Nelson and performed by a multi-generational cast.
Visit Dance Exchange’s homepage.
Rorschach Theatre is a fierce young company known for its inventive use of space, performances of feverish intensity, and passion for epic stories told in new ways.
In the Summer of 2007, Rorschach took up residency in the Devine Studio Theatre of the Davis Performing Arts Center. Working with a corp of GU student actors and crew members, Rorschach mounted three top-notch productions in short measure including the world premiere of Jason Grote’s This Storm is What We Call Progress and the world premiere of Rorschach Artistic Director Randy Baker’s Dream Sailors (“A hallucinatory, pop-culture-savvy, romantic quasi-mystery… Part nightmare, part thriller, part fairy tale, part wartime coming-of-age saga” – Washington Post).
Visit Rorschach Theatre’s website.
Sojourn Theatre is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based company based in Portland, Oregon and around the nation. With a commitment to both adventurous theatricality and community engagement, Sojourn creates unique, often site-specific investigations of stories and themes that consistently surprise, delight, and provoke diverse audiences.
Working with a talented cast of GU students, Sojourn Artistic Director Michael Rohd, Scenic Designer Shannon Scrofano, and Stage Manager Liam Kaas-Lentz created The Race. This unique, multi-media, civic theater project incorporated a cross-section of voices into an on-stage conversation about some of the most important issues raised by the Fall 2008 election: Who will vote for whom? Who won’t? Why? And most specifically, what does leadership mean today?
In October 2012 as part of the Georgetown-Arena Stage Partnership, Rohd returned to Georgetown with Sojourn and another one of the country’s most acclaimed devised theater companies, The TEAM, led by Rachel Chavkin, with a work-in-progress showing of their collaborative devised play Waiting for You on the Corner of (…37th & O). The work is based on research done around the nation over the two years, examining how we talk to each other, listen to one another, and survive in a country where the distance between two people is less than a shout but more than a handshake.
Visit Sojourn Theatre’s website.
Nominated in 2008 for 16 Helen Hayes awards, Synetic Theater seeks to advance and enrich the theater arts through presentation and education in its unique performance style of a synthesis of the arts, fusing the classical elements of drama, movement, dance, mime, and music into a distinct form of non-realistic theater.
Visit Synetic Theater’s website.