GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY/ARENA STAGE/AMMERMAN FAMILY PARTNERSHIP
Now entering its ninth year in the 2014/15 season, the unique partnership between Georgetown University and Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater -- made possible through a generous gift of the Ammerman Family -- highlights a shared commitment to the development of new work, to community engagement and to deepening dialogue on vital issues in the field through co-productions, festivals, frequent collaborations on developmental workshops and readings, national convenings, residencies and more. Work developed through the partnership has led to productions such as Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations on Broadway (nominated for five Tony Awards); 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.
The partnership includes collaborative performances and symposia that cross-fertilize interests as well as workshops and readings that enable new work development; successful examples in addition to 33 Variations include Legacy of Light and Red-Handed Guitar. Arena Stage Artistic Staff and visiting professional artists participate in master classes and convenings at Georgetown University, and likewise Georgetown Theater & Performance Studies faculty provide cross-disciplinary expertise related to productions as applicable for post-show discussions, public forum/symposia and dramaturgical insight for Arena Stage. Both organizations continue to offer ticketing initiatives that allow for free or discounted tickets for dedicated performances for members of each other's community.
Fostering the next generation of theater artists, the partnership also includes apprenticeships for Georgetown students and alumni across literary, artistic, stage management, communications, development and casting positions, many of which have resulted in employment upon completion; participation in Arena Stage’s Theater 101 program exploring shows’ development first-hand; and site visits to observe the creative process.
2013/14 partnership events included the symposium Playing with the past, (W)righting the future, stewarded by Professor Soyica Colbert in conjunction with the Theater and Performance Studies Program, and Black Theatre Ensemble’s co-production of Insurrection: Holding History by Robert O’Hara. The symposium on campus included dozens of D.C. professionals, GU students and alumni in dialogue with nationally recognized artists and GU faculty. Additional partnership highlights included development of Anatomy of a Female Pope by Joan Vail Thorne, featuring Kathleen Chalfant, directed by Prof. Derek Goldman and involving GU students and alumni; masterclasses with Arena Stage resident and guest artists; as well as artistic apprenticeships and observerships.
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.
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Rorschach Theatre is a fierce young company known for their inventive use of space, performances of feverish intensity and a 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.
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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.