Silhouette of three students against the backdrop of the American flag, looking up at a screen of election coverage in the 2008 production of The Race at Georgetown University.
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The Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics, Sojourn Theatre, and Georgetown University’s Theater & Performance Studies Program Present Civic Theater Project, THE RACE, 2020, Virtually Via Zoom as a One-Time Special Event Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m.

Artists, Citizens, and Students Come Together to Engage Leadership and the Stakes of Next Month’s Election Through Participatory Event

Washington, DC – The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics is pleased  to be partnering with Sojourn Theatre and acclaimed civic theatre practitioner Michael Rohd to present The Race, 2020, a one time virtual theatrical event that will engage political and democratic themes in preparation for the coming election. Rohd, a Lab Think Tank member and Artistic Associate, first devised The Race alongside Sojourn Theatre ensemble members Shannon Scrofano, Liam Kaas-Lents and Courtney Davis plus an ensemble of GU students, to coincide with the 2008 election. 12 years later, the questions raised by the piece are even more pressing.

“It’s been great this Summer and Fall amidst multiple pandemics and electoral madness to watch universities and theatres around the country tackle The Race. Getting to revisit the original with folks from the 2008 Georgetown premiere, alongside new members of the GU community, is a wonderful opportunity to be in dialogue about art, America and change,” says the project’s director Michael Rohd.

The original play (described here in this Washington Post article from 2008) blended performance, call and response, question and answer, a global virtual 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, update, and explore the celebrated 2008 production, bringing together alumni cast from that production with current GU students, DC and national guests, and The Lab’s Global Fellows. The Race grapples with questions of leadership, character, change, justice, diplomacy, integrity, and political participation.

Lab Co-Director and Georgetown Chair of Performing Arts, Derek Goldman, who commissioned and produced the original 2008 production as Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown says: “It could not feel more urgently timely or relevant to return to The Race now twelve years later, in this wildly different historical moment. What’s beautiful and enduring about what Michael Rohd, Sojourn and the Ensemble created in 2008 is that the innovative participatory format and the questions it invites us to think about, such as how democracy works and what we value in a leader only resonate more deeply in the current moment. It’s also exciting to reunite members of the original cast and to connect them with an ensemble that includes fresh perspectives on our country’s electoral processes from some of the Lab’s Global Fellows (from Mexico, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, and more), as well as current Georgetown students and members of the wider community.

This is a one-time performance, and will take place Tuesday, October 20th, 5:00-6:30 PM (EDT). Register for this free event here:
To contribute a question to The Race, or to see what questions others have contributed, visit the Sojourn Theatre website:

Renny Simone
Communications Assistant, The Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics