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Our Mission

Theatre & Dance is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program dedicated to awakening the potential artist in all of us.

Through excellence in teaching, we:

  • Give students the tools and knowledge to fully appreciate the value of theatre and dance in their lives; and to understand other peoples and cultures. 
  • Create live performances and original productions that stimulate and involve our university community, as well as the community beyond our campus.

Through creative endeavor and scholarly research, we also:

  • Develop the interests and talents of students seeking careers or advanced study in theatre and dance.
  • Encourage students to apply critical thinking and discussion to the creation and understanding of theatre and dance.

 To receive more information about our department and our programs contact us here

Department History

The Theatre & Dance Department at The George Washington University was formed in 1987.

This new department was the logical merger of two vibrant performing arts programs: the Department of Theatre which traces its history to the early 1900's and the Dance program with its origins dating back to 1926.

Since 1987, the department has mounted 188 MainStage Theatre & Dance productions, countless additional performance projects, trained hundreds of theatrical and dance professionals.

Theatre & Dance offers undergraduate degrees in dance, theatre (with acting or design concentrations), and a Master of Fine Arts in both dance and production design.

In 2017, the faculty of the department voted to join the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design within Columbian College. Theatre & Dance joined Fine Art & Art History, Museum Studies, Music, Interior Architecture and several legacy Corcoran programs to create a new cultural hub for performers, makers, scholars, and artists at GW.


Meet Our Faculty

Dana Tai Soon Burgess

“...Burgess has emerged as the area's leading dance artist, consistently following his own path and producing distinctive, well-considered works.”

Mary Buckley

As GW faculty, Mary has enjoyed teaching history and movement classes, advising senior thesis works, and performing as a dance artist.

Carl Gudenius

Carl Gudenius holds an M.F.A. in Design from Wayne State University.

Leslie B. Jacobson

Leslie Jacobson is the Founding Artistic Director of Horizons Theatre, established in 1977, and the “longest running” women’s theatre still producing in the U.S.

Sigridur Johannesdottir

Sigríður or Sigrid as she is called here in the United States is a native of Iceland.

Jodi I Kanter

Jodi Kanter’s new book, Presidential Libraries as Performance (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), examines the nation's 13 extant presidential libraries as performances that work t

John Traub

John is excited to return to the DC area, where he previously worked as a Technical Director for many years.

Alan Wade

A professional actor and director, Mr. Wade most recently directed for The Washington Stage Guild Shaw’s Overruled! and for The Bay Theatre, Annapolis, A.R.

Tanya Williams Wetenhall

Tanya Williams Wetenhall’s career spans the performing arts, costume studies, museums, and diplomacy.

Maida Withers

Maida Withers (B.A. Brigham Young University, M.S. University of Utah) Professor of Dance at GW since 1964. She has developed and administered the BA, MA, and MFA dance programs at GW.