Member of the ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts

Georgetown University, U.S.A.

The Lab was founded in 2012 by co-directors Derek Goldman, award-winning professional theater artist, leader in the field of global performance, Chair of Performing Arts, and Professor of Theater & Performance Studies, and Ambassador Cynthia Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and former US Ambassador to the Netherlands. In that time, The Lab has emerged as a global leader, widely recognized as unique for its pioneering interdisciplinary approaches integrating the performing arts and international relations.

In this time of division, conflict, and lack of understanding between peoples and cultures, the need to bridge differences and to understand each other in human terms is greater than ever before. The refugee crisis, the rise of terrorism, racism, Islamophobia and prejudice of all kinds, and environmental crises all present problems that challenge the reach of traditional policy approaches. The time is overdue to develop a more humanistic approach to international affairs, one that gives voice to historically under-represented communities, one grounded in empathy and a sense of our common humanity. As the only joint initiative between Georgetown’s College of Arts and Sciences and its School of Foreign Service, The Lab, with its distinctive inter-disciplinary and global reach, is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge.

The Lab creates and presents innovative, high-quality work from around the world that is at the intersection of politics and performance. Our signature approach raises voices rarely heard in Washington DC through compelling, authentic narratives, and engages policymakers, as well as artists, students, and wider audiences in forums that cast critical issues in a new light.

Georgetown University – Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics
c/o Derek Goldman
Davis Performing Arts Center
3700 O Street NW
Washington DC 20057

Email: Dag45(at)
Phone: +1 202-687-0799
Fax: +1 202-687-5757

  • Department / Faculty dedicated to Performing Arts
  • Research Institution

    Teaching Languages
  • English and many other languages offered University-wide

    Degrees Offered
  • Bachelor BA

    Faculties / Departments
  • Theatre History & Research
  • Literature History & Research
  • Dramatic Literature History & Research
  • Playwriting
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Dance History & Research
  • Modern Dance
  • Ethnic / Traditional Dance
  • Music Theatre
  • Pedagogy
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Stage Arts
  • Multimedia
  • Others
  • For local and for foreign students
  • foreign students accepted for BA
  • The Institution offers grants for local students
  • The Institution offers grants for foreign students

    Teachers/Educator Related Information
  • Local educators allowed
  • Foreign educators allowed on permanent basis, on invitation or call

    Regular Activities of the Institution
  • CrossCurrents Festival and The Gathering (biennial)
  • Participation in ITI/NHEPA Festivals
  • Regular convenings

The Lab’s CrossCurrents Festival (April-May 2019) and its centerpiece The Gathering represent our most ambitious programming to date. A city-wide biennial festival hosted by Washington DC theaters as well as Georgetown University, CrossCurrents engaged issues such as climate change, nuclear disaster, freedom of expression, the power of literature and music, migration, and violent extremism through performances that ranged from puppetry and dance to jazz opera to testimonial theater. The Gathering (May 8-11) brought together more than 200 visionary artists, thinkers, and policymakers from more than 40 countries to celebrate and highlight how their innovative work harnesses the power of performance to address today’s pressing challenges.

In March of 2017 The Lab launched the Lab Fellows program. Funded in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this virtual global residency program brings together exceptionally promising professionals (performers, producers, directors, writers, scholars, activists) from around the world who are working at the intersection of performance and politics, including practitioners of international affairs and performance.

Among the key features of the Fellows Program are the networking and mentoring opportunities offered primarily through monthly virtual meetings and annual in-person convenings. The Fellows will continue to work within their own communities, spread out across the globe, as they learn online from each other and from mentors drawn from The Lab’s leadership and Think Tank, made up of thought-leaders, artists, and change-makers from around the world.