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    American University
    Feb 23, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
American University Catalog 2023-2024

Performing Arts


Chair  Daniel Abraham
Director of Arts Management  E. Andrew Taylor
Director of Audio Technology  Michael Harvey
Director of Dance  Erin Foreman-Murray
Director of Music  Ann Kang
Director of Theatre/Musical Theatre  Jason Arnold

Full-Time Faculty

Professor  D. Abraham, F. Benadon, A. Posner, M. Raham
Associate Professor  B. Boren, W. Brent, F. Carpenter, K. Kippola, P. Oehlers, A. Taylor, X. Varela
Assistant Professor  O. Davis-Smith, M. Medwin, C. Menninger, K. Salois
Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer  A. Kang, N.J. Snider
Senior Professorial Lecturer  E. Foreman-Murray, M. Harvey, R. Naressi, S. Roberts Williams, C. Sullivan, M. Twiford    
Professorial Lecturer  J. Arnold, M. Brown, T. Giordano, J.P. Merz
In Residence  J. Baumgarten, J. Bayer, C. Cook, M. Gottlieb, Y. Gorenman, N. Getz, R. Hunter Williams, O. Kivrak, S. Sledge, M. Van Hoose, E. Watermeier

Emeriti Faculty

Professor Emeritus/a  C. Jennings, A.R. Mandel, N. Prevots, J. Sapieyevski, G.C. Schuetze, E. Vrenios
Associate Professor Emeritus/a  K. Baker, B. Baranovic, G. Humphries Mardirosian
Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer Emeritus/a  S. Laughlin

Department Overview

The Department of Performing Arts (DPA) inspires and develops the intellectual and creative potential of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of American University through five focus disciplines: arts management, audio technology, dance, music, theatre and musical theatre. By integrating the traditions and innovations of a liberal arts education in the context of the vibrant Washington, DC, arts scene, the five programs cultivate citizens who actively contribute to their local and global communities and embody the moral and ethical responsibilities of the 21st century.

Students in undergraduate performance-related majors, double-majors, or minors, have ample opportunities for on-stage experience, through multiple plays, musicals, large and small music ensembles, and dance performances, which are also open to non-majors. Similarly, undergraduate and graduate degrees and the Audio Production (Graduate Certificate)  combine theory and practice in our professional-grade studio and production spaces. The Arts Management (MA)  and Arts Management (Graduate Certificate)  provide strategy-level training and hands-on experience through field studies, alumni networks, and work-learning opportunities with local and national arts organizations. Music or theatre students with an interest in teaching and teaching certification can pursue a second major or a combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Teaching  in partnership with the School of Education .

The Department of Performing Arts has a primary home in the Katzen Arts Center, but students also learn, practice, study, and perform in multiple spaces across campus.

The Katzen Arts Center hosts the majority of DPA’s classrooms, practice rooms, rehearsal rooms, and faculty offices, in addition to the 213-seat Abramson Family Recital Hall, the Studio Theatre (black box), dance studio, computer/keyboard classroom, and department office. The Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre on Wisconsin Avenue, a 296-seat proscenium theatre with scene and costume shops, is home for major productions in theatre, musical theatre, and dance, as well as community events. Kreeger Hall holds the Audio Technology Recording Studios, a 2200-square-foot, multi-purpose audio production complex designed by one of the premiere studio design firms in the country, the Walters-Storyk Design Group. Audio Technology faculty offices and additional production stations are housed in Jack Child Hall.

The global cultural city of Washington, DC, is also an integral and vital part of the performing arts learning experience, with professionally active faculty, alumni, and guest speakers, as well as on-site educational, performance, and work opportunities with world-class organizations. Program connections, projects, and partnerships with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington Ballet, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Arena Stage, National Symphony, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington Performing Arts Society, and many others, support deep learning, meaningful experience, and professional connections to one of the world’s most active and diverse cultural regions.

Teaching Certification

Students interested in teacher certification in theatre or music may take a 36-credit hour Secondary Education (Second Major Only)  or combine their degree with the Teaching (MAT)  degree with a concentration in secondary education. For information on admission and program requirements, see the School of Education  teacher preparation programs.


    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)Certificate (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)