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AU Arts

A home for the visual and performing arts at American University.

AU Arts

The arts have a prominent role at American University. Rotating exhibitions at the AU Museum in the state-of-the-art Katzen Arts Center emphasize regional, national, and international contemporary art. The Department of Performing Arts, comprised of Arts Management, Audio Technology, Dance, Music, and Theatre/Musical Theatre, provides dynamic, connected, expressive, and fulfilling experiences for all of our majors, minors, and participating students. The Department of Art encompasses Studio Art, Art History, Photography, and Graphic Design.

To stay up-to-date on performances and events, join the AU Arts mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Questions? Call 202-885-ARTS or email us.

Spring 2023 Events

Gail Rebhan, Dyszman/Dishman, 2017. Archival pigment print mounted on aluminum, 18 x 26 inches.

Image: Gail Rebhan, Dyszman/Dishman, 2017. Archival pigment print mounted on aluminum, 18 x 26 in.

Dance promo

Tickets: Free for AU students with ID, $10 for alumni, staff, faculty, children, and senior citizens (55 and older), $15 general admission. 

DANCEWORKS 2023

Artistic Direction by Ama Law
April 21-22, 7:30 p.m.
Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

DANCEWORKS 2023 features the stunning American University Dance Company performing choreographed works by guest artists, faculty, and students. The company has worked tirelessly to bring you a production that is not only captivating and compelling but filled with compassion. On stage expect to see themes of legacy, liberation and a bit of vocalization. Join us for a night that will showcase how we are continuing our mission to develop forward thinkers and creative doers in a moving world.

Music promoTickets are free for AU students with ID, $10 for alumni, staff, faculty, children, and senior citizens (55 and older), $15 general admission. 

Faculty Music Concert

Faculty Music Concert

February 4, 7:30 p.m.
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Music faculty collaborate in a varied program that includes pieces by Eric Whitacre, William Grant Still, Golijov, Ysaye, Jessie Montgomery, and songs from The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Featuring: Kelly Smith Jones (voice), Susan Derry (voice), Bill Wielgus (oboe), Eric Dircksen (bassoon), Kevin Jang (violin), Nancy Jo Snider ('cello), Nobue Matsuoka (percussion), and Barbara Wilkinson (piano).

The Gorenman Piano Project: Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms

March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Tickets are free for AU students with ID, $10 for alumni, staff, faculty, children, and senior citizens (55 and older), $25 general admission. 

Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Yuliya Gorenman returns to the concert stage with works by Clara Schumann (1819-1896), Robert Schumann (1810-1856), and Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Clara Schumann was a revolutionary who paved the way for women performers. She was a world-class pianist, gifted composer, teacher, and finally a muse and inspiration to the great composers Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Gorenman will play Clara Schumann’s “Three Romances op. 11,” Johannes Brahms’s “Two Rhapsodies op. 79” and “Intermezzi op. 117,” and Robert Schumann’s “Carnaval op. 9.” 

American University Symphonic Band
Notes on Hope

April 15, 3 p.m.
Matthew Brown, conductor
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

AU Symphonic Band presents a variety of works ranging from the quirky to the profound, and from classical band canon to a work barely finished in time (by Matthew Brown, conductor). The program begins with "Early Light" by Carolyn Bremer, which incorporates thematic motives from the US National Anthem, and ends with "In Memoriam: Maidan" by Matthew Brown, which commemorates the 2014 Maidan Revolution in Ukraine and incorporates thematic motives from Ukraine's National Anthem. The program is rounded out by profoundly hopeful works by Edward Elgar and Morten Lauridsen, and lighter offerings by Frank Erickson and John Mackey.

American University Chamber Singers
Bach & Handel – Early Musical Brilliance

April 15, 7:30 p.m., April 16, 3 p.m.
Daniel Abraham, director
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Join the AU Chamber Singers for a memorable program of an exulted Bach Mass to Handel’s brilliant and descriptive account of the biblical plagues set upon ancient Egypt. The 30-member Chamber Singers and student soloists are joined by period-instrument performers for what will be both exciting music making and an inspirational educational listening experience. Presenting Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in G Minor and George Frederic Handel: “Exodus” from Israel in Egypt.

American University Jazz Ensemble
Some Spring Swing

Joshua Bayer, director
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Date and time to be announced

Swing into the season with the AU Jazz Ensemble playing Big Band swing, funk, and straight-ahead Jazz from a variety of composers. 

American University Chorus
On a Canvas of Silence

April 22, 7:30 p.m., April 23, 3 p.m.
Casey Cook, director
Barbara Wilkinson, pianist
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Conductor Leopold Stokowski once said, "A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence." Join the American University Chorus as they explore the nature of sound and silence, including a powerful performance of Jake Runestad's “A Silence Haunts Me.”

American University Symphony Orchestra
Annexing Tchaikovsky

April 29, 7:30 p.m., April 30, 2 p.m.
Matthew Brown, conductor
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

The AU Symphony Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 2 ("Ukrainian"), Verdi's La Forza del Destino Overture, "Melody for Orchestra" by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk and other works. The student winner of the 2023 Concerto and Aria Competition will appear as soloist.

Sam Vernon
Sam VernonFebruary 2, 6:00 p.m., Katzen 201

The phenomenon—“transgenerational epigenetic inheritance” – can be proven by studying powerful historical intersections between art and activism amidst globalization and paradigm shifts in the States and beyond. This talk will explore the essential function of Sam Vernon's interdisciplinary studio practice and archival research to address socio-political impact using installation to confront questions concerning personal narrative, historical memory and identity. Learn more about Sam Vernon.

Register on Eventbrite

 

Tickets: Free for AU students with ID, $10 for alumni, staff, faculty, children, and senior citizens (55 and older), $15 general admission. 

Bat Boy: The Musical

BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL

Story and Book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe

Licensed under agreement with Weekly World News

February 16-17 and 24, 8 p.m. February 18 and 25, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

Directed by Clancey Yovanovich

Music Supervision by Marika Countouris

Music Directed by Lucia LaNave

Choreography by David Singleton

“Heed the tale of a filthy freak…. who’s just like YOU.” 

Bat Boy is an American rock musical that has become a beloved cult classic in the musical theatre world and beyond. Based on one of Weekly World News’ most sold headlines, Bat Boy heeds the tale of Edgar—the half-bat, half-American teenage boy discovered in a cave in small town West Virginia. Though campy and comedic in style, Bat Boy explores the trials of being different; the danger in misinformation; the fear of change; the journey to acceptance—and the price we pay when that acceptance comes too late. 

Produced by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing.

Content Warning: Bat Boy: The Musical is a tabloid-style, tongue-in cheek musical that deals with difficult issues including Othering, Physical Violence, Sexual Assault, Rape, Incest, Murder & Suicide.

Lost Girl by Kimberly Belflower

LOST GIRL

By Kimberly Belflower

March 2-3, 8 p.m. March 4, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Studio Theatre, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Directed by Aaron Posner

Associate Director/Producer: Carrie Edick

Assistant Director: Fiona Murphy

It's been a while since she returned from Neverland, but Wendy Darling is struggling. What did it all mean? Will Peter ever really come back? Should she wait? To move forward in her life, Wendy decides that she must find Peter in order to reclaim her kiss. On her search, she meets other girls who went to Neverland and learns she is not alone. A highly theatrical, ensemble-based coming-of-age exploration of first love and lasting loss, Lost Girl continues the story of J.M. Barrie's beloved character—the girl who had to grow up.

“Lost Girl” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

ONCE

Book by Edna Walsh

Music & Lyrics by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

Based on the Motion Picture Written and Directed by John Carney

March 31, 8 p.m. April 1, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 2, 2 p.m.

Directed by Colleen Sullivan

Music Direction by Marci Shegogue

Movement Choreography by Thadd McQuade

Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

Dublin, mid 2000s. An Irish busker meets a young Czech woman and in five days they discover the healing power of music together. In this soft-spoken story of romance, cultural and musical chemistry, the cast sing and play their own instruments for all the songs, including the Oscar-winning Falling Slowly from the indie film Once.

ONCE is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

COVID-19 Update

To ensure everyone's health and safety, all guests attending AU events must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior, and a photo ID. Masks are encouraged, but optional. Learn more about our COVID-19 protocols.

Dhambit Munuŋgurr, Ocean, 2019

Dhambit Munuŋgurr, Ocean, 2019. Natural pigments and acrylic on eucalyptus bark, 78 11/32 x 42 17/32 inches. Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. On view in Maḏayin.

In the AU Arts Community

Naminapu Maymuru-White working at the Buku-Larrŋay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala, 2021. Photo by Leicolhn McKellar

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AU Museum Winter Exhibits Open Feb. 4

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Dimes Horner (left) and Andy Holtin (right)

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Art and the Machine

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Sense and Sensibility actors perform in December 2022. Credit: Jeff Watts.

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Your Spring Performing Arts Calendar

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