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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, exhibitions, and events, join the AU Arts mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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

Event Spotlight Urinetown, The Musical

Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann
Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
Choreographed by Robert Bowen Smith
Music Direction by Deborah Jacobson
February 22-24
Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre
Tickets:$10-$15, free for AU students

It’s a privilege to pee.

Urinetown tells the story of a future fascist society, run by corporate greed, that demands that the public pay to pee. The musical, though fun and tongue-in-cheek, is a warning to us all to not take our freedoms for granted.

Tickets to Urinetown

Urinetown The Musical

AU Arts Events

Electric Op Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan, Buffalo AKG Art Museum CuratorArt History Spring Lecture: Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan
February 23, 6 p.m. Reception: 5:30 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center 201 (Welcome Center)

In this preview of her fall 2024 exhibition Electric Op, Buffalo AKG Art Museum Curator Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan offers a new account of Op Art by focusing on its relationship to electronic art and culture.

Dana Hart-Stone

Spring at the AU MuseumOpening February 7

See upcoming exhibitions for more information, and the museum event calendar for opening receptions, gallery talks, and more.

  • The Very Idea! Art of Brian Kavanagh
    Howard N. Fox, Curator
    Rosemary M. DeRosa, Co-curator
  • New Perspective on the New Thing:
    A Photography Exhibition Documenting DC’s Revolutionary Community Arts Center, 1966-1972

    Joel Jacobson, Photographer
    Tom Zetterstrom, Photographer
  • The Tree around the Corner
    Barbara Kerne, Artist
    Vivienne M. Lassman, Curator
  • Art and the Demands of Memory
    Works by Second Generation
    Holocaust Survivors

    Artists:
    Trudy Babchak
    Michael Steiner Borek
    Coos Hamburger
    Micheline Klagsbrun
    Kitty Klaidman 
    Dalya Luttwak
    Miriam Mörsel Nathan
    Margot Neuhaus 
    Chaya Schapiro
    Mindy Weisel

    Aneta Georgievska-Shine, Curator

  • Dana Hart-Stone: Kaleidoscope
    Dana Hart-Stone, Artist
    Brian Gross, Curator
  • A Drawing Like No Other: Marilyn Brought Back to Life in 9,000,000 Marks
    Billy Pappas, Artist
    Gary Vikan, Curator
  • The Human Flood
    Ellyn Weiss, Artist
    Sondra N. Arkin, Artist
    Laura Roulet, Curator
  • Image: Dana Hart-Stone, A Western Trip (detail), 2016. UV cured acrylic ink on canvas, 120 x 162 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Brian Gross Fine Art.

Dance promo

DANCEWORKS 2024Artistic Direction by Erin Foreman-Murray
Ronya-Lee Anderson, Director, American University Dance Company
Choreography by Ronya-Lee Anderson, Esperonto Bean, Orange Grove Dance, and Rose Xinran Qi
April 19-20, 2024, 7:30 p.m.
Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre
Tickets: $10-$15, free for AU students with ID

Rediscover the power of live dance in our increasingly virtual world. The American University Dance Company brings DANCEWORKS 2024 to the Greenberg Theatre stage with original choreography.

Featuring guest choreographers Colette Krogol and Matt Reeves, artistic directors of Orange Grove Dance, a multimedia dance company that "creates visually athletic experiences through the lenses of dance, film, and design." Dancers will present contemporary dance repertory by independent artist Rose Xinran Qi, whose work is informed by her extensive background in contemporary, postmodern, ballet, and Chinese dance. The company will also perform a new dance theatre piece by faculty choreographer Ronya-Lee Anderson and a new club and street styles work by dance faculty member and guest choreographer Esperonto Bean.

Blue geometric artwork

Infinite Geometries: Exploring the Arts of the Medieval Islamic World
Dr. Joanne Allen
January 22-March 1, 2024
Katzen Rotunda

This exhibition comprises drawings, oil and watercolor paintings, intaglio and relief prints, and fabrics based on the art history of the medieval Islamic world, in particular the Great Mosque of Córdoba, the most complex, decorative, and awe-inspiring building in early medieval Western Europe.

Abstract interior sceneHolding Hands, Holding Space
January 26-March 2, 2024
Katzen Rotunda
Curated by Taylor Sizemore and Marie B Gauthiez

American University’s Studio Art MFA program presents Holding Hands, Holding Space, a group exhibition curated by Taylor Sizemore and Marie B Gauthiez in the Katzen Arts Center Rotunda. This exhibition brings together sixteen artists; eight students from AU’s Studio Art MFA Program and eight students from other local university MFA programs.

Learn more

Faculty Music Concert HeadshotsFaculty Music Concert
March 2, 7:30 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
Tickets: $10-$15, free for AU students

American University music faculty take the stage! Instrumental and voice faculty collaborate in a varied program that ranges from Brahms to Cabaret. Featuring Susan Derry (voice), Mary Gottlieb (piano), Barbara Hollinshead (voice), Kevin Jang (violin), Osman Kivrak (viola), Nobue Matsuoka (percussion), Bill Wielgus (oboe), and Barbara Wilkinson (piano).

Expeditions
American University Symphonic Band
Matthew Brown, conductor
April 13, 3 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
Tickets: $10-$15, free for AU students

The AU Symphonic Band tackles two large scale works that each musically depict a remote frozen landscape. Oscar Navarro's "Expedition" imagines a journey deep into the waters of Antarctica, and Franco Cesarini's "Poema Alpestre" captures the vastness and majesty of the towering Swiss Alps. These two lengthy and challenging works highlight the richness of the Symphonic Band literature and showcase American University's talented wind, brass, and percussion students.

In Nature's Realm: Our Environment and Care for the EarthIn Nature’s Realm: Our Environment and Care for the Earth
American University Chamber Singers
Daniel Abraham, director
April 13, 7:30 p.m. and April 14, 3 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
Tickets: $10-$15, free for AU students

This program celebrates the beauty of our planet and the diversity and power of nature. Art has always celebrated nature. To revel in the beauty and power of nature is even more important than ever as we consider the impact we have on our planet. Reconnect with the expansive qualities of nature by hearing how composers have considered nature's awesomeness across time. Including works by Antonín Dvořák, Rachel Portman, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Dan Forrest, Frank Ticheli, and others.

Some Spring Swing
American University Jazz Orchestra
Joshua Bayer, director
April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
Tickets: $10-$15, free for AU students

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

American University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Brown, director (AU Symphony Orchestra)
Casey Cook, director (AU Chorus)
April 27, 7:30 p.m. and April 28, 3 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
Tickets: $10-$15, free for AU students

The AU Symphony Orchestra and Chorus collaborate to perform a lesser-known but important oratorio by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The program also includes Saint-Saëns' Symphony no. 2 in A minor, the world premiere of a work by AU student composer Matthew Lipka, and soloist Madeleine Corrigan, AU student and winner of the annual Concerto and Aria competition, playing the first and second movements of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto no. 1.

Urinetown The Musical

Urinetown, The Musical
Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann
Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
Choreographed by Robert Bowen Smith
Music Direction by Deborah Jacobson
February 22-24
Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre
$10-$15, free for AU students

It’s a privilege to pee.

Urinetown tells the story of a future fascist society, run by corporate greed, that demands that the public pay to pee. The musical, though fun and tongue-in-cheek, is a warning to us all to not take our freedoms for granted. Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards, Urinetown is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, environmental collapse, privatization of natural resources, bureaucracy, municipal politics, and musical theatre itself!

URINETOWN was produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheaterDreams, Inc., and Lauren Mitchell

URINETOWN is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI: www.mtishows.com

Content: Adult themes and mild language.

The Herstory of Henri IV Pt. 1 The Herstory of Henri IV, pt. 1
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and directed by Kate Eastwood Norris
February 28-March 2
Katzen Arts Center, Studio Theatre
$10-$15, free for AU students

Poor Hal. Her mom, the Queen of England, wants her to step up and fight in an impending civil war, while her buddy Falstaff wants her to stay at the bar and keep the party going. What is a young princess to do? Equal parts comedy and tragedy, Henri IV pt. 1 is a gender-bent adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous coming-of-age story about a young woman not only trying to figure out her place in the world, but also what sort of world she wants it to be.

Content: staged violence and death, simulated sexual acts, drug and alcohol consumption, body shaming, and loud noises.

Spring AwakeningSpring Awakening
Book & Lyrics by Steven Sater Music by Duncan Sheik
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
Directed by Nadia Guevara
Music Direction by Kristin Stowell
Choreography by Maurice Johnson
April 4-6
Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre
$10-$15, free for AU students

Spring Awakening explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with a poignancy and passion that is illuminating and unforgettable. The landmark musical is an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality, and rock and roll that is exhilarating audiences across the nation. The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, told by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater through what Entertainment Weekly called "the most gorgeous Broadway score this decade."

SPRING AWAKENING is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI: www.mtishows.com

Content: Sexual content, abuse, rape, abortion, death, suicide, violence, strong language.

Sydney Vernon, Sydney Vernon

February 22, 6:30 p.m. RSVP on Eventbrite.

Sydney Vernon (b. 1995, Prince George’s County, MD) superimposes personal family photographs and folklore with both real and imagined histories, quietly critiquing the global depiction of Black life and bodies. Combining elements of painting, drawing, and collage, Vernon’s multilayered works blend memory and history into new forms, at once imagining a poetic contextualization and a demand for recontextualization, coalescing symbols and ornaments with the spirit of her figures.

Jerrell Gibbs

March 21, 6:30 p.m. RSVP on Eventbrite.

Jerrell Gibbs (b. 1988; Baltimore, MD) opposes deceptive perceptions of Black men by questioning master narratives and their connection to a muted visual history. Gibbs’ paintings are acts of resistance, asserting power over visual stereotypes. He paints the Black male figure with adornments, such as flowers, and contextualizes them in moments of peace, rest, and solitude. These gestures function to dismantle the visual misrepresentation of violence, trauma, and pain. 

 

In the AU Arts Community

AU Audio Tech alums, from left to right, Jonathan Cornell, Rebeca Lindenfeld, and Liz Grzyb

Arts ·

Hitting the Right Notes: AU Audio Tech Alums Making Their Mark on Industry

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"Head Over Heels," photo: Jeff Watts

Arts ·

Announcing Spring 2024 Performing Arts Events

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The AU Music Program’s annual holiday concert. Photo: Noah Puzzo.

On Campus ·

AU Music Faculty Share Their Favorite Holiday Music

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