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Department of Performing Arts

Degrees and programs in arts management, audio technology, dance, music, & theatre.

Performing Arts Department


2020-21 Update

In Fall 2020, the Department of Performing Arts found innovative new ways to learn, grow, and create together. Throughout the semester, collaboration across disciplinesbrought students and faculty closer together. As American University moves toward a blended in-person and online learning community in Spring 2021, the programs that comprise the Department of Performing Arts remain committed to a dynamic, connected, expressive, and fulfilling experience for all of our majors, minors, and participating students.

The five programs that comprise the Department of Performing Arts – Arts Management, Audio Technology, Dance, Music, and Theatre/Musical Theatre – are committed to a dynamic, connected, expressive, and fulfilling experience for all of our majors, minors, and participating students. Download our "Performing Arts Playbook" (pdf) to learn how!

News & Notes

Assistant Professor Carl Menninger’s Chicago production of The Boys in the Band leads Jeff Award Nominations with seven nods, including Best Director and Best Play.

Associate Professor Aaron Posner reports on the impact COVID-19 has had on theaters and him personally.

Professor Emerita Caleen Sinnette Jennings' autobiographically inspired play "Queens Girl in the World" was featured in an article in the Ithaca Times.

Nancy Snider was awarded a $12,500 Koster Foundation Summer Study Grant from The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation, Inc.

Distinguished artist in residence Aaron Posner won the 2020 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play for Life Sucks.

Richard Streeks won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Staff for being incredibly supportive and responsive to many varied demands of the Department of Performing Arts.

Arts management professor Andrew Taylor spoke with the Washington Post about the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns on the Kennedy Center and other performance venues.

Dance professorial lecturer Erin Foreman-Murray spoke to WERA 96.7 Arlington about dance and embodied curiosity.

Dance professor Robert Woofter premiered “electric idols” at the Kennedy Center’s new REACH Campus. Musician-in-residence Yuliya Gorenman was interviewed in the Roanoke Times and Seattle Spokesman-Review.

Theatre professor Caleen Jennings won the the first-ever AU Faculty Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Arts management alum Monica Jeffries Hazangeles was named one of the most powerful women in Washington by Washingtonian magazine.

Adjunct music professor Katherine Riddle won the Marc Blitzstein award at the Lotte Lenya Competition for vocalists.

Department Contacts

General Performing Arts
Richard Streeks at 202-885-3422 or
Arts Management
Ximena Varela at 202-885-3883 or
Audio Technology
Michael Harvey at 202-885-6302 or
Erin Foreman-Murray at 202-885-3942 or
Sean Doyle at 202-885-3287 or
Theatre/Musical Theatre
Karl Kippola at 202-885-3464 or

Faculty Experts’ Corner: Caleen Jennings

Emerita theatre professor Caleen Jennings discusses how the arts can soothe and even heal people during times of trauma and turmoil.

Singers use JackTrip with Zoom to sing synchronously

Chamber Singers Performance a Technological and Artistic Triumph

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Screen capture from Miss You Like Hell

“Miss You Like Hell” A Virtual Hit

A heartfelt, hopeful, and modern road trip musical

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How does it feel to be 18 and starting college in the [expletive] year of 2020

Virtual “Overture” a Poignant, Soaring Success

First-year AU students share hopes and dreams in annual performance

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Be the Change by Mark Meadows.

Jazz Musician and Faculty Member Mark G. Meadows Screens New Film

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