The Lab’s significant global reach is manifest through its leadership role within the International Theater Institute (ITI) and through the creation of the UNESCO/ITI Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts, co-founded by Lab co-director Derek Goldman.

July of 2017 marked a historic occasion in the history of ITI as the Network presented the inaugural Student Festival in Segovia, Spain as part of the ITI World Congress, the first time a student festival has been part of the Congress. The Festival, curated and directed by Goldman, manifested the new Network’s values of deep cross-cultural exchange, inclusivity, artistic integrity and experimentation, and pedagogical innovation, and featured leading academies from Bangladesh, China, India, the Philippines, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, along with a delegation of students from Georgetown University who, as the only North American delegation, presented their original devised work I Pledge Allegiance.

I Pledge Allegiance devisers and performers Aly Panjwani (SFS ’19), Cristina Ibarra (COL ’17), and Lab Fellow Devika Ranjan (SFS ’17).

I Pledge Allegiance explored American identity from the perspective of immigrants. Through a series of vignettes, the piece showcased the complex and at times disjointed web of race, religion, heritage, and class distinct to the US border interrogations, intimate family conversations, and schoolyard discussions highlight a nuanced American reality. The play challenged notions of nationalism in the present global context and ask the question, What does it mean to be an American?

Lab Co-Director Derek Goldman leads a workshop with Lab Fellow Velani Dibba (SFS ’17), Cristina Ibarra (COL ’17), and 70 other international students.

In additional to ten international performances, the three-day student festival included a series of workshops led by faculty from Bangladesh, India, Switzerland, and the United States.

Lab Fellow Devika Ranjan (SFS ’17) performs alongside international students. (Photo by Reamur Adaza David)

The central goal of the student festival was to encourage collaboration, and during the week of the World Congress 70 international students devised short group pieces around the theme of “home” and performed them for the Congress attendees. These performances took place in the former women’s prison that now serves as the primary cultural center.

Ben Lillian (COL ’18) performs in the former women’s prison. (Photo by Reamur Adaza David)

The Georgetown ensemble performs I Pledge Allegiance.

The newly elected ITI Executive Council, which includes Goldman alongside leaders from Burkina Faso, Slovenia, Russia, UAE, Kosovo, Switzerland, China, Vietnam, Spain, Italy, India, and the Sudan.