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Our History

Celebrating 41 years of nomadictheatre

nomadictheatre was founded in 1982 as the second student-run theatre troupe at Georgetown University. Named "nomadic" because of our roaming nature and tendency to turn any dorm, lawn, or classroom into a performance space, we initially committed to producing any and all shows that were deemed "unfit" for Mask & Bauble. In the early days, nomadic accomplished this mission by performing small-cast musicals. Since then, nomadic has lived many lives in many different places throughout Georgetown's campus: from dinner-theatre productions in Bulldog Alley and experimental works by contemporary playwrights, to finally landing on our current mission to create socially-engaged, technically-ambitious theatre and returning to our musical roots.

 

Enjoy this trip through nomadictheatre history to learn more about our journey, and follow along to see where we go next! 

nomadictheatre Through the Years

1981-1982

Dead Bunny Productions splits from Mask & Bauble

1988

The Fantasticks is the first show performed in the Walsh Black Box

1991

The Night of January 16 kicks off plays, nomadic dinner theatre, and innovative publicity

1994

Lend Me a Tenor forces contemporary nomads to grapple with our history

1999-2009

Nomadic finds its voice

1991

The Night of January 16 kicks off plays, nomadic dinner theatre, and innovative publicity

In the Fall of 1981, a group of theatre students, unsatisfied with Mask & Bauble, split off to form Dead Bunny Productions. DB Productions eventually became Nomadic Theatre, and it was focused on putting on shows M&B "cannot and would not do." Nomadic presented itself as an alternative theatre troupe that valued "process over product" and placed the artistic concept of its shows above the end result. 

Our 1988 musical The Fantasticks was the first show to be put on in the Walsh Black Box. The Walsh Theatre became one of nomadic's many unofficial homes on campus, and we began our tradition of creating shows in a black box setting. 

The Night of Janurary 16, our winter 1991 play is a keystone in our history. First, it was a straight play, which broke the mold of nomadic's typical musicals. It also began our era of producing dinner-theatre shows in collaboration with the Leavey center restaurant. Finally, the team used stunt publicity to stage the show's central murder plot on the actual night of January 16, 1991. 

In the Fall of 1994, nomadic produced Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig. Unfortunately, Lend Me a Tenor has a tradition of utilizing black face in its depiction of the opera Otello, and our production included this practice. We must grapple with the legacy of this production, and we apologize for the pain that it may cause within our community. Read Board 41's full statement and learn more about our efforts to promote inclusion and belonging throughout nomadic here.  

With the turn of the millennium came a shift in nomadic's focus from creating Avant-Guard, experimental art to creating art for a purpose. This new decade for nomadic encouraged our members to create thought-provoking theatre, productions that challenged the minds of the designers, the audience, and the actors, and speak to important issues both on and off-campus.

The Night of Janurary 16, our winter 1991 play is a keystone in our history. First, it was a straight play, which broke the mold of nomadic's typical musicals. It also began our era of producing dinner-theatre shows in collaboration with the Leavey center restaurant. Finally, the team used stunt publicity to stage the show's central murder plot on the actual night of January 16, 1991. 

If you can fill in any of the blanks in this archive, we'd love to hear from you! Please email us nomadictheatre@georgetown.edu