Department of Theatre Arts

Department of Theatre Arts

An internationally acclaimed leader and producer of artistic merit. Featuring internationally celebrated faculty engaging the African Diaspora and the World.

Campus-Wide Announcements

University Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The University continues to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, as additional cases are confirmed in the United States and other countries. The University continues to formulate and adjust its plans as needed.

A Welcome Letter from our Interim Chair: Dr. Ofosuwa M. Abiola

Dr. Abiola -

Welcome to the Department of Theatre Arts

You have made a life altering choice by majoring in Theatre Arts at Howard University. The Theatre Arts Department is known for its illustrious alumni, historical relevance, and for providing students the opportunity to engage up and coming and established renowned guest artists. Once involved with our dedicated faculty and modern-day, culturally relevant programming, our success in producing skilled, grounded performers, triple threats, theatre administrators, and technical theatre practitioners will be apparent. With a history of over a century, and distinction as the first HBCU to offer a BFA degree, Howard’s Department of Theatre Arts will continue to lead as an artist incubator and producer of cutting-edge artists who are not afraid to step out of the box. From Felicia Rashad, Chuck Davis, and Debbie Allen, to Chadwick Bozeman, Anthony Anderson, and many others in-between and beyond, Howard’s footprint in the Acting, Dance, and the Musical Theatre world is significant.

With academic year 2020-2021 being marked by the historical events of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the Covid-19 Pandemic, and all online instruction for a virtually hands-on discipline, students will be challenged to rise to the occasion. They will have to embrace the understanding that some changes made as a result of these historic events will be with us for years to come – and some may never leave. However, while navigating the Theatre Arts program students will quickly come to the realization that these realities are nonfactors with regard to their growth and ultimate achievement of excellence.

Remember, the most important event to occur this academic year is that you have decided to join a list of luminaries by choosing Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts.

 In Truth and Service,

Dr. Ofosuwa M. Abiola,

Ofosuwa M. Abiola, PhD

Chair, Department of Theatre Arts

The Dance Arts program presents Good Trouble!

Join us Saturday December 5, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

View the Showcase Trailer here.

The composition showcase is under the direction of Jocelyn E. Cox, with choreography from Keishonna Belcher, Zanyah Dorfeuille, Deirdre Dunkin, Jordin Greene, Tanasia Lane and Nia Mapp.

Good Trouble: Dance Composition Showcase Trailer

Want To Be A Howard Player?


Information for Current Students

Da’Shown Rawl serves as Guest Artist for the Dance Arts Program

Da’Shown Rawl studied Ballet and Modern at the Baltimore School of the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Rawl is a graduate of the prestigious Dance Department of George Mason University (GMU). While at GMU, he got the opportunity to perform works by Alejandro Cerrudo, Andrea Miller, David Grenke, Doug Varone, Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, and Robert Battle.

Da’Shown Rawl also teaches at The Washington Ballet, Howard University, and The Ballet Garden (DCCD). Da'Shown Rawl had the pleasure of teaching and connecting with Howard in the spring of 2020 by teaching Dance Major Movement Tech. He has been teaching and choreographing in the DMV and New York City area since the age of 16. In 2015, he founded RawArts Dance Company and had created works at the Baltimore School of the Arts, George Mason University, various companies in the DMV Area, and festivals in New York City. His recent choreographic endeavors have included a dance for film, Just A Thought, and Cold Fire: A Story of Emotions, his first full-length work. Da’Shown’s passion for choreography was the catalyst for the establishment of the RawArts Dance Company.

Dance Arts Program Welcomes Guest Artists

Tracy M. Vogt- is currently the Artistic Director of the Roswell Dance Theatre Modern Company in Atlanta and teaches at Foothills Dance Conservatory and the International Ballet in Greenville, South Carolina.
Shaness D. Kemp- is a freelance dancer, choreographer and dance educator and is currently on faculty at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She is a certified Umfundalai teacher and has taught at various institutions, festivals and intensives. 
Janine N. Beckles- is currently a lead dancer and company Graham teacher going into her 10th season with Philadanco. Janine is a newest board member of the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers Association (PVLA). She is currently in graduate school studying to obtain her MBA with a concentration on Leadership.

Young Playwrights’ Theater In Residency at Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts 

Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) Presents 

Silence is Violence: The Future of the Field 

A Devised Virtual Performance Directed by YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris 

In Residency at Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts 

October 2020 - March 2021

Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT)

Coming in Fall 2020

Devised Theatre Residency with Psalmayene 24 in partnership with Washington DC's Studio Theatre

/Psalmayene 24 and DC Theatre

Congratulations to Tony Starnes!

Tony Starnes- Helen-2020

Tony Starnes serves on staff at Howard University's Department of Theatre Arts.  His professional career allows him to bring real-world experience and knowledge to our students and departmental season.

For the latest about the 2020 Helen Hayes Awards and more visit here!


Alumni Spotlight!

Celebrating the work of our esteemed alum

Student Spotlight!

Recognizing our hard working student artists

Faculty Spotlight!

Honoring the achievements of our distinguished faculty

Major and Concentrations

Learn more about the concentrations we offer within the Department of Theatre Arts.


Lulu Vere Childers Hall (Fine Arts)

Department of Theatre Arts
2455 Sixth Street N.W., Suite 1044
Washington, D.C. 20059

202-806-7050 T
202-806-9193 F 

Janet Johnson, Administrative Aid