UNCSA returns to in-person performances in 2021-22 with a sweeping season of dance, drama, music and film

UNCSA announces a return to live performance with a 2021-22 season that spans time-honored classics and works by today’s visionary composers, choreographers, filmmakers and playwrights who represent an array of stories and voices from throughout our contemporary world. The wide-ranging season includes film, dance, drama and music created and performed by talented students and world-class faculty, distinguished alumni and celebrated guest artists.

Tickets to most live-audience productions are $20 regular and $15 students with valid ID, and are available online or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945. Selected events are priced individually as noted. UNCSA performance venues will be open at full capacity; however, with health and safety as the top priority and in compliance with the citywide indoor mask mandate now in effect in Winston-Salem, all performers and audience members are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

In addition to in-person performances, UNCSA will livestream concerts by faculty-artists and guest artists in the School of Music through the new series Live from Watson Hall. Film screenings will also be offered online for a limited time.

“We are thrilled to welcome back our loyal audiences for in-person performances this coming season at UNCSA,” said Chancellor Brian Cole. “There is no replacement for the energy of live audiences and the community engagement that results from being together in a room experiencing transformative art.

“I am particularly proud that UNCSA will offer a season of compelling works from across our cultural landscape, created centuries ago and written today,” Cole added. “From Balanchine’s classical ‘Symphonie Concertante’ to Stew’s contemporary comedy-drama rock musical ‘Passing Strange,’ our season amplifies a wide range of artistic expression.”

Cole said student-artists will benefit from the diversity of work being performed. “We are training students to enter industries that are very different from a few years ago. By exposing them to the broadest spectrum of work in their fields, we are helping them develop their own unique creative voices that will propel them to lead the future of arts and entertainment,” he said.

“We also acknowledge that pandemic-accelerated change inspired us to find new ways of reaching broader audiences, providing access to the arts on a global scale. To that end, we are pleased to continue streaming select performances and film screenings this year, transcending our physical location to virtually showcase the excellent work of our students, faculty-artists and professional guest artists.”

Highlights of the season include:

School of Music highlights

The UNCSA Symphony Orchestra returns to perform with full forces after a yearlong absence due to COVID-19 safety protocols. The orchestra presents two programs this fall featuring major fifth symphonies from the great symphonic composers, followed in the spring by a powerful program that includes selections from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Led by superlative guest conductors, the programs will showcase the excellence of student musicians. The orchestra season begins on Saturday, Sept. 18, with Shostakovich’s jubilant Symphony No. 5 conducted by alumnus Robert Franz (B.M. '90, M.M. '92). Next, Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducts Mahler’s massive Fifth Symphony on Saturday, Nov. 20. Michael Butterman, music director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, conducts a program that includes the orchestral suite from Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet” on Saturday, March 26.

“These fantastic works from the symphonic repertoire will highlight our student musicians at their very best and will illuminate the full range of training we provide in the School of Music,” said Saxton Rose, who became dean in June after a year as interim dean. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for students to perform these grand works under the batons of such accomplished conductors. We are very excited to treat audiences to memorable celebrations of being together again in a concert hall.”

Fletcher Opera Institute celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Fletcher Opera Institute performed "Lee Inglesi" in February. / Photo: Peter Mueller

A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute celebrates its 20th anniversary on Saturday, April 30, with a gala concert by notable alumni of the institute, current Fletcher Fellows, the UNCSA Cantata Singers and the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra. Founding Fletcher Artistic Director and current Music Director James Allbritten will lead the orchestra. The institute will also present two fully staged operas in collaboration with the School of Design and Production (D&P): Donizetti’s “Linda di Chamounix” on Friday, Feb. 4, Sunday, Feb. 6, and Tuesday, Feb. 8; and “Volpone, John Musto’s contemporary comedy, on Wednesday, April 20, Friday, April 22, and Sunday, April 24.

The School of Music also offers concerts by world-class faculty ensembles and prestigious guest artists, both in person and livestreamed in a new Live from Watson Hall series. Faculty concert highlights include the Reynolda Quartet, Low and Lower, a piano quintet exploring what inspired and was inspired by Schubert’s “Trout Quintet,” Latin American Soundscapes, and a concert with Salem Bach Festival. Highlights of the guest artist series, to be announced separately, include coloratura soprano Louise Toppin, Sphinx Virtuosi, Verona Quartet, and yMusic. Additional faculty and guest artist concerts are listed in the online performance calendar.

School of Dance highlights

A beloved holiday tradition, “The Nutcracker” returns to live performance at the Stevens Center from Dec. 10-19 for 10 performances, including four matinees. Guest Conductor Jiannan Cheng leads the UNCSA Nutcracker Orchestra. A collaboration between the schools of Dance, D&P and Music, “The Nutcracker” features choreography by Dance faculty member Ilya Kozadayev.

"The Nutcracker" opens Dec. 10 at the Stevens Center

"The Nutcracker," Dec. 2019 / Photo: Peter Mueller

“The UNCSA production of ‘The Nutcracker’ has earned a reputation as a must-see,” said Endalyn Taylor, who became dean of the School of Dance on Aug. 1. “Noted for the exquisite dancing, live orchestration and superb staging, this full-scale production is of the highest caliber. We are proud UNCSA has the talent and capacity to produce live entertainment that is so engaging and beautiful. I am thrilled to bring Kozadayev’s wonderful new ‘Nutcracker’ to the stage and look forward to the new delights this original version will bring to live audiences this year.”

Additional performances by the School of Dance encompass beloved classical ballets, cutting-edge contemporary works and a reimagining of “The Seven Deadly Sins” that blends the two. The Dance season begins with an all-contemporary Fall Dance (Tuesday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 2) featuring premieres by three guest choreographers: award-winning Yoshito Sakuraba of New York’s Peridance Center and alumni Andrew Harper and Ashley Lindsey. Winter Dance (Tuesday through Sunday, Feb. 24-27) offers beloved classical ballets by Balanchine and Bournonville; a contemporary ballet by Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and excerpts from an award-winning contemporary work by faculty member Ming-Lung YangSpring Dance (Thursday through Saturday, April 21-24) will bring alumni Grady Bowman and Jim Vincent back with new works, while “startlingly original” guest artist Gina Patterson will present a brand-new reimagining of “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

School of Drama highlights

The voices of contemporary playwrights from diverse backgrounds will resonate throughout the School of Drama’s season, beginning with Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” (Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 28-31, and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 4-6) directed by Acadia Barrengos as her senior thesis project. Dean Scott Zigler, Assistant Dean Krisha Marcano and stage combat instructor Kelly Martin Mann co-direct “Heathers: The Musical” Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 11-20. Stew’s contemporary comedy-drama rock musical “Passing Strange” will be offered Thursdays through Sundays, March 24 to April 2, with visiting faculty member Christopher Burris directing. A new devised work, “Mother Tongue,” is the senior thesis project of Marina Zurita and is based on research and interviews done with the community of “trash pickers” in her native country, Brazil, this past summer. It is scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays, March 31 to April 9.

“It is part of our mission in the School of Drama to make sure our students are deeply immersed in the landscape of contemporary playwriting, even as they develop the skills necessary for older works,” said Dean Zigler. “The overwhelming majority of work available to them right out of school across theater, film and television is contemporary writing. They still graduate with the skills necessary to perform any script put in front of them, but most get hired out of school into more contemporary work. We also believe all art has a responsibility to its audience, to reflect and explore the world and the issues that society finds itself grappling with today. Our goal is to present work that entertains, explores and inspires.”

School of Filmmaking highlights

The School of Filmmaking offers two “best of” screenings that showcase films from varied genres, created by second-, third- and fourth-year students last year — one on Friday, Oct. 1, and another on Friday, Feb. 25. Closing out the performance season are screenings of films by this year’s third- and fourth-year students on Thursday, May 5, and Friday May 6, respectively. Screenings will be in-person and online for a limited time.

The School of Filmmaking will present two screenings of films made during the 2020-21 school year. / Photo: Wayne Reich

“I have seen many films created by UNCSA students during the past few years,” said Deborah LaVine, who became dean of the School of Filmmaking on July 1. “I’m very impressed by the quality of the work and the originality of vision and voice that is showcased. I am excited to see what we will accomplish together this year, and I am pleased to again be offering the films to a broader audience through our online screenings.”

School of Design and Production highlights

In addition to providing all of the design, technical and production support for performances in Dance, Drama and the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, the School of Design and Production also presents its wildly popular “Photona,” a themed multimedia show of lighting, projection and sound. With help from a team of undergraduate students and mentored by Lighting Program Director Eric Rimes, each senior lighting designer creates a dazzling projection using the latest lighting equipment on loan from industry partners. Audience members have the opportunity to ask the designers questions and offer critiques, and at the end of the night, the audience votes for its favorite piece. The free event is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, in Freedman Theatre.

“This is an exciting season with rich opportunities for our student designers and technicians,” said D&P Dean Michael J. Kelley, an alumnus and award-winning art director and set decorator. “With such a wide range of plays, musicals and operas, plus support for student films, our students are getting hands-on, real-world experience that will serve them well as they graduate and begin rewarding careers.”

Additional information about select performances in chronological order

UNCSA Symphony Orchestra with Robert Franz: Shostakovich 5!
Saturday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center
Acclaimed conductor and alumnus Robert Franz (B.M. '90, M.M. '92) leads the return of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra to the Stevens Center with a performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. The program opens with the Overture for Orchestra by Grażyna Bacewicz, a leading female composer who wrote from behind the Iron Curtain. It also features 2021 UNCSA Concerto Competition winner and guitarist Harry Conn performing the well-known Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo. Franz is music director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Boise Baroque Orchestra, associate conductor of the Houston Symphony and co-director and conductor of the Idaho Orchestra Institute.

Hooked! Twin Inspirations for Piano Quintet
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m., in Watson Hall
UNCSA faculty-artists explore what inspired and was inspired by Franz Schubert’s famous “Trout Quintet.” When Schubert wrote the “Trout,” he and the benefactor who commissioned the piece were drawing inspiration from Hummel’s Piano Quintet, Op. 87, a piece that at that time was unique in its unusual instrumentation for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass. “The Hummel'' employs the same virtuosity, fire and elegant Viennese charm of its more famous offspring. The work is paired with a piece that Schubert's “Trout '' inspired: Ellen Taafe Zwillich’s engaging, jazzy and recently composed Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass. Featuring Dmitri Vorobiev, piano; Kevin Lawrence, violin; Ulrich Eichenauer, viola; Brooks Whitehouse, cello; and Paul Sharp, double bass.

The School of Dance presents Fall Dance, a showcase for the contemporary dancer

"No Trace" by Ming-Lung Yang, Fall Dance 2017 / Photo: Peter Mueller

Fall Dance
Tuesday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 2, 2 p.m. in Agnes de Mille Theatre
A showcase for the contemporary dancer, Fall Dance will feature the premieres of new works by three up-and-coming choreographers, including two UNCSA alumni. Yoshito Sakuraba left his native Japan for New York at the age of 19, received a B.A. in dance from Manhattanville

College and then graduated from the Martha Graham School. The founding artistic director of Abarukas, Sakuraba has won awards at festivals in Italy and Spain. Alumnus Ashley Lindsey (Arts Diploma ‘07) is director of UNCSA’s Summer Dance Program. He has been a member of the companies of Limón Dance, Lar Lubovitch and Helen Simoneau. A recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education, alumnus Andrew Harper (B.F.A. ’13) describes his new piece as “clean and modern, sharp angles and colors, ‘Blade Runner’ meets Maison Margiela.” It will be “a continuation in my study of technology-driven movement and mechanical impersonations of humanness.”

Best of 2020-21 Screening
Friday, Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. in Main, Gold and Babcock theatres, ACE Exhibition Complex and on demand for a limited time.
The School of Filmmaking presents a 90-minute program featuring some of the best short films created during the 2020-21 school year.

Fifth Annual Salem Bach Festival: 1865 — The Birth of Genius
Friday, Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. in Watson Hall
The year 1685 saw the birth of three monumental Baroque composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and Domenico Scarlatti. This concert, featuring students and faculty-artists from the School of Music, interweaves instrumental and vocal music from these three prolific composers in the first concert of the annual Salem Bach Festival.

UNCSA Jazz Ensemble with special guest Paul Hanson
Saturday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Agnes de Mille Theatre
One of the world’s best-known jazz bassoonists, Paul Hanson has managed to create his own path while playing an instrument more often associated with classical music, building a well- rounded musical career as a recording and touring musician. His innovative use of electronics, his looping effects and his rhythmic approach have brought him to a unique place on the world stage. Currently bassoonist with the legendary Billy Cobham and his “Crosswinds” project, Hanson also performs solo shows and with the likes of Bela Fleck and Cirque du Soleil. He joins the award-winning UNCSA Jazz Ensemble in a concert that will include a mix of traditional and contemporary big band jazz, including originals by the special guest artist.

In addition to performing with the Jazz Ensemble, Hanson will perform a solo concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, and a concert of standard jazz compositions accompanied by a jazz combo of UNCSA faculty-artists and alumni at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. Both concerts are in Watson Hall and will be livestreamed as part of the Live from Watson Hall series.

“Indecent” by Paula Vogel
Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 28-30 and Nov. 4-6 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 31, at 2 p.m. in Catawba Theatre, Alex Ewing Performance Place
“Indecent,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, is a deeply moving play inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance” that depicted the first lesbian kiss on a Broadway stage. The producer and cast of Asch’s play were arrested and convicted on the grounds of obscenity. “Indecent,” which won two Tony Awards, charts the history of this incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. Acadia Barrengos, a senior in the School of Drama, directs as her thesis project.

“Heathers: The Musical” by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe, based on the film by Daniel Waters
Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 11-13, and Nov. 18-20 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. in Freedman Theatre, Alex Ewing Performance Place (Special ticket prices apply.)
Westerberg High is ruled by a shoulder-padded, scrunchie-wearing junta: Heather, Heather and Heather, the hottest and cruelest girls in all of Ohio. But misfit Veronica Sawyer rejects their evil regime for a new boyfriend, the mysterious rebel J.D., who plans to put the Heathers in their place: six feet under. Based on the 1988 film that became a cult hit, the rock musical “Heathers” is a dark comedy following the social politics of late ’80s teens. Dean of Drama Scott Zigler, Assistant Dean Krisha Marcano and stage combat instruct Kelly Mann co-direct.

Thomas Wilkins will conduct the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra on Nov. 20

Guest conductor Thomas Wilkins will lead the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra performing Mahler's Fifth Symphony.

UNCSA Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Wilkins: Mahler 5!
Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Stevens Center
Guest Conductor and Artist-in-Residence Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, leads the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra in the triumphant and moving Fifth Symphony of Gustav Mahler. Although his Fifth Symphony is full of angst, it was written during one of the happier times in Gustav Mahler's life: his courtship with his wife-to-be, Alma Maria Schindler. Over an hour long, this symphony is a roller coaster, bringing us from tragedy to triumph and allowing us to witness one of the most beautiful love letters ever written in musical form, the fourth movement Adagietto, to his Alma. Hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences, Maestro Wilkins has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and the National Symphony.

The Reynolda Quartet in Concert
Sunday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Watson Hall
Ancient Greek mythology claims that the swan sings a single song of exquisite beauty just before its death. Schubert finished his transcendent C major String Quintet in his final weeks of life, and many consider it his greatest instrumental work. Every movement is a masterpiece in itself, and Schubert’s unusual choice of a second cello as the quintet’s fifth voice adds an other-worldly richness and depth to the string quartet sound. The North Carolina Symphony's principal cellist Bonnie Thron will join the Reynolda Quartet for a rousing performance of this singular work. The program also includes Dvořák’s deeply personal D minor String Quartet, written with particular poignancy in a year of tragic losses for Dvořák’s family.

Founded in 2019 to illustrate a progressive partnership between two of Winston-Salem’s premier cultural organizations, Reynolda Quartet features renowned faculty-artists Ida Bieler and Janet Orenstein, violins; Ulrich Eichenauer, viola; and Brooks Whitehouse, cello.

“The Nutcracker”
Friday, Dec. 10, through Sunday, Dec. 19, in the Stevens Center
Show times vary, and special ticket prices apply. Tickets go on sale Thursday, Oct. 7.
(See description above.)

Friday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., Freedman Theatre
(See description above.)

Latin American Soundscapes
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. in Watson Hall
The Americas Ensemble leads a musical tour across Latin America. Flutist Maria Fernanda Castillo, oboist Jaren Atherholt, bassoonist Benjamin Atherholt and cuatro/guitar player Régulo Stabilito will showcase Latin American music from the Baroque to the present, ranging from classical repertoire to traditional music. The program features musical selections from Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

Low and Lower: Off the Deep End
Saturday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. in Watson Hall
The popular duo of faculty-artists Brooks Whitehouse, cello, and Paul Sharpe, double bass, plumbs the depths with — among other things — a dramatic setting of “The Three Bares,” a poem that can be found at the scandalous fringes of Robert Service's oeuvre.

A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute: “Linda di Chamounix” music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Gaetano Rossi
Friday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. in the Stevens Center (Special ticket prices apply.)
A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute celebrates its 20th anniversary with a return to its roots. Known for its innovative programming, the institute began with a performance of Bellini’s rarely performed bel canto opera from 1833, “Beatrice di Tenda.” The institute honors its first year with another rarely performed opera from the same era: Donizetti’s “Linda di Chamounix,” the story of a young girl and the sacrifices she makes for her family as political and economic forces plot against her. Donizetti’s 1842 work will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Fletcher Opera Music Director James Allbritten conducts, and Artistic Director Steven LaCosse is stage director with vocal preparation by faculty-artist Angela Vanstory Ward.

Winter Dance
Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m. in the Stevens Center
With both ballet and contemporary repertoire, Winter Dance will delight all lovers of the discipline. The production will include excerpts from “Napoli,” one of August Bournonville’s most beloved and enduring ballets; and George Balanchine’s “Symphonie Concertante,” in which two principal ballerina roles correspond to the solo instruments (violin and viola) of Mozart’s music of the same name. Another work on the program, “Mass,” by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle, features a score by John Mackey and 16 dancers showcasing Battle’s signature ritualistic choreography. Finally, UNCSA faculty member Ming-Lung Yang will present a revised excerpt from his "Feng Yun," set to Ting-Yui Liu’s "Ambushed from Ten Sides." Yang’s work premiered at Tropentheater Amsterdam in the Netherlands and was a Best

of 2011 Taishin Art Award finalist. According to the choreographer, the piece “negotiates new boundaries where traditional Eastern and modern Western forms meet.”

Best of 2020-21 Screening
Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in Main, Gold and Babcock theatres, ACE Exhibition Complex and on demand for a limited time.
The School of Filmmaking presents a 90-minute program featuring some of the best short films created during the 2020-21 school year.

“Passing Strange” by Stew
Thursday through Saturday, March 24-26, and March 31 through April 2 at 7:30 p.m.; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 27, in Catawba Theatre, Alex Ewing Performance Place
From singer-songwriter and performance artist Stew comes “Passing Strange,” a daring comedy-drama rock musical that takes you on a journey across boundaries of place, identity and theatrical convention. Stew brings us the story of a young bohemian who charts a course for “the real” through sex, drugs and rock 'n’ roll. Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the show takes us from Black middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond on a journey toward personal and artistic authenticity. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning one. Spike Lee made a permanent record of the Broadway production by filming the last three performances at the Belasco Theatre. Visiting faculty member Christopher Burris directs. With an extensive resume as a professional actor in theater, film, television and voice-over, Burris has taught and directed at Pace University, New York University and the University of California San Diego.

Michael Butterman will conduct the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra on March 26

Guest conductor Michael Butterman will lead the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra performing the orchestral suite from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet."

UNCSA Symphony Orchestra with Michael Butterman: Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”
Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Stevens Center
Guest Conductor and Artist-in-Residence Michael Butterman conducts the season finale concert of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra performing the orchestral suite from Prokofiev’s most loved ballet “Romeo and Juliet” on a program that also features works from the latter half of the 20th century, both performed with accompanying video. Cindy McTee’s unrelenting “Circuits” produces a frantic kinetic energy that is projected in the accompanying film by Canadian video artist Aleski Moriarty. Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness’ celestial Symphony No. 2 (initially known by its subtitle “Mysterious Mountain”) is complemented by video artist Stephen Lias’ accompanying film. Butterman gained international attention as a diploma laureate in the Prokofiev International Conducting Competition and as a finalist in the prestigious Besançon International Conducting Competition. He has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and Houston Symphony.

This is the final program featuring the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra as the full orchestra returns after a yearlong absence due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Reynolda Quartet: In the Footsteps of a Giant
Sunday, March 27, at 3 p.m. at Reynolda House Museum of American Art
Beethoven cast a long imposing shadow on Johannes Brahms, who waited until he was 40 to publish his first string quartet proclaiming that, “You can’t have any idea what it is like always to hear such a giant marching behind you!” It is no wonder that Brahms’ first quartet Op. 51 No. 1, when it finally came, was such a masterpiece — dark, ambitious, rhythmically complex, and in the tragic C minor key of Beethoven’s great Fifth Symphony. In the 20th century, Bartók continued to advance the string quartet form, and the groundbreaking innovation of his six quartets are often compared to that of Beethoven’s famous late quartets. In this concert the Reynolda Quartet will juxtapose Brahms’ first quartet with Bartók’s last, his epic Quartet No. 6, written at the outset of World War II.

Devised theater: “Mother Tongue”
Thursday through Saturday, March 31 to April 2, and April 7-9, 7:30 p.m.; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3, in Freedman Theatre, Alex Ewing Performance Place
“To know a person is to hear them speak and to look at their trash. And thus, ‘Mother Tongue’ is born.” The first UNCSA devised theater production conceived and directed by a student, “Mother Tongue” was inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children” and interviews with Brazilian waste pickers. This new theatrical experience will be filled with music, language and things we throw away. In times of accumulation of waste, “Mother Tongue” asks us to look at our trash and listen to the essential workers living off it. The work is Marina Zurita’s fourth-year directing thesis.

The UNCSA Wind Ensemble will perform the work of Frank Johnson

The UNCSA Wind Ensemble will perform "Of Our New Day Begun."

UNCSA Wind Ensemble: “Of Our New Day Begun”
Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Stevens Center
UNCSA presents the premieres of newly commissioned arrangements of marches and cotillions for concert band by Francis “Frank” Johnson, one of the most respected and sought-after bandleaders in New England in the early 19th century. Johnson wrote over 200 works and was a pioneer for musicians in the young nation of his time. He was the first published African American composer in the U.S. and the first to integrate a music ensemble. In 1937, his band was the first to travel to Buckingham Palace via invitation from Queen Victoria, who presented him with a silver bugle in appreciation. Artist-in-Residence Kenneth Amis was commissioned by UNCSA to write the new arrangements for the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds. Faculty-artist Mark Norman conducts.

A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute: “Volpone,” music by John Musto, libretto by Mark Campbell
Wednesday, April 20 and Friday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 24, at 2 p.m. in Agnes de Mille Theatre (Special ticket prices apply.)
“Volpone” (“The Fox”) is a bright, biting contemporary comedy inspired by the classic Ben Jonson play of the same name. The wealthy Volpone feigns mortal illness in order to con a group of his so-called “friends” into believing that each of them will inherit his fortune. The

lengths to which they go in the name of greed make for an evening of high humor. Guest Conductor John McKeever, who earned a B.M. in double bass and an M.M. in orchestral conducting from UNCSA, will lead the orchestra. Guest artist Eve Summer will direct. “Volpone” will be sung in English. Faculty-artist Angela Vanstory Ward provides vocal preparation.

Spring Dance
Thursday through Saturday, April 21-23; and Sunday, April 24, at 2 p.m. in the Stevens Center
Spring Dance will bring two alumni back to UNCSA with new works, while guest artist Gina Patterson will present a brand-new reimagining of “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Set to an original score by Jordan Brook Hamlin, “The Seven Deadly Sins” will be “a world of its own, combining both the contemporary and ballet departments into an aesthetic that combines and challenges both,” Patterson said. Student designers from the School of Design & Production will produce “an integrated landscape that will communicate a powerful and emotional portrayal of the ‘sins’ as they relate universally and personally, past and present.” Patterson’s work appears in the repertoire of more than 25 companies. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Choo San Goh Award for Choreography.

Alumnus Grady Bowman’s (B.F.A. ’05) work has spanned Broadway, off-Broadway, television, circus, dance companies and universities. He most recently received a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Choreography for “Singin' in the Rain” at the Olney Theatre Center. Alumnus Jim Vincent (B.F.A. ’78) is the former artistic director of the Nederlands Dans Theater and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as well as an Imagineer and executive creative director with The Walt Disney Company.

A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute 20th Anniversary Concert and Next/Now Scholarship Fundraiser
Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in the Stevens Center and Benton Convention Center and virtually on the UNCSA Powering Creativity app (Special ticket prices apply.)
NextNow begins with a gala performance celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute. Current fellows and alumni of the institute join the UNCSA Cantata Singers and the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra performing an exciting program of operatic favorites led by founding Artistic Director and current Music Director James Allbritten. The Next/Now cocktail soiree will follow at Benton Convention Center with Fletcher Opera alumni and students from all five arts schools. NextNow guests will also enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes content through the UNCSA Powering Creativity app.

Screening of Fourth-Year Films
Friday, May 6, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Main, Gold and Babcock theatres, ACE Exhibition Complex and on demand for a limited time.
Featuring local casts and Triad locations, these undergraduate capstone projects were created by student screenwriters, producers, directors, cinematographers, production designers, editors, sound designers, composers and animators who collaborate over the course of a full year or more. The films are the culmination of the students’ four years of study and the official start to their professional careers.

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August 26, 2021