Scene - 2022 Features

A Season of Change

The 2021-22 performance season was filled with rich programming that underscored the university’s commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB). The arts schools showcased works by underrepresented voices, invited a variety of guest artists to our stages, and told compelling stories that help broaden our view of the world.

Below are a few highlights from last performance season. 

1. "Passing Strange"

Visiting artist Christopher Burris directed Stew’s rock musical “Passing Strange,” one of the few major American musicals written by an African American. “At UNCSA, we have such a diverse student body, and we are committed to finding stories that reflect the lived experience of those students,” said Scott Zigler, dean of the School of Drama.

Passing Strange

Spring 2022 Drama production of "Passing Strange." / Photo: Wayne Reich

2. "Somewhere In a Dream I Got Lost"

Dance alumnus Ashley Lindsey (College Arts Diploma ’07) choreographed “Somewhere In a Dream I Got Lost” for the contemporary-focused Fall Dance, exploring the freedom and possibilities that come from dreaming.

Fall Dance

Fall Dance 2021 piece "Somewhere In a Dream I Got Lost" choreographed by alumnus Ashley Lindsey. / Photo: Peter Mueller

3. "Sammy, Without Strings"

Fourth-year student film “Sammy, Without Strings” explores the delicate and impactful story of Sammy, a Black puppet who desires freedom from performing for oppressive audiences.

Watch co-writer and director Ralph Parker III share his experience crafting the story.

Sammy without strings

Behind the scenes of fourth-year film "Sammy, Without Strings." / Photo: Kat Reeves

4. Mahler 5

Artist-in-Residence Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra as it returned after a yearlong absence due to COVID-19 in Gustav Mahler’s massive and triumphant Symphony No. 5.

Mahler 5

Thomas Wilkins conducted the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. / Photo: James Farley

5. "Passage"

Christopher Chen’s “Passage” was added to the performance season when Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students requested the creation of a production fully utilizing and orchestrated by the school’s AAPI student population. The show was helmed by Thai American guest director Nana Dakin. 


Spring 2022 Drama performance of "Passage." / Photo: Kendall Best

View our EDIB vision statement and progress.

This article appeared in the 2022 issue of Scene.

July 21, 2022