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“The Schaefer Center Presents” Series Announces Programming for the Spring 2021 Virtual Season

An all-free lineup of music, dance, and powerful storytelling theatre goes virtual February 4-March 25

Appalachian Dance Ensemble . . . “curved” Photo by Brad Parquette

The 2021 season of The Schaefer Center Presents performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, announces the lineup for its spring virtual series, presented Feb. 4-March 25. All events are free, thanks to a group of generous sponsors. The fall series included a mix of regional and national theatre, Americana and holiday music, and a special engagement with Dr. Jane Goodall, and the spring series offers an equally diverse lineup: award-winning playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith, the best in contemporary dance by the renowned BalletX, the Steep Canyon Rangers in a live streamed concert from the stage of the Schaefer Center, and a “best of” showcase by the Appalachian Dance Ensemble, featuring works by distinguished faculty choreographers in the Department of Theatre and Dance. A companion series of free virtual events for K-12 schools and families across our region is also being offered throughout the spring by the APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series.

The spring series is free of charge, but advance registration is required at theschaefercenter.org. Patrons who wish to make a donation in any amount to support the series and its mission have the option to do so on the website.

The APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series — which offers affordable music, dance, film, and theatre events to students and their teachers throughout the schoolyear — will offer free virtual arts programming for K-12 audiences in both school and home classrooms. This educational component features international music and dance, with extended access dates that provide flexibility for students, teachers and families juggling current remote learning schedules.

For more information on the SCP and APPlause! 2021 season, visit http://theschaefercenter.org/ or call 828-262-4046.


The Schaefer Center Presents… SPRING 2021 Virtual Season

Events are FREE; advance registration is required at theschaefercenter.org. All registrants will receive a private link to access the event both the day before and one hour prior to the performance.

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021
An Evening with Anna Deavere Smith: Reclaiming Grace in the Face of Adversity

8pm; livestream

We live in a winner-take-all society. And yet, part of our potential as humans is our potential for compassion and our resilience in the face of adversity. While doing research for her play Let Me Down Easy, award-winning playwright/actor/educator Anna Deavere Smith interviewed people in the U.S. and abroad who demonstrated grace in the face of dramatic challenges. This storytelling speech celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the power of empathy, the strength of imagination, and hope. 

**The film adaption of Smith’s play Twilight: Los Angeles is available to view as a complimentary companion piece to Smith’s appearance with the performing arts series. The film can be accessed here.


Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

8pm; specially pre-recorded program

The special Schaefer Center Presents production will include a recorded introduction by BalletX co-founder Christine Cox, the BalletX 15th Anniversary Season video, and mixed rep selections “Increasing” and “Fancy Me.” In honor of BalletX’s 15th Anniversary Season, the company has commissioned a documentary film by Daniel Madoff that highlights its growth, trajectory, and continued commitment to redefining ballet in the 21st century. Known as Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, BalletX commissions choreographers from around the world to create new ballets that are “fresh, inclusive, and connect to what people want” (Philadelphia Citizen). Led by Artistic & Executive Director Christine Cox, BalletX has produced nearly 100 world premiere ballets by more than 50 choreographers, and performed for over 100,000 audience members at home and on tour, including appearances at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center, Vail Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow.


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Steep Canyon Rangers

8pm; livestream

Streamed live from the stage of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts!
The Grammy winners from Asheville, NC come to Boone for a live concert streamed from the stage of the Schaefer Center into your homes. Frequent collaborators with banjoist (and comedian) Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers are major players in the bluegrass/country and Americana scene today, with comparisons to The Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Zac Brown Band. SCR released three albums in 2020, including North Carolina Songbook, a recording of their 2019 performance at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC, in which they performed a selection of songs by NC songwriters such as Ola Belle Reed, Doc Watson, James Taylor, and Ben E. King; Be Still Moses, which has the band teaming up with Philly soul legends Boyz II Men and their hometown Asheville Symphony to perform reimagined versions of previously released SCR songs; and their most recent release of all original music, Arm in Arm. “Every song on Arm in Arm captures the North Carolina group’s innovative spirit, weaving in jazz, gospel, folk, and even rock phrases, creating an intimate and intricate sound that challenges, cajoles, and comforts.” (No Depression) 


Thursday, March 25

Best of the Appalachian Dance Ensemble

8pm; compilation of past performances
This virtual best-of showcase from Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance features works from at least seven faculty choreographers, including Laurie Atkins, Emily Daughtridge, Regina Gulick, Cara Hagan, Ray Miller, Brad Parquette, and Sherone Price. All curated works were produced between 2006-2019 and highlight genres of modern, ballet, tap and African-themed dance. The selected works feature not only beautiful dancing and well-crafted choreography, but also lighting design by Mike Helms and John Marty, and costume design by Sue Williams.


Virtual APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series 2021

Events are FREE; advance registration required at theschaefercenter.org. A private link will be sent to all registrants in order to access the events, all of which are available to view at any time during the scheduled event dates. For questions, contact the Box Office at theschaefercenter@appstate.edu or call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Study guides are available to download for each event.


Jan. 25-May 14


Recommended for Grades 3-12

The name Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, purpose, unity, and family from a woman’s perspective. Nobuntu is a “Five Part” a cappella vocal ensemble made up of young women from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The repertoire is a fusion of traditional Zimbabwean-rooted music, Afro Jazz, Gospel, and Crossover in pure voices with minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as Mbira, and some dance movements.


Feb. 8-19

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana — Virtual Lecture Demonstration
Recommended for Grades 3-12

Join Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana for a 40-minute story-based presentation where we follow our main character, Sol, on a journey of discovering Flamenco. The audience will hear the story, see a series of colorful video clips of live flamenco dance and music, and engage in experiential segments for students to try out flamenco techniques from home. Flamenco from Southern Spain is a mixture of many cultures and is an expression of rhythms and feelings. Olé!


Feb. 22-March 5

Donna Washington Storyteller: Fun, Foolery and Folktales!
Recommended for Grades K-2 and Family Audiences

Get ready to laugh out loud, play with language, and enjoy some great stories about foolish choices, bravery, a tiny ghost, and a boy who might not have the sense he was born with! These iconic stories from American folklore will stay with you. Donna Washington is an internationally known, multiple award-winning storyteller, spoken-word recording artist, and author. A highly animated performer, she has been entertaining, educating, and inspiring audiences with her vocal pyrotechnics, elastic face, and deep characterizations that bring folklore, literary tales, and personal narratives to life for over 30 years.

Related Educators Workshop: March 4 at 4pm


March 29-April 9

The Best of Appalachian Dance Ensemble
Recommended for All Grades and Family Audiences

This event is an abridged version of the full-length event that is part of the main Schaefer Center Presents Series on Thursday, March 25 at 8pm.
This virtual best-of showcase from Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance features curated works from faculty choreographers that highlight genres of modern, ballet, tap and African-themed dance.


April 12-23

Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets: The Rainbow Bridge and Other Tales
Recommended for Grades K-6 and Family Audiences

This shadow puppetry production brings to life three folktales through Ford’s unique presentational style combining stunning puppetry, storytelling and topical educational themes. The stories include “The Rainbow Bridge,” “El Coqui,” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” with a finale of his Peepers Puppet, which turns the bare hand into a myriad of creatures. Registration for this event also includes access to a pre-recorded student workshop: Shadow Puppets DIY

Related Educators Workshop: April 22 at 4pm


Schaefer Center Presents… Spring 2021 Registration

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Box Office: 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046, or visit theschaefercenter.org.


About “The Schaefer Center Presents

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit http://theschaefercenter.org.

About APPlause!

Every season, affordable music, dance, film and theatre events are offered to students and their teachers from K-12 classrooms across the region. Students experience everything from high-energy acrobatics and Appalachian music to international dance and literary classics brought to life through theatrical productions. The performances are part of the APPlause! series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. Featuring local, regional, and world-renowned professional artists, the mission of the program is to share university arts resources with the public, private, and homeschool network across our region. Study guide materials connect every performance to the classroom curriculum.