Buy a ticket for a play, a dance or a music concert in North Carolina and you’ll not only experience today’s most vibrant performances but also come in contact with the historic venues and performing arts organizations that have nurtured and supported their talent for more than a century.
This fall marks the 85th anniversary of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. Both the Charlotte Symphony and Raleigh Memorial Auditorium are marking eight decades of performances this year, and theaters with a decidedly cutting edge are also celebrating — Durham’s ManBites Dog Theater marks its 25th anniversary in December, and it’s been 12 years since Triad Stage opened its doors after renovating a Montgomery Ward building that had stood vacant for 40 years, bringing new energy to downtown Greensboro.
All across the state, North Carolina’s long-established professional theater companies mount contemporary as well as classic stage performances. Community-based and summer theaters are thriving, while independent companies premiere original works from local playwrights along with fresh interpretations of the classics. Performing arts series are eagerly-anticipated opportunities for community members and visitors to an area to participate in the arts and to support local and regional performing arts venues.
Our state is home to exceptional regional and city symphonies, chamber groups and ensembles, including some of the country’s oldest and newest. North Carolinians have made significant contributions to the field of jazz and blues, and long-running bluegrass and old-time music festivals remain vibrant today. From classic operas to cutting-edge contemporary music, you’ll find a tune for every taste in North Carolina.
Dance is another field in which our state enjoys an international reputation. North Carolina has been headquarters for one of the nation’s most distinguished performing and teaching events, the American Dance Festival, which has brought hundreds of young dancers, international companies and choreographers and appreciative audiences to the campus of Duke University each summer since 1978. Since then, a number of nationally-known companies and choreographers have spent significant periods of time working across the state.
From ballet to clogging, string bands to symphonies, the performing arts are a vibrant part of our state’s heritage and identity.