Arts and Humanities

Carolina Performing Arts announces fall 2022 season

CPA kicks off its 18th season with a focus on reconnecting audiences with a sense of joy, belonging and collective well-being.

The exterior of Memorial Hall.
Banners for the upcoming Carolina Performing Arts season adorn Memorial Hall on July 27 on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Photo by Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announces the fall lineup for its 22/23 season, inviting audiences to rediscover, reengage and reconnect with live, in-person arts experiences. From new works and partnerships to returning crowd-pleasers and collaborators, CPA’s fall programming features music, dance and drama that remind us of art’s ability to drive vital conversations and spark joy.

“This season we reconnect and move forward. We are excited to welcome back longtime artistic partners and introduce a few surprises,” notes Alison M. Friedman, The James and Susan Moeser Executive and Artistic Director at Carolina Performing Arts. “After such a long period of disruption and detachment, we look forward to reviving our shared sense of belonging here at Carolina.”

The new season kicks off Sept. 23 in full Southern style. Combining New Orleans jazz, funk and bounce, The Soul Rebels and special guest Big Freedia offer a joyful celebration of music, acceptance and togetherness as we welcome students and audiences to campus.

Jazz lovers will rejoice with Meklit headlining Carolina’s Africa Fest 2022 in October, followed by the return of longtime CPA partners Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in December — this year, with award-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves at the Big Band Holidays helm.

CPA will welcome hearing and Deaf audiences to experience Why Not Theatre’s groundbreaking production of Prince Hamlet Oct. 7. Combining English and American Sign Language, Ravi Jain’s remixed, reimagined and bilingual take on Shakespeare’s work features a cross-cultural, gender-bent cast that challenges traditional ideas of who gets to tell this classic story.

Fall programming also reinforces the organization’s commitment to creating new works and new partnerships. From Oct. 28 through Dec. 7, CPA will present an experimental dance series of four performances:

  • What Problem?, a stunning new work from the legendary Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, uses movement to explore the tension between feelings of community belonging and isolation in these politically divisive times. Originally scheduled during CPA’s 21/22 season, this co-commissioned work is performed in collaboration with local community members.
  • Broken Theater, a new work from longtime CPA collaborator and choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith, melds live dance-theater, music, and cinematic beauty, in partnership with New Dialect and American Modern Opera Company (AMOC). Initially conceived as a virtual presentation, Smith’s fall technical residency at CPA will allow her to bring this piece to life on stage for the first time.
  • Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed, in which co-creators and Southern Futures at CPA Artists-in-Residence David Neumann and Marcella Murray perform a masterfully layered staged conversation about race, alongside astronomical questions of scale and time.
  • LOVETRAIN2020, Emanuel Gat Dance’s choreographic ode to the sound and vibe of the 80s, features 14 dancers and the music of Tears For Fears, with its utopic drive and epic groove. Presented in partnership with American Dance Festival, Duke Arts and NC State LIVE.

The new season will continue to engage artists and community partners to produce new works, collaborations and research for Southern Futures at CPA. Led by Southern Futures at CPA Artist-in-Residence Rhiannon Giddens, the initiative uses the arts to explore social justice, racial equity, and the American South. Fall programming includes Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed, featuring Southern Futures Artists-in-Residence David Neumann and Marcella Murray. CPA’s spring lineup will feature additional Southern Futures programming, including Rhiannon Gidden’s new opera, Omar.

Fall 2022

Sept. 23 — The Soul Rebels with special guest Big Freedia

Oct. 7 — Why Not Theatre: Prince Hamlet

Oct. 15 — Africa Fest 2022: Meklit

Oct. 28-29 — Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company: What Problem?

Nov. 11-12 — Bobbi Jene Smith: Broken Theater

Nov. 18-19 — David Neumann and Marcella Murray for Advanced Beginner Group: Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed

Dec. 2 — Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Dianne Reeves: Big Band Holidays

Dec. 7 — Emanuel Gat Dance: LOVETRAIN2020

Single tickets and dance packages are available for the general public starting Aug. 9. Ticket sales for current donors begin Aug. 1; donor on-sale dates vary by gift level.

Carolina students are eligible for $10 tickets for select seats on a first-come, first-served basis. Current employees of UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Health receive a 15% faculty/staff discount on tickets to CPA performances. Valid UNC One Card/ID required for student/faculty/staff discounts; limits apply. Active or retired military personnel and patrons 65 and older receive a 10% discount on CPA performances with valid ID; limits apply.

Additional discounts are available for select performances. Visit carolinaperformingarts.org for details.

For full performance listings, pricing and venue information, visit carolinaperformingarts.org.

Carolina Performing Arts will announce its spring 2023 performance schedule Nov. 1. Spring tickets and packages will be available for the general public starting Nov. 15. Ticket sales for current donors will begin Nov.7 according to gift level.