The Center for the Arts Announces the 2021/2022 Great Performances at Mason Season

An empty stage in a performing arts space, with theatrical seating under blue lighting.

The Center for the Arts at George Mason University announced the 2021/2022 season of Great Performances at Mason during a digitally streamed announcement for Friends and Subscribers, Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m. The announcement includes a return to in-venue performances, featuring an outstanding lineup of national and international artists and ensembles across the disciplines of classical music, opera, jazz, global music, modern dance, and theater. The season kicks off Saturday, September 25, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with Art Emerging: A Celebration of Renewal. The family-friendly event celebrates the return to live in-person performances as well as the 20th anniversary of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“It is with overwhelming enthusiasm that we announce our 2021/2022 season of incredible artists,” shared Director of Programming Adrienne Bryant Godwin. “You will be able to join us once again to witness artistic excellence in action—Broadway royalty, world music icons, NEA Jazz Masters, as well as some of the most thought-provoking rising cultural leaders. It will be a season to remember, for so many reasons.”

The highly-anticipated season of in-person performances welcomes many new artists and ensembles into the Center, including Emmy® and Tony Award-winning musical theater icon Kristin Chenoweth; South African cultural ambassadors Ladysmith Black Mambazo; virtuosic husband and wife duo Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth with the Jerusalem Quartet; the acclaimed Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring world-renowned cellist Kian Soltani; the high flying, family-friendly circus act Cirque Éloize; bassist Edgar Meyers and the Scottish Ensemble; and Latin powerhouse Lila Downs.

The Mason Artist-in-Residence Program will continue with five collaborations in its third year. These innovative artists will spend time in the community surrounding performances, interacting with our audiences both on and off-campus through activities designed to broaden the reach and deepen the impact of the Center’s artistic programming. The 2021/2022 cohort of artists includes visionary director Kaneza Schaal, co-creator of CARTOGRAPHY; Sphinx Virtuosi, the dynamic self-conducting chamber orchestra of top Black and Latinx musicians; company members from Camille A. Brown & Dancers; acclaimed choreographer Caleb Teicher with Lindy Hop champions Evita Arce, LaTasha Barnes, and Nathan Bugh performing Swing Out, which was co-commissioned by the Center for the Arts; and 2019 NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider leading the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.

The Center is pleased to announce the homecoming of some favorite performers in the 2021/2022 season, including traditional Irish masters The Chieftains, modern dance companies Mark Morris Dance Group and Pilobolus, as well as a co-presentation with Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, featuring pianist Simone Dinnerstein. The singular Jeffrey Siegel will grace the Concert Hall stage again with his popular Keyboard Conversations® performances. Virginia Opera eagerly returns to Fairfax with La Bohème, Three Decembers, and The Marriage of Figaro. During the holidays, Canadian Brass, the Vienna Boys Choir, jazz legend Dianne Reeves, and the American Festival Pops Orchestra will brighten the season and the Center with festive concerts.

In addition, the Center will offer a series of performances to engage, inspire, and thrill the youngest audience members and their families, including top illusionist Bill Blagg in his mind-bending and hilarious new show The Magic of Bill Blagg; electromagnetic puppet wonder Lightwire Theater in A Very Electric Holiday; everyone’s favorite clown and his menagerie of scene-stealing pets, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater; and celebrated picture book turned imaginative stage adaptation Harold and the Purple Crayon by Enchantment Theatre Company.

Undeniably the most exciting part of the season is the safe return of patrons to the Center for the Arts. Bryant Godwin reflects, “It takes a village to put a season together, and that is true now more than ever. I want to commend the artists for their tenacity and creativity against all odds, and the Center’s staff, who have worked tirelessly to make it possible for us to gather safely together.”

Patrons attending in-person programming will need to comply with current health and safety protocols at the time of performances, following guidance from George Mason University. Current protocols include completing the Mason COVID Health survey before coming to the Center and wearing a face covering during the entire visit. Audience members will be seated with their party at a distance from other attendees that is deemed safe according to current CDC guidelines at the time. For more information on Mason’s safety precautions and what to expect when attending indoor events, visit:

Tickets for events in the fall of the 2021/2022 Season of Great Performances at Mason will go on sale for Friends of the Center for the Arts on Tuesday, August 3 and for the general public on Tuesday, August 10. For information about becoming a Friend of the Center for the Arts, visit:  

Select in-person performances and additional events produced by Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts will be digitally livestreamed through Mason Arts at Home. Details regarding digital performances will be announced at a later date.

View the most up-to-date programming information.

Center for the Arts 2021-2022 Sponsors:
The Mather, ManTech International, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Sandy Spring Bank, and the Seeley Foundation.