College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

At the Center

Before the Performance

Image of a pre-performance discussion at Center for the Arts

Pre-Performance Discussions

Sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts

Join us at the Center for the Arts, 45 minutes prior to most Great Performances at Mason events, and enjoy our lively and popular Pre-Performance Discussions (PPD). These forums are led by local experts and, often, by the artists themselves. Here, patrons are encouraged to ask questions and are able to gain a bit of insight and knowledge about our world-renowned guest artists. Held on the spacious and comfortable Dr. Linda Apple Monson Grand Tier, these captivating exchanges provide a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes!

When available, information about the speaker(s) is posted on the event listing for each performance.

Young Artists' Musicale

In lieu of a Pre-Performance Discussion, prior to most Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel performances, there is a Young Artists’ Musicale featuring the emerging talents of piano students in grades 3-12. Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association, the Musicale begins at 6 p.m. in the main lobby, and lasts for approximately half an hour. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

CFA Tumbler

Food at the Center

Concessions are available prior to most performances at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall and at intermissions. Snacks, cookies, sodas, and wine are available for purchase.

Skip the line. You may pre-order concessions at most Center for the Arts Concert Hall events with an intermission.

  1. Print an order form and select your items.
  2. When you arrive, hand your form to the bartender and pre-pay for your order.
  3. Your concessions will be waiting for you to the left of the bar at intermission.

Items are subject to availability. Offerings and prices may change without notice.

Raise Your Glass 

Did you know you can enjoy a beverage from the comfort of your own seat during the performance? Purchase a Center for the Arts reusable cup for $5, fill it with your favorite drink and enjoy the show. As of March 10, 2020, the re-use of Center for the Arts tumblers has been temporarily suspended until further notice.  New cups may be purchased and used, but will not be refilled.

Where are the cups sold?

Cups are sold at the Center for the Arts Ticket Office and the concession area for $5. (The cost of the cup is in addition to the price of your drink.)

Can I bring a drink into the theater without a Center for the Arts spill proof cup?

No, only drinks in Center for the Arts spill proof cups will be allowed.

Can I bring in my own spill proof cup (my travel coffee mug, for example)?

No, only the Center for the Arts spill proof cups or plastic bottled water with a lid will be allowed into the Concert Hall.  

Can I bring drinks from home if they are in the CFA cup?

No, drinks must be purchased at the concessions bar. 

Can I refill my Center for the Arts cup?

Yes, refills may be purchased at the concessions stand at regular prices. As of March 10, 2020, the re-use of Center for the Arts tumblers has been temporarily suspended until further notice.  New cups may be purchased and used, but will not be refilled.

Can I use my Hylton Center cup at the Center for the Arts?

Yes. Beverages may be purchased at the Center for the Arts concessions stand.

House Rules and Helpful Information

For the safety, convenience, and benefit of all audience members, performers, and staff, we ask that patrons please observe the following rules and regulations:

  • Everyone attending a performance must have a ticket, regardless of age.  This includes children who will sit on a lap.
  • With the exception of bottled, capped water, food and drink are not allowed in any of the Center’s venues. Cough drops are permitted.
  • The use of cameras or recording devices of any kind is strictly prohibited in any of the Center’s venues. Due to fire regulations, tripods and camera stands are also not allowed inside the hall.
  • Cell phones and mobile devices must be turned off prior to entering the hall.
  • Any large items, including strollers, should be checked at the Courtesy Desk located behind the Ticket Office.

Lost Tickets

Please call the Ticket Office at 703-993-2787 if you have lost your tickets.

Locating Your Seats

Friendly house staff members are stationed throughout the Concert Hall prior to each performance to help guide you to your seats. Tickets include an indication of “left” or “right” to help facilitate the seating process. Please note that performances in Harris Theatre and deLaski 3001 are often general admission seating

Late Seating

Please allow plenty of travel time to reach the Fairfax campus. As a courtesy to the artists and our patrons, the Center for the Arts strives to start all performances on time. Patrons arriving after the start of a performance will be seated at an appropriate break and in an appropriate location, as determined by house management, and according to artists’ requirements.

Accessibility Accommodations

The Center for the Arts provides access for patrons with disabilities. Patrons with special needs should call the Center for the Arts Ticket Office at 703-993-8881 for information on accessible parking and seating areas. FM hearing devices, large print programs and other services are available for your convenience and comfort. Please contact the Ticket Office at least two weeks in advance of the performance with any special needs requests. More information about accessible options at the Center for the Arts.

Youth Tickets

All patrons, regardless of age, require a ticket. Children and youth through grade 12 may join a ticket holder for any Great Performances at Mason event at half of the regular price. There are many events identified as “Family Friendly Events” which we deem as most suitable for families with younger children to enjoy together. In an effort to ensure an exceptional experience for all of our patrons, we recommend that children attending events other than “Family Friendly” be at least six years of age. More information for families at the Center for the Arts.

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found is located at the Courtesy Desk directly behind the Ticket Office. Center for the Arts patrons can also call 703-993-2787 if they discover that they have left something behind. For events in Harris Theatre, TheaterSpace and deLaski 3001, items left behind may be claimed at the Lost and Found in the Johnson Center.  Wallets and cell phones are kept in the Center for the Arts safe.

Inclement Weather

The Center for the Arts makes every effort to present scheduled performances even in the event of inclement weather. However, there are times when extraordinary weather conditions cause an event to be cancelled or rescheduled. Please call the Ticket Office at 703-993-2787 or check the website homepage for performance updates. If an event is cancelled or rescheduled, you will be contacted by phone or email to notify you of your options regarding exchanges or refunds. Please contact the Ticket Office if your phone number and/or email address have changed.

Please note: Programs, artists, and dates are subject to change without notice.