The Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, North Carolina announces the schedule of performances for the 2018/2019 Mainstage Series. The Mainstage Series presents a wide range of top touring artists in music, theater, dance, comedy, and other performing arts in an intimate, 500-seat hall.

The Mainstage Music Series continues next month with an evening with folk icon Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary (Nov. 17), while the award-winning multi-instrumental singer and song-writer Molly Tuttle (Jan. 25) inspires the crowd with her melodic elegance.

Enjoy the banjo in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains with the master strummer and 15 time Grammy-winner Béla Fleck (Feb. 15), along with a distinguished soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and composer Sébastian Lépine and ESCA Quartet (March 22), who deliver an awe-inspiring performance that breathes new life into classical music.

With Avital Meets Avital (April 13), worlds collide as they explore their shared heritage with traditional Moroccan, Israeli, and Mediterranean rhythm and harmonies. And Jonathan Scales Fourchestra (May 4) changes perceptions on the sound of steel drums in a benefit for Diana Wortham Theatre’s Y.E.S. (Youth Education Scholarship) Fund.

The Mainstage Special Attractions Series showcases six spectacular acts. The New Chinese Acrobats (Nov. 6-7) bring a stunning and gravity-defying performance, steeped in Chinese culture. A Swannanoa Solstice (December 16), now in its 16th year, celebrates the holiday season with award-winning multi-instrumentalists Al Petteway, Amy White, Robin Bullock, special guest David Holt, and host Doug Orr.

 

In the new year, Gravity & Other Myths presents A Simple Space (Jan. 12), a wild yet graceful performance by seven amazingly skilled, highly athletic acrobats. We Shall Overcome featuring Damien Sneed (Jan. 22) celebrates generations of civil rights activists inspired by the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Jen Kober’s Homegrown Comedy Show (March 23) gives a uniquely musical, phenomenally funny, uproarious performance. To wrap it up, the Piano Battle (March 28) duel between Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis is purely about the music — but in the end, it’s up to audience members to decide who emerges victorious.

This season’s Mainstage Dance Series presents three exquisite dance groups for Asheville audiences, including a riveting performance from Dorrance Dance (Nov. 15-16) led by award-winning choreographer and percussive dancer Michelle Dorrance, 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award winner and one of the most sought-after tap dancers of this generation.

Returning to Diana Wortham Theatre to thrill fans with visual eye-candy is MOMIX: Opus Cactus (Feb. 20-21, 2019), who is sure to transport you across the dunes of fantasy, using mesmerizing movement, vibrant lighting and dreamlike imagery.

And finally, to close the season’s dance performances, Ballet Hispánico (April 9-10, 2019) will infuse bold and eclectic contemporary dance with traditional Latino influences in breathtakingly beautiful performances, along with a three-day residency including a social dance class, community class for families, Master dance class for students, and special performances and workshops for local students and the public.

The Mainstage Theatre Series features a total of four performances, with something for everyone. It kicks off with one-eyed storytelling champion Stéphanie Morin-Robert in BLINDSIDE (Nov. 2) as she recounts her life as a feisty 7-year-old cancer survivor, wielding her glass eye as a superpower.

The series continues with a returning favorite, Aquila Theatre Company, with its “two plays in two days” tradition: Frankenstein by Mary Shelly (Feb. 1) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (Feb. 2) — both brought to vivid life in bold and thrilling performances.

And ARTHUR TRACE: The Artful Deceiver (April 4) closes the series with original illusions, audience participation, imaginatively humorous scenarios and magic.

The Mainstage Celtic Series opens with singer-songwriter and crowd favorite Dougie MacLean (Oct. 14), who has an international reputation as an extraordinary performer, earned his place in the Scottish Music Hall of Fame, won multiple awards.

Eileen Ivers (Feb. 28) shreds her electric fiddle through looping, fuzz and wah effects — sawing her bow across the strings like an orchestral psychedelic rock star with her new band, Universal Roots.

As the final Celtic performance, you don’t want to miss the lilt of Appalachian bluegrass and energetic charm of contemporary Americana that We Banjo 3 (March 15) brings. A blend of the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo and some charming vocals will fill the theatre with charming melodies.

The Mainstage Matinee Series for Students and Families is presented each season for more than 10,000 students who visit Diana Wortham Theatre, experiencing entertaining, professional, and curriculum-related shows at an affordable cost. 

From theater to professional dance to musicals from popular storybooks, the popular Matinee Series thrills and delights teens, families, school groups, homeschoolers, and youth and community groups throughout Western North Carolina.

The 2018/2019 Matinee Series includes returning favorite Theatreworks USA presenting three productions: We The People (Oct.11-12), where students meet the Founding Fathers and learn about the newly formed United States; Freedom Train (February 25-26), following Harriet Tubman on her heroic journey through the American South; and The Magic School Bus (March 5-6), with lessons in communication, music, science and social studies. Bringing Shakespeare to life this season is Warehouse Theatre in The Tempest (Oct. 23), the bard’s 1610 classic made accessible to young people; and Aquila Theatre in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (February 4), using beautiful movements and unique staging to transport students into the heart of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved and witty comedies.

For an electrifying change in pace, Soul Street Dance (Oct. 30) brings athletic performers cartwheeling into Asheville with astounding energy and a mix of movements from classical to hip-hop and raucous rock. With side-splitting laughter from Stéphanie Morin-Robert, BLINDSIDE (Nov. 2) showcases an entertaining and courageous act with a message of inclusion, anti-bullying, and overcoming disability. The New Chinese Acrobats (Nov. 8) flip, fly, stack and twirl across the stage in vibrant costumes in this gravity-defying performance. Dorrance Dance (Nov. 16) elevates traditional jazz and tap forms with awe-inspiring percussive dance. 

MOMIX’s Opus Cactus (Feb. 21) combines athletic dance, riveting music, extravagant costumes and inventive props to create an entertaining multimedia experience that’s not of this world.

And to close the series, Ballet Hispánico (April 10) infuses bold and eclectic contemporary dance with traditional Latino influences to showcase its heritage-inspired movements both on stage and in the classroom.

Tickets for all performances are on sale now and are available at www.dwtheatre.com as well as from the box office, in person or by calling (828) 257-4530. 

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