“The Schaefer Center Presents…” 2020-21 Performing Arts Series Announces Free Virtual Fall Season

Last Updated on September 24, 2020 2:22 pm

BOONE, NC — The 2020-21 season of “The Schaefer Center Presents…” performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, announces its fall series, which will be presented in an all-virtual format Oct 9-Dec. 4. The series traditionally offers students, faculty, staff and the community a diverse array of music, theatre and dance designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the campus and surrounding area, showcasing some of the finest artists around the globe, the nation, and the region. The virtual experience will be no exception, featuring a varied lineup that includes livestreamed and pre-recorded theatre, music, and other events — from American Shakespeare Center and Watkins Family Hour to the university’s own Hayes School of Music and a special event with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Thanks to a group of generous sponsors, all events on the series are offered free of charge, but require advance registration at A private link to access each event will be emailed to registrants one hour prior to the respective showtimes. All SCP events are exclusive one-time only showings. Anyone who wishes to make a donation in any amount to support the series and its mission has the option to do so on the website. The spring series will be announced later this year, with plans to continue the virtual format through next semester.

“Live events are unfortunately not an option right now, which forces us to find new ways of delivering the performing arts,” said Allison West, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “Currently that’s through the power of technology — offering original and curated content that audiences can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes or classrooms. We are proud of the season we have assembled. It’s a diverse mix of genres and of livestreamed and pre-recorded events. One of the events was actually filmed in September on the Schaefer Center stage, several are being livestreamed from remote locations, and others have been pre-recorded but created exclusively for our series. All of the events are restricted one-time showings as well, which we hope can somewhat simulate for viewers the emotional connection of a shared experience.”

Series organizers for the current academic year focused their programming efforts on SCP’s educational and outreach mission. “Key to the series, and all university arts programming, is the mission of supporting the university’s teaching mission and opening a ‘window on the world’ by presenting artists who are not only great entertainers, but whose performances create meaningful educational opportunities for our audiences,” said Denise Ringler, Director of Arts Engagement & Cultural Resources.

Certain series events are offering either in-person workshops on campus (limited attendance and socially distanced) or via Zoom in conjunction with the virtual presentations, including the Dept. of Theatre & Dance’s interactions with the acclaimed NC Black Repertory Company and American Shakespeare Center, as well as an interactive live Q&A session with select university students and Dr. Jane Goodall. SCP’s sister series, APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series — which offers affordable music, dance, film, and theatre events to students and their teachers — is also going virtual and will be offered at no cost, ensuring continuity of arts programming for K-12 audiences whose access to live performances will be limited over the coming year. The series features international music, the return of a series favorite, and a classic play, with extended access dates that provide flexibility for students, teachers and families juggling current remote learning schedules.

For more information on the SCP and APPlause! 2020-21 seasons, visit or call 828-262-4046.

The Schaefer Center Presents… FALL 2020 Virtual Season
Events are FREE; advance registration is required at Registrants will receive a confirmation email, a day-before reminder, and a private link to access the event one hour prior to the performance. All SCP events are one-time only exclusive showings.

Friday, Oct. 9, 2020
American Shakespeare Center’s Othello

Envious machinations and evil intentions take hold in American Shakespeare Center’s live stream production of Othello, shot in three-camera cinema-quality and presented live from the stage of the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va. Directed by celebrated ASC Artistic Director Ethan McSweeny, this stunningly relevant production of Shakespeare’s tragedy of racism and jealousy promises to bring audiences to the edge of their seats. Acclaimed actress Jessika D. Williams, who has won a cult following from her appearance on the popular television series Doctor Who, appears in the title role. Opposite Williams is veteran actor John Harrell as the malevolent Iago. ASC utilizes Shakespeare’s staging conditions (universal lighting, minimal sets, character doubling, cross-gender casting, and live music) to blend the Bard’s stagecraft with a modern sensibility. Don’t miss this epic struggle between good and evil.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020
North Carolina Black Repertory Company’s The Resurrection of Alice
In rural 1948 South Carolina, 15-year-old Alice looks forward to graduating from high school (a family first) and attending college on the scholarship she has earned. But her plans are devastated when she learns that she must honor her parents’ secret marriage arrangements for her to Luthern Tucker, the lonely, old family benefactor who had been eyeing her since she was seven years old. Alice’s next 20 years of overcoming trials are a tribute to the power of nurturing and healing that can cause a broken spirit to be reborn. This compelling tale by the award-winning Winston-Salem, NC-based North Carolina Black Repertory Company — written and performed by Perry Gaffney; directed by NCBRC Artistic Director Jackie Alexander — was recently filmed live on the stage of the Schaefer Center exclusively for the SCP series!

Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020
Watkins Family Hour

The popular bluegrass musical collective featuring siblings Sara and Sean Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek) bring us a virtual performance exclusively for SCP in celebration of the duo’s latest album, brother sister! Returning to the studio as Watkins Family Hour, Sean and Sara Watkins consider brother sister a duo-centric record – yet one that feels bigger than just two people. With Sean primarily on guitar and Sara on fiddle, and with both of them sharing vocals, the siblings enlisted producer Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara) and mixer-engineer Clay Blair to harness the energy and honesty of their live sound.

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020
JANE (film)
Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall — a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists. Rated: PG

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020
Reasons for Hope: A Virtual Discussion with Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall with chimpanzee Freud at Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Sustainability, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs
This public presentation is a rebroadcast of a special live interactive Q&A session with Dr. Goodall and Appalachian State University students that takes place Nov. 18.
In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. For the past 30 years, Dr. Goodall has been speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020
Hayes School of Music: Holiday Scholarship Concert
In its 28th year, Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music’s annual High Country holiday celebration and fundraiser that supports scholarships for HSOM music students, goes digital. This retrospective of festive, family-friendly holiday music features a variety of classical and jazz tunes performed by such popular school ensembles as the Steely Pan Steel Band, Brass Choir, Cello Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Treble Choir, Sax Quartet, Glee Club, Flute Ensemble, University Singers, Trumpet Choir, Chamber Singers, Guitar Ensemble, and the Wind Ensemble.

Virtual APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series 2020-21
Events are FREE; advance registration required at A private link will be sent to all registrants prior to the events, all of which are available to view at any time during the scheduled event dates. For questions, contact the Box Office at or call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Study guides are available to download for each event.

Sept. 30-Dec. 11
Recommended for Grades 3-12
The name Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, purpose, unity, and family from a woman’s perspective. Nobuntu is a “Five Part” a cappella vocal ensemble made up of young women from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The repertoire is a fusion of traditional Zimbabwean-rooted music, Afro Jazz, Gospel, and Crossover in pure voices with minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as Mbira, and some dance movements.

Oct. 5-11
American Shakespeare Center’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Recommended for Grades 9-12
The American Shakespeare Center brings audiences Shakespeare’s spellbinding A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which wades into a bayou of masked hobgoblins, enchanting nymphs, and imps who sing the blues. Shot in three-camera cinema-quality on the ASC stage and infused with a supernatural New Orleans twist, the beloved Shakespeare classic features original music that draws inspiration from bluegrass to bebop to barbershop, and sets the scene of the magical bayou. ASC’s actor-musicians play music before the show and during intermission, covering modern classics that riff on the themes of Shakespeare’s play.

Oct. 11-25
Billy Jonas: Who’s Gonna Make Our Music?!
Recommended for Grades PK-5
An APPlause series favorite, Billy Jonas — performer, singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator — believes that creating a bright future starts with kids. Using homemade and recyclable “re-percussion” instruments, songs that celebrate community, as well as personal and planetary ecology, Jonas hopes his think-outside-the-box educational performances plant musical seeds that will help grow creative, open-minded, engaged, and open-hearted citizens of the world. Each concert is a soul-spelunking, heart healing, joy-filled journey of spirited music accessible to all ages and cultural backgrounds.
Interactive Zoom Educator Workshop — Billy Jonas: Make Music from Anything, Oct. 22 at 4pm

Dec. 7-11
Hayes School of Music: Holiday Concert
Recommended for All Grades
This festive selection of winter and holidays tunes performed by multiple ensembles from the university’s Hayes School of Music is an abridged version of the full-length compilation concert on Dec. 4 as part of the Schaefer Center Presents series.

Schaefer Center Presents… Fall 2020 Registration
Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Box Office: 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046, or visit

Thank you to our SPC sponsors:
The Horton Hotel, Creekside Electronics, Boone Tourism Development Authority, Our State Magazine, High Country Radio, WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM and WASU 90.5FM

Thank you to our APPlause! sponsors:
PEAK Insurance Group, Chuck and Anna Eyler, Sue and Steve Chase

About “The Schaefer Center Presents”
“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit

About APPlause!
Every season, affordable music, dance, film and theatre events are offered to students and their teachers from K-12 classrooms across the region. Students experience everything from high-energy acrobatics and Appalachian music to international dance and literary classics brought to life through theatrical productions. The performances are part of the APPlause! series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. Featuring local, regional, and world-renowned professional artists, the mission of the program is to share university arts resources with the public, private, and homeschool network across our region. Study guide materials connect every performance to the classroom curriculum.

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