Duke Performances Announces Virtual Fall Season

Duke Performances announces its Virtual Fall season – The Show Must Go Online!

High-quality, commissioned films featuring artists originally slated for in-person performances will premiere on Vimeo for ticket holders starting September 12. The Show Must Go Online! performance schedule will be announced before the start of each month (September through December).

The first selection of artists includes the first four concerts in Duke Performances’ Chamber Arts Series, which celebrates its 75th Anniversary this season (the first concert of the Chamber Arts Society of Durham was held on November 25, 1945):

On Saturday, September 26, Duke Performances will present a set from New York-based Mwenso & The Shakes, led by musical polymath Michael Mwenso, and featuring the vibrant and powerful 10-piece Shakes. Mwenso & The Shakes specialize in musical code-switching, freely adopting and repurposing the drama, whimsy, and spirit of the Great American Songbook, African beats, funk, modern jazz, dance pop, Delta blues, and cabaret theater with equal, effortless verve.

Duke Performances has presented virtual programming that supports artists and keeps audiences connected to live performing arts since the start of the coronavirus crisis. As part of Duke University’s response to COVID-19, in-person events on- and off-campus have been on hiatus since mid-March and Duke Performances cancelled or postponed the remainder of its Spring and Fall 2020 seasons.

On April 8, the organization launched a Livestream series in collaboration with Duke Arts and WXDU, which helped to raise funds to support the Durham arts community. On July 1, the eight-week Music in Your Gardens film series debuted. This summer lineup shifted the organization’s longtime Music in the Gardens program online. Each week, studio-quality films of outdoor, socially distanced performances by nationally renowned artists who call Durham and the surrounding area home premiered free-of-charge on YouTube.

For The Show Must Go Online!, Duke Performances expands this model of commissioning original films from artists in Durham, and across the United States and abroad. Each film, shot following local safety protocols, is made in collaboration with an audio and video crew in each artist’s home city. In recognition of the financial impact of live event restrictions, Duke Performances is allowing artists to use these films to license to other presenters and use as part of their promotional efforts in this time.

In addition to presenting virtual performances this fall, Duke Performances is actively collaborating with the Duke campus and Durham community to deliver free virtual educational events with artists. These free events will include artist conversations continuing the Arts & Context series, public master classes, matinee screenings for Durham Public Schools students, artist visits with Durham community organizations, and Duke University class visits.

Tickets to The Show Must Go Online! are now on sale at dukeperformances.org. General admission tickets are $10 per presentation and Duke Student tickets are available free of charge through the support of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts at Duke University. Chamber Arts Series subscriptions, including all four concerts, are available at a discount of 25% off for $30. At the time of purchase, ticket buyers will receive a unique Vimeo link to stream each performance online at the scheduled time, and then films will be available for viewing for 24 hours beyond the premiere.