Friday, December 8, 2023

W&M Plans Wide Range of Spring Arts Events Open to University and Local Communities

Kadencia (Photo by Ashley Travis)

WILLIAMSBURG — The new semester brings many opportunities for people to enjoy the arts at William & Mary, and a full slate of exhibitions, performances and writing talks open to both the university and local communities are planned for the spring.


The “Houses and Trees,” showcasing works by artist Laura Vahlberg, will be featured at the Andrews Gallery in Andrews Hall from now through Feb. 15.

In addition, The Department of Art & Art History will host in Andrews Gallery its “Non-Majors Exhibition” Feb. 22 to March 8, “Catron Scholars Exhibition” March 23 to 31, “Senior Studio Art Honors Exhibition” April 10 to 24, and “Studio Art Senior Show” in May on dates yet to be announced.

The Muscarelle Museum of Art has temporarily closed its current building as it embarks on an expansion and renovation project that will add 42,000 square feet, more than tripling the museum’s size. The new wing, named The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts, will offer expanded gallery and educational spaces to bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community in a state-of-the-art regional arts venue.

William & Mary assures that while the building is closed, the museum will continue to engage both the campus and local communities with opportunities for art exploration with exhibitions, lectures, and special events across campus and town.

Lastly, currently planned for the spring is a Muscarelle Explorations series of lectures and events titled “Modern Masters at the Margins,” exploring the abstract expressionists of the 1940s and 1950s, lectures and special events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the museum’s history and its vast collection, trips to exhibitions at other museums and a series of art-making workshops for adults and children.

Details, dates, and reservation information for spring programming will be available at in February.


Student work will be on display as W&M Dance and Orchesis Modern Dance Company present “An Evening of Dance.”

The show is an annual production in which students explore and develop original choreography performed by their peers in the Orchesis Modern Dance Company, under the mentorship of the William & Mary dance faculty. Performances are scheduled for March 30 to April 1 at 7:30 p.m. and April 2 at 2 p.m. at the Kimball Theatre. Tickets are available at the Kimball Theatre Box Office and online.


The music department will begin the Ewell Concert Series at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 with the energetic percussive sounds of Kadencia performing at the Williamsburg Regional Library, and the series will continue throughout the spring featuring various artists. More information can be found in WYDaily’s previous article.

The Botetourt Chamber Singers will host its “Broadway Gala” benefit concert, featuring Instructor of Jazz Piano and Harmonica Harris Simon on jazz piano, on Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kimball Theatre.  Tickets are $5-$20 and can be purchased online.

The High School Invitational Choral Concert featuring the Botetourt Chamber Singers, Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir, and the W&M Choir joined by high school choral ensembles from Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools will be held March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sadler Center Commonwealth Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

The Barksdale Treble Chorus will perform its spring concert on April 22 at 8 p.m. at Bruton Parish Church; voluntary donations will be accepted.  The Botetourt Chamber Singers will perform their free spring concert on April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Wren Building Great Hall.

The Choir, Botetourt Chamber Singers, Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir, and Barksdale Treble Chorus will perform a combined choral spring concert on April 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. Admission is a suggested $10 donation and is free for students.

The W&M Symphony Orchestra will hold its winter concert on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sadler Center Commonwealth Auditorium. In addition, the orchestra will perform its spring concert featuring Vincent D’Indy’s “La forêt enchantée” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No.3” on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Commonwealth Auditorium. Both events are $10 for general admission and free for students, children under 18, and veterans.

The W&M Wind Ensemble will perform its spring concert on May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Commonwealth Auditorium. The program will include the world premiere of a commissioned work by Grammy-nominated cellist and composer Dawn Avery. General admission is $10 and free with a William & Mary ID.

The Middle Eastern Music Ensemble will participate in an open workshop and rehearsal of Afghan music with the Fanoos Family Ensemble on March 2 in Ewell Hall Room 207. The MEME will host the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology Gala featuring guest artists and ensembles from the chapter from March 31 to April 1 at an on-campus location to be announced.

The MEME will perform its final spring concert on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre with guest artist composer, performer, and Fulbright Scholar Peni Chandra Rini from Indonesia. All MEME events are free and open to the public.

The Gallery Players, W&M’s conductor-less string ensemble, will present a concert on April 27 at 8 p.m. as part of the Candlelight Concert Series at Bruton Parish Church.  The program will feature music by 20th and 21st-century American composers.  Admission is free and open to the public.

And finally, the Flute Ensemble concert will take place May 2 at 7 p.m. in Ewell Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.


Entering its 16th year, the former W&M Global Film Festival, now called the Ampersand International Arts Festival, presented by William & Mary, will take place from Feb. 27 through March 5 in venues throughout Williamsburg. For updates and details on the expanded film and arts events that are planned, visit the festival’s website.


The W&M Theatre opens the spring season with “Proof,” written by Aimé Césaire and directed by W&M Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, Speech, and Dance Abbie Cathcart. The story won a Tony Award for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. 

Professor of Theatre Laurie Wolf will direct William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The show runs April 27-30 at the Kimball Theatre. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the Kimball Theatre Box Office and online.


The Hayes Writing Series will host writer Laura Warrell on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Tucker Theatre for a reading, discussion, and book signing reception. Warrell is the author of “Sweet Soft Plenty Rhythm,” which was named a “best book” of 2022 by several publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Vanity Fair. The novel has been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal in Fiction and short-listed for the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize.

Author Hernan Diaz will participate in a reading, discussion, and book signing reception on March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library in a joint event with the Ampersand International Arts Festival and W&M creative writing program. “Trust” — the second novel by the Pulitzer Prize finalist for “In the Distance” — won the Kirkus Prize, was long-listed for the Booker Prize, and was named a “best of 2022” by over 30 major publications. One of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year, “Trust” is currently in development as a limited series on HBO.

Authors and poets Aimee Nezhukumatathill, Patrick Rosal, Oliver de la Paz, Sarah Gambito, and Joseph Legaspi will participate in workshops, panel discussions, and readings April 5 and 6 at times and locations to be announced as part of the W&M Filipino-American Literary Festival

The inaugural themed literary festival of the Hayes Writers Series, featuring a mix of open-to-the-public readings and panels as well as student-centered workshops, will be promoted in conjunction with the W&M Asian & Pacific Islander American studies program. 

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