UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance 2018–19 season lineup honors heritage artists and features pioneering champions for social justice and diverse world views in bold programs by leading innovators and acknowledged masters in contemporary dance, music, theater and spoken word.

Executive and Artistic Director Kristy Edmunds, in her seventh season leading UCLA’s performing arts presenter, also announced collaborations with Center Theatre Group, Ford Theatres, Music Center, Ucross Foundation and The Theatre at Ace Hotel, following last season’s inaugural success. The new season runs from September 22, 2018, to May 10, 2019, and offers 42 events and 59 performances, with one U.S. and seven West Coast premieres, plus two exclusive programs. 

“Our programs are designed to bring you closer to the artists who offer us their creative intelligence and deeply considered perspectives,” Edmunds said. “Each performance is distinct, frequently surprising and potentially alive. Through their projects they offer us a creative lens to imagine or reimagine our place in the world, our connectivity across cultures and the experience of thinking our different thoughts while finding points of resonance and meaning together.” 

► Video: Kristy Edmunds on what it means to be a curator in the context of a university 

Marc Brenner
“Barber Shop Chronicles,” October 18-20, 2018.

Legendary artists long recognized in their fight for social justice, folk icon and activist Joan Baez in her final farewell tour (sold out) and strong voices for civil rights Sweet Honey In The Rock will be showcased with legacy artists such as Merce Cunningham’s centennial event, “Night of 100 Solos,” Oscar nominee Sam Green and Kronos Quartet, 14-time Grammy winner Emmylou Harris, NEA National Heritage Fellowship honoree Zakir Hussain, bestselling author and humorist David Sedaris, National Medal of Arts recipient Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, 2018 NEA Jazz Master Pat Metheny and MacArthur Fellow Meredith Monk. 

Exploring different social and cultural perspectives, artists from a diverse array of global communities will share their unique voices: Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha, Nigerian playwright and poet Inua Ella, Cuban keyboardist Roberto Fonseca and Malian vocalist Fatoumata Diawara, American MacArthur Fellow Jesmyn Ward and Mitchell Jackson, Toronto-based Quote Unquote Collective, Israel’s Ohad Naharin/Batsheva Dance Company, Pulitzer Prize nominee Taylor Mac, Vietnam-born Viet Nguyen, MacArthur Fellow Rebecca Solnit and Chilean singer-songwriter Nano Stern.

Little Fang Photography
Taylor Mac, December 14 and 15, 2018.

Additional highlights include Vijay Iyer and Teju Cole’s collaboration, “Blind Spot,” based on Cole’s new work of the same name that investigates humanity’s blindness to injustice throughout history. Carrie Mae Weems’ “Past Tense,” a new performance-based work, takes on themes of social justice, escalating violence, gender relations, politics and personal identity within the context of contemporary history. Using Joan Didion’s seminal essay, “The White Album” is a multimedia performance created by Los Angeles-based director, writer and visual artist Lars Jan, a former CAP UCLA artist-in-residence. 

The U.S. premiere of Dimitris Papaioannou’s visually stunning “The Great Tamer,” which grapples with the meaning of life and mystery of death, will be presented by CAP UCLA in association with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center. West Coast premieres will be made by Ella’s “Barber Shop Chronicles” in its first U.S. tour, Meredith Monk’s “Cellular Songs,” Jérôme Bel’s “Gala,” Bill T. Jones’ “Anthology Trilogy” presented as a full seven-hour marathon, Mon Élue Noire’s “Sacre #2,” choreographed by Olivier Dubois and performed by Germaine Acogny, Weem’s “Past Tense,” and Jan’s “The White Album.” 

Two exclusive programs were created especially for CAP UCLA’s new season. Nadia Sirota will perform in a live podcast event with wild UP featuring Andrew Norman and Pulitzer-winner Caroline Shaw. Composer Nico Muhly will present “Archives, Friends, Patterns,” a performance in three parts: a collaboration with composer Thomas Bartlett, gems from 40-plus years of Philip Glass’s catalog and a cycle of his own drone-based compositions.

Courtesy of Anoushka Shankar
Anoushka Shankar, April 16, 2019.

Twenty-two productions will take place at Royce Hall and 14 will be staged at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The Ford Theatres and CAP UCLA present “Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media,” one of Jason Moran’s newest and most ambitious works to date, under the stars at Los Angeles’s Ford Theatres. Performances will also take place in venues across UCLA’s campus including the Freud Theater, Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater and Royce Rehearsal Hall. CAP will again team up with UCLA Special Collections to help make deeper connections to the artists and ideas from the season by offering insights into UCLA’s vast library collections. 

CAP UCLA Jazz programs feature:

  • Vijay Iyer & Teju Cole: “Blind Spot”
  • Jason Moran & The Bandwagon: “Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media”
  • Tigran Hamasyan: “For Gyumri”
  • Pat Metheny
  • Terri Lyne Carrington
  • Luciana Souza: “The Book of Longing”

Among the global music artists:

  • DakhaBrakha
  • Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion
  • Nano Stern
  • The Gloaming
  • Roberto Fonseca and Fatoumata Diawara
  • Anoushka Shankar 

American Roots series highlights:

  • Emmylou Harris
  • Sweet Honey In The Rock
  • Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
  • The Soul Rebels
  • Lettuce with John Scofield

Contemporary classical offerings:

  • Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
  • Sam Green and Kronos Quartet: “A Thousand Thoughts” Live Documentary
  • Nadia Sirota and wild UP
  • Meredith Monk: “Cellular Songs”
  • Nico Muhly 

Dance programs showcase:

  • Mon Élue Noire: “Sacre #2”
  • Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company: “Anthology Trilogy”
  • Jérôme Bel: “Gala”
  • Ohad Naharin/Batsheva Dance Company
  • “Night of 100 Solos” 

Highlights of the theater series:

  • Inua Ellams: “Barber Shop Chronicles”
  • Dimitris Papaioannou: “The Great Tamer”
  • Quote Unquote Collective: “MOUTHPIECE”
  • Andrew Dawson: “Space Panorama & Spirit of the Ring”
  • Carrie Mae Weems: “Past Tense”
  • Lars Jan/Early Morning Opera: “The White Album” by Joan Didion

Words & Ideas and special events include:

  • Fran Lebowitz
  • David Sedaris
  • Rebecca Solnit and Jon Christensen
  • Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen and Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Jesmyn Ward and Mitchell Jackson
  • UnCabaret 25th Anniversary Show and Celebration

Programs, price and performers are subject to change. 

Individual ticket on-sale dates:

  • CAP members: Friday, July 13
  • CAP enews presale: Saturday, July 14
  • General public: Monday, July 16 
  • UCLA faculty and staff: Monday, July 16
  • UCLA students: Monday, Sept. 24

Complete ticket information, the season teaser videoseason calendar and program guide are available at cap.ucla.edu.

Single tickets for CAP UCLA performances at The Theatre at Ace Hotel are sold online at theatre.acehotel.com, by phone at 888-929-7849 and in person at The Theatre at Ace Hotel box office.

Part of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, CAP UCLA curates and facilitates direct exposure to artists who are creating extraordinary works of art and fosters a vibrant learning community both on and off the UCLA campus.