In-person Wisconsin Union Theater events return with 3rd annual Black Arts Matter Festival, 102nd annual classical music series, jazz and more
Wisconsin Union Theater team releases full 2021-22 season lineup
The Wisconsin Union Theater team’s 2021-22 season will include jazz, classical music, R&B music, the return of the Black Arts Matter Festival, and more and will begin in September with in-person performances and some virtual attendance options.
The Theater team held a mostly virtual 2020-21 season with the exceptions of two outdoor Madison Jazz Festival performances on the Memorial Union Terrace in June 2021. Despite all of the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Theater held more than 30 online events and supported artists, thanks in part to support from donations and patrons’ ticket purchases.
The Theater team hosted a small number of performers for livestreamed and recorded performances in Shannon Hall, but the rows of patrons’ seats remained empty due to COVID-19.
The team looks forward to its upcoming season during which patrons can again enjoy programming in-person as well as all that Memorial Union offers, including dining at multiple on-site restaurants that guests can enjoy before performances.
The series includes the return of the Theater’s classical music series, called the Concert Series, and the 3rd annual Black Arts Matter Festival, which builds community around Black culture and art.
The full lineup is as follows:
- Dulcé Sloan, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. in Shannon Hall - This free performance is exclusively for UW-Madison students. Seating for this event is available on a first come, first served basis the day of the event. Students must present valid Wiscards for entry.
- Arun Luthra's Konnakol Jazz Project, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Play Circle Theater and online livestream
- Concert Series: Sphinx Virtuosi, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Shannon Hall and online livestream
- ABSENCE: Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective & Turtle Island Quartet, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Shannon Hall
- Phony Ppl, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Shannon Hall
- The Vijay Iyer Trio, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Play Circle Theater and online livestream
- Concert Series: Gil Shaham with Akira Eguchi, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Shannon Hall and online livestream
- Concert Series: Third Coast Percussion + Movement Art Is, Jan. 27, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall and online livestream
- Concert Series: Brentano String Quartet, Feb. 10, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at Shannon Hall and online livestream
- Concert Series: Pacho Flores with the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, March 5, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall and online livestream
- Black Arts Matter Festival, March 23-26, 2022, at Shannon Hall, the Play Circle Theater and online livestream
- George Hinchliffe's Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, March 31, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at Shannon Hall
- Concert Series: Renée Fleming, April 30, 2022, at 7 p.m. at Shannon Hall
- Summer 2022 programming to be announced in spring 2022
Patrons can currently purchase subscriptions to the Concert Series, including a subscription with or without the Fleming recital as well as a subscription for only fall Concert Series performances. The following are available for subscribers to purchase as discounted add-ons to their purchases: Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, Phony Ppl, The Vijay Iyer Trio, and ABSENCE: Terence Blanchard.
Concert Series subscribers’ benefits include no order fee and the opportunity to be the first to purchase tickets to Fleming’s recital and other Series performances. Additional subscription benefits include the option to be among the first to purchase tickets to Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, Phony Ppl, The Vijay Iyer Trio, and ABSENCE: Terence Blanchard.
Patrons can purchase single tickets for all 2021-22 Theater season events starting Aug. 24 with the exception of Fleming’s recital. Pending availability, single tickets for Fleming's performance will go on sale in early 2022.
Patrons can purchase tickets online or in-person at the Memorial Union Box Office. Ticket prices vary by event. University of Wisconsin-Madison students, staff and faculty and Wisconsin Union members are eligible for ticket discounts.
“We’ve missed our patrons and the opportunities to greet them and witness their enjoyment of performances,” Wisconsin Union Theater Director Elizabeth Snodgrass said. “We enter this new season with excitement and acknowledgment that we’re not going back to how it’s always been. The pre-pandemic ‘normal’ wasn’t great for everyone, and this is a chance to rethink how we do things. Our hybrid model of in-person and livestreamed programming is designed to increase flexibility and accessibility for our audiences. From programming to operations, we’re prioritizing health, safety, and belonging for all.”
The Wisconsin Union Theater began in 1939. The Theater is part of the Wisconsin Union, a non-profit organization with a vision of serving as the social heart of UW–Madison, where all belong. The Theater team has been committed to artistic excellence throughout its more than 80 years of serving its patrons. It also presents diverse forms of art in its seasons and works to create inclusive spaces.
This season is made possible in part due to donations. The events featuring Gil Shaham and Akira Eguchi and the Brentano String Quartet are part of the David and Kato Perlman Chamber Music series supported by the David and Kato Perlman Chamber Music Fund. The performance by Fleming is supported in part with gifts from Bob and Linda Graebner and Stephen Morton. The entire season is presented with support from the Wisconsin Arts Board.
The Wisconsin Union team employs numerous health and safety measures to help provide safe enjoyment of Union experiences, including the frequent cleaning of shared spaces and the providing of hand sanitizer stations.
For more information about the 2021-22 Wisconsin Union Theater season, visit union.wisc.edu/wisconsin-union-theater.