The Moss Arts Center ushers in its 2020-21 season with a curated series of intimate, virtual performances that offer opportunities to engage directly with artists. Not another widely available livestream or pre-recorded performance, the “HomeStage” series is exclusive to the Moss Arts Center and designed specifically to be presented online.

Guaranteed a front row seat, attendees will get up close and personal with “HomeStage” series artists during these distinct performances and conversations, which include moderated discussions and question-and-answer sessions.

Tickets are now available for the series. Ticketholders have access to the performance as it happens, as well as a recording of each event that will remain available for seven days following the performance.

“Now, more than ever, we need the arts to lift us up and bring us together. Artists, too, need the support of presenters and audiences to keep their work alive and relevant and to ensure we all can experience great live performance for years to come,” said Ruth Waalkes, executive director of the Moss Arts Center and associate provost of the arts at Virginia Tech. “Continued support of the Moss Arts Center is critical to all of us. We are very excited for the year ahead.”  

Due to current circumstances, the “HomeStage” series events are currently the only scheduled Moss Arts Center performances. Decisions about the remainder of the 2020-21 season will be made in stages.  

Moss Arts Center’s “HomeStage” Series

A Conversation with SNL’s Bowen Yang
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m. 

Bowen Yang made history when he became the first Asian-American featured player on “Saturday Night Live” — he is also one of the show’s very few openly gay male cast members. Participants will join Yang at home for a fun, frank conversation.

Pianist Gabriela Montero
“Live from Barcelona”
Sunday, Sept. 13, 3 p.m.

Venezuela-born concert pianist and Latin Grammy winner Gabriela Montero is celebrated both for her brilliant interpretations of the core repertoire and for her ability to improvise, composing and playing new works in real time in connection with her audiences. Live from her studio in Barcelona, Montero performs a recital that includes a classical work and an astonishing, real-time classical improvisation based on audience suggestions. 

Leyla McCalla
“Live from New Orleans

Friday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.

A former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, cellist, banjoist, singer, and guitarist Leyla McCalla embraces American roots music at its most fundamental with a deep personal connection to the cultural legacy built by the immigrants who settled here over the generations. McCalla performs from her home in New Orleans and joins a conversation moderated by Christiansburg’s Shawanda Marie, a proud New Orleans-born Creole culture-bearer.

“A Piano, a Song, and a Pink Martini”
Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes
Friday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Always a sold-out party, the band Pink Martini is inspired by the romantic Hollywood musicals of the 1940s and '50s. Pink Martini lead singer China Forbes joins founding pianist Thomas Lauderdale for a bespoke performance taking a musical trip around the world, from sultry sambas to a French nightclub.

“And So We Walked”
DeLanna Studi and the Trail of Tears
Monday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.

A powerful one-woman show honoring Indigenous people everywhere, "And So We Walked" recounts Cherokee actor, writer, and activist DeLanna Studi's incredible 900-mile journey to truly understand her own identity. Studi performs excerpts from the play and engages in conversation with Mae Hey, assistant professor of American Indian studies at Virginia Tech. This program is presented in celebration of Indigenous People’s Day, in partnership with Virginia Tech’s American Indian and Indigenous Community Center.

“The Treasures of Fiddlers Mark and Maggie O’Connor”
Friday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Inspired by the Great American Songbook, Grammy-winning American music icon Mark O’Connor and championship-fiddler wife Maggie deliver a treasure trove of duo music — spirited hoedowns, jigs, and soulful ballads — then share Mark's rare instruments and stories. Bring your fiddle questions to this rich connection to Appalachian musical lore.

Javaad Alipoor
“The Believers Are But Brothers”
Friday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

Charismatic British playwright and performer Javaad Alipoor takes audience members on a fascinating deep dive into the dark web, where tech-savvy extremist groups are ripping up the rule books. His bold, interactive solo theatre piece tells the story of an international crisis of masculinity and the underground networks of the internet that it breeds. This private multimedia performance will be livestreamed from a theatre in Manchester, England, especially for the Moss Arts Center audience, and includes parallel social media interaction with the artist. 

As always, the center will offer additional engagement opportunities with artists for area students and community members. Choreographer Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie will lead a free demonstration, “Behind the Scenes with Choreographer Ephrat Asherie,” on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. She will discuss her work, “Odeon,” and introduce the dancers — who will demonstrate their specialties — then the whole company will pull off a livestreamed hip-hop improvisation.   

Most of the “HomeStage” artists will conduct multiple virtual class visits at Virginia Tech, addressing topics ranging from the performing arts to Latin American history and international cyber security. Famed fiddler Mark O’Connor will lead a free fiddling workshop for Virginia Tech and other area students.

Ticket information

Each “HomeStage” series performance is only $10. The center’s Fall Access Pass includes all seven performances for the discounted price of $60. Enjoy full access to all seven and provide added support for the center with the Fall Access Fan(fare), which is available for $100.

All “HomeStage” series events are free for Virginia Tech students.

Tickets and access passes can be purchased online, at the Moss Arts Center's box office, or by calling 540-231-5300. The box office will be open for in-person and telephone ticket purchases from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, beginning Wednesday, August 12.

The health and wellness of the community is the Moss Arts Center’s top priority, and patrons can be assured the center is doing everything possible to keep them and the center’s staff safe and healthy. Find more information about the Moss Arts Center’s reopening plans here.