Math and sciences are invaluable for explaining the world in terms of facts, but it is only the arts that can attempt to explain the human experience. Music and theatre explore emotions and express what it means to be human. Part of being a whole community and a whole person is having access to the arts. The Givens Performing Arts Center at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke provides that sense of community for many in the region.
“The center attracts world-class talent from around the world. From the Celtic sounds of master fiddlers, Natalie MacMaster and Donell Leahy, to the Chinese National Acrobats, this season will bring engaging acts to our community,” Chad Locklear the director of marketing said.
The GPAC is one of the “premier destinations for arts, culture and entertainment” in the area and it provides a staggering number of opportunities for the community to come and experience.
“We host more than 125 events a year, including UNCP student productions and community events,” Locklear noted.
These opportunities still remain one of the most economical choices for enjoying such high caliber artists.
“For the price of a single ticket on Broadway, you can enjoy an entire season of exciting productions here at GPAC,” said Locklear.
Having this stellar reputation, it comes as no surprise that this year they are again offering the community a star-studded season.
“We’re offering more shows this season than last, so audiences can expect a greater variety of entertainment, like the popular musical Mamma Mia and the standup comedian, Michael Ian Black. We’re also bringing back some favorites: the North Carolina Symphony and the National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China have been well-received here in the past and will return with all new shows.
“Donnell Leahy of the Canadian folk group, Leahy, will return with his wife, Natalie MacMaster and their children in a Celtic concert called Visions from Great Breton,” he continued.
“We’ve also got a few holiday shows this year: an all-new production of the musical, Jekyll & Hyde comes to GPAC right before Halloween and American Big Band: Home for the Holidays is our Christmas-themed show,.”
Local talent also has a place in the season at Givens Performing Arts Center. Threefifty performed at GPAC on Sept 12. The band is usually a duo, but for the first time they performed with a total of eight other musicians just for the show at the GPAC. Band member, Brad Parnell, is from the area.
Givens offers a variety of special programs including the Broadway and More and the Distinguished Speaker Series.
This year’s Broadway and More Series will feature: Broadway Rox! on Saturday, Sept. 20; The National Acrobats From the People’s Republic of China on Monday, Oct. 13; Jekyll and Hyde on Monday, Oct. 20;Home for the Holidays on Friday, Nov. 21; Million Dollar Quartet, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015; North Carolina Symphony on March 21, 2015; Natalie MacMaster and Donell Leahy on March 24, 2015 and The Great Gatsby on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
The GPAC Annual Fundraiser, a golf tournament, is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 7 at Pinecrest Country Club. To register, call 910-521-6634. The Annual Casino Night and Silent Auction is on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 at the University Center Annex.
Tickets for the entire season are on sale now. Another incredible option to even further enhance the experience at a performance is the Diners Club, which is $30 per person and includes a wine and cheese reception beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required and dinner tickets are available throughout the season. For more information visit www.uncp.edu/gpac or call 521-6361.