On Thursday, Sept. 10, the curtain will rise on a new season at the Lied Center. In many ways, it will be unlike any season in the performing arts center’s 30-year history.
While things will look different when the theater reopens after being dark since March, Executive Director Bill Stephan said he’s looking forward to welcoming audiences back.
“With a deep commitment to the health and safety of our patrons, artists, volunteers and staff, and extensive protocols for how to reopen in the safest way possible, we are so excited to be together again and welcome exceptional artists to Lincoln,” Stephan said. “The arts bring hope and joy into our lives, and we need that so much right now.”
Those artists will range in genre from Broadway to jazz, dance to classical, and comedy to brass.
“We are committed to fulfilling our mission even during a pandemic,” Stephan said. “We are presenting a season of music, theater and dance that includes our traditional something for everyone.”
Tickets go on sale Monday, July 27 for shows scheduled through Jan. 16, 2021. Highlights include:
• The heart-pounding rhythms of Step Afrika! (Sept. 10);
• The return of Derrick Davis, who starred as the Phantom at the Lied in 2019, for An Evening of Broadway (Oct. 17);
• Side-splitting laughter courtesy of Dixie Longate’s Tupperware Party (Oct. 20-25) and The Capitol Steps (Sept. 27);
• The Nebraska premiere of Wisteria by Kwame Dawes (Sept. 24);
• Classical pianist Arnaldo Cohen (Oct. 19);
• Holiday cheer from Canadian Brass Christmas (Dec. 3);
• and more.
The new season will also bring a new focus on health and safety. All shows at the Lied through at least Jan. 16 will feature socially distanced seating that dramatically reduces the capacity of the auditorium. Most seats will be available in pairs, with a distance of six feet between each group of seats. There will be increased cleaning and sanitizing that meet or exceed UNL and health department guidance. In addition, the Lied has joined with UNL in requiring that face coverings be worn inside any campus building, including the theater.
The Lied is also adopting more comprehensive ticket flexibility than ever before, making all tickets fully refundable, right up until showtime.
“We decided that we have to give people the ability to be responsible about their health and the health of others without worrying about their tickets,” Stephan said. “If someone is feeling ill or has been exposed to someone who is ill, they should stay home. We’re all in this together, and that’s one thing we can do to care for each other right now.”
If a show is postponed or canceled, patrons will be offered the choice of keeping the value of their tickets as on-account credit to be used for another show or receiving a full refund.
The Lied also announced shows scheduled for all of 2021, which include the Boston Pops, Mannheim Steamroller, Herbie Hancock, Pilobolus, the American Ballet Theater Studio Company, The Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet, Paula Poundstone and more. Tickets for those shows will go on sale at a later date.
Though this will be a unique season, Stephan said he believes it will also be an especially joyful one. “Perhaps now more than ever before, we’re celebrating the opportunity to be entertained and inspired by great art together. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the Lied.”
For a complete listing of performances, ticket information, and health and safety policies, visit liedcenter.org.
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