A note from the director

Portrait of Rob Richter '82, Director of Arts Programming.

I am excited to welcome new and longtime audiences to the recently renovated Athey Center for Performance and Research at Palmer Auditorium. This past spring, we had a soft opening and hosted a few events and performances as we got used to the “new” auditorium. Now we are ready to fully open the doors and welcome the community. As an audience member you will find more comfortable seats with better sightlines, enlarged lobbies, greater accessibility to public areas and a more intimate experience inside the theater.

This year we are celebrating the grand reopening of the Athey Center at Palmer Auditorium with a world-class roster of dance, music and theater artists. As you know, from past seasons, we present performing artists from a wide spectrum of cultural and creative backgrounds and perspectives. Our programming has always been unique and innovative and designed to engage, entertain and inspire. You will not find programming like this anywhere else in the region.

Make sure you sign up to be on our email list to stay up to date on events and performances. We have some additional performances in the works that will be announced at a later date and we don’t want you to miss out.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Athey Center at Palmer Auditorium as we celebrate the revitalized theater and the arts at Connecticut College.

- Robert A. Richter '82, Director of Arts Programming



Guest Artist Series

Henry Engelbrecht

Soweto Gospel Choir
“Hope – It's Been a Long Time Coming”

Athey Center, Palmer Auditorium

Saturday, December 10, 2022 7:30 p.m.

Out of the darkness comes a new dawn! This all-new concert by 3-time GRAMMY® winning Soweto Gospel Choir commemorates South Africa’s Freedom Movement and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Bringing joy to all, “Hope” opens with a rousing program of South African freedom songs that inspired their Rainbow Nation. Then the choir’s uplifting performance moves to the United States with beautiful renditions of the music of the Civil Rights Movement, including works by legendary artists Billie Holiday, James Brown, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield and the one-and-only Aretha Franklin.  “Hope” is a concert that will live forever in your hearts!

This performance is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

Tickets: $30; Seniors: $27; Students: $15; CC Faculty / Staff: $27; CC students with ID: $7 (General Admission)


Guest Artist Series

head shots of Silkroad musicians

Silkroad Ensemble
“Uplifted Voices”

Athey Center, Palmer Auditorium

Friday, January 27, 2023 7:30 p.m.

With a sound that is simultaneously contemporary and ancient, familiar and foreign, GRAMMY® award-winning musical ensemble Silkroad draws on styles from around the world to create a new musical language reflecting 21st-century society. Conceived in 1998 by Yo-Yo Ma and now led by Rhiannon Giddens, Silkroad thrills audiences with a collective of artists from all over the globe representing a vast range of nationalities and artistic traditions. In their new program Uplifted Voices, Silkroad draws inspiration from the folk and ancestral music of Japan, China, Armenia, Ireland and the Hebrides, and native populations across North America to bring previously under-recognized voices into focus.

Tickets: $30; Seniors: $27; Students: $15; CC FACULTY / STAFF: $27; CC STUDENTS WITH ID: $7 (General Admission)


Guest Artist Series

Laura LiPuma Nash, creative director
(part of The Talking Artists series)

Athey Center, Palmer Auditorium

Thursday, February 16, 2022 6:30 p.m.

The onStage Guest Artist Series and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts have announced an exciting new partnership. Entitled “The Talking Artists,” three guests will join the College community in October, November and February to participate in a moderated conversation with Artist, Curator and Cultural Producer Juanita Austin.  The third event will feature creative director Laura LiPuma Nash.

Having decades of experience at Gibson Guitar and Warner Bros. Records, Laura LiPuma Nash is perhaps best known for her design work with legendary musician Prince. Meeting Prince as a young designer at Warner Bros., she would go on to art direct many of his albums, from Purple Rain to Lovesexy. With expertise in company branding, she had led in-house art departments with award-winning results. She is currently a project manager at Leading Edge Communications, based in Nashville, Tenn. She holds a BFA in graphic design from Ohio University.  

The event opens at 6:30 P.M. with a social mixer, followed by the artist talk at 7:00 P.M.

Free Admission (General Admission)


Guest Artist Series

performance of The Equality of Night and Day

Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE
“The Equality of Night and Day”

Athey Center, Palmer Auditorium

Friday, February 10, 2023 7:30 PM

EVIDENCE, A Dance Company focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word.  Founder and artistic director Ronald K. Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of African forms and rhythms.  In this award-winning choreographer’s new work, “The Equality of Night and Day” (TEND), Brown examines the concepts of equity and fairness in a world where exploitation, gentrification, racism, and xenophobia are on the rise.  “TEND” is a work that seeks to explore truth not from anger but with a gentle focus that draws on history.

Tickets: $28; Seniors: $25; Students: $14; CC FACULTY / STAFF: $25; CC STUDENTS WITH ID: $7 (General Admission)


Guest Artist Series

scene from Cage Shuffle
Catherine D Studios

Big Dance Theater
“The Road Awaits Us” and “Cage Shuffle: Redux”

Athey Center, Palmer Auditorium

Friday, March 31, 2023 7:30 PM

“The Road Awaits Us” Conceived and Choreographed by Annie-B Parson, Co-directed by Paul Lazar

“Cage Shuffle: Redux” Created and performed by Paul Lazar

Known for their inspired use of dance, music, text and visual design, Big Dance Theater weaves disparate strands of source material into multi-dimensional performances. A collaboration between renowned choreographer Annie-B Parson and performance artist Paul Lazar, Big Dance Theater has been presented around the world and won the first-ever Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2007. Two works will be presented: The first is “The Road Awaits Us,” a dance-theater piece that reimagines the work of playwrights Eugene Ionesco and Anton Chekhov. The other is “Cage Shuffle,” a dance/theater solo that combines a series of spoken one-minute stories by John Cage with complex choreography in a performance that David Byrne described as “beautiful, profound and hilarious.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets: $28; Seniors: $25; Students: $14; CC FACULTY / STAFF: $25; CC STUDENTS WITH ID: $7 (General Admission)