Christopher K. Morgan & Artists

Headlining the New Dance Festival


Christopher K. Morgan founded his professional contemporary dance company in 2011, the same year Dance Magazine named him “one of the six breakout choreographers in the United States.” This year’s festival features new works by Christopher K. Morgan & Artists and JMU’s award-winning dance faculty members. More


Written and performed by Daniel Beaty

“the most important new American drama since Angels in America.” -


A slave ship emerges in front of the Statue of Liberty sending New York City into a whirlwind of emotion in Daniel Beaty’s explosive, solo tour-de-force featuring slam poetry, multi-character transformation, and song. One of the most acclaimed, new playwrights and performers of our time, Beaty portrays a cast of 40 characters who all respond to the unexpected phenomenon. Adult content and language. More

How I Learned to Drive

By Paula Vogel

Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama


Hold onto the wheel for “a most compelling ride” through one woman’s memories of her harrowing childhood in rural Maryland in the 1960s. Through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards, Li’l Bit shares her story of survival through an inappropriate sexual relationship initiated by her Uncle Peck during her first driving lesson. Features students from JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance. Contains sexual content. Parental discretion advised. More

Gone Missing

Written by Steve Cosson from interviews by the Civilians

Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman


Gone Missing, dubbed "a cunningly constructed show" by The New York Times, is a wry and whimsical documentary musical about things that go missing: keys, personal identification, a Gucci pump, or one’s mind. It was conceived in 2003 by the Civilians, an acclaimed investigative theatre company in New York City, from man-on-the-street interviews. Contains adult content. More

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, stars of the Emmy-nominated Who’s Line Is It Anyway?, have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy. Using their quick wit, Colin and Brad take contributions from the audience to create hilarious and original scenes, just like a live version of Who’s Line! This show is improvised. The performers do not control audience suggestions. Parental discretion advised. More


By Sophie Treadwell

"A desperate life blazes amid devouring shadows." - The New York Times




Inspired by the sensationalist 1927 trial of Ruth Snyder, Sophie Treadwell’s expressionistic portrayal of the events and forces surrounding Snyder’s alleged crime leaves open the question of guilt. Suffocated by her manipulative mother, overbearing husband and the dehumanizing industrialism that drives Prohibition-era New York City, a “Young Woman” makes the ultimate bid for freedom. Features students from JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance. Adult content. More

Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's Such Sweet Thunder

Featuring JMU's Jazz Ensemble and Theatre Students


In honor of Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary, the JMU Jazz Studies program and the School of Theatre and Dance come together for a production of Duke Ellington’s masterful jazz suite Such Sweet Thunder. Written in 1957 by Duke Ellington and his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn, this inspired, 12-part tribute to the Bard takes it name from a line in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. More

La Bohème

By Giacomo Puccini

Featuring the JMU Opera Theater


La Bohème is easy to love—and impossible to forget. With sweeping orchestral and choral music, Puccini’s ravishing heartbreaker and its romantic characters touch our hearts with pathos and surging passions. More

Autumn Opera Gala

VIP Seating for La Bohème, a Pre-Performance Dinner and Dialogue


This exquisite evening features a cocktail reception in the Grand Lobby, a pre-performance “backstory chat” about La Bohème presented by a noted opera scholar, and a ticket to the 8 pm performance. Opera director Dr. Don Rierson and members of the cast will be in attendance to greet guests. The box office will contact buyers to confirm specific seat locations.  More

In this solo performance, Garrison Keillor shares hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon and “late-life fatherhood.” America’s favorite storyteller is best known for his wildly popular show A Prairie Home Companion. More

Parallel Exit

Exit Stage Left


“Featuring enough slamming doors, pratfalls, songs, magic tricks, tap-dancing and slapstick to fuel a dozen shows” (The New York Post), Parallel Exit’s Exit Stage Left is a rollicking, speed-of-light comedy inspired by the films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. A Forbes Family Fun event. More


Featuring JMU's Virginia Repertory Dance Company


JMU’s premier dance ensemble will present a program that is “varied, fun and athletic” (Richmond Times-Dispatch). The company will perform cutting-edge choreography by nationally known guest artists in the field of contemporary dance and dance faculty members. More


Featuring the JMU Symphony Orchestra and Madison Singers and Chorale


This community favorite returns with an assortment of holiday classics and masterworks by JMU’s small and large music ensembles. A Forbes Family Fun event. More

Robin & Linda Williams

A Fundraising Event for WMRA Radio


Robin and Linda Williams perform “a robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that combines wryly observant lyrics with a wide-ranging melodicism.” More

Taste of the Forbes

An Arts and Foodie Event


This moveable feast includes three distinctive presentations in three Forbes Center venues, plus a reception that will allow you to mingle with other arts enthusiasts. Seating is General Admission in each venue. More

Sleeping Beauty Tea Party

Tea plus matinee tickets to Sleeping Beauty


Dress up and enjoy afternoon tea before the enchanting 2 pm matinee of Sleeping Beauty. This delightful event features finger sandwiches, bite-size desserts, games, and more!  Your ticket includes tea, a meet-and-greet with David Gonzalez, and the 2 pm show. A Forbes Family Fun event. The box office will contact ticket buyers to confirm seating locations.  More

Sleeping Beauty

Starring David Gonzalez


Master storyteller David Gonzalez returns to the Forbes Center with a modern twist on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty replete with rhyming, live music inspired by Bach’s Goldberg Variations, image projections and exquisite lighting. A Forbes Family Fun event. More

Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México (Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico)

Enrique Bátiz, Music Director and Chief Conductor


Direct from Mexico City, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México was founded in 1971 by Maestro Enrique Bátiz and the State Government of Mexico. This extraordinary evening features Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with Mexican guitar soloist Alfonso Moreno, Joaquín Turina’s Danzas Fantásticas Op 22, and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98. More

Opera Spotlight

Songs and Scenes from the World's Greatest Operas

Featuring the JMU Opera Theater


Graduate students from the JMU Opera Theater are poised to launch their careers, and this event is your opportunity to see this incredibly talented core of future stars perform sweeping melodies from Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci and Mascagni’s 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana.  More

One of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles, The King’s Singers is a group of consummate entertainers: a class act with a delightfully British wit. Instantly recognizable for their spot-on intonation, impeccable vocal blend, flawless articulation of the text and incisive timing, “they make splendid use of vocal arrangements to tap into current cultural idiom … and … turn education and entertainment into art and back again.” (The New York Times)  More

Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon, Music by Cy Coleman, Lyrics by Dorothy Fields




This Tony Award-winning musical comedy is a warm, touching and humorous look at the trials and tribulations of Charity Hope Valentine who repeatedly gives her heart—and her savings—to the wrong men. Charity sings, dances, laughs and cries her way through one romance after another, all the while staying sweet and hopeful that someday her dreams will come true. Students from JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance will perform hits such as “Big Spender,” “Rhythm of Life,” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” More

Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

Featuring Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe


Known for their adrenalized performances, original compositions and notorious music videos, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe are revolutionizing the piano duo experience for the 21st century. Described by ThirdCoast Digest as “the intense synchronization of genius” and “a sensuous blend of two keyboards and souls completely in sync,” the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo strives to make classical music a relevant and powerful force around the world. More

Caladh Nua


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the vibrant and staggeringly talented band Caladh Nua whose origins are deeply rooted in the Southern counties of Ireland. Comprised of five versatile musicians and singers who play a wide selection of instruments—from banjo to fiddle, guitar to bodhran, and tin whistle to button accordion—the band captures the essential qualities of traditional Irish music and balances them with an innovative contemporary flair. More

JMU Gallery Crawl

Exhibition tours, curated talks, reception in each gallery


The most creative visual arts event in the Valley returns this year! Leave the car behind at the Warsaw Parking Deck as a chauffeured bus transports you and other arts enthusiasts to three galleries on JMU’s campus, including the new Duke Hall Gallery. The evening features tours of three exciting exhibitions, curated talks, appetizers, drinks, dessert and conversation.


Tri-State Jazz Festival

Featuring Drummer and JMU Alumnus Nate Smith


This concert featuring headliner Nate Smith will celebrate George “Doc” West, the late founder of the JMU Jazz Studies program. The Tri-State Jazz Festival will be renamed in his honor. An alumni jazz ensemble, comprised of professional musicians who were students of Doc’s over the years, will also perform—as will the JMU Jazz Ensemble. More

This hot-selling, annual event returns for two nights of performances by JMU’s amazing a cappella groups! This year’s Sing Out! also features a cappella groups from Harrisonburg High School and Rockingham County Public Schools. A Forbes Family Fun event. More

New Voices in Dance

Featuring JMU's Contemporary Dance Ensemble


Experience the vitality and creativity of the next generation of choreographers in this concert featuring works by selected JMU dance majors. The evening will also include a dance by guest choreographer Stephanie Martinez, a former principal dancer with River North Dance Chicago, as well as premieres by dance faculty artists Ryan Corriston and Cynthia Thompson. More

Ailey II


One of the most popular dance companies in the country, Ailey II merges the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey II presents exhilarating performances by dance masters such as Alvin Ailey, Donald Byrd, George W. Faison and Lar Lubovitch. More

The Cashore Marionettes


Unmatched in artistry, grace and movement, the internationally acclaimed Cashore Marionettes redefine the art of puppetry. Prepare to enter “a wonderful world of breathtaking magic” as founder and award-winning puppeteer Joseph Cashore performs Simple Gifts, a series of touching portrayals and poignant scenes from everyday life set to stunning music by composers such as Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven and Copland. A Forbes Family Fun event. More

Patience is a virtue—and a milkmaid! This hilarious spoof of Oscar Wilde and the aesthetic movement is brimming with cunning wit and lively repartee. More

Rosanne Cash

The River and the Thread


Rosanne Cash is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and the eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash. Her concert features songs from her most recent release The River of the Thread, lauded by USA Today as “a captivating … album that’s among the finest of her career.” More

Enjoy this two-part choral and symphonic celebration! First, experience the JMU Symphony Orchestra as they accompany the winners of the prestigious School of Music Concerto Competition. Next, join the JMU Symphony Orchestra and Chorale for the transcendent masterwork Gloria by composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). More

This exciting music event returns for a fifth season with performances by faculty guest artist Dr. Andrew Connell, as well as JMU’s Marimba Orchestra, Brass Band and Madison Singers. A Forbes Family Fun event. More

The Cherry Orchard

By Anton Chekhov




In this funny, elegant and heartbreaking play, Chekhov’s cast of eccentric characters face the dawning of a new Russia at the turn of the 20th century. Madame Ranevskaya and her family of aristocrats are on the verge of bankruptcy. Lopakhin, a rags-to-riches merchant, has a plan to help the family keep their fortune. But is the reluctant Ranevskaya willing to pay the price? Features students from JMU's School of Theatre and Dance. More