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Elon & the Arts

February 21, 2012

Elon and the Performing Arts

The life of a graduate student doesn’t mean you have to swap theatre tickets for movie adaptations at the local Redbox, live concerts for concert CDs or an Alvin Ailey performance for “So You Think You Can Dance” clips on YouTube.  Not hurting your wallet, you can support the arts without having to spend hundreds of dollars for season tickets or Broadway-sized prices.  You can still expose yourself to live music, theatre and dance without having to travel far from your front door.

ELON/BURLINGTON

An Elon graduate student only needs to venture back to campus to find themselves at the helm of an arts community.  With a thriving Performing Arts department, Elon students themselves produce some of the highest quality shows of any university in the area.  Productions run throughout each academic year, with a new show opening practically every month.  Ranging from musical theatre to student-choreographed dance performances, an Elon graduate student can experience a wide variety of productions for absolutely no cost!  Yes, you heard correctly.  Elon productions are free for all students.

Nearby in Burlington, an arts lover can find the Paramount Theater, host to a slew of community driven events.  The Gallery Players, a community based theatre group in Burlington, call the Paramount Theater home for a majority of their performances.  In addition to a diverse theatre schedule, the venue is often utilized for concerts, church shows and community organized events.

GREENSBORO

Greensboro, a city only approximately 25 minutes west of Elon, has various performing arts venues that maintain exciting and diverse seasons.  Situated in Greensboro’s downtown area, the Triad Stage constantly creates new productions for the regional Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point) community.  Often contracting actors from around the country as well as locals, the Triad Stage puts on professional quality productions at a price that won’t do damage to your bank account.

A few streets over stands the Carolina Theatre, a venue used by many area dance companies, universities and arts organizations for productions.  The theater is also a hub for concerts and touring companies throughout the year.  The Carolina Theatre offers a mix of all the performing arts as well as weekly film screenings for movie buffs.

Not to be overlooked, Greensboro-area universities, (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Agricultural and Technological State University), offer students and locals a range of opportunities to engage with the arts through their own performing arts departments and their respective productions throughout the academic semesters.

THE TRIANGLE

However, if you are looking to see the best that the area has to offer in the performing arts on the largest scale, you can hop in your car and drive to the Triangle.  Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina are home to some of the largest entertainment venues in the state.  The Durham Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2008, currently ranks at the fourth largest entertainment venue in the United States.  The Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in the capital city of Raleigh, features professional touring productions as well as events by the North Carolina Opera, the Carolina Ballet, the North Carolina Symphony, and the North Carolina Theatre.  Depending on each production, student pricing is sometimes available, offering large discounts by only showing your Phoenix card.

The next time you have a free Saturday night and want to get out of your apartment, take a chance on one of the numerous performances going on in and around Elon.  Not only is taking advantage of these productions helping to support the arts and their continued success, they are a great getaway from the stress and anxiety that being a graduate student undoubtedly creates.

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