Since 1972, NC State LIVE (formerly NCSU Center Stage) has established a regional and national reputation for presenting a professional performing arts season of the highest artistic excellence.
NC State LIVE’s mission is to connect artists and audiences in a meaningful exploration of the diverse cultures and issues that define our communities and world. We accomplish our mission through a programming philosophy that embraces diversity and an audience development philosophy that emphasizes engagement, education and collaboration.
To inspire compassionate communities through the transformative power of the performing arts.
- Embodying respect and concern for the individual.
- Celebrating diverse expressions, cultures, lifestyles.
- Working with passion, commitment and enthusiasm.
- Embracing the ability of the arts to break down barriers and teach lessons of humility, understanding, and humanity.
About the Artists
Above all, we select artistically excellent work, with performers who give honest, authentic performances. We seek work that is:
- Innovative and original, capturing our imagination
- Driven by compelling and relevant issues that challenge our audience
- A diverse reflection of our communities
Our goal is to find artists who reach beyond the stage to enrich the lives of our audience – from workshops in the public schools, to pre-show discussions with the audience, to master classes with NC State students.
Join us for our 2022-23 50th Anniversary Season.
Check out our recent history here.
At the heart of NC State LIVE’s programming is our dedication to campus and community engagement, developed in alignment with the University’s values and land grant mission and rooted in social justice. We believe that the arts are an effective vehicle for exploring and understanding contemporary life and can be an important medium for dialogue with our communities.
NC State LIVE seeks to program artists who are committed to engaging and educating our community and patrons beyond the stage. Almost every artist who performs at NC State offers our community some type of engagement in addition to their performances. And each season we provide residencies to a few artists who connect more deeply with our campus and the surrounding community. The following artist residencies are examples of this community engagement work:
- 2019 – CONTRA-TIEMPO
Los Angeles-based Latinx dance company CONTRA-TIEMPO was in residence with NC State LIVE from October 18-25, 2019. The week of high-impact public events resulted from intense collaboration between over fifteen community and campus partners. Events included pop-up performances in Transfer Co. Food Hall and downtown in Moore Square, a hip hop grooves class for local dancers, a performance and dance class at St. Ambrose Church, dance workshops for youth in Raleigh’s community centers, a leadership workshop for El Pueblo’s Youth Council, and more. The week concluded with a performance of joyUS justUS, an exploration of radical joy, performed by CONTRA-TIEMPO, the indie-Latinx band Las Cafeteras, and a local cast ages 8-80 who worked with CONTRA-TIEMPO to create their own movement for the piece. The performance was particularly notable for meeting our revenue goal even with over 200 complementary tickets given out during the week at community events.
- 2018 – Marc Bamuthi Joseph
In March of 2018, NC State LIVE brought world-renowned artist and educator Marc Bamuthi Joseph to campus for a week-long residency, which concluded with /peh-LO-tah/, a powerful theatre performance that uses soccer as a lens for examining issues facing communities of color. The residency was anchored by Joseph’s youth educational program Moving and Passing, which utilizes soccer as a pedagogical device to encourage young immigrants to consider the American promise differently. We partnered with Futbol 4 All, Wake Futbol Club, and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to engage over 50 immigrant youth (ages 8-16) in a day of soccer drills, art-making and performance at St. David’s soccer fields in Raleigh. Marc (and his company) also led discussions and workshops on campus including: A Conversation with the Black Male Initiative Village; a Creation and Movement workshop hosted by the Theatre Department; and, “The Arts and Sports as a Vehicle for Activism in Education” a lunch discussion hosted by the NC State College of Education.
- 2017 – The Nile Project
An example of a recent NC State LIVE initiative with major local and statewide impact was The Nile Project residency in March of 2017. Hailing from countries across the Nile River basin, this group of masterful musicians and educators connected deeply with our campus and community partners, opening a dialogue on water sustainability, and environmental and social justice issues by using music as a catalyst. After two years of planning, NC State LIVE hosted the Nile Project for a week-long residency (March 15-21, 2017) to serve NC State and the broader community with a powerful artist-based project that supported our community’s deep commitment to sustainable practices. Over the week we collaborated with nearly 30 community and campus groups to create and produce a residency that included two successful public performances, a Student Leadership Summit, a community-created mural designed by local artist Dare Coulter, a panel discussion and pop up performance at the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center, and the keynote address at the statewide Annual Water Conference of the Water Resources Research Institute held at NC State.