W&J Arts Series

Washington and Jefferson College, through its annual Arts Series, strives to bring world-class performing artists in music, dance and theatre to the W&J campus as well as to the greater Washington community.

Series and individual tickets are available for Arts Series Events. All Arts Series events are in the the Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre unless otherwise noted.

2014-15 Arts Series Events

Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem, “American Spiritual”

Monday, Sept. 29, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Rani Arbo and daisy mayhemThis great roots band debuts a new program culled from the deepest roots of the spirit. From a lush setting of Tennyson’s Crossing the Bar to old American shape note hymns, prison work songs, blues, gospel and original compositions, American Spiritual draws from 200 years of roots music to find songs that uplift and connect.

With infectious camaraderie, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem easily coax audiences to join their spine-tingling, rafter-shaking harmonies, clap to roaring fiddle tunes and open their hearts to songs of love and loss. This is American Spiritual — in which big questions are asked, few are answered, much harmony is sung, and a joyful string band is let loose to dispense its good medicine.

**FREE workshop- Arts in Medicine, TBA (day of perfromance), Olin theatre. 

Art — musical, literary and visual — helps us recall and celebrate the strength at our core, even in the most trying of circumstances. Rani Arbo is a breast cancer survivor, a trained hospice volunteer, and an experienced presenter in medical settings. As a solo performer (vocal, fiddle, guitar), she visits cancer survivor groups, nursing homes, pediatric clinics, infusion centers and hospice programs, and plays at bedside for patients of all ages and conditions. She will conduct a reflective performance and discussion for staff and students. Rani has completed Arts in Medicine residencies at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn IL, California State University in Chico, and the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Christopher O’ Riley, “Out of My Hands”

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Christopher O’ RileyIn “Out of My Hands”, the acclaimed American pianist dives into repertoire from R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Bad Plus, The Smiths, Tears for Fears as well as material from Radiohead and Elliott Smith in a storm of music heralded by Rolling Stone for its “unblinking virtuosity”.

As host of the popular NPR music program, From the Top, Mr. O’Riley is well-known for his eloquent and compelling musings on music and popular culture. Christopher O’Riley is recognized as one of the leading American pianists of his generation, touring extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician and appearing with every major orchestra.

Randy Riggle, “Nostalgic Christmas Show”

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Randy RiggleLong before computers, answering machines, and cell phones there was a time that was part of all of us. Instead of drive-thrus there were drive-ins. Coke wasn't "Classic" and it came from a fountain or it's green glass bottle. And the only survivor series on TV consisted of Gilligan and his crew.

The Nostalgic Christmas Show takes you down memory lane with your 57 Chevy as we remember the times and people who changed our lives in the 1950's, and 60's. Nationally touring stand-up comedian Randy Riggle will be your tour guide on a trip filled with songs and laughs in this one man show.

Randy entertains his audiences with stories, gun slinging, dancing, and pantomime.  His observational humor about the era is complimented with over 50 impersonations and a special tribute to veterans. The entire revue is backed with a multi-media slide presentation. Join us for an evening of nostalgic memories of a by-gone era. Get ready to remember when!

Oscar® Nominated Short Subjects

OscarsLive Action: Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Animated: Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

It's back for the fifth time!

Our popular Oscar® Nominated Short Subjects spans two nights leading up to the broadcast of the popular Academy Awards on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

Come out and walk our red carpet in your awards-season finest, enjoy the short films, and root for your favorite nominees on Sunday!

The single ticket price (or season ticket package) includes tickets for both nights.

Individual tickets will be available at the door for each night, but at the full ticket price.

“Oscar” is a trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The American Shakespeare Center, “Much Ado About Nothing”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado about Nothing has had a rich performance history over the centuries. First performed by Shakespeare’s troupe in late 1598 or early 1589, Much Ado was immediately popular and remained in the company’s repertoire until the Puritans closed the theatres in 1642. Since the reopening of the theatres in 1660, Much Ado has been continually revived in various forms and has been a star vehicle for generations of the best actors.

Much Ado is a play about finding your soul mate and about what to do once you’ve found him or her. It’s about the sweet pain that comes from surrendering your heart and head to the biggest love you can imagine. It’s about the friends who know you well enough to push you in the direction you ought to be going. Our production will milk the sweetness of the love story and the warmth of the camaraderie and friendship, but we will also show the darker underbelly of doubt, mistrust, and callowness; we will show how dangerous and deadly choices arise from tragically flawed communications and from the alacrity with which people jump to the wrong conclusions.

In the end, Benedick concludes that “man is a giddy thing.” Shakespeare really does give us a story about “everything and nothing,” in which characters travel to one extreme with reckless abandon and then reverse field and pursue the opposite. Summing up the silliness, the reversals, and the much ado about nothing by calling humans “giddy” (or impulsive or flighty or dizzy) is the nugget of wisdom Shakespeare leaves us with at play’s end. It appears that not much has changed in four hundred years.


Bonus FREE event sponsored by W&J Arts Series
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

WhitewaterW&J is proud to present alumnus and Adjunct Music Department Professor Greg Thurman (’08) and his fellow bandmates Ryan Mullins - Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, Dobro & Vocals; and John Posey - Acoustic Guitar & Vocals. Whitewater, an acoustic string trio based in Morgantown, West Virginia, specializes in traditional and contemporary bluegrass as well as original compositions. Whitewater's slick arrangements and tight vocal harmonies recall the sounds of yesteryear with an ear towards the future.

This concert is FREE - no ticket required, no reserved seating.