Center for the Arts - George Mason University

4/2 - 4/4

An Experiment with an Air Pump

Set in 1799 and 1999 in the same house, this play explores the ethics of medical research. At the Harris Theater.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra

Led by conductor Luke Frazier, the FSO performs in "A Civil War Portrait," a program of Civil War-era music featuring National Broadway Chorus. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Classic Broadway

Pianist Todd Ellison and his friends perform music from popular Broadway shows. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Russian National Ballet Theatre presents Cinderella

The classic storybook ballet features Russia's finest dancers, Prokofiev's exuberant music, sumptuous costumes, lush scenery and comical stepsisters. A treat for audiences of all ages. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Russian National Ballet Theatre presents The Sleeping Beauty

Considered the crown jewel of choreographer Marius Petipa's career, "The Sleeping Beauty" is the magical fairy tale of the beautiful, sleeping princess who awaits the kiss of her prince. Features luminous costumes, elaborate sets and, of course, the graceful movements of the gifted Russian ensemble. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

BBC Concert Orchestra

Led by conductor Keith Lockhart, the orchestra presents a program featuring works by Britten, Vaughn Williams and Walton as well as Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin" and Piano Concerto with pianist Charlie Albright. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
4/24 - 4/26

George Mason University Opera

The GMU Opera performs Gilbert and Sullivan's comedic opera "The Pirates of Penzance.". At the Harris Theater.
5/1 - 5/2

MOMIX presents Alchemia

This new work about the art of alchemy was born of the brilliant and untamed mind of MOMIX's founder and choreographer Moses Pendleton. It manipulates the four classic elements: earth, air, fire and water, to create a visually arresting theatrical experience full of whimsy, sensuality, beauty and intrigue. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Mason Symphony Orchestra

Concerto winner soloists perform with the orchestra. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Jeffrey Siegel

The pianist presents "Rachmaninoff and Friends," a Keyboard Conversations concerts featuring works by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Scriabin. At the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Editorial Review

Built in 1990, the Center for the Arts on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax hosts a wide range of performances in its concert hall, two theaters, a dance studio and three visual arts galleries.

The Concert Hall seats 1,935 on the main floor and balcony. Because there are no aisles, the rows have been widely spaced to allow room for people to reach their seats from the sides -- also making it possible to cross your legs during a performance. With a huge orchestra pit, wide rows and the balcony set back considerably from the stage, the space is in no way intimate but the acoustics are sharp and clean. It is home to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Fairfax Chorale and serves as the Northern Virginia venue for the Virginia Opera, which brings many of its productions north from Richmond and Norfolk.

TheaterSpace, the 140-seat black-box home of the Theater of the First Amendment, is in the adjoining building; the Harris Theatre, a 500-seat proscenium house, is just across one of the campus squares. The Harris is used mostly as recital space, although as the university's Division of Art and Visual Technology becomes more and more active, this is the hall that lends itself to multimedia theatrical efforts. The center also has three visual arts galleries and a tiny dance performance studio that accommodates 50 for recitals.

The center sponsors a number of performance series that bring in visiting orchestras, dance troupes, jazz musicians, chamber groups and soloists.

-- Brad Hathaway