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The team at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts is excited to share our Spring 2021 virtual program offerings.

Behold, Be Held

Behold, Be Held uses the facades of The Block, the neighboring Ethel M. Barber Theater, and the building of our community partner Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) as an outdoor gallery. Reproductions of artworks from the Block Museum collection invite visitors to reflect on how art holds us through moments of crisis. These works capture gestures that we may have taken for granted prior to the pandemic, but we have missed dearly. The selection of works was guided by themes of self-care, self-authorship, and community. It also explores how subtle moments with others prepare and carry us on our journeys. Within these works, people hold each other through life changes, create spaces of sustenance, and raise their hands to declare “I am still here.” Behold, Be Held is a meditation and a prompt, asking: What are you most in need of right now?

Behold, Be Held is curated by the 2020–21 Block Museum of Art Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow, Rikki Byrd (PhD candidate, African American Studies). It has been developed in partnership with The Leadership Project at Youth and Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) in Evanston, IL, with the participation of Malik Agee, Cherie Animashaun, Saliha Ansari, Isabel Horek Gualtier, Michia Kenderick, Aaliyah Knox, Jocelyn Maldonado, Ciara Nicole Phillips-Gentle, McKenzie Royal, James Thoussaint, Mia Williams, Nia Williams. Generous support has been provided by the Northwestern Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts; the Black Arts Consortium; the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities; and The Graduate School, Northwestern University.

FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX: A Celebration and Transformation

June 4-20, 2021, available on the Wirtz Center YouTube channeldonations welcome

As the world slowly emerges from the pain of this pandemic year, the Wirtz Center joyously presents The Flight of the Phoenix, a magical story of resilience, transformation, and artistic rebirth. This digital offering features a large-scale puppet spectacle filmed on Northwestern’s glorious lake front and soaring above communities across the globe.  Members of the NU community near and far will migrate a massive flock of blue and gold bird puppets, reenacting the journey of the mythical beast as it perishes dramatically in flames, only to burst forth from the fire, reborn to frolic across the sky and begin a new life.

Directed by Theater faculty members Dassia Posner and Jessica Thebus, designed by members of the MFA Design cohort, and featuring NU’s undergraduate performers, the Flight of the Phoenix celebrates our indomitable spirit in a festival of furious flames and fantastical feathers.

The 90th Annual Waa-Mu Show – THE SECRET OF CAMP ELLIOTT

June 9-20

Admission free to all Northwestern students with a valid NU e-mail address who complete the required registration form.

The outdoors, some friendly competition, and… a conspiracy? In the Summer of 1977, three best friends arrive for their first summer of fun at Camp Elliott, where all the campers are divided into two teams which will go head-to-head in a series of challenges in order to win Camp Elliott’s annual competition. Throughout the summer, these campers seek out victory, love, and liberation, but they soon discover that not everything is as it seems. When camp becomes the location for some very mysterious and seemingly supernatural events, they must put aside their differences in order to unveil THE SECRET OF CAMP ELLIOTT!

Questions? Please e-mail our audience service team at We appreciate your patience while our team works remotely.

Again, thank you for your dedication to and support of the Wirtz Center.

Al Heartley,
Managing Director
Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts