Please note that the CPA Box Office at Memorial Hall is closed until further notice. Patrons can contact box office staff by leaving a voicemail at 919‑843‑3333 or emailing For event/venue updates related to COVID-19, please visit
What's On // CPA at Home

CPA at Home


There’s much that feels uncertain about the world at this moment, but what we are certain about is the work we do at Carolina Performing Arts: creating opportunities for you to experience something that encourages you to seek out answers, or tell someone, or that simply allows you to be in a moment surrounded by beauty. So while we aren’t presenting arts experiences as we normally would, we’ll continue connecting you with exclusive artist content, livestreamed events, and more throughout the fall on #CPAatHome, as we prepare to reopen our doors next spring (visit here for more on our plans for the 20/21 season).

– The staff of Carolina Performing Arts


From exclusive videos and performance snippets to livestreamed concerts and more, find out what our artists are creating while at home. We’ll be adding new content and highlighting different artists each week.

All About Love: Helga Davis in Conversation

This event is part of the virtual #CPAatHome series. RSVP for updates and to be alerted when the stream starts. Stream on the Carolina Performing Arts Facebook page, CPA’s YouTube channel, or right here at #CPAathome.

Helga Davis is exploring love: why we want it, who we want it from, how to create it, and the science behind it all.

In this livestreamed event, she’ll be joined by collaborator Barbara Fredrickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of Love 2.0 for lively conversation on the topic, which Davis is investigating as part of her work as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Creative Futures fellow at Carolina Performing Arts.

This event will also feature readings by director, playwright and cultural organizer Monet Marshall and Frederickson, and will be moderated by Jacqueline Lawton, playwright, dramaturg, producer, and Assistant Professor in UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art.

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Watch: Meklit’s music video for ‘Kemekem (I Like Your Afro)’ highlights her signature style of Ethio-Jazz.

Listen: From her 2020 release ‘My Gold’ to classics like ‘We are Alive,’ we’ve curated some of our favorite Meklit tunes in our Spotify playlist.

Explore: Learn more about some everyday moments that inspire Meklit’s extraordinary music in her TED Talk The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds. And, read on about her inspiring career as an activist, musician, National Geographic Explorer, and more in our artist pages.

Watch: MCO associate member and violinist Stephanie Baubin plays Bach’s Prelude in E major specially for Chapel Hill. Watch this exclusive video here.

You can also watch other videos from the MCO’s #KeepPlaying campaign.

Listen: We’ve curated a playlist featuring Mitsuko Uchida playing the Mozart concertos planned for their March 2020 visit to Chapel Hill. You can even read along with our program notes for these pieces.

Watch: Aldana and her three-piece ensemble play a full Visions set at their album release celebration.

Listen: We’ve curated a playlist of Aldana’s album Visions on Spotify. While you listen, read about Aldana and Visions or about the life and legacy of Frida Kahlo, who inspired this project.

Explore: Melissa Aldana is the first woman and first South American to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone competition. Read more about her extraordinary talent in Paste Magazine‘s feature. You can also check out more about women in jazz, including Aldana and CPA friend Maria Schneider, in Vanity Fair‘s piece, ‘Sisters of Swing.’ 

Watch: Nathalie Joachim sings us a small excerpt from Discourse, created especially for the Chapel Hill community, from her living room.

Listen: We’re working hard with our partners at University Libraries to reschedule the audio-visual installation created as a companion to Discourse. In the meantime, you can listen to some of the oral histories featured in Flutronix’s work, like the Ruth Dial Woods’ conversation from the Southern Oral History Program archives.

We’ve also curated a Spotify playlist of past Flutronix favorites, approved for home workouts and kitchen dancing by the CPA staff.

Explore: Check out the amazing local histories preserved by the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Oral History Trust, or accounts captured by Community Empowerment Fund—both Discourse project partners.

Watch: The Soul Rebels and Big Freedia fuse classic New Orleans big brass sounds with pop, funk, and more in their hit music video “Good Time.”

Listen: We’ve curated a playlist of our favorite songs from The Soul Rebels’ newest album, Poetry in Motion.

Explore: What makes Big Freedia the Queen of Bounce music? Billboard chats with the New Orleans music sensation about this, her collaboration with Kesha, her new EP Louder, and more.

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Watch: The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, known for their collaborations with world-renowned artists and composers, sings “Its Motion Keeps” by NC native Caroline Shaw. If you’re a fan of Beyoncé or Jay-Z, you might recognize this video from their On The Run II world tour.

Listen: Our playlist of some of our favorite Brooklyn Youth Chorus pieces includes works by Toshi Reagon, Caroline Shaw, Shara Nova, and many others.

Explore: Who do we call ‘sister?’ We sat down with Dianne Berkun Menaker, artistic director and conductor of Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and CPA friend Nathalie Joachim (Flutronix, Eighth Blackbird) in an exclusive interview to find out. And, read on about Brooklyn Youth Chorus and she is called in our artist pages.

Watch: Kiran records Khafa (Up in Arms) from her most recent album 7 Billion (Six Degrees). Keep the music going with her music video for Hayat from her album Sanata : Stillness.

Listen: CPA’s playlist of our favorite songs from Kiran is brimming with work from 7 Billion (Six Degrees) and past works that highlight her unique blend of traditional Indian music infused with Western blues, rock, jazz, and more.

Explore: Learn more about Kiran, her band, and her “transnational sound [that’s] as fresh as tomorrow.” (Seattle Times) And, get to know Kiran’s earlier music through her interview with NPR.

Watch: In the LSO’s latest Coffee Session––a piece of music chosen by LSO Players and recorded at home––LSO violinist Rhys Watkins and cellist Rowena Calvert perform Csárdás by Italian composer Vittorio Monti, with a special message for the Chapel Hill community.

The LSO is also streaming their concerts from the vaults every Thursday and Sunday. Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO’s other esteemed conductors are excited to welcome you to their new concert format. And, join the LSO every Monday morning for more Coffee Sessions with their orchestra members.

Listen: Tune in to our playlist version of the LSO’s planned two-night engagement at CPA. You can even read along with our program notes. Or, for an LSO playlist perfect for concentration through your work or school day, check out our favorite London Symphony Orchestra recordings.

Watch: In NPR’s first Tiny Desk home concert, Lang Lang plays two movements from JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Chopin’s Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor. And, watch Lang Lang play a short selection, Patzold’s Minuet No. 2 in G Minor, with his signature emotion and technique.

Listen: Enjoy some of Lang Lang’s greatest performances in our Spotify playlist, including works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and others.

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Explore: From the best advice he’s ever received to the type of animal he’d be, learn more about Lang Lang in our rapid fire Q&A on our blog and on social media.


Stream on Facebook HERE (no account needed)

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Join us on Friday, May 15 at 12 PM (EST) as we stream Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon, filmed in 2015 at NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center.

This powerful opera brings together two centuries of Black music to give life to Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed science-fiction novel, with revealing insights on gender, race, and the future of human civilization from Reagon, “one of the most compelling performers on the modern-rock scene,” (New York Times) and her mother, iconic singer and founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock.

After the concert film, Toshi Reagon and Helga Davis (cast member and fellow CPA Creative Futures artist-in-residence) will be live in conversation, moderated by Dr. Danielle Purifoy, Carolina Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Geography at UNC-Chapel Hill and Board Chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network. This event is made possible with the partnership of NYUAD Arts Center and the Butler Estate.

12 PM in North Carolina
8 PM in Abu Dhabi
Stream for free here on #CPAathome, on the Carolina Performing Arts Facebook.

Flashback: RE:Rosas Library Takeover at UNC-Chapel Hill

In October 2019, Carolina Performing Arts collaborated with University Libraries for a series of pop-up performances by UNC students and dancers from ShaLeigh Dance Works in Durham, in advance of CPA’s presentation of ROSAS DANST ROSAS, the work that put choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s company Rosas on the map 30 years ago.

RE:Rosas is an ongoing global project in which anyone can learn the moves to this seminal choreography and upload their video to the Rosas website. This pop-up took place in several segments at UNC’s Davis and Wilson Libraries.

Livestream Parable of the Sower concert version by Toshi Reagon

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We’re partnering with NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center for a stream of Toshi Reagon’s Parable of the Sower concert version by Octavia E. Butler!
WHEN: Earth(seed) Day, Wednesday, Apr 22 at noon EST.
WHERE: Streaming on Facebook via NYUAD Arts Center. See you there!

Compose Carolina: Summer Music Series

UNC Department of Music and Carolina Performing Arts are thrilled to co-host Compose Carolina, a weekly livestream concert series highlighting UNC student and alumni musicians’ original compositions, with conversations led by UNC Department of Music faculty members.

Each week, we’ll welcome a new Carolina composer, including alumni Eliana Fishbeyn, Noah Balamucki, and Christian Cail and students David Green, Alex McKeveny, and James Larkins, who will explore the theme “Looking Forward”—from the literal to the metaphorical—through an original musical piece and performance. They’ll be joined in conversation by UNC Department of Music professors Allen Anderson, Stephen Anderson, and Lee Weisert.

Streaming from Facebook, YouTube, and right here at #CPAathome!

Series schedule:
Friday, June 26, 12 PM with Eliana Fishbeyn
Thursday, July 2, 12 PM with Noah Balamucki & guest
Friday, July 10, 12 PM with Christian Cail
Friday, July 17, 12 PM with David Green & James Larkins
Friday, July 24, 12 PM with Alex McKeveny
Friday, July 31, 12 PM with James Larkins


Staff features

Mark Steffen, Events Manager

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We are thrilled to introduce you to Mark Steffen, events manager, tea lover, extraordinary meeting leader, and all-around office MVP. Mark works with other UNC departments and student groups who present their work at CPA’s venues, and was one of CPA’s very first staff members.

💼How long have you worked at CPA? 💼
A long time! I started in November 2005, when CPA was only a few months old. It was supposed to be a temp job, but things turned out differently. I like to tell people my very first assignment at CPA was to assemble a particleboard bookshelf for our administrative office, which was in a retail space on Franklin Street near where CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio is now. It’s amazing to see how far CPA has come over the years.

💙What’s your favorite part of your job? 💙
I really enjoy working on multiple, diverse events all at once. You never know who will come knocking on CPA’s door wanting to have an event in one of our spaces. We work a lot with student organizations that put on performances in our spaces, which is really rewarding. They always try their best to put on the best show possible, which sometimes leads to some interesting requests. Like when a fraternity performing in the Step Show asks if they can fly a person in from the grid (No) or when one of the student theater groups asks if they can use fake blood for their performance of Sweeney Todd (Maybe, but we have to test to make sure the fake blood won’t stain the curtains first).

From time to time we’ll also have groups bring big name speakers to our venues. Neil deGrasse Tyson (a personal favorite) once spoke at Memorial Hall and Jimmy Fallon filmed an episode of Late Night on stage at Memorial Hall with President Obama and Dave Matthews as guests. That’s a hard one to beat.

☕Coffee or tea? ☕
Coffee first thing in the morning to wake me up, then tea throughout the rest of the day. Any CPA staff member should be able to vouch for the tea thing [editorial note: we set our clocks by Mark’s teatime].

🌯Where’s your go-to place for takeout? 🌯
I haven’t done a lot of takeout recently, but I’ve definitely been missing Cosmic Cantina. It’s right next to our office at the Porthole Building. When I’m not working from home, it takes all my strength not to eat lunch there every day.

🛶It’s a Saturday afternoon. Where would we find you? 🛶
Hopefully somewhere outdoors, on a walk or in a boat. I have a few favorite places—University Lake, the Occoneechee Speedway Trail, and Saxapahaw along the Haw River.

☀️What’s something that’s been giving you joy through these tougher times? ☀️
There are a lot of things I’m missing right now. Many things I either didn’t use to think about or took for granted. But lately I’ve been using those feelings as excuses to be more mindful and thankful for the things I used to enjoy and will, one day, enjoy again. Trading good mornings with my bus driver (extra special when it’s the CPA bus I’m riding), stores with shelves stocked full of toilet paper, and performances on stages instead of screens and with real audiences too. Those things will come back in time. Hopefully once they do, we will all cherish them a bit more. Thinking that way actually gives me a great deal of joy.

💡What’s the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen?💡
In 2011 CPA presented Black Watch by National Theatre of Scotland. It was a play about a regiment of British soldiers fighting in the Iraq War meant for a black box theater space. This was before CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio existed, so we built the set on stage in Memorial Hall and sat the audience on stage too. It was such an immersive, moving experience. The scale of the performance seemed incredibly huge, with the sounds of explosions making you feel as if you were really on the battlefield. At the same time there were moments that were truly intimate, when you were only ten feet away from an actor portraying a soldier in a way that was based on interviews of real soldiers. It was incredible.

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Our latest #CPAathome staff intro is Ashli York, Ticket Services maven (yes, we’re petitioning to make that her official title).

💼What do you do in your day-to-day at CPA?💼
I work with the Marketing and Communications department to help with sales, customer service and setting up each season in our ticketing system. I also manage the box office, which employs 15 amazing students!

❤️What’s your favorite part of your job?❤️
Our students. They keep the day interesting, and I love being in the Box Office with them when I get the chance.

☕Where’s your go-to place for a caffeine kick?☕
I make my own coffee a lot. Right now I’m using Bean Traders pecan roast.

🍔Best place for takeout on Franklin St.?🍔
Buns. I’m a sucker for Buns.

☀️It’s a Saturday afternoon. Where would we find you?☀️
With my dog, Bagel.

🐶Can we tell people about his extremely popular Instagram?🐶
Haha, yes! Follow him at @bagels_bunch

💡What’s the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen?💡
Deaf West’s revival of Spring Awakening at Brook Atkinson Theatre in NYC. We won the lottery and got first row seats. The actors who were deaf had shadow actors who sung and spoke while they signed. At one point the woman who played Wendla was blindfolded so she couldn’t see or hear. It was a moment of total trust between her and the other actors, and it was amazing.

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Laura Pinto-Coelho, Development Manager, gives us some great recs for when we’re all out and about in the world again.

💼What’s your role at CPA?💼
I support CPA’s development officers with everything from tracking the budget and sending acknowledgment letters after donations to event planning and stewardship.

❤️What’s your favorite part of your job?❤️
The events. I love executing event planning and socializing with our donors.

🍔Where’s your go-to place for food on Franklin St?🍔
Imbibe for a blackened catfish po boy and curly fries.

How about coffee?
Dunkin’ for a hazelnut iced coffee.

☀️It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. Where would we find you?☀️
Playing board games with friends at either Vecino in Carrboro or Bull City Ciderworks in Durham.

💡What’s the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen?💡
When I saw the Tallest Man on Earth in Durham. I listened to him a lot in college, so it was super nostalgic for me.

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24 September, 2019

We’ve got another star staffer to introduce to you this lovely Tuesday!This time we caught up with the radiant Dani Callahan, Business Operations Assistant.

💼What do you do in your day-to-day at CPA?💼
I handle all the daily finances and expenses, anything from artist payments to office supplies.

❤️What’s your favorite part of your job?❤️
I love that I get to touch a little bit of everything at CPA. Whether it’s an artist’s contract or new equipment, almost everything CPA does has to pass through the business office.

Where’s your go-to place for a caffeine kick?
When I was a student it was ExpressOasis, but now it’s The Meantime for a hot caramel latte.

☀️It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. Where would we find you?☀️
In my apartment with the blinds open to let the sun in as I clean. I love cleaning—I like to think if you put love into your laundry, it’ll love you back.

🎉Which performance are you most excited for this season?🎉
London Symphony Orchestra—when they’re here you better believe I’ll be in that auditorium. A close second is “The Future is Female” by Sarah Cahill because the concept is so cool.

💡What’s the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen?💡
In high school, a lot of my friends were in the musical “Footloose.” I wasn’t because I had stage fright, but I went to see it. It was TERRIBLE, haha, but I loved it because it was all my best friends on stage.

16 October, 2019

Celebrating today with another staff intro! Today we caught up with Patron Services Coordinator (and CPA Instagram takeover celebrity) Idalis Payne.

💼What’s your role at CPA?💼
Essentially, I handle the day-to-day tasks in the box office and the prep work for audience services. I’m also often on the ground for events, kind of as a jack of all trades for ticket and audience services.

❤️What’s your favorite part of your job?❤️
The students. When I was an undergraduate at UNC I worked as a student, too. Patrons might not realize just how much happens at CPA because of the work of our student staff.

🍔Where’s your go-to place for food on Franklin St?🍔
McDonald’s for a 10 piece chicken nugget with fries and a coke.

☀️It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. Where would we find you?☀️
Chilling on my bed watching YouTube or playing with my cats.

🎉Which performance are you most excited for this season?🎉
The Soul Rebels with special guest Big Freedia! I can’t wait for the energy at that performance.

💡What’s the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen?💡
Can I have two favorites? Boots Riley and The Coup at CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio because of the amazing atmosphere, and Wild Up: We the People because it was so community oriented. I actually got to be in the community chorus in that show, which was so cool.


Staff Picks

Brad’s Strongman/woman Workout

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For our production team, strength-building often inadvertently happens on the job with tasks like weight-loading, building platforms, and loading in gear. Brad Munda, Production Manager, takes it one step further as a Strongman competitor. Here, he gives us a glimpse into his training and invites you to safely join along.

Hello, my name is Brad Munda and I have been competing in Strongman competitions for a little over a year now. It began when The Official Strongman Games came to a Raleigh a couple of years ago, and I decided I had to go watch. While there, I met a man who ran a gym for Strongmen/women and powerlifting. It turned out that he was hosting a competition in a few months, and after a good deal of conversation I decided to give it a shot. The day of my first competition was life changing. Since then, I have competed a couple more times and have a great coach, and I have a few more competitions in the months ahead.

I compete in the <200lb weight class which is either a light weight or middle weight, depending on which organization’s rules you are competing under. I never thought I’d be able to compete in something like this, but I’ve always been amazed by it. It is really cool to see what the human body is capable of when you see people lift large stones or pull buses.

Strongman/woman training and competing can be done by anyone, and the community is very welcoming and supportive. Some of the best friends and training partners I have made during my time have been people I’ve competed against. Strongman/woman competitions are places you’ll see someone either successfully complete or fail a lift/event and then immediately go cheer on their competitors. And, since this is an international sport (it is much bigger in Europe), the online community is strong. If you are ever thinking of starting or just want more information there are Facebook groups such as Starting Strongman or Strongman DIY that have a ton of info and helpful members.

Strongman/woman Exercise Sampler

Many of these are technical lifts, so you should consult an expert before trying them. Most of this equipment and training implements I had or built prior to quarantine. [EDIT NOTE: Exercises are in order of their photos and videos in the Instagram post above. Scroll up to follow along.]

Farmer Hold: This lift is great for grip strength (which is very important in Strongman). It’s similar to the Dinnie Walk (below), but stationary.
At home: Grab your paint buckets or water jugs, pick them up, and hold them where your arms naturally fall at your hips. Try to increase your weight and the length of time as you progress.

Deadlift: A staple in every strength athletes training, many competitions have some form of deadlift as one of the events. It may be max weight, deadlift for reps, car deadlift, etc. Probably the best exercise there is and my favorite.
At home: This one has basic of movements and is easy to replicate. You start with the weight on the ground and pick it up. You can do this with anything that you can squat down and pick up with i.e. a bookbag filled with books, sandbag, a stone, water jugs, etc.

Axle Clean and Press: An axle bar is common in Strongman competitions for pressing overhead and for deadlifts. An axle is 2” wide which is twice the width of a standard barbell, so it taxes your grip. It is also a solid piece, so the weights won’t spin like a traditional barbell.
At home: An axle is significantly cheaper than a barbell, but it’s basically a piece of 1.5” Schedule 80 pipe with flanges welded on to keep the weights from sliding. You could simulate this exercise by weighing down a backpack, picking it from the ground, and pressing it over your head.

Zercher Deadlift into Squat: This is how I have been practicing squats at home without a rack. These have great carryover benefits to atlas stones and they work your arms pretty well. Zercher squats and carries are common in our sport; I have a competition in the fall that has a max effort Zercher deadlift into squat.
At home: Hug a bookbag filled with weight in your arms in front of you and squat. Make sure you break parallel, i.e. your hip crease is below your knees.

Throw Weight Practice: Since I dabble in Highland Games, I have made my own throw weight primarily for Weight Over Bar practice. It weighs 3 stones, or 42lbs.
At home: Be very careful when it comes to throwing weight, especially above your head! You can simulate this with a kettlebell if you have one.

Dinnie Stone Walk: This exercise works everything: core, grip, legs, and back. It helps when you want to only take one trip to bring in the groceries.
At home: Grab paint buckets or water jugs and pick them up. Walk in a straight line and either drop them, turn around, pick them back up and walk back or make the turn while keeping hold. If the weight gets high, you might throw off your balance with a turn.

–Brad Munda

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In our latest staff pick, Olivia Begos, our marketing and communications student assistant, shares how she’s staying active and setting goals while social distancing.

Basically, the only thing I’ve been doing in quarantine besides eating has been working out. Is that a good combo? Idk… Here are some things I’ve been finding very motivational in getting up, getting outside, and moving my body to get out of the isolation rut.


Set a goal for yourself and stick with it! Whether you’re sitting at a desk, looking at your phone, puttering around the house, or reading a book all day, give yourself a goal of getting up and getting your blood pumping for at least 30 minutes a day. Maybe a goal of yours has been to run a marathon, or a 5K, or to START running. Get out there and do it! There’s no time like the present.

If you have a smartphone, a computer, a notebook a sticky note – ANYTHING – start your day by writing five goals you have for the day and/or the week. For example:
– Run for 60 minutes straight this week
– Deep clean and declutter my room
– Stretch and recovery for my body
– Play fetch with my dog
– Bake my favorite dessert


Motivate yourself to get up and get moving by putting on your favorite pump-up music before you’ve started. Here are some of my favorite motivational mixes for all kind of exercise:

Lactic Acid Run 175 BPM
Motivation Mix
Pumped Pop

Apple Music:
Soul Cycle Ride to the Beat
Pure Workout


Yoga is a really good way to move your body inside or outside. If it’s raining, set up a towel or lie on a rug for a quick, relaxing, low-impact workout.
@yogawithadrienne is a really good YouTube channel for all ages, skill levels, and needs.
Core Power Yoga is offering free on-demand yoga workouts! These are high intensity and are guaranteed to get you sweating.

Put on a podcast and go for a walk. This is another great, low impact way to get your body moving and refresh your mind if you’ve been sitting at a computer all day. Remember to wear your mask and practice social distancing! Here are some podcasts I’ve been loving:
Happy Hour
The Daily
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
The Moth

If you’re looking for a high impact, high sweat workout, here are some YouTube channels that are constantly uploading new ideas for at-home workouts.
Chloe Ting
Sydney Cummings

Whether indoor or outdoor, biking is a great high intensity, low impact workout.

Apps like NikeRun, MapMyRun, Couch to 5K are great options for new or experienced runners. Couch to 5k is an app that offers guided runs to increase your distance and speed. Great for beginners!

Above all, make sure to listen to your body. If you’re sore and tired, maybe take a day off from getting after it. But if you’re feeling sluggish, unmotivated, tired, get up and get outside for a change of pace and scenery. If it’s raining, try yoga or meditation, it’s always good to take your eyes off of the screen every once in a while. You’ve got this!

– Olivia Begos

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Stay Home and Stream: A What to Watch guide from CPA’s Patron Services Coordinator

Hey y’all! Hope this time at home is treating you all kindly, as it’s not a normal time. Many of us are having to transition to a work-from-home lifestyle which, I’ll admit, hasn’t been super easy – at least not for me. Although this is a challenging time, trying to retain a sense of normalcy and comfort has been a major key to me keeping some of my sanity. Below are four shows that currently have my attention.

Gilmore Girls – Netflix

Quality wholesome television. A pop culture classic. I’m on my first watch of seeing the Gilmore women take on the world, and I can’t complain. If I had to pick a small town to live in, it’d be Stars Hollow. One of the few shows where I don’t have the urge to press the “skip intro” button, mainly because I can’t help but sing along to the theme song, “Where You Lead” by Carole King.

3rd Rock from the Sun – Amazon Prime Video

Oh, the nostalgia. For some reason, I have very vivid memories of watching reruns of this show during the early mornings when I was home from elementary school. I’ve been working my way through this comedy since last fall, but now that we’re in full social distancing mode, I’ve found myself going back to this comedy. Quite frankly, I’d give almost anything to be Sally Solomon right now because who wouldn’t want to be an alien during a pandemic?

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness – Netflix

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge binge watcher. Every time I’ve tried, I usually don’t succeed. But y’all, Tiger King is just that wild – it’s worth the binge. There are only 7 episodes, not including the after show hosted by Joel McHale. Each episode is like traveling further down a never-ending rabbit hole of things that really happened. Even if you’ve been fighting the urge to watch because you don’t want to seem too mainstream, I guarantee you it is worth caving to peer pressure. This series does depict some very heavy topics and even though they aren’t always presented in a serious manner, I encourage everyone who watches to take a step back when necessary.

Good Mythical Morning – YouTube

Led by North Carolinians Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, Good Mythical Morning (GMM) has recently been a source of many early morning laughs – which are definitely needed during this strange time. Honestly, GMM is one of my favorite channels on YouTube and while we’re holed up, I highly recommend giving them a watch. Most of the videos are no longer than 20 minutes and sometimes feature special guests, which makes whatever challenge, game, or taste test that much funnier.

-Idalis Payne

Carolina Performing Arts interim executive and artistic director James Moeser has gone into his archives to put together a Spotify playlist of beloved classical and jazz pieces—including some works for organ that he himself has played as a concert organist.

Watch his intro and then add his new playlist, featuring music both familiar and rare, into your rotation. Read on for some insights into his choices.

“Putting together this playlist was a great reminder to play this music we love so much. So, now we will be listening along with anyone who listens to it through #CPAathome.”

Take Five: The father of modern jazz—the best single jazz composition of all time by the best jazz group ever.

Ave Maria: When we lived in Lincoln, NE, the recording of this by the Dale Warland Singers was played continuously by the local NPR station.

This Time the Dream’s on Me: This is a live recording, performed by Marian McPartland, our favorite jazz pianist who performed at CPA in its very first season.

The Little Green Lane: This recoding by The King’s Singers is one of our favorites on this album!

Grand Choeur Dialogue: This piece for two organs by Eugene Gigout is a special one for me and Susan. We performed it live together at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska during a recital Susan was giving. You can listen to the recording of that performance here. There is a long pause before the music starts. Susan is on the big organ in the front of the church. The first sound is from the back organ, which was the one I played. Since it was Susan’s recital, we did not indicate on the program that I was going to play at all—I was then the chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and no one had ever heard me play before, so it was kind of a big surprise.


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If you’re like us, you might be starting to run low on cooking inspiration after all these days at home. We called in Ellie Pate, artistic coordinator and chef of some of the most delicious work lunches at the CPA office, to lend us some inspiration. Whether you’re vegan, looking to jazz up your meals with more veggies, or just want to learn how to make the most beautiful pizza we’ve ever seen, read on.

CPA: What are some good plant-based pantry staples to have on hand?
Ellie Pate: One of my favorite things about being vegan is that you can make so many different things out of the same food staples if you have basic spices. I always keep the following on hand, and use generously:
i. Garlic (I always use fresh and usually double the amount)
ii. Ginger
iii. Basil
iv. Oregano
v. Rosemary
vi. Coriander
vii. Cumin
viii. Nutritional yeast !!!
ix. Black pepper

CPA: Favorite single ingredient?
EP: I find many people aren’t big fans of mushrooms, but I love them and eat them probably every other day. They are the only plant-based source of vitamin D (important when we’re stuck inside all day!) and are actually really versatile in the ways they can be used. My go-to way to prepare them is to dry-sauté them by adding them, sliced, directly onto a pan over medium heat without any oil. When they get a little tender, add your spices (I like cooking them in rosemary, basil, and oregano). This method allows them to release water as they heat up, so they won’t stick and they’ll absorb flavor better. Try it this way if you usually find mushrooms too slimy! Add to pasta, pizza, mix in with rice, bake with potatoes, stir fry it, do whatever you want. I like to eat them with steamed garlic greens.

CPA: What’s your advice for meal-prepping?
EP: Most of my meals are basically vegetables on some sort of “base”, like rice, pasta, or quinoa. Some of my favorite ways to avoid eating pasta three days a week are to make polenta, gnocchi, and pizza! (We all have the Italians to thank.)

IMG_1457-minFor pizza, I usually just get pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s, but its pretty easy to make yourself too. Throw veggies on there–so easy. For the pictured pizza, first take dough out of fridge to rest for 20 mins. Meanwhile, cut up desired vegetables into bite sized pieces. Here, I used mushrooms, half one green pepper, half one large onion, (thinly sliced), broccoli (stems cut off, about 1 inch pieces), a handful of spinach, chopped grape tomatoes, and 3 minced cloves of garlic. Put them all in a bowl and drizzle 2 or more tablespoons of oil (I recommend grapeseed or olive), and then 1 tsp of each rosemary, oregano, and basil, and ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper to taste. I also added a good amount of nutritional yeast to get a cheesy flavor, but I put that on everything! Mix so everything looks evenly coated. Roll out dough to about 12 inches across and just thin enough not to tear. Add marinara/ pizza sauce and use the back of a spoon to cover the dough. Top with the veggies to desired thickness, and bake according to dough instructions.

Voila! (I had a lot of the veggie mix left over and ate it with pasta the next day for dinner)

CPA: Give us your best plant-based wisdom.
EP: Embrace the chickpea.

CPA: Best quick meal or snack?
EP: Omg, sweet potato and avocado sandwiches are GREAT. I bake my sweet potatoes in the microwave because its fast – just stab with a fork all over and put it in there for 4-8 mins depending on the size of the potato. Smear these things on toast and put a little salt and pepper – so good, and an easy lunch when you’re working from home.

CPA: What’s a good way to add a little pizzazz to a meal?
EP: Consider adding nuts to top things off and add flavor, texture, and protein! I found a whole bag of frozen walnuts in my freezer and have been experimenting with just toasting them in a pan and adding them to sautéed kale or pancakes.

CPA: What kind of bread should we be baking while social distancing?
IMG_1450-minEP: If you’re looking for a project, start making sourdough bread. It is a fun experiment and a way to eat bread that is kind of healthy (yay probiotics!)! There’s lots of resources online, but the way to start is to mix equal parts flour and water (leave a glass of tap water out for 8 hours first to evaporate off any chlorine, because it will kill the yeast) in a glass or steel bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. After 24 hours, pour off 2/3 of it, and add equal parts flour and water again. Do this every day for about 5 days – it should start smelling nice and yeasty. When its nice and bubbly (kinda foamy), drop a little of it into a glass of water. If it floats, it’s ready to use. If it sinks, feed and check on it again in about 4 hours, and then at 8 hours, then at 12.

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To be (read), or not to be (read): CPA’s associate director of marketing and communications on her book pile

“It’s safe to say we’ve all got a little extra time on our hands in these strange new days. To make sure I’m not simply going from my computer screen to the TV screen, I’m getting outside for walks and making a real dent in my to-be-read pile (don’t worry: it’s still pretty big). Here are some books I’ve recently loved—I realize none of them are performing arts-related, but as Rory Gilmore once said, “’my interests are teasingly diverse.’”
-Christina Rodriguez

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
I started reading Ruth Reichl’s food memoirs when I was in high school and it was a treat to live inside her brightly painted world again as she recalls the final years of Gourmet magazine. Plus: the title references the famous and wonderful William Carlos Williams poem.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Despite being a little embarrassed to admit, as a former book editor, that I had never picked up one of Whitehead’s books before, I tore through this novel in 24 hours. What a beautiful and heartbreaking work of fiction about one of the darkest times in this country’s history.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This novel by a retired wildlife biologist was a sleeper hit. Blockbuster or no, it is a gorgeously rendered mystery wrapped up in a bildungsroman—and it’s set right in North Carolina. At a moment when most of us probably aren’t getting enough time in nature, Owens’s writing will make you feel like you’re out motoring around in protagonist Kya’s little boat in the wilds of our state.

Indian-ish by Priya Krishna
You might know Priya, as I do, from Bon Appetit’s videos or magazine. In this unique cookbook, she breaks down her Indian-American family’s style of cooking in a really fun and approachable way. Plus, perhaps you, like me, have loads of dried beans and legumes lying around and don’t know what to do with them. May I suggest Priya’s Lemony Lentils and Rice for your supper?


Home Office Highlights

Visit CPA everyday with our zoom backgrounds

From an on stage appearance with Tierra Whack to dancing with Martha Graham dancers and more, join your next Zoom call in style with our downloadable Carolina Performing Arts Zoom backgrounds.


From our four-legged coworkers to home office tours and more, check back here often for the latest from CPA’s staff at home!