live performance

Theatre Nova /

Raucus, fun, and steeped in tradition, a panto is a theater tradition that has entertained generations of Brits during the holidays. Ryan Mackenzie-Lewis, co-author of Theatre Nova’s production of "A Almost British Christmas" talks about the over-the-top characters and the slapstick comedy of this family-friendly holiday entertainment with "creative:impact" host Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw. 

Ann Arbor District Library /

A number of Ann Arbor's top jazz musicians are playing Friday night, October 22nd at The Blue LLama Jazz Club to raise funds and awareness for the National Kidney Foundation. Among those performing is club owner Don Hicks, who talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about who and what to expect.

Zal Gaz Grotto /

Founded in 1911, the Zal Gaz Grotto is steeped in the history of masons wanting to cultivate sunny cheerfulness and indulgence in healthy merriment and joyful laughter. A simple building on West Stadium, it is a home for local jazz and rock bands and attracts an eclectic audience. Bob Hospardaruk is a master mason and serves as secretary of the club. He joins Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw on this edition of "creative:impact."

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra /

Music director Adam Riccinto and the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra are returning to the stage after 20 months of being unable to perform together due to COVID-19. The YSO is relaunching its regular performing season with a “Welcome Back” concert at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 10 at 3:30 p.m. The family-oriented concert is focused on reconnecting the local community with Ypsilanti’s hometown orchestra and will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Franz Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, and special features highlighting the orchestra’s string, woodwind, and brass sections.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Riccinto about the upcoming performance and the pandemic experience on the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra. 

Deb Polich / Creative Washtenaw

What we’d once hoped was going to be a short little dance number, COVID-19 has turned into a dance marathon. Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair talk about the state of arts + creative industry, now 18 months into this pandemic, on this edition of "creative:impact."


With its last season online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Michigan University Musical Society officials have been planning some in-person performances this coming season.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with UMS president Matthew VanBesien about their plans for the upcoming season and some in-person performance protocols they expect to be announcing soon.

Meg Rohrer /

Founded on the principles--both simple and often overlooked--that concerts should be radically welcoming, accessible, and inclusive, a "Third Place Music Fest" is taking place August 25th-28th at several different locations around Ann Arbor.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with one of the festival's directors, Wesley Hornpetrie, about their mission is to bring together artists and businesses from the region to celebrate the power of the "third place." 

Encore Theatre
The Encore Theatre /

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the local performance arts scene. Lisa Barry talks with a local freelance journalist who specializes in art and culture, Jenn McKee.

Jenn details upcoming, in-person theatre performances planned for the coming months after being mostly online during the pandemic.

State Theatre
Wikipedia Media Commons /

After a week apart, our favorite movie-loving duo is back together. WEMU's David Fair once again gets in touch with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director, Russ Collins, to chat about all of the new and classic films you can check out downtown this weekend. Plus, some live events are coming to the Michigan Theater, as well! 

Detroit Jazz Festival
Knight Foundation/ Creative Commons / Detroit Jazz Festival

WEMU's Michael Jewett chats with the Director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, Chris Collins on the Festival's recent announcement on the return of live performances to the public:

Ypsilanti Frog Island Jazz Series /

Ypsilanti-area residents will be treated to a series of free weekly jazz concerts throughout the summer, thanks to Ypsilanti-based musician John E. Lawrence. Lisa Barry and "On the Ground Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg talk to Lawrence about the upcoming free jazz concert series.

David Zinn / Instagram

Ann Arbor Summer Festival executive director Mike Michelon shared more information about opportunities for live performances for the upcoming Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michelon about the opportunities created this year, which are different from a typical Summer Festival due to the ongoing pandemic.

Jessica Griffin / UMS

After a year of no in-person performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan Musical Society, known as UMS, is announcing its next season, which will include some live events.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with UMS president Matthew VanBesien about what is being offered for the 2021-22 UMS season.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There was a house in Ann Arbor was a place where people could celebrate life with music, poetry, and delicious pancakes.  Patrick Elkins and his friends, who once occupied the so-called "Totally Awesome House," decided to take such a celebration to a wider audience and created the "Totally Awesome Fest" in Ypsilanti.  Elkins joins WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to talk about this year's festival on this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."