The C. Shaw and Nancy K. Smith Artist Series is proud to offer an ever-growing series of entertainment, culture and quality.

The faculty and students who participate in the Union Board Artist Series Committee take great pride in selecting and presenting a series that students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community can all enjoy and experience with their friends and family members.

Reduced Shakespeare Company presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]

Friday, Sept.13, 7:30 p.m.
Duke Family Performance Hall

The Reduced Shakespeare Company is a three-man comedy troupe that takes long, serious subjects and reduces them to short, sharp comedies. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]” is an irreverent and fast-paced romp of all the Bard’s 37 plays in 97 minutes. This was London’s longest running comedy, having spent nine years in London’s West End. Join these madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies in one wild and memorable ride.



Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Duke Family Performance Hall

Nobuntu, the female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices, augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments, and authentic dance movements. The word Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity and family from a woman’s perspective. The ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty and heritage through art. The ensemble’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender and economic boundaries.


Yamato: The Drummers of Japan

Sunday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Duke Family Performance Hall

Yamato was founded in 1993 in Nara, ‘the land of Yamato’, which is said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. Yamato travels all over the world with Japan’s traditional Wadaiko drums, putting its souls into the unusual instruments whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere. They think of the sound of the Wadaiko drums — made of animal skin and ancient trees, some of which are more than 400 years old — as a pulse or heartbeat (Shin-on), the center of life and the source of power which pulsates within the human body. Yamato attempts to create the energy of life, which envelops the audience and performers. What one feels when surrounded by the sound of Wadaiko, brought out by these highly trained performers, is what the Japanese call “Tamashy”, translated as soul, spirit, psyche — the basic elements of life.


Russian National Ballet presents Swan Lake

Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 p.m.
Duke Family Performance Hall

The Russian National Ballet specializes in authentic performances of iconic works in the Russian classical ballet repertoire. Founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s, the company used their new-found creative freedom, influenced by the political movement, to invigorate the tradition of Russian ballet with new developments in dance from around the world. Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The Russian National Ballet brings to life one of the most beloved story book ballets, performed beautifully by a 50-dancer company set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score.



Emily Eisenstadt
Assistant Director for Programs
Alvarez College Union

Shelby Holmes ‘20
Chair, Artist Series Committee

Join the 2019-20 Smith Artist Series Selection Committee
(Davidson students, faculty and staff only)

Special Thanks

We want to thank each of our season subscribers for their patronage last season and look forward to having you join us again this year. We value your feedback and hope that you enjoy this season as much, or even more so, than previous seasons.

We would also like to thank our supporters for this season:

If you're interested in joining this amazing group of people as a supporter of the Smith Artist Series, please contact assistant director for programs, Emily Eisenstadt, at 704-894-2192 or


More than 70 years ago, a series of performances by visiting musicians and choral groups was introduced to students and surrounding community members. In 1975, the students became heavily involved and primarily responsible for the Artist Series, including ticket sales, artist selection, publicity, and the preparation and clean-up of all events. Remarkably, this season marks the 40th Anniversary of the Artist Series. In 2002, the series was named the C. Shaw and Nancy K. Smith Artist Series in honor of C. Shaw Smith, the first College Union Director and his wife, Nancy. Smith served for nearly 30 years and left an everlasting, and often entertaining, impression on the students.