Announcing the NEA Big Read Series

July 27, 2020

The Matthews has announced their upcoming season line up for this new year, but with a few changes.

“Normally, we offer an annual Subscription Series which include six productions, but COVID-19 has made booking performers and working with their touring scheduling nearly impossible,” explained Darren Granaas, executive director. “So in order to avoid a surplus of show cancellations, we have decided a smaller season consisting of only three shows that starts in 2021 is going to be more prudent.”

The Matthews is calling this limited series the NEA Big Read Series because each show connects in some way to their upcoming NEA Big Read Novel “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin. 

The three events will run from February – April of 2021.  Because it is a smaller season, tickets prices are $60 for an adult ticket and $25 for both a youth (18 and under) or a BHSU student ticket. Series tickets are on sale now. Each event is also available to the non-subscriber as an individual admission ticket purchase. Individual ticket sales for the series performances go on sale December 1. Drop by the art gallery to buy your tickets during business hours, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., call 605.642.7973, or buy online any time at

A series ticket comes with reserved seats for the whole season. Ticket holders not able to attend a performance are able to give their tickets to anyone for that event. And while refunds are not usually available for sold tickets, Granaas did say that COVID has created a few exceptions. 

“We want people to feel secure that if they purchase series tickets they will get what they paid for. If we have to cancel or postpone an event due to COVID, and the series ticket holder can not see that show, we will allow for refund requests,” Granaas said. “However, our regular refund policy does stand in all non-COVID related conflicts.

Series Line-up

Right in the Eye – A cine-concert celebrating the movie magic of George Méliès: February 26, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

If the imagination were to incarnate, it would not be surprising if it took the form of cinematographer Georges Méliès. Considered by the Lumière brothers as the inventor of the seventh art, he is the man of all superlatives. Inventive, emblematic personality, pioneer and brilliant entertainer. While alive, he revealed the extent of his visionary genius.  “Right in the Eye” much more than a cinema-concert. It shapes an ingenious, poetic and wonderful spectacle.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” National Players Touring Theatre: April 1, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

The National Players are BACK! Fairies, thespians, and runaway lovers all find themselves wandering the forest at night. With the fairy king and queen scheming, the lovers escaping, and the ragtag troupe of actors hastily rehearsing a show for the duke’s wedding tomorrow, what more could go wrong? Get lost in the forest with the National Players in the most epic romantic entanglement of all time. A magical comedy that’s fun for children and adults alike.

Jason Hudy – Mesmerizing Magic : April 9, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Mystery. Intrigue. Comedy. Bewilderment. These are only a fraction of the qualities that Jason Hudy delivers in every single magic performance! Delve into cutting edge magical entertainment that will draw you into the intricate world of illusion, with a ‘one-of-a-kind’ show that will leave you baffled! Jason has performed across the globe for Disney, Chevrolet, ESPN, Hershey, Mitsubishi, Six Flags, and much, much more! Get ready to be immersed in a show that will amaze and amuse you!

About NEA Big Read

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past thirteen years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest

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