After a five-year closure for renovations, Johnston Community College’s Paul A. Johnston Auditorium is back and better than ever with the announcement of its 2023-2024 Donnie E. and Linda Vann Lassiter Performing Art Series.

“We want the auditorium to be a part of this community once again, as well as for it to be a destination for visitors to Johnston County,” Lindquist adds.

The season will reopen with 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder on September 15, 2023. Following that, English rock band Modern English, famous for their songs “Melt with You” and “Hands Across the Sea,” will perform on September 29. On November 11, JCC will welcome American blues, R&B, and rock n’ roll band The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

The stage in Paul A. Johnston Auditorium at JCC in Smithfield, NC.

Celtic Angels Christmas will perform on Monday, December 4 to help Johnston County ring in the holiday season. Ring in the new year with laughter from award-winning comedian George Wallace on January 20, 2024 and attend the “must-see” canine cabaret Mutts Gone Nuts on February 2. The season will close with contemporary Christian pop icon Amy Grant on April 14, 2024.

Since 1989, the auditorium has been known in the community as a venue for world-class performing arts in Johnston County. Before the concert series was paused in 2015, it brought a diverse and talented array of performers to Smithfield, including Doc Watson, Tim Hawkins, 3 Dog Night, Jerry Reed, and David Allen Coe. It was also the home of the much-loved Country Music Showcase, which highlighted local and up-and-coming country performers.

“We are incredibly happy that the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium can attract these high-caliber acts to Johnston County,” says JCC President Dr. Vern Lindquist. 

23-24 Stage Series Artist Line-up Graphic for Paul A. Johnston Auditorium

Season ticket subscriptions are on sale now and start at $210. Subscribers get 10% off the individual ticket cost as well as early access to seat selections and subscriber-exclusive events. Individual tickets are on sale and range from $15-$125. For more information about the series or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at 919-209-2099.

“We are blessed to have The Paul A. Johnston Auditorium in Johnston County. It has been a long time since we have experienced the performances that once lit the stage. I am excited to see the lineup of talent the team at JCC have worked so diligently to offer for the coming year and I encourage everyone in the community to purchase tickets and come experience some great entertainment,” says series’ sponsor Donnie Lassiter.

The stage lighting in Paul A. Johnston Auditorium at JCC in Smithfield, NC.