Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions we often receive from Penn State students. We hope our answers are helpful.

What is the Center for the Performing Arts? 

The Center for the Performing Arts, an engagement unit of the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State, presents diverse professional touring performances, organizes a broad program of educational activities, manages an auditorium, and provides production, ticketing, and audience services for the University Park campus and community organizations in numerous venues. Center for the Performing Arts programs incorporate an array of music, dance, and theatre presentations for all ages. Education programs that serve the University and community involve artist residencies, master classes, School-Time Matinees, workshops, symposiums, and publications. The Center for the Performing Arts also has a distinguished history of commissioning works by artists in various genres. 

In which venues on campus do you present programs? 

Eisenhower (2,600 seats) and Schwab (900 seats) auditoriums, plus Pasquerilla Spiritual Center (475 seats) 

Are jobs available for students at the Center for the Performing Arts? 

Yes. Penn State students are a vital part of the Center for the Performing Arts. Students fill many of the behind-the-scenes employment opportunities. Employment at Penn State is contingent upon a successful background check. We employ an average of 150 students each year to work in the ticketing, audience services, audience development, artist hospitality, and production departments. Many learn skills and techniques that either supplement academic experiences or lead students to new career options. 

If you want to work in the theatre, we offer work-study positions in our Arts Ticket Center and Audience Development Department, as well as part-time wage-payroll positions for backstage and front-of-house. The application and contact name for each area can be found at Center for the Performing Arts jobs. We also offer unpaid internships in the Marketing and Communications Department through the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. If you are pursuing an undergraduate degree in the College of Communications, you can gain valuable experience working in the marketing department 8 to 10 hours a week while earning credits toward your degree. 

Do students receive discounts on tickets? 

Thanks to funding received from the University Park Student Fee Board, the Center for the Performing Arts is able to offer discounted tickets to University Park students. Each full-time student, with a University Park student ID, is eligible to receive one discounted ticket per event.

Does the Center for the Performing Arts offer free events? 

The Center for the Performing Arts offers a variety of student and community engagement opportunities through abundant artist residency activities and master classes, interactive lectures, free coffeehouse-style artist presentations, and more. Our visiting artists can often be found in classrooms sharing their work and knowledge with students, whether it is a specific music master class or a course on the use of social media in the arts, a presentation on teamwork, or a panel discussion on a topic relevant to the thematic ideas in an artist’s program. We make every effort to build curriculum connections for students with the artists we present. 

I was in plays and musicals in high school. How can I do that here? 

The Center for the Performing Arts is not a producer of performances; we are a presenting organization. We contract with professional touring companies, world-renowned musicians, dance companies, and artists from across the planet. We bring programs to campus in a full schedule of diverse events that happen September through April. As a full-time Penn State University Park student, you are eligible for one discounted ticket for each event in the center’s season, which features national touring Broadway productions, jazz, classical and world music, dance, contemporary circus, and more. More than 30 percent of the audience is made up of Penn State students. 

If you are interested in performance majors, please contact the Penn State School of Theatre, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Dance, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in stage management or design and technology with emphasis areas in lighting, sound, costume design, scenic design, or technical direction. 

Can I join clubs and organizations related to performing? 

Yes. More than 1,000 clubs and organizations are available at University Park. Visit clubs and organizations and sort by the category of club you are interested in joining. University Park has dozens of music and performing arts organizations, ranging from groups for students who play specific instruments, such as Guitar Club or Saxophone Alliance, to dance troupes specializing in ballet, hip-hop, Indian, swing, and more. University Park also has choral groups, a cappella groups, comedy and improv groups, and drama and theatre clubs. Visit clubs and organizations to see the full list and the contact name for each group. A Performing Arts Council on campus encompasses many of the clubs and organizations. Visit Performing Arts Council for details. 

Other questions?

If you have other questions, phone the Arts Ticket Center at 814-863-0255 during business hours Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.