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

The Center for the Performing Arts 2020–21 Season: What You Need to Know

Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding our 2020–21 season. We will update the information as we receive more guidance from the University. Send your inquiries about our upcoming season to Director George Trudeau at cfpa@psu.edu.

Q: How many performances will take place in spring 2021?

A: We anticipate presenting fewer performances than usual due to challenges for touring companies. All spring 2021 performances will take place in Eisenhower Auditorium, where we can safely socially distance audiences.

Q: Will nationally touring Broadway productions be among the events presented in spring 2021?

A: Probably not. Large musical productions, which feature many performers singing and dancing on stage, have been cited by medical experts as potentially hazardous during a pandemic. Also, due to physical distancing requirements, the reduced size of potential audiences for such events makes them financially unsustainable.

Q: When will tickets go on sale for spring 2021 presentations?

A: That decision has not been made, but it will likely be in December or early January. The public will receive ample notice in advance of the on-sale dates. As in the past, tickets will go on sale first to Center for the Performing Arts members.

Q: What kind of alternative presentations will you present in fall 2020?

A: We will present a free online series called Up Close and Virtual, which will feature an ever-evolving lineup of artists. Our focus will continue to be on the genres we actively present and artists with whom we have enjoyed a relationship, or new artists who we plan to present in the future.

We also are introducing the Fierce Urgency Festival, a three-year series of events focused on Black artists and designed to highlight, feature, and educate about artists and art forms of color. The festival will include multiple week-long residencies with Mwenso and The Shakes to spur immersive experiences through curricula, the community, and themed performances.  

In each edition of our emailed newsletter Looking Forward—and on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social media platforms—we regularly share links to free streamed events our audience may find of interest. You can sign up for Looking Forward by becoming an Arts Insider.

Q: When you resume presenting live performances, what precautions will you take to help ensure the safety of patrons?

A: The health and safety of all is our highest priority. We plan to meet or exceed all requirements set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state government, and the University, and will be consistent with all College of Arts and Architecture public facing facilities.

Our extensive professional networks are providing us with detailed opening guidelines based on the most current medical and epidemiological advice and recommendations.

Some safety measures audiences can expect include timed entrances and exits, and spaced seating to ensure social distancing. Face coverings will be required. Touchless ticket scanning stations will minimize contact with staff. When possible, shorter performances without intermissions will help further ensure a safe environment.

We will share our complete reopening plan and guidelines for audiences this fall. Patrons will receive up-to-date information on safety protocols prior to each performance.

Q: How can I contact the CPA staff?

A: All center staff members continue to work remotely at this time. For general inquiries, please email cfpa@psu.edu, call 814‑863‑0255, or browse the staff directory.

Q: How can I help to support the Center for the Performing Arts through these extraordinary and challenging times?

A: Our community has been wonderfully supportive over the past few months, and we are extremely grateful. We continually think about ways we can be helpful to our community as we all deal with the impacts of the pandemic.

Our members continue to renew their memberships and, in many cases, increase their support. We have been in contact with our program sponsors, advertisers, and hospitality partners who have expressed strong interest in continuing to partner with us.

We encourage all our constituents to become center members, as this support helps us to fund programs and initiatives that often do not have other sources of financial assistance.

For more information on donating and supporting the center, please contact Jara Dorsey-Lash, associate director of development, at 814‑863‑1167 or jed72@psu.edu.