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

University Park students save an extra 15 percent on arts tickets Aug. 31

With help from a University Park Allocation Committee grant, Penn State students can enjoy live stage productions with a $15-per-event ticket for most of the presentations in the Center for the Performing Arts 2016–17 season.

But for one day, students can save even more. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park students can save an additional 15 percent on tickets to professional music, theater and dance performances scheduled for September through April. Performances take place in Eisenhower and Schwab auditoriums.

The center’s 2016–2017 season features 27 performances, including touring Broadway favorites, hit children’s programs, forward-thinking dance, contemporary circus, evenings of a cappella and musical tributes to history. Touring Broadway productions “42nd Street,” “Once,” “Pippin,” “Rent” and “Annie”—plus Straight No Chaser—are priced higher than $15. But all of the season’s events are eligible for the 15 percent discount Aug. 31.

“Broadway show ticket prices are negotiated with the producers, so we don’t have as much flexibility, but we are still pleased that Penn State students receive the best prices for Broadway and all Center for the Performing Arts productions,” said George Trudeau, the center’s director.

A valid Penn State identification card is required to purchase tickets at the University Park student price. Each eligible student may buy one discounted ticket per event per ID. Friends who want to sit together should purchase their tickets at the same time.

The touring Broadway lineup features productions of the seminal musical comedy “42nd Street”; eight-time Tony Award winner “Once,” based on the Academy Award-winning film about staying true to one’s dream; the Bob Fosse-style choreography and flashy acrobatics of “Pippin”; the 20th anniversary tour of Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning “Rent”; and the return of the red-headed orphan “Annie” from the director of the original 1977 Broadway production.

Contemporary circuses will provide thrills aplenty. Cirque Éloize (the Montreal-based company behind “Cirkopolis,” “iD” and “Rain”) will travel mythically westward with its new show “Saloon, A Musical Acrobatic Adventure.” The production, co-commissioned by the Center for the Performing Arts, tells the tall tales of an adventurous pianist and his capers involving captivating characters inhabiting the Wild West. Three folk musicians perform live music while acrobatic gamblers, the lawful and lawless, gold diggers and barroom showgirls bring this family-friendly “Saloon” to life. Australia’s Circus Oz, a troupe of acrobats, jugglers, aerialists and musicians that a San Francisco Chronicle reviewer calls “punk, undeniably in your face, refreshingly progressive and unapologetically off-color” will show audiences of all ages how easy it is for the human body to defy physics in “Straight Up.”

Classical music ensembles include the 18-member Sphinx Virtuosi, featuring the racially diverse musicians and alumni of the renowned Sphinx Organization’s annual soloist competition. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, guided by Music and Artistic Director Jacek Kaspszyk, will feature soloist Seong-Jin Cho, the first South Korean winner of Poland’s annual Frederic Chopin piano competition. Chamber musicians Inon Barnatan (piano), Anthony McGill (clarinet) and Alisa Weilerstein (cello) will perform works by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven and Mieczyslaw Weinberg. The classical music super group of pianist Wu Han, violinist Philip Setzer and cellist David Finckel will perform a trio of Beethoven works. Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra will perform—from memory— “J. S. Bach: The Circle of Creation,” a multimedia exploration, through the music of Bach and projected images, of the artisans who helped the German composer realize his genius.

A cappella will have a bigger presence this season. Straight No Chaser will celebrate its platinum status with the 10-man ensemble’s “I’ll Have Another … 20th Anniversary World Tour.” Grammy Award-winning Roomful of Teeth will present a planet of vocal techniques through song, including group member Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Partita for 8 Voices.”

The center welcomes dance troupe debuts and returns. Pilobolus will come to Penn State for the first time in four years with “Shadowland,” created by Pilobolus dancers and “SpongeBob SquarePants” lead writer Steven Banks. The production tells the surreal story of a young girl’s foray into puberty and incorporates multiple screens, strategic lighting and front-of-screen choreography. Balé Folclórico da Bahia will present its eighth North American tour, “Bahia of all Colors,” featuring energetic and authentic dance and musical styles from Portuguese, African and Brazilian traditions. Jessica Lang Dance will make its Penn State debut with three choreographed works. Lang, a graduate of The Juilliard School, is a former dancer with Twyla Tharpe’s company Tharpe!

The jazz concert lineup will kick off with “Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute,” an homage to the American bandleader, baritone and composer, featuring pianist Ramsey Lewis and guitarist-vocalist John Pizzarelli. Bria Skonberg Quintet—lead by a Canadian-born trumpeter, vocalist and composer and winner of four 2014 Hot House Jazz Awards—will make its Penn State debut. Postmodern big band Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society—creator of two Grammy-nominated albums—will present “Brooklyn Babylon,” a multimedia urban fairy tale co-created by visual artist Danijel Zezelj. Fred Hersch, described as one of the decade’s most innovative jazz pianists, will make his Penn State premiere with his trio and special guest clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen, who will make her third appearance at the university.

World music comes in different forms this season. Bang on a Can All-Stars, featuring co-founder and eastern Pennsylvania native/resident Julia Wolfe, will return to Penn State with “Anthracite Fields,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning work of all-American musical folklore that follows the life of a coal miner. The performance features an oratorio for chorus, which will be sung by Penn State Concert Choir directed by Christopher Kiver. The eclectic DakhaBrakha mixes traditional sounds of Ukraine with punk-pop, organic trance, and call-and-response harmonies. The self-described “ethno-chaos” world-punk quartet made its way to the United States via an invitation from GlobalFest in 2014 and performed at that year’s Bonnaroo music festival.

En Garde Arts, the company behind the 2014–15 season’s “Basetrack Live,” returns to Penn State with its documentary-style theater production “Wilderness,” a multimedia piece revealing the struggles of teens and twentysomethings in their fight against addiction and depression.

This fall’s Integrative Arts 005 live performance requirement options include Cirque Éloize’s “Saloon,” Sphinx Virtuosi, “Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute,” Pilobolus, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Straight No Chaser.

Learn more about Center for the Performing Arts events.

Below are the presentations, dates and discounted prices available to University Park students from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 31 at Eisenhower Auditorium.

$12.75 per ticket:

• Cirque Éloize “Saloon, A Musical Acrobatic Adventure,” Sept. 21

• Sphinx Virtuosi, “Latin Voyages: Viajes Latinos,” Sept. 29  

• “Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute” featuring Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli, Oct. 13  

• Pilobolus, “Shadowland,” Oct. 18

• “Odd Squad Live!” Oct. 25  

• Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Jacek Kaspszyk, music and artistic director; and Seong-Jin Cho, pianist, Oct. 28  

• Roomful of Teeth, Nov. 17

• Bria Skonberg Quintet, Nov. 30  

• “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!” Jan. 15  

• Inon Barnatan, piano; Anthony McGill, clarinet; and Alisa Weilerstein, cello, Jan. 23

• Circus Oz, “Straight Up,” Feb. 7

• Balé Folclórico da Bahia, “Bahia of All Colors,” Feb. 14

• Wu Han, piano; Philip Setzer, violin; and David Finckel, cello, Feb. 23

• “Brooklyn Babylon,” created by Darcy James Argue and Danijel Zezelj, Feb. 28

• Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, “J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation,” March 2

• En Garde Arts presents “Wilderness,” March 15

• “A Year with Frog and Toad,” March 19

• Fred Hersch Trio with special guest Anat Cohen, March 28

• Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields” featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars with Penn State Concert Choir conducted by Christopher Kiver, March 30

• DakhaBrakha, April 4

• Jessica Lang Dance, April 12

$37.83 and $29.33 per ticket:

• Straight No Chaser, “I’ll Have Another … 20th Anniversary World Tour,” Nov. 11  

$39.95 and $32.30 per ticket:

• “42nd Street,” Jan. 17  

• “Once,” Jan. 31  

• “Pippin,” March 21  

• “Rent,” April 6  

• “Annie,” April 18