Creating conditions for everyday awe - Center for the Performing Arts announces a joyful 2023–2024 season

– by Ellie Aungst

Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts announces a variety of joyful, creative and community-building events for its 2023–2024 event season.

Bijayini Satpathy by Arun Kumar

- Photo taken by Arun Kumar

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, and are available for purchase online; by calling 814-863-0255; or in person from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Programs include Grammy Award-winning classical ensembles and folk musicians; a new adventure starring the world’s favorite pup from Down Under; theater-based solo and group introspective opportunities; classic and modern jazz; upbeat international music; neu-classical Odissi and club-style dance performances; and more.

“Current research on awe highlights the regenerative power of wonder in our emotional and physical lives,” center Director Sita Frederick said. “Through our events, we aim to co-create experiences that design conditions for everyday awe, such as overwhelming beauty, tear-inducing laughter or an unexpected act of kindness from a stranger.”

Visit 2023–2024 Events for more event details about the events and free related engagement programming at

"Current research on awe highlights the regenerative power of wonder in our emotional and physical lives"

- Director Sita Frederick

Fall 2023 events

Fans of all ages of the iconic Australian Blue Heeler can ready dance mode for the live-stage Penn State debut of “Bluey’s Big Play.” The 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, event in Eisenhower Auditorium has an original story by “Bluey” creator Joe Brumm and new music by “Bluey” composer Joff Bush.

Visit “Bluey” at for information about the event and VIP ticket packages.

The free, outdoor Move Mix Festival featuring Red Baraat will provide space for playful town-and-gown mingling from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Eisenhower Auditorium loading dock. Brooklyn-based ensemble Red Baraat melds brass-band jazz, northern Indian bhangra, hip-hop beats, and jam-band ethos for a bold, East-meets-West musical fusion. Local musician Ady Martinez Dancy Party and Penn State dance ensembles Caliente Dance Company and Sher Bhangra also will perform.

Visit Move Mix Festival at to register for free entry.

Blueys Big Play by Darren Thomas

- Photo taken by Darren Thomas

New York-based Emmet Cohen Trio will mark the ensemble’s third performance at Penn State at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, in Eisenhower Auditorium. The artists’ straight-ahead jazz club aesthetic will feature the “full-bodied” vocal talents of Lucy Yeghiazaryan.

Visit Emmet Cohen Trio at For details about a pre-performance artist discussion and a free, public pre-event jam session with Cohen.

“A Thousand Ways: An Assembly”—a modern, immersive theatrical experience written and created by Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, with Andrew Kircher—will make its Penn State debut with multiple performance sessions starting Sept. 30.

The minimalist production by Obie Award-winning creators 600 Highwaymen explores “the fleetingness of an encounter,” Browde said in a recent Zoom conversation with the arts center staff. The one-hour event takes a group of no more than 16 strangers to construct a shared and moving life experience. There will be multiple, unmoderated patron-performances of this event in locations throughout Eisenhower Auditorium:

Center for Performing Arts E Collective and Turtle Island String Quartet

- Photo taken by Andrew Schwartz

  • 1:30, 3 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1;

  • 2:30, 4:30 and 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20;

  • 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 8 and 9; and

  • Noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10.

Visit “An Assembly” at

The contemporary Chicano troubadours of Las Cafeteras mix roots music with Afro-Mexican rhythms and powerful rhymes for a “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock” (Los Angeles Times). The artists will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Eisenhower Auditorium, a return performance since conducting a virtual storytelling workshop in the fall 2022 season.

Visit Las Cafeteras at for event details and information about a pre-event artist discussion.


- Photo courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts

Odissi classical Indian dance master Bijayini Satpathy will make her Penn State debut at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 18 and 19, in Eisenhower Auditorium. In her choreographic debut, ”Abhipsaa—A seeking,” Satpathy expands the parameters of the formal and representational norms of the Odissi tradition through both narrative and non-narrative dances—reimagining classical Odissi forms through modern interpretation. The general-admission event will feature limited seating on stage with the artist.

Visit for more details about the program and about a post-performance artist discussion on Oct. 18.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to Penn State with “Rachmaninov Celebration” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at School of Music Recital Hall. Soprano Erika Baikoff, pianist Gilles Vonsattel, violinist Benjamin Beilman and cellist Clive Greensmith will celebrate the virtuoso pianist’s 150th birth anniversary with a performance of works by the Russian master, Rubenstein, Tchaikovsky, Balakirev, Glinka and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Ephrat Asherie Dance by Larry Glick

- Photo taken by Larry Glick

Learn more about the program, and about a free Classical Coffeehouse event with the chamber ensemble, at

Using anything they can get their hands on (and that travels well) to make noise, the artists of “Stomp” return to the Eisenhower stage with new percussive surprises, updates and additions. The performers will bang on hubcaps, matchboxes, wooden poles and more at the 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, event.

Visit for more information.

Penn State School of Music will feature its popular “Mosaic” performance at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in Eisenhower Auditorium. The annual concert features the Penn State School of Music’s most talented ensembles and soloists.

Visit “Mosaic” at for more info.

Spring 2024 events

Vocal ensembles from Penn State and regional high schools will raise their voices in song in “A Choral Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” The general-admission 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, concert in Eisenhower Auditorium will feature vocal and choral hymns and protest songs that celebrate the legacy of civil-rights champions.

Center for Performing Arts

- Photo courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts

Visit for information.

Harlem-based freestyle hip-hop ensemble Ephrat Asherie Dance will set to stage “Underscored,” a collaborative performance with New York City club legends, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Eisenhower Auditorium. “Underscored” is inspired by generations of urban club dancers and how African and African-America diaspora-inspired styles of freestyle dance are part of a larger conversation.

Visit for more information.

“Johnny Cash—The Official Concert Experience” will use technology to bring the “Man in Black” to the Eisenhower Auditorium stage. The multimedia performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, and will feature video of Johnny from episodes of “The Johnny Cash Show” projected on a screen above the stage while a live band performs and sings in sync to Cash’s hits.

Visit Johnny Cash at for more info.

Center for Performing Arts Cash

- Photo courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts

Future-forward musical thinkers Time for Three will perform in Eisenhower Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, with a performance including songs from the string trio’s 2023 Grammy Award-winning album, “Letters for the Future.” The artists are keen on “utilizing every bit of technique, knowledge and practice that comes from playing the violin,” musician Nick Kendall said.

Visit for information.

Rhiannon Giddens—an eclectic, opera-trained folk artist musician, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, reproduction instrumentalist, podcaster and one of NPR’s “Most Influential Women Musicians of the 21st century”—will make her Penn State debut with a musical event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Visit Giddens at for more information about the event and a pre-performance artist discussion.

Dover Quartet, named one of the greatest string quartets of the past 100 years (BBC Music Magazine), and Van Cliburn International Competition Gold Medal-winning piano soloist Haochen Zhang will share the School of Music Recital Hall stage at a 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, concert. The program will feature ensemble and solo performances by the composers Beethoven, Marc Neikrug and Schubert.

MLK Choir Celebration by Orson Luo

- Photo taken by Orson Luo

For more information about the event, including a related free Classical Coffeehouse featuring Dover Quartet, is available at

Multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard will lead his acclaimed electronic band The E-Collective along with Grammy-winning genre-hybrid ensemble Turtle Island Quartet for “Absence.” The 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, concert in Eisenhower Auditorium will celebrate the legacy of Wayne Shorter, jazz saxophone legend and founder of fusion band Weather Report, and will showcase original works by Blanchard.

Visit “Absence” at for details.

The sextet Coreyah (translated to “good luck whale”) will offer a window into the international folk music scene with a free performance of the artists’ psychedelic take on traditional Korean folk. The 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, event at the HUB-Robeson Center Alumni Hall, is free and open to the public.

Visit for more information and to register for free entry.

Rhiannon Giddens by Ebru Yildiz

- Photo taken by Ebru Yildiz

Through June 2024

The fully narrated 200 Acres app experience, a solo walk “through memories of wildness,” is available to download to a smartphone and to use at one’s leisure.

The walking tour app, which offers fresh perspectives on the university’s original land, history and purpose, is a creative partnership between the Center for the Performing Arts and theater artist Marike Splint. 200 Acres leads the user on an introspective, prompted walk along an accessible one-mile route, leaving from the patio of Eisenhower Auditorium and ending at The Arboretum at Penn State.

Visit to download the app and for more information.


American Sign Language translation will be provided for several performances: “Bluey’s Big Play,” Emmet Cohen Trio, “Johnny Cash—The Official Concert Experience” and Rhiannon Giddens. Contact the Arts Ticket Center via email at or by calling 814-863‑0255 to discuss ASL seating preferences. If ASL translation is needed for any event during the season, please contact the Arts Ticket Center several weeks in advance.

200 Acres Logo 2

- Photo courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts

Audio Description is available for events upon request. Call the Sight Loss Support Group of Central Pennsylvania at 814-238-0132 to make a reservation at least two weeks before the event.

The center welcomes all patrons of with a range of sensory sensitivities. Upon request, patrons will be permitted to sign out a variety of sensory accommodations, including noise-reducing earmuffs, sunglasses and fidget toys.

Learn more about the center’s available Accessibility Services at

Arts Engagement Family Program

Families who meet the eligibility requirement of a household income of $60,000 or less are invited to complete the Arts Engagement Family Program application for reduced ticket prices to Center for the Performing Arts events. The “Bluey’s Big Play” VIP package meet and greet is not available for this offer.

Visit Family Program online at for more information and to apply.

Center for Performing Arts Dover Quartet

- Photo taken by Roy Cox


Patrons should be advised that parking for Center for the Performing Arts events has changed. This year, patrons can prepay for parking using the online portal Park Mobile. The fee, per event, will be $5.50 per car in advance and $10 the day of the event. Parking is assigned for a deck near the event and will be searchable by that event.

Visit Parking at for more information

Center for the Performing Arts 2023–24 Presentations

“Bluey’s Big Play” The stage show
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7
Eisenhower Auditorium

Move Mix Festival * Featuring Red Baraat. With performances by Andy Martinez Dance Party, Caliente Dance Company and Sher Bhangra
5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12
Eisenhower Auditorium loading dock

Center for Performing Arts Coreyah Psychedelic Korean Folk

- Photo courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts

Jam Session with Emmet Cohen *
7-9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18
Recital Hall

Emmet Cohen Trio featuring Lucy Yeghiazaryan
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19
Eisenhower Auditorium

“A Thousand Ways: An AssemblyBy 600 Highwaymen. Written and created by Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, with Andrew Kircher.

  • 1:30, 3:00, and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30
  • 1:30, 3:00, and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1
  • 2:30, 4:30, and 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20
  • 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8
  • 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9
  • Noon, 1:30, and 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Eisenhower Auditorium

Las Cafeteras
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10
Eisenhower Auditorium

Bijayini Satpathy “Abhipsaa—A Seeking”

7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 18 and 19
Eisenhower Auditorium stage

Classical Coffeehouse * featuring Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24
Hintz Family Alumni Center

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center “Rachmaninov Celebration”
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25
Recital Hall

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15
Eisenhower Auditorium

School of Music Feature “Mosaic”
4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3
Eisenhower Auditorium

“A Choral Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20
Eisenhower Auditorium

Ephrat Asherie Dance In collaboration with New York City club legends “Underscored”
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7

Eisenhower Auditorium

“Johnny Cash — The Official Concert Experience”
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20
Eisenhower Auditorium

Time for Three
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28
Eisenhower Auditorium

Rhiannon Giddens
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19
Eisenhower Auditorium

Classical Coffeehouse * with Dover Quartet
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20
Hintz Family Alumni Center

Dover Quartet and Haochen Zhang
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21
Recital Hall

“Absence” Terence Blanchard. Featuring The E-Collective and Turtle Island String Quartet
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10
Eisenhower Auditorium

Coreyah: Psychedelic Korean Folk *
8 p.m. Thursday, April 24
HUB Alumni Hall
*Free event, donation suggested

Artists, programs, dates and times are subject to change.

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The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at