Mark your calendar for these arts events in 2023!

– by Teresa Mull

Happy Valley’s vibrant arts and culture scene is one of the biggest draws for residents and visitors alike. State-of-the-art facilities for the performing arts draw popular tours for large-scale productions, theatre and dance troupes, musical acts of all varieties, comedians and more. From the big stage at Eisenhower Auditorium to a more intimate setting at The State Theatre, every year brings an array of diverse opportunities for all ages. The following is a select highlight of performing arts happening in the area:

Centre Stage Courtesy of Centre Stage 1

- Photo courtesy of Centre Stage

The State Theatre

The theatre of downtown State College hosts an eclectic mix of performers to suit every taste. If “variety is the spice of life,” the State Theatre earns the five-chili-pepper rating from Cozy Thai Bistro! Check out the diverse line-up the State has planned for the second half of 2023.

to view tickets and theatre information click HERE.

Fri, Jul 14, 2023: Not many people can claim to be a “mandolinist,” or to have seen one perform, but you can! Renowned bluegrass musician Sam Bush, who has played with the likes of Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett will be picking away on the State Theatre stage this summer.

Fri - Sun, Jul 21 - 30, 2023: Saint Joan of Arc is known for her bravery and reliance, but in this 90-minute, George Bernard Shaw adaptation of the young saint’s life, the patroness of France gains a more personable dimension as Shaw relates her inner-struggles.

State Theatre Courtesy of The State Theatre

- Photo courtesy of The State Theatre

Fri, Jul 21, 2023: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been around for 30 years now, though one might have guessed it’s been more like 70 years from the sound of this swinging band! Their music is timeless, and after 3,000 live shows, these guys know what they’re doing. Bring your dancin’ shoes.

Sat, Jul 22, 2023: EagleMania, an Eagles tribute band, brings all the classic favorites to the State Theatre with a performance that will be sure to bring back great memories.

Wed, Jul 26, 2023: The Grammy-nominated Crash Test Dummies are back on tour and stopping at the State Theatre to perform the distinctive rock hits that has set them apart over the decades.

Sat, Aug 5, 2023: If you’re into folk and country rock, legendary musician and producer (his career spans five decades!) Jim Messina will not disappoint.

Centre Stage Courtesy of Centre Stage

- Photo courtesy of Centre Stage

Tue, Aug 15, 2023: Samantha Fish is a unique blend of bluesey girl power. She combines her spirited singing with “outlaw country bada**” Jesse Dayton for a night that’s sure to be memorable.

Wed, Aug 16, 2023: Veteran band Asleep at the Wheel relays the joy and pain of love won and lost (and of second chances, too!) and of an Americana lifestyle in the way only western musicians can: with grit, twang, and soul.

Tue, Sep 5, 2023: If you’re into soul, R&B, gospel, blues and rock ‘n roll, chances are The Robert Cray Band is already on your radar. And if it’s not, it ought to be! This five-time Grammy winner Blues Hall of Fame inductee, and Americana Music Awards Lifetime Achievement (Performance) award-winner is the best in the business!

Wed, Sep 13, 2023: Everyone’s Irish on Saint (and State) Patty’s Day, and everyone’s Irish when The High Kings come to town to play their traditional Irish music.

Ukranian Dance Eisenhower Auditorium 1

Thu, Sep 28, 2023: Henry Rollins is back! Rollins, known for his punk rock music and cultural commentary, always has an interesting perspective, and he’ll be sharing his insights on the State Theatre stage as part of his Good To See You tour, with a meet and greet package available.

Mon, Oct 16, 2023 and Fri, Oct 20, 2023: The hilarious cast members you love from Whose Line Is It Anyway? bring their improv skills to make Happy Valley even happier with two night of the Whose Live Anyway? show.

Penn State College of Arts & Architecture

The Penn State College of Arts & Architecture is a “vibrant community of artists, performers, researchers, designers, and educators.” Through The Palmer Museum of Art and the Center for Performing Arts, the college “holds important collections and hosts powerful performances” for the enrichment of the public.

The 2023 Penn’s Woods Music Festival will be held June 21 and will feature a series of classical music performances, held in the A&A recital hall. Throughout the fall semester, brief concerts are held on Thursday afternoons as part of “Bach’s Lunch,” for those who enjoy a mid-week classical pick-me-up during their lunch hour. The concerts are held in Eisenhower Chapel beginning in September. Student recitals and performances by the chamber orchestra are held throughout the school year, and information regarding these events is available HERE. A&A also supports the student-led Centre Stage theatre program, whose 2023-2024 season is available HERE.

Bellefonte Art Museum BAM 2021 IMG 9439

Bellefonte Art Museum

There’s always something percolating at the Bellefonte Art Museum, not only for print artists, but for wordsmiths, too! The Makery at the Museum offers a hands-on crafts activity for visitors, running June 2 - August 27. The museum’s Ekphrastic Poetry Contest is free and open to the public and is ongoing through June 30. Contestants are asked to submit a poem based on their experience of looking at “Jazz II” by Amos Amit, displayed at BAM through Aug. 27. And speaking of August, mark your calendar for Aug. 12 — BAM’s annual Monet’s Picnic! The event involvesa picnic lunch of French Cuisine, exploring beautiful landscapes, and visiting with artists as they paint en plein air.” BAM also hosts the ongoing, free First Sunday event that celebrates new exhibitions and programming that arrive every month. The museum also has on permanent display the Underground Railroad: A Journey to Freedom exhibit.

The Bryce Jordan Center

The BJC is the place to go for big-name acts and to watch Penn State’s top athletes in action. But your tickets now to see country stars Thomas Rhett in concert (September 22), Chris Stapleton (October 6), and Old Dominion (December 1). GRAMMY®-nominated contemporary Christian band MercyMe will take to the big stage on October 7.

Chris Stapleton Courtesy of the Brice Jorden Center 1

- Photo courtesy of the Brice Jorden Center

The Eisenhower Auditorium will welcome some beloved characters this fall with an adaptation of the Emmy Award-winning children’s television series, Bluey. Bluey’s Big Play will take to the stage on September 7 for a live show featuring music and an original story.

The Blue Brick Theatre

The Blue Brick TheatreThe Blue Brick Theatre is “the new home of Happy Valley improv.” Buy tickets online, make pre-show reservations at your favorite restaurant, and prepare to laugh. Performances take place every Friday night at 7 p.m.

Happy Valley Improve Courtesy of Happy Valley Improve 1

The Centre Film Festival

The Centre Film Festival started in 2019, and despite Covid forcing the fest to go virtual, organizers have kept a good thing going! The film fest is happening this year from October 30 – November 5. This unique event features short and feature-length films from established and up-and-coming filmmakers and is held both virtually and on-site at the State Theatre and at Philipsburg’s historic, majestic Rowland Theatre. Save the dates!

For more arts events, visit

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