Revised: September 3, 2020The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania has announced a fall 2020 digital season that comprises 13 presentations in dance, jazz, early music, and film. Adapting to the current reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, nine performances will be streamed live, in real time, from the Annenberg Center stage. Four recently released independent films will be shown virtually as well. The season opens October 1 with a live performance by dancer Caleb Teicher and beatboxer Chris Celiz.
The Annenberg Center’s live performances will be streamed using state of the art digital technology from the Prince and Zellerbach theatres, via Vimeo. The cameras and related technology to enable high quality live streaming was made possible through a gift from Paul R. Wiggin, a graduate of the Wharton School of Business and a member of the Annenberg Center’s Board of Overseers. The live presentations have been planned with the digital medium in mind. Each of the one-night-only performances will be shorter, will integrate live chat, and conclude with interactive discussions with the creators and performers. Livestreamed performances will be available online for ticket holders for 48 hours after the start time.
“The past six months, while challenging, also gave us an unexpected opportunity to explore new ways of presenting artists,” said Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits. “We’re grateful to Paul for his generous gift. It has enabled us to access tools to innovate within the digital realm, not just offering virtual performing arts to our audiences but supporting artists at the same time.”
We know that people are eager to experience live shows again,” Gruits continued, “and while we can’t gather as an audience just yet, we can offer some very exciting livestreamed presentations, with debut artists, new material, and audience interaction. Further, we’re excited to include four online film showings, presenting inclusive arts programming that promotes cross-cultural understanding while supporting independent film on campus and in West Philadelphia. We look forward to welcoming audiences into our new virtual space.”
Dance performances kick off with the “king of old-school cool” (Dance Magazine) Caleb Teicher, who made a hugely successful Philadelphia debut at the Annenberg Center in 2018, joined by extraordinary beatboxer Chris Celiz (October 1). Critically acclaimed Pam Tanowitz Dance makes its highly anticipated Philadelphia debut (October 15). World-renowned and Philadelphia-grown PHILADANCO returns for an evening of solos and duets followed by discussion with legendary founder and Artistic and Executive Director Joan Myers Brown (October 29). Audience favorite Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, will feature six dancers in a program that previews a new work and gives a surprise world premiere (November 19). And the iconic Martha Graham Dance Company closes out the fall dance season with solos and duets from some of Graham’s signature works and a post-performance discussion with the dancers and company Artistic Director, Janet Eilber (December 10).
Three standout jazz artists will heat up the stage of the Prince Theatre: the Tivon Pennicott Duo, with the multiple Grammy® Award-winning tenor sax player joined by drummer Kenneth Salters (October 22); pianist Sullivan Fortner makes his Annenberg Center debut (December 17); and rising star vocalist Veronica Swift makes her Annenberg Center debut as well (November 12).
Early Music Livestream
Continuing the Annenberg Center’s focus on early music, mezzo-soprano and Penn Department of Music Artist-in-Residence Meg Bragle, and lutenist Richard Stone, co-director of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare, come together for an intimate meditation on music and solitude (November 15).
The Annenberg Center’s new film programming has been curated to complement the performance programming. Four recently released independent films will be shown through an online platform: The Surrogate (October 2), Aviva (November 13), My Darling Vivian (November 20), Two Beats One Soul (December 4).
Livestream subscription packages are on sale now with discounted pricing. Single tickets are $25 for performance livestreams and $10 for films, and will go on sale Monday, September 14.
For more information about these artists and performances, visit the full performance calendar.