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Penn Live Arts Blog

Celebrating our 50th Anniversary – Announcing the 22/23 Season

Posted May 5, 2022

A Legacy of Innovation

In 1971, the Annenberg Center opened as a gift to Penn and Philadelphia, aiming to promote innovation in the performing arts. Now, over 50 years later, we joyously reflect on our legacy, the thousands of artists that enlivened our stages and the millions of people brought together by the transformational power of live performance. It’s a history we are incredibly proud of, one that championed icons and rising stars, amplified diverse voices and illuminated adventuresome perspectives on our world. As we celebrate, we look back and forward in the same moment, seeing our past reflected in the vision for our future, our next 50 years and beyond. Read more...

Recent Highlights: Jan – Mar 2022

Posted April 12, 2022

We kicked off the second half of the season, especially rich and robust in programs, with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. This impressive ensemble of all-male dancers wowed with their technical expertise and en pointe work, but also allowed us an opportunity to share collective laughs as they poked fun at some of ballet’s traditions. Both The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Gay News ran profiles of Trocks dancers with Philadelphia ties, and NBC10 picked up footage of the first performance for their 11 PM newscast. Read more...

5 Questions with Martin Luther McCoy

Posted March 22, 2022

We can’t wait for SFJAZZ Collective to return to our stage on April 3. The ensemble, hailed as “contemporary jazz's premier all-star band” by The New York Times, will debut new compositions and welcome several members to its fold, in a perfect kick-off to Jazz Appreciation Month. In anticipation of their upcoming performance, we caught up with vocalist Martin Luther McCoy to learn more about his process, influences and upcoming projects in just five questions. Read more...

Learn more about the Sachs Program

Posted March 21, 2022

Primary Prism by Philadelphia artist Isaac Tin Wei Lin
Hello Penn Live Arts patrons and blog followers! My name is John McInerney and I am the Executive Director of The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. Our thanks to the team at Penn Live Arts for inviting us to contribute to the PLA Blog.

If you are a Penn Live Arts subscriber, you may not have heard of us before. The Sachs Program is a relatively new initiative at Penn, founded in 2017 with a gift by Penn alumni Keith and Kathy Sachs. Our mission is to support and inspire creative practice and practitioners across the University. We do that primarily through grantmaking and supporting faculty, staff, students, departments and cultural centers, and other arts advocates at Penn. Read more...

Some thoughts on In a House Besieged

Posted March 16, 2022

The front page of the morning newspaper features a photo of an elderly woman in Ukraine being helped across a pile of rubble by a middle-aged man.

Perhaps it is her son?
Or someone she doesn’t know?
Or someone related to her that she no longer remembers?
She looks confused.
The photo becomes music in our heads. It is brooding music. Cloudy. Prayerful. Read more...

5 Questions with Jarrod Takle

Posted March 2, 2022

Circa’s smash hit, Humans, had its U.S. premiere on our stage back in fall 2018, and we are thrilled to welcome this bold, Australian circus troupe back in March with its newest work, Humans 2.0. As we await this spectacular production, let’s get to know a bit more about longtime Circa ensemble member Jarrod Takle in just five questions!

1) What is your earliest memory of circus arts?
I remember seeing Cirque du Soleil on television as a child. I must have been about five years of age, and it stayed embedded in my brain for at least a year until my parents enrolled me in a local recreational youth circus program (probably an attempt to stop me cartwheeling into furniture). Read more...

Two years and tons of Annenberg Center upgrades

Posted February 22, 2022

Over the past two years, we’ve been very fortunate to embark on numerous projects to renovate and upgrade the Annenberg Center’s facilities and infrastructure. These major improvements, designed by VSBA Architects, were made possible by a gift from Keith L. and Katherine Sachs, which formed the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation in 2016.

On the Annenberg Center’s exterior, the hardscaped approach to the 37th Street entrance has been widened to better connect those doors to the 37th Street walkway. Read more...

5 Questions with Ali Doughty

Posted February 8, 2022

Ali Doughty grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, studying Irish dance at the McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance. She’s now a World Champion Irish dancer and will be gracing our stage with Chicago’s Trinity Irish Dance Company Feb 18-19. We were eager to connect with Doughty and learn more about this amazing local talent in just five questions.

1) What first got you into dance?
When I was eight years old, my mom signed me up for Irish dance summer camp at McDade (now McDade-Cara), our local Irish dancing school, as a way to learn more about my Irish heritage. Ever since then, my dancing shoes have followed me everywhere! I feel very grateful to my teachers Sheila Sweeney, Annmarie Sheehan, and Maureen Hegarty for giving me such a wonderful dance family to grow up in - who would have known that my first dance camp would eventually lead to dancing professionally with Trinity Irish Dance Company! Read more...

Penn’s Music Department returns to live performances

Posted January 31, 2022

Music

Let me begin by saying that it is an honor to be asked to submit a blog post for Penn Live Arts on behalf of the Music Department. We are certainly grateful to be a partner with PLA.

The Penn Music Department’s performance programs offer students of all musical backgrounds the chance to develop their musical skills through ensemble performance and private instruction. Our hope is that our performances not only give students and other community members an outlet for creative expression but that they also serve to enhance the cultural life on campus.

We also present a variety of professional performances. These include concerts by the Daedalus Quartet, the Music Department’s ensemble-in-residence, and other guests, many of whom present the music of Penn faculty composers and graduate student composers. Read more...

Power of Penn Performing Arts Campaign Impact Report

Posted January 25, 2022

As we conclude the Power of Penn Performing Arts Campaign, it is heartening to reflect on the last eight years of transformative performing arts activity here at Penn Live Arts. It is also a privilege to still be here, after a tumultuous two years for performing arts across the globe. We are able to celebrate the incredible success of the campaign and continue supporting the innovative artists of today because of you, our generous community. Your belief in our mission to transform lives by connecting diverse audiences with visionary artists allows us to go forward into the next era for Penn Live Arts with confidence in our programs, commitment to our artists and gratitude for our supporters. Read more...

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