Penn generations join forces in harmony as part of Israel's worldwide Independence Day celebration
As a hub for the arts at the University of Pennsylvania, we are always on the lookout for current Penn students and alumni in the limelight. We found both in a streaming performance of the 2020 Worldwide Celebration of Israel’s Independence Day. Composer, songwriter, singer and 1995 Penn graduate Gabriel Mann scored a new arrangement of “Ahavat Olam” for the celebration, which was performed by the Platt brothers—who also have roots at Penn. If you missed the live stream, treat yourself to the three-minute performance above.
Dig into Penn Museum At Home with the whole family
Artists lead a national conversation in the Abbey Theatre's Dear Ireland video series
The Abbey is widely recognized for its transformative artistry, creating works that are provocative and reflect many different facets of Irish society. Dear Ireland was created with the Irish theatre arts community in mind, employing 50 Irish playwrights to each write a monologue and then nominate an actor to video-record it at home in social isolation.
Danú vocalist Nell Ní Chroinin keeps our fond memories of live performing arts going strong
With only a handful of days left in May, it has now been about 10 weeks since we had to close our doors for the rest of the season. Before COVID-19, we were looking forward to announcing our 20/21 season in April and then finishing out the spring semester with a vibrant series of diverse, exciting performances. The annual joy of closing out one great season to then start another one feels like a distant memory now.
But it is times like this when we need artistic expression the most.
From Penn Today: Celebrated Penn alumnus John Legend surprises the Class of 2020 at the University’s virtual Commencement ceremony
Penn live-streamed its “first” 264th Commencement (an on-campus ceremony will be held for the Class of 2020 in May 2021) for graduates and their families across the city, nation and world. The celebration concluded with a stunning performance by graduating students in Penn’s A Cappella Council, and featured a special surprise guest: EGOT winner John Legend, C'99. Legend played piano while singing the iconic “The Red and Blue.” No doubt graduates will remember the performance, and the unprecedented occasion, for the rest of their lives.
Read the full story on Penn Today.
Spotlight on Priscilla Felten, Wharton '20
With a degree from the Wharton School and years of hands-on experience as both performer and highly-motivated intern, Felten will be uniquely positioned to figure out new ways for the entertainment industry to carry on when we return to the “new normal.” “There are a lot of open questions,” she says. “How can it be cost-effective for those that must sell a lot of tickets to survive? Will people even want to go into theaters or will they prefer to consume entertainment and culture from home? Will there be a hybrid of live performances and online streaming? How will artists stay safe onstage and off? How might policies and contracts change?”
Master the art of doodling with Mo Willems
Parents of young children might recognize the name Mo Willems, but if you aren’t familiar, Willems is a beloved author, illustrator, animator and playwright. He is most recognized as a New York Times bestselling author, a Caldecott Medal recipient, an Emmy® winner for his work on Sesame Street and the inaugural Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence. If you’re looking for fun yet simple ways to be creative at home, Willems is one of the top resources for engaging the whole family.
Penn honors composer Henry Threadgill with an Honorary Doctor of Music
This year, the 264th Commencement will be held Monday, May 18th at 11 AM. Like every year since 2003, the event will be live-streamed; however, due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, this year’s celebration will take place exclusively on-line.
Stream Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers' Faith Project/The Door for a limited time
We chose to recommend Faith Project this week for several reasons. First, we had the pleasure of presenting KYL/D just last season as part of our dance series. The company performed an exciting mix of past and present favorites as well as the world premiere of Spring 101, a piece celebrating Kun-Yang Lin’s 101st choreographic work. Lin’s signature hybrid of Asian philosophies and Western culture was truly an 18/19 season highlight and we can always count on KYL/D for performances of beauty and grace.