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2023 Summer Hiatus

Posted June 30, 2023

Our 50th anniversary season has come to a close. Thank you to our incredible artists and dedicated patrons and supporters. It’s been a truly spectacular year celebrating our legacy while looking to the next 50 years and beyond. Read more...

New Student Performing Arts Center Takes Shape

Posted June 21, 2023

Recently, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania reviewed and advanced the design plans for a new Student Performing Arts Center. The trapezoidal-shaped building will be located within a prominent triangular site at 33rd and Chestnut Streets.

The new center, along with the planned Stuart Weitzman Theatre, are the biggest investments in performing arts at Penn since the Annenberg Center opened its doors over 50 years ago. Read more...

Recent Highlights: Apr – Jun 2023

Posted June 14, 2023

Spring came in like a lion for Penn Live Arts, blowing us all away with the incredible virtuosity of six-time Grammy® Award-winner Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, dubbed “one of the best jazz orchestras in existence,” by The New Yorker. It was a treat to learn about this Latin jazz visionary beforehand in the 5 Questions with Arturo O’Farrill feature on our blog.

In June, we were equally enthralled by jazz pianist Craig Taborn, who made his Philadelphia headline debut in a solo performance. Noted jazz writer Shaun Brady delved into Taborn’s process and interpretations in a post-performance Q&A session. While The New York Times says Taborn is “one of the best jazz pianists alive,” we were particularly delighted when one Facebook fan raved “An extraordinary performance! Thanks for bringing this phenomenal artist to Philly.” Read more...

Make the Nevers Possible: Our Path to Sensory Inclusion

Posted June 7, 2023

At the beginning of 2023, we partnered with KultureCity to make the Annenberg Center the first performing arts venue in Philadelphia to be sensory inclusive certified! With this certification, we join the ranks of Lincoln Financial Field, the Liacouras Center, Citizen’s Bank Park and hundreds of locations across the country. Through KultureCity, the nation’s leading non-profit in sensory accessibility, our team has committed to providing a more inclusive experience for all, with newfound training in assisting patrons with sensory processing needs.

After a chance encounter with KultureCity at an industry conference, we knew a partnership was in our future. Inclusion and belonging have been longtime priorities for Penn Live Arts (PLA). Obtaining this certification was a step closer to ensuring we are doing everything we can to provide an outstanding experience for all. Read more...

Tap wunderkind Caleb Teicher brings SW!NG OUT, a Lindy Hop big band sensation

Posted May 31, 2023

Barely out of high school, Caleb Teicher burst onto the world stage thrilling audiences with their charismatic personality, youthful vitality and switchblade feet. In lieu of college, Teicher, who uses the gender-neutral pronouns they and them, followed their dream to “make it” as a jazz, tap and swing dancer in New York City. In 2011, as a teenager, Teicher performed in works by tap masters Michelle Dorrance (was a founding member of her company) and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards at their shared concert. This performance won Teicher their first Bessie Award for outstanding individual performance. Read more...

Announcing our summer internship funding awards

Posted May 11, 2023

Left to right: Evan Golinsky, Ejun Hong, Heather Shieh and Lucy Gale
As another academic year draws to a close, we are delighted to announce four winners of our summer internship funding awards. Made possible by alumni support including gifts from the Class of ’93 and Class of ‘72, these awards will enable students to accept internships in talent management, film production and television, and will support their moving and living expenses during summer 2023. A record number of applicants with a wide range of arts and entertainment career interests made the decision process competitive and challenging. Read more...

5Q with three uke superstars

Posted May 1, 2023

On May 7, we are excited to welcome George Hinchliffe's Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to perform in Philadelphia for the very first time. These much-loved uke superstars are masters of the unexpected, re-imagining a menagerie of rock, pop, jazz, blues and classical, and anything else they think is ripe for the picking. Ahead of the show, we connected with not one, but three of these musicians to learn a bit more about them and their music. Read more...

Announcing the 23/24 season

Posted April 26, 2023

Our Next 50 Years

In the 22/23 season, we celebrated our 50th anniversary, reflecting on the thousands of artists who graced our stages and the millions of people brought together by the transformative power of live performance. You are the foundation of this legacy, and we hope you continue to join us as we look to a bright future with the promise of more transformative artistic experiences, meaningful outreach across Penn’s campus and our community, and exciting enhancements to the Annenberg Center, including the addition of the Stuart Weitzman Theatre, the cornerstone of a multi-year capital project. Read more...

It’s time for the 2023 Philadelphia Children’s Festival

Posted April 12, 2023

Children's Festival

At Penn Live Arts, the return of cherry blossoms to our Outdoor Plaza can mean only one thing: the steady approach of our Philadelphia Children’s Festival, entering its 37th year this May 20th through 23rd.

Like all large public gatherings, the Children’s Festival was on extended hiatus throughout the pandemic and had a soft return in 2022. This year, it will look more the way our audiences remember it, with live performances of dance, theatre and music for pre-K to middle-school students. Read more...

Recent Highlights: Jan – Mar 2023

Posted April 5, 2023

Dance Theatre of Harlem, Credit Mark Garvin
On a cold mid-January evening, Dance Theatre of Harlem heated up the Zellerbach Theatre, while downstairs in the Prince Theatre, the Italian experimental theatre company Teatro delle Albe immersed our audiences in an utterly riveting depiction of the last visions of Dante. A week later, noted medieval music specialist Benjamin Bagby brought the epic poem of Beowulf to vivid life, and the month ended with families and hundreds of schoolchildren in awe of Acrobuffos’ magical Air Play.

It was all part of what Penn Live Arts does best: inspire, entertain and transform lives through a diverse array of artistic experiences. Read more...