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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...

5 Questions with Eugenia Repelskii

Posted January 19, 2022


We are very eager to welcome Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, or the Trocks as they’re lovingly called, back to our stage for the first time since 2012. As we await the laugh-out-loud antics of this seriously stunning and gender-bending ballet troupe, we are happy to have connected with the company’s slightly esteemed but highly tolerated dancer Eugenia Repelskii* to learn a bit more about her in just five questions.

1. What first got you into dance?
My mother Maria Repelskii bought a one-way ticket on the Trans-Siberian Railroad where I found myself dancing for our supper. Read more...

Happy holidays

Posted December 21, 2021

Happy holidays from all of us at Penn Live Arts!

Recent Highlights: Aug – Dec 2021

Posted December 20, 2021

Vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant performs on December 12.
Photo: Elizabeth Robertson for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 21/22 season marks the first with our new identity, Penn Live Arts (PLA), and we’re excited that it highlights our connection with the University of Pennsylvania even as we broaden our performances to venues outside of our home at the Annenberg Center. The name also underscores our commitment to live performances, which we’re proud to say continued throughout the pandemic.

Since we officially re-opened the Annenberg Center in August, we have welcomed 10,000 people to a wide variety of events, from scores of student shows to Penn Vet’s rite-of-passage White Coat Ceremony to Legacy on Broad, the largest Bollywood-fusion dance competition on the East Coast, to our first indoor Penn Live Arts presentations since March of 2020. Read more...

Carols after a Plague

Posted December 8, 2021

Artwork by Sasan Saidi
Silence not Holy Black Madonna
Mother of All
Offer sacred praise to her
If not, thy tongue should silence give
Holy tone she is
Wholly listen in
- Shara Nova, from Carols after a Plague: II. Tone-policing

Like so much that has happened in the last twelve or more months, Carols after a Plague is the solution to a problem. In fact, so much of creativity, whether artistic or scientific, is the result of facing a challenge that needs solving. In this case, the challenge posed was multi-faceted: “How to record these conflicting feelings, born of isolation, fear, and social unrest? How to make a record of this time? How to better reflect the community we live in?” Read more...

5 Questions with Michelle Dorrance

Posted December 1, 2021

On December 10-11, we welcome Dorrance Dance for its Penn Live Arts debut. "Dorrance is a virtuoso, both as a dancer and choreographer," (The New York Times) and we can’t wait to have this tap superstar’s company grace our stage. But first, let’s learn a little bit more about her in just five questions.

1. What first got you into dance?
My mom was a professional ballet dancer, and she started a school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when I was barely a year old, so I started dancing very young, but I was pretty terrible at ballet (inherited my soccer coach father's flatter feet and much less flexible legs). However, I quickly excelled at/became obsessed with tap dancing because it was a form of musical expression, and that came much more naturally to me than graceful movement as a loose-limbed kid. And I truly fell in love with the art form through the tutelage of the school's founding tap teacher, Gene Medler. Very different from most "studio" tap dance teachers of the time, Gene sought out the elders of our community, taught us a history we never would have learned elsewhere, and brought us to the early tap dance festivals to study with cutting edge young dancers like Savion Glover and the last of the jazz-era hoofers who were in their 80s and 90s at the time. I feel so incredibly lucky to have grown up with Gene as my teacher, mentor, and friend. Read more...

What to expect when you return to our theatre next month

Posted November 24, 2021

With vaccination requirements, mandatory masking, symptom screenings and more, we’re committed to keeping you safe while enjoying an amazing show. We hope this walk-through of the process for returning to our venue helps answer any questions you may have as you look forward to your upcoming performances.

Ahead of Time:
Get vaccinated and find your vaccination card. Everyone entering our building must be fully vaccinated and able to show proof. “Fully vaccinated" means the performance date is at least two weeks after your final COVID-19 vaccine dose. Those under age 12 may show proof of vaccination or negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test (saliva or nasal swab) taken within 72 hours of the performance start time.* There are no exceptions to this policy. Read more...

A visionary celebration of sound and motion

Posted November 16, 2021

Dance Penn Live Arts Debuts Philadelphia Premieres

Listen, watch and be wowed by celebrity tap star Michelle Dorrance’s sensational sounds and moves when her company explodes onto the Zellerbach Theatre stage December 10-11.

A MacArthur Fellow “Genius Grant” recipient, the first ever for a tap dancer, Dorrance is an unstoppable force of nature. She is a virtuoso tap dancer, visionary choreographer, passionate ambassador, fearless activist, relentless evangelist, supercharged innovator and devoted “edutainer” (educator/entertainer). She honors the rich, diverse history of tap while introducing new audiences to tap’s endless possibilities through her ground-breaking and imaginative approaches. Read more...

West Philly (is very) Welcome

Posted October 26, 2021

Founded over a decade ago in 2010, our West Philly Rush program has reached so many of our neighbors, offering steeply discounted tickets to enjoy amazing live performance experiences. We’ve truly loved making these connections, especially seeing some of the same beautiful faces returning time and again.

Originally a day-of rush with limited ticket availability, the program has evolved over the years but this summer, we were excited to reimagine this outreach and our approach. We wanted to create broader and easier access, ensuring everyone is able to attend and feels welcome in our theatres. So, West Philly Rush was renamed and restructured into our new West Philly Welcome program. Read more...

Student Performing Arts Groups Take Center Stage

Welcome to the vibrant world of student performing arts at Penn! Our campus is home to more than 60 extracurricular student performing arts groups, practicing disciplines from a cappella to dance, theatre to spoken word, music to comedy, and stage tech to design. Platt Student Performing Arts House is the advisory hub for extracurricular student performing arts on campus, providing students with the resources to train, collaborate, rehearse, fundraise and realize their artistic values on stage. These student performances come to life across campus, many within the Annenberg Center walls, supported by Penn Live Arts at the box office, in the tech booth, and throughout the performance process. We are grateful to Penn Live Arts for this partnership! Read more...

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