Central Pa. Theatre & Dance Fest kicks off Friday

State College Festival to last three days

STATE COLLEGE — The Second Annual Central PA Theatre & Dance Fest, organized by the 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company Tempest Productions, Inc., kicks off Friday, June 21 at 10 a.m. with performances and sponsored events by over 30 arts and community organizations.

The festival runs through Sunday, June 23 with over 125 events happening throughout downtown State College, at 12 downtown venues with additional events outdoors on the 100 block of Allen Street.


Events range from full productions (musical theater, puppet shows, plays, comedy/improv, burlesque, dance performances) to movies (The Audition, sing-a-long Mary Poppins, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show) to readings, workshops, classes, and nightly community dance parties on Allen Street.

The programming is provided by the 20 Legacy Arts Organizations in addition to arts educators and performers from Los Angeles, Cal., Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, La. and more.

Event costs fall into three categories: ticketed, free, free with purchase of a Class Pass. The Class Pass gains entry into over 40 of the events that would otherwise require $10 – $12.50 at the door. Class Passes can be purchased online or in person at The State Theatre or Webster’s Bookstore Cafe.

New this year, the festival features many new programs from a Free Family Day for “kids” of all ages, to 3-day intensives offering registrants 10 hours of personalized instruction by professionals in the fields of either Belly Dance, Cabaret, Comedy Improv, or Burlesque. These intensives require pre-registration and a set-fee for participation.

Community partners this year include Schlow Memorial Library, OLLI, The Art Alliance, The Woskob Family Gallery, Millbrook Playhouse, Nittany Knights, Penn State Centre Stage, the Tides Program, Seven Mountains Media, Stacie Bird Photography, Centre LGBTQA Support Network, Movement Arts Studio, and Nittany Valley Offset. These partners have provided programming, guidance, and space for this year’s festival.

The festival also features a play writing competition in its second year, having received entries from as far away as New Zealand, Scotland, and from right here in Central Pa. The winning entries will be performed as readings during the festival.

The festival is made possible in part by funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and a marketing grant from the Centre County Convention Visitor’s Bureau through the Tourism Grant Program. Up-to-date information on the festival, participating companies, sponsors, and schedule is available at centralpatheatre.com or by calling 866-248-5091.

With more than 125 activities and groundbreaking work by local and national theatre and dance artists, the 2019 Festival has many new exciting events. Embrace the wealth of performing arts that enrich our lives in Centre County.


The Central PA Theatre & Dance Fest, organized by the 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company Tempest Productions, Inc., kicked off its inaugural year in 2018 thanks to support from the Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau. A 2019 Tourism Grant helped support this year’s festival and the co-founders were just awarded an even larger grant for next year’s festival scheduled for June 19-21, 2020.

Cynthia Mazzant and Elaine Meder-Wilgus are the co-founders of the festival, with support and suggestion from Centre County Commissioner Mark Higgins.

Tempest Productions has been providing theatre and theatre-in-education programming to communities since 1996 through access to quality theatre. Its community-based programs, The Journey Series, StoryBook Theatre, and the Shakespeare Festival Series have reached over 100,000 with family-oriented, experiential programs chock full of reading, writing, and arts activities.

These programs enhance literacy learning, integrate practices of making and appreciating the theatre arts, and embrace experiential learning in theatre, song, dance, and movement. And now, the Festival becomes the latest addition to its community programs thanks to the 20 Legacy Companies: Allied Motion; Black Cat Belly Dance; Boundless Bodies Contemporary Ballet; The Central PA Dance Workshop; Centre Dance; FUSE Productions; Happy Valley Improv; Lady Grey’s Lovelies; Loaves & Fish Theater; MindBodyArt School of Dance; Dmitry Myers; The Next Stage Theatre, Inc.; Nittany Ballet; Singing Onstage; State College Community Theatre; State High Thespians; Adam Swartz Puppets; Tempest Productions; TrioArts Project; VanDance Inc.


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