The Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) provides models of excellence for students in the study and performance of theatre, dance, and music that are unsurpassed on any East Coast campus. Its mission is to promote the performing arts at Purchase College and fulfill the cultural outreach and public service mission of the college by:

  • presenting, developing, and encouraging the highest excellence in the performing arts at the PAC
  • enriching the lives of the public and the students of the college by encouraging and advancing public knowledge
  • supporting professional artists of merit in the creation and development of new works and assisting in the dissemination of such works throughout the world
  • creating models of excellence for students by facilitating and promoting the presentation of works performed by students in conservatory programs
  • promoting interest in the study of the performing arts by providing an atmosphere of freedom to pursue creative objectives
  • encouraging broad-based and interactive participation in the arts by passionate amateurs in the campus community and the surrounding communities

The Performing Arts Center is an invaluable laboratory and resource for students enrolled in the college’s three performing arts conservatories in the School of the Arts. It houses four theatres, with seating capacities ranging from 500 to 1,372. Each of these theatres is designed and equipped for performances of the highest professional quality. The PAC supplements the students’ educational experience by offering lectures, discussions, open rehearsals, workshops, and master classes with professional artists and companies. Such world-renowned artists as Bill T. Jones and the Orion String Quartet are often engaged to provide masterful interpretations and insights into the creative process. Purchase College students not only benefit from exposure to internationally acclaimed artists, but also from the PAC’s sophisticated production shops. The PAC is also the largest employer of students on campus, and numerous student internships are offered through the arts management program in the School of the Arts.

From September to May, the PAC presents its annual professional series, featuring world-class artists in music, dance, and theatre. The series reaches out to diverse audiences with eclectic tastes. Highlights of past seasons include performances by Lang Lang, Pinchas Zukerman, Garrick Ohlsson, the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo String Quartet, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Anna Deavere Smith, John Pizzarelli, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, and great artists in world music and dance, as well as rising young artists in each of the artistic disciplines. The PAC also commissions and produces world-premiere dance and theatre works.

In the PAC’s DIY/Informal Arts program, professional artists work with amateur artists from various communities to engage them in dance, acting, and music making. South Bay Cabaret, a showcase of Purchase College student talent that is student-curated and managed, takes place several times during the academic year. K-12 Arts-in-Education, a core program of the PAC, serves 7,500 children from 31 school districts in six counties, with 25 percent of the participating students attending on scholarship.

The PAC, which makes its facilities available to numerous local performing arts organizations at low cost, also works with the local artistic community to explore opportunities for residencies, workshops, and joint programming. In addition, its spaces are available for rental to corporate and fundraising groups through the Office of Facilities Rentals. More than 100,000 individuals are drawn to the PAC each year through its student, professional series, and community-based performances and events.

For additional information and updates during 2013–2015 or to purchase tickets, please visit the Performing Arts Center at www.artscenter.org.

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