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Home / College Catalog / 2016–18 / About Purchase College

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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:

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 1,300. 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 hands-on experience in the PAC’s sophisticated production shops. The PAC is 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 and strives to balance performances by established artists with those by rising young artists in each of the artistic disciplines. Highlights of past seasons include performances by Joshua Bell, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Lang Lang, the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo String Quartet, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Martha Graham Dance Company, Branford Marsalis, David Sedaris, Anna Deavere Smith, John Pizzarelli, Patti LuPone, and Bernadette Peters. The PAC also commissions and produces world-premiere dance and theatre works. Purchase College students receive a 50 percent discount to the PAC’s professional series events and the opportunity to purchase $5 rush tickets, when available, on the day of an event.

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 makes its facilities available to numerous local performing arts organizations at low cost and also works with the local artistic community to explore opportunities for residencies, workshops, and joint programming. 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 2016–2018 or to purchase tickets, please visit the Performing Arts Center at

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