The 2020–21 Season

  • Spanning eras, countries, and cultures, the 2020–21 season offers a diverse selection of dance, music, theater, and art. There is sure to be something for everyone.

    Find an event to attend by type, or browse the different series, below.

    View the Events Calendar for Lively Arts.


    Due to challenges associated with COVID, only single tickets will be available for purchase this season. No subscriptions will be sold. Single tickets will be put on sale approximately two weeks prior to the show date. Get more information on purchasing tickets.


    Ovations: Blue Note Records Artist Kandace Springs

    7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 30, 2021

    Every so often a new singer emerges who is able to assimilate multiple musical touchstones and still come off sounding remarkably fresh and unburdened by the past. Kandace Springs is one of those artists. This Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and pianist counts such stylists as Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, and Norah Jones as her heroes, but as evidenced by her sparkling Blue Note Records debut Soul Eyes, mimics none of them. Springs had attracted the attention of Prince, who had heard her makeover of Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me.” The music icon then invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain.  She has since appeared on Ghostface Killah’s 36 Seasons, Aqualung’s 10 Futures, and Black Violin’s Stereotypes. Her second full-length Blue Note album, Indigo, was released September 2018.

    Kandace Springs

    Mark and Maggie O’Connor with the IUP Symphony

    5:00 p.m. Sunday, February 28, 2021

    Award-winning fiddle superstars Mark and Maggie O’Connor join the combined forces of the IUP Symphony Orchestra and the Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra (Alexandra Dee and David Anderson, conductors). This all-American concert will feature Mark O’Connor performing his ground-breaking "Improvised Violin Concerto.” O’Connor creates the solo part from scratch at every performance, so this is guaranteed to be a one-of-a-kind concert!

    Mark and Maggie O’Connor

    Perfect Arrangement

    March 5 through March 13, 2021

    Washington DC, 1950. State Department employees Bob and Nora find themselves at the forefront of the moment when the Red Scare adds shades of Lavender. In other words, along with rooting out potential Communists, the couple must now investigate “deviants”; i.e., gays. Unfortunately for Bob and Nora, they are also gay and their marriage is a cover for their actual partners who also pretend to be a married couple. Hilarious screwball misdirection eventually gives way to a sober examination of gay rights and American values.

    Perfect Arrangement

    Johnstown Symphony Orchestra Principal String Quartet:
    “I Sing America”

    7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, 2021

    After a well-received and dynamic performance of Handel’s “Messiah” in 2018, the Lively Arts is delighted to invite the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra for a return visit to perform “I Sing America,” a patriotic salute highlighting the contribution of female composers. Designed to complement a gallery of women artists, this program from the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra Principal String Quartet showcases the melodic and energetic works of women composers, including famed suffragette Ethel Smyth, award-winning American composers Gabriela Lena Frank and Jessie Montgomery, as well as the evocative music of George Walker. The program concludes with a youthful quartet of Beethoven.

    Johnstown Symphony Orchestra

    An Evening of Dance and Percussion:
    “Favorite Selections from the Past”

    7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 27, 2021

    Collaborating once again, Holly Boda-Sutton and Michael Kingan present the always popular “An Evening of Dance and Percussion” bringing back 10 favorite pieces from previous productions dating back to 2009.

    An Evening of Dance and Percussion

    Dreamer’s Circus

    7:30 p.m. Monday, April 12, 2021

    This young driving force in Nordic world music draws inspiration from folk and traditional Scandinavian music and reshapes it with an endlessly innovated and contemporary approach.

    The Dreamers’ Circus trio musicians Nikolaj Busk (Denmark, piano and accordion), Ale Carr (Sweden cittern), and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (Demark, violin)—display inventiveness and talent in their approach to performances. Based in music from Denmark and Sweden as well as Iceland, Finland, and the far reaches of the windswept Faroe Islands, they view these traditional roots merely as a point of departure from which to expand. In playing, they seek to unlock imaginations and allow the mind to wander to a place where stories unfold.

    The name of the band is no accident. The magical feel upon entering the circus tent, surrounded by vividly colored memories… Dreamers’ Circus strives to engage your senses and invoke a place of freedom, somewhere for our imagination to play in and a space for dreaming.

    Dreamers’ Circus

    Ordinary Days

    April 16 through April 24, 2021

    Written by Adam Gwon, Ordinary Days tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love, and cabs. It is an original musical for anyone who’s ever struggled to appreciate the simple things in a complex place. With equal doses of humor and poignancy, it celebrates how 8.3 million individual stories combine in unexpected ways to make New York City such a unique and extraordinary home.

    Ordinary Days

    It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

    7:00 p.m., Sunday, April 25, 2021

    Join IUP Dance Theater as they unfold their unique rendition of It’s Just a Bunch of “Hocus Pocus. On Halloween night, the Sanderson Sisters are brought back from the dead by curious youth who then find themselves pursued by the sisters. Throughout the night the youth and a cat named Binx attempt to defeat the Sanderson Sisters. Under the direction of Holly Boda-Sutton, IUP Dance Theater will tell their tale through original choreography on the Zink Dance Auditorium stage.

    It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

    20th Annual IUP Jazz Festival

    7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 1, 2021

    The 20th annual IUP Jazz Festival, featuring the IUP Jazz Band and the IUP Jazz Ensemble. The IUP Jazz band is led by James Flowers. Kevin Eisensmith directs the IUP Jazz Ensemble. The guest artist for this event will be trumpeter Scotty Barnhart. Scotty is the director of the Count Basie Orchestra and a renowned trumpet player.

    20th Annual IUP Jazz Festival
  • Other Upcoming Events

    Broadway Extravaganza

    Broadway Extravaganza

    Thursday, December 5, Sound Choices

    Photo of a Mountain for 60s, 70s, 80s: Artist Legacy of IUP

    60’s 70’s 80’s: Artist Legacy of IUP

    September 10–November 6, University Museum

    Spring 177 x 133

    The Awakening of Spring

    October 25 - November 2, Theater-by-the-Grove