Announcing our 120th Season!
Purdue Convocations presents its 120th season with a lineup of innovative projects and performances from around the world, outdoor spectacles, award-winning country, jazz and chamber musicians, a repertory theater residency, thought-provoking lectures, family-friendly engagements and award-winning Broadway musicals. The list includes “The Book of Mormon,” “Legally Blonde – The Musical,” “CATS” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” along with the Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show. See the full schedule below.
“There is nothing like a live performance,” said Todd Wetzel, executive director of Purdue Convocations. “Artists leap beyond the possibilities that we mere mortals consider possible, transforming the way that we see the world – and each other. And this only happens in the moment. There is no rewind or replay. You have to be there to witness the magic. Purdue Convocations welcomes you back to a full season filled with those magical moments in the theater, in classrooms and outdoors.”
All tickets for 2022-23 events are available for purchase by the general public and Friends of Convocations as of Thursday (July 7). An allotment of tickets for each performance is available for the Friends of Convos priority points ordering period July 7-22. For priority seating, Friends of Convos must use the form at convocations.org/tickets. General public single and group tickets also went on sale Thursday. Patrons may purchase tickets online at convocations.org/tickets, by phone at 765-494-3933 or by visiting the Stewart Center Box Office at 128 Memorial Mall during its summer hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Friends of Convos members are given priority seating using the Priority Point system. Donations of $100 or more qualify patrons for priority seating and other perks, and provide crucial support for performances, education, outreach and special programs. Revenue from ticket sales covers only 60% of the true costs of programming, so gifts from generous individuals, corporations and foundations help Purdue Convocations close that gap. All patrons may add a gift with their ticket order to immediately avail themselves of these benefits by visiting convocations.org/friends. Priority points orders must be received by July 22 for Pick 5 discounted subscriptions and single-show tickets to ensure the best seating.
2022-23 Purdue Convocations Season Schedule
Sway Company presents “Bloom!”
Sept. 8-9, 12:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. ET each day
Purdue Memorial Union south lawn
Sway returns to Purdue University for a series of free outdoor performances of its new show, “Bloom!” Inspired by the flowers of the Smoky Mountains, the Australian collective of acrobatic artists performs atop 14-foot sway poles, where they arch high in the sky in a family-friendly, colorful and spirited performance that explores themes of nature, community, transformation, individuality and diversity.
Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET
Purdue audiences were mesmerized by Larry Fleet when he opened for Jake Owen in February 2020. Soulful, heartfelt and humorous, Fleet’s music represents his blue-collar, small-town upbringing with pride. Touring in support of his 2021 album, “Stack of Records,” Fleet returns to Purdue with his country music style that can appeal to fans of modern sounds as well as those who like classic outlaw country reminiscent of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.
27th annual West Lafayette Global Fest
Sept. 17, 3 p.m. ET
Downtown West Lafayette
Join us for the 27th annual West Lafayette Global Fest to celebrate our diverse community. Expect dozens of booths and multiple performance areas brimming with delectable delights, craft beer, cultural activities and live music. Headliners include Ethiopian jazz artist Gili Yalo, Mongolian folk act Tuvergen Band, and New Mexican string band Lone Piñon.
Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET
New York-based jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant has been amazing audiences and critics for years. Since winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010, she has released multiple critically acclaimed albums and graced stages worldwide to standing ovations. Touring in support of her new album, “Ghost Song,” which was conceived and recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown, Salvant makes her triumphant return to Purdue.
Oct. 16, 7 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music
The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post states, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show” calls it “Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal.” It’s “The Book of Mormon,” the nine-time Tony Award-winning musical. Contains explicit language.
“Legally Blonde – The Musical”
Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music
America’s favorite blonde, Elle Woods, is ready to prove who’s in charge (again) as “Legally Blonde – The Musical” comes to Elliott Hall of Music. The ultimate Broadway tribute to girl power, “Legally Blonde” will take you from the UCLA sorority house to the Harvard halls of justice with the timely coming-of-age story of Broadway’s brightest heroine.
Oct. 29, 3 p.m. ET
Based on the popular children’s book, “Grace for President” tells the story of a smart, precocious and tuneful young girl who decides to run for class president while questioning the lack of women in the Oval Office. This family-friendly musical tells the story of Grace and her classmates as they learn about the presidency, campaigns, the election process and what it takes to be a leader, whether that leader is of the free world or of their elementary school.
Nov. 5, 8 p.m. ET
The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s career and life helped pave the way for some of today’s biggest stars. From the producers of “The Simon & Garfunkel Story,” “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” explores Franklin’s extraordinary talent and courageous life, featuring classic hits like “Natural Woman,” “Think” and, of course, “Respect.”
Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
New York’s Aquila Theatre returns to Purdue to present its take on Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice.” For more than 200 years, the romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy has captivated audiences in the written form, as a hit film and now as a classical theater production. Enjoy the delightful and romantic misunderstandings, class satire and English country dances as Aquila Theatre brings new life to this classic text.
This performance is part of a collaboration with the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts Curriculum to present a two-production residency with Aquila Theatre Company. Following engagements in prior seasons with productions of “Frankenstein,” “The Odyssey,” “1984,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Macbeth,” Convocations will again engender deep curricular engagement across campus for students in the Cornerstone program. Faculty across all disciplines, however, are also invited to connect to these works for their students. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit convocations.org for more information about the associated Aquila production of “Julius Caesar” on Nov. 11.
Nov.11, 8:30 p.m. ET
Aquila Theatre will finish this year’s repertory residency at Purdue by breathing new life into The Bard once again with its take on “Julius Caesar.” This classic tale of the machinations of power in political institutions, showcasing William Shakespeare’s beautiful language and the artistic direction and striking imagery of Aquila Theatre, is a must-see for classical theater fans. Witness the drama and turmoil that led to the most famous backstabbing in ancient history.
This performance is part of a collaboration with the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts Curriculum to present a two-production residency with Aquila Theatre Company. Following engagements in prior seasons with productions of “Frankenstein,” “The Odyssey,” “1984,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Macbeth,” Convocations will again engender deep curricular engagement across campus for students in the Cornerstone program. Faculty across all disciplines, however, are also invited to connect to these works for their students. For more information, contact email@example.com. Visit convocations.org for more information about the associated Aquila production of “Pride and Prejudice” on Nov. 10.
Nov.18, 7:30 p.m. ET
Wells Community Cultural Center
Old-school hip-hop, funk and breakdancing meet new-school audiences when “The Secret Agency” hits the stage with their Grammy-winning hip-hop for kids. This family-friendly concert will get your young ones moving and learning through the power of rhythm and rhyme. “The Secret Agency” songs radiate positive vibes that are infectious in the classroom and in concert. The Washington Post states even parents skeptical of hip-hop will be powerless to resist!
Nov. 20, 3 p.m. ET
Midwest-born but internationally renowned classical pianist Kenny Broberg boasts an impressive repertoire – from his original pieces that have been showcased on NPR to his take on master composers like Brahms and Liszt. Winner of the 2021 American Pianists Association Award and the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship in Indianapolis, Broberg will make his Purdue debut and join the list of amazing artists to have played the treasured Steinway.
tenThing: “A Feeling of Norwegian Christmas”
Dec. 11, 3 p.m. ET
tenThing returns to Purdue after a successful 2017 engagement to bring us a new holiday music experience with the program “A Feeling of Norwegian Christmas.” The 10-piece, all-female brass ensemble is led by trumpeter and group namesake Tine Thing Helseth, whose arrangements are full of surprise and wonder – just like the holiday itself. You’ll hear music of the Christmas season from across Europe and America and even some Disney holiday tunes to warm your heart.
2023 Purdue Jazz Festival headliner
Jan. 20, 8 p.m. ET
Trumpeter Sean Jones’ “Dizzy Spellz” has wowed New York audiences for years with its interpretation of the late, great jazz master Dizzy Gillespie. Armed with a turntablist and the tap-dancing Appalachian style of Brinae Ali, Jones and “Dizzy Spellz” put a new spin on Diz, from his bebop beginnings to his later Afro-Cuban tunes. The band will serve as an amazing kickoff to the 2023 Purdue Jazz Festival.
Feb. 18, Noon ET
Presented by TEDxPurdueU and Purdue Convocations
The 2023 edition of TEDxPurdueU will contain a “Terrarium” packed full of ideas and research that explore the variety of ways technology, entertainment, design, culture, sustainability and environmentalism interface with each other in the world today. Boundary-pushing experts from Purdue University, the Greater Lafayette community and the world at large will present their ideas in the classic TED format of talks that are 18 minutes or less.
Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music
Rediscover “CATS,” the beloved musical with breathtaking music – including one of the most treasured songs in musical theater, “Memory.” Featuring new sound design, direction and choreography for a new generation. Experience “CATS” for the first time as it begins a new life, or let it thrill you all over again!
“The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart”
Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 24, 8 p.m. ET
Feb. 25, 3 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET
Feb. 26, 6 p.m. ET
All performances held at Duncan Hall
Indiana winters can be rough. It’s best to hunker down while enjoying a pint, some songs and the story of “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart,” a full-tilt immersive theatrical experience based on the original National Theatre of Scotland production that wowed Purdue audiences in 2012. Contemporary themes, Scottish culture and razor-sharp turns of the tale make “Prudencia” manically funny and soul-searching, often within the same stanza.
“Danny Carmo’s Mathematical Mysteries”
Feb. 26, 3 p.m. ET
“Danny Carmo’s Mathematical Mysteries” dazzles and amazes young audiences in a show where math, theater and technology collide to prove that understanding math can be fun. Danny Carmo’s passion for the magic of math equals a feast for the eyes and brain. After selling out his 2018 Purdue performance, Carmo will bring a new show of traditional and multimedia tricks that will astonish – all with mathematical elements that young audience members can learn.
featuring Lil Buck
March 4, 8 p.m. ET
Memphis, Tennessee, is known for its distinctive flavor of music, art and dance. For the last decade, renowned dance artist Lil Buck has been an agile ambassador of Memphis Jookin’, the river city’s ankle-bending, gravity-defying style of street dance. His skills and efforts have culminated in the new production titled “Memphis Jookin’: The Show,” which will take you on a journey to the fabled city to chronicle how the art form emerged from local street dances to become an international phenomenon.
Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show
March 26, 6 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music
The Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show is Riverdance as you’ve never seen it before! It is a powerful and stirring reinvention of this beloved favorite, celebrated the world over for its Grammy Award-winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance. Twenty-five years on, composer Bill Whelan has rerecorded his mesmerizing soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have reimagined the groundbreaking show with innovative and spectacular lighting, projection, stage and costume designs.
Various times and locations
ATLYS is a classically trained string quartet lauded for its passionate and dynamic performances of unique covers of your favorite pop and rock hits, original compositions and more. Featuring former Lafayette resident Jinty McTavish on violin, the group is sought-after onstage and in the studio. Curating programs that are both diverse and intriguing, an ATLYS performance is more than an experience – it’s a conversation between artist and audience. Free pop-up performances will be April 12 and 13 around Purdue’s campus and Greater Lafayette.
50th anniversary tour
April 14, 8 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (“Crazy for You,” “Into the Woods”) and cutting-edge choreographer Drew McOnie (“King Kong,” “Strictly Ballroom”), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, garnering accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.
Les Violons du Roy with Inon Barnatan, piano
April 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
French-Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy has been performing baroque and classical music all over the world for over 35 years. Led by conductor Jonathan Cohen, Les Violons du Roy prides itself on showcasing guest soloists at its concerts, and its Purdue engagement will be no different. Pianist Inon Barnatan has wowed audiences worldwide, just as he did at Purdue in 2016. The New York Times dubbed him “one of the most admired pianists of his generation.”
About Purdue Convocations
Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Convocations offers the region 30-40 performances of widely varying genres: Broadway-style shows, innovative theater and dance, children’s theater, thought-provoking lectures, world music, jazz and chamber music, along with rock, pop, country and comedy attractions. With a vision for connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media.