Purdue Convocations announces its 121st season

Purdue Convocations announces its 121st season

Broadway, dance, theatre, music, and ideas at Purdue

Tickets Now Available

Purdue Convocations presents its 121st Season with a lineup of innovative projects and performances from around the world. The 2023-2024 Season includes the 28th West Lafayette Global Fest, award-winning hip-hop, rock, folk, jazz, and chamber musicians, an interactive wellness installation, a curricular integration residency, thought-provoking lectures, family-friendly engagements, on-campus school matinees, and award-winning Broadway musicals and major attractions in Elliott Hall of Music including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live in Concert, Mean Girls, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Hairspray, Come From Away, and Shrek The Musical. The full schedule is available below or at convocations.org/events.

“Our community thrives because Convos is here,” said Purdue Convocations executive director Todd Wetzel. “When Purdue calls “Places!” it means that academics, culture, athletics, and service together take leading roles in an incredible placemaking production. And your presence—right here, right now—makes this all possible!”

All tickets for 2023-2024 events are available for purchase by the public and Friends of Convocations beginning July 6 at 6:30 p.m. EDT. An allotment of tickets for each performance is available for the Friends of Convos Priority Points ordering period July 6 through July 21. For priority seating, Friends of Convos must use the form at convocations.org/tickets. General public single and group tickets are also on sale July 6 at 6:30 p.m. EDT. 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, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during Purdue’s summer schedule.

Friends of Convos members are given priority seating using the Priority Points system. Donations of $100 or more qualify for priority seating and other perks, and provide crucial support for performances, education, outreach, and special programs. Revenue from ticket sales only covers 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 21, 2023 for PICK5 discounted subscriptions and single show tickets to ensure the best seating.

2023-2024 Purdue Convocations season schedule

September 16, 2023, 3:00 p.m. ET
Downtown West Lafayette, FREE admission

Join us for the 28th 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 the celebration of live music. Headliners include Arabic flamenco jazz artist Farah Siraj and Cuban hip-hop act Telmary. Admission is free. Presented by the City of West Lafayette, the International Center of West Lafayette and Purdue Convocations.

Thursday, October 12, 2023, 7:30 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

After winning over nearly 6,000 new fans opening for Noah Kahan last spring, folk rock duo Briscoe returns to Purdue. The group’s eclectic sound borrows heavily from 1960s and ’70s folk, funk, and laid-back rock influences. Direct from Austin, Texas, Briscoe earned national recognition sharing the stage with bands like My Morning Jacket and Tame Impala, but it’s their upcoming album and feel-good live show that will leave you wanting more.

Art + Tech + Wellness

October 2023, specific dates and times to be announced.
Third Street Student Success Corridor, Purdue University West Lafayette campus

Days filled with deadlines and challenging goals are the new normal-or perhaps the pressure just feels more intense now. In a groundbreaking new project, a talented collection of Purdue experts and special guest musicians/composers/technologists known as Chromic Duo, have banded together to design a relief valve.

Using a novel combination of art, technology, and clinical psychology, the StairWELL project will produce an interactive sculptural installation to create a sense of beauty, respite, and play via an inventive user interface. Viewers become participants in an expressive journey that creates community while also delivering powerful supportive connections where they may be needed. In short, StairWELL builds wellness through interactive art and technology.

Sunday, October 22, 2023, 6:00 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music

Featuring a soundtrack that blends symphonic orchestral music with hip-hop, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live in Concert pairs a screening of theAcademy Award-winning animated film with live orchestra, a killer band, and turntables on stage. The hip-hop based score results in a sonic universe that is woven throughout the fabric of the film, supporting its themes of resilience and universal heroism.  Come experience the Marvel Spider-Verse live!

Thursday, October 26, 2023, 7:30 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music

From comedian and playwright Tina Fey, Mean Girls tells the story of a naïve newbie named Cady, who falls prey to a trio of high school frenemies, as she adjusts to the suburban life of a teenage girl. Entertainment Weekly calls the show “a marvel: dazzling and hilarious” and New York Magazine cheers, “Mean Girls delivers with immense energy and a wicked sense of humor.”

Saturday, October 28, 2023, 8:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

A symphony of acrobatics, sound, and light–this is Circa, the next-level Australian circus company flipping their way back to Purdue.  For nearly 20 years, Circa has been stunning audiences with jaw-dropping acrobatics. In their new show, Humans 2.0, physical limits are pushed to the extreme. Gravity is defied. Don’t miss the show that Australian media have called “spellbinding physical drama” and “a seriously sensational spectacle.”

Friday, November 3, 2023, 8:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

The pageantry, emotion, and captivating music of the Mexican celebration of Día de los Muertos will fill the Loeb Playhouse stage when the Los Angeles based ensemble Las Cafeteras brings Hasta La Muerte to Purdue.  Presenting its most theatrical show yet, with choreography, elaborate costumes, and the familiar stylized skull face paint—this two-act performance examines the stages of grief and loss through the celebration of life and death.

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 7:30 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse, FREE tickets

Grandmaster Flash is a musical pioneer in every sense of the word.  As we celebrate 50 years of hip-hop, join us for an educational, entertaining audiovisual lecture where Flash will show how he used his knowledge of electronics repair to develop different techniques-bridging the gap between musical genres, transforming turntables into instruments, and laying the groundwork for what we call hip hop. Tickets are free with limited availability. Presented by John Martinson Honors College, Purdue Black Cultural Center, and Purdue Convocations.

Friday, November 10, 2023, 8:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

From the producers of the Simon and Garfunkel Story, the music never stops in Johnny Cash: The Official Concert Experience. Using state-of-the-art technology, Johnny Cash’s rich, iconic baritone has been lifted from archival concert footage and recordings, enabling the “Man in Black” to perform with a live band again! In addition to never-before-seen footage and on-screen narration, multiple vocalists will split singing duties to perform all your favorites like “Walk The Line” and “Ring Of Fire.”

Saturday, November 18, 2023, 8:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

Purdue audiences have been loving Emmet Cohen since his trio backed up jazz vocalist Veronica Swift in 2019. Through continuing connections with his Live from Emmet’s Place Monday night streams and an amazing return to Purdue in 2022, this year’s encore performance comes on the heels of even more accolades, as his piano chops continue to inspire reviews from outlets like The New York Times who have called him “an obvious heir apparent to the neo-traditional jazz mantle.”

Sunday, November 19, 2023, 3:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the film. Now, experience the Jack London classic Call of the Wild in a whole new, immersive way. You’ll practically feel the Northland winds at your back when actor Noel Gaulin leads you and your family through a dramatic retelling of one sled dog’s tale during the great Klondike Gold Rush of the 1800s.  Three large screens of imagery and effects breathe life into the story, as you journey from sunny California to the harsh climates of northern Canada and Alaska.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative event

Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 6:00 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music, FREE tickets

Each year, Purdue celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a commemorative event that honors his life’s work in civil rights and social justice. This season, Dance Theatre of Harlem will elevate this event with their passionate choreography and performance. Founded in 1969, Dance Theatre of Harlem is an elegant example of what is possible when an inclusive approach to art is allowed to evolve and thrive. Presented by Purdue University Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging and powered by Purdue Convocations.

Purdue University Jazz Fest headliner

Friday, January 19, 2024, 8:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

An alto sax bandleader on the rise, Lakecia Benjamin’s music pulls from the canons of jazz, soul, and funk.  Her fiery, passionate, and innovative live performances have garnered her much attention and amazing reviews from press like Rolling Stone and The New Yorker.  The performance at Purdue, alongside her band Phoenix, will add Benjamin’s name to the long list of amazing performers who have lit up stages to kick off the Purdue Jazz Festival over the last 34 years!

Actors From The London Stage

Curricular Integration Residency

Friday, February 2 & Saturday, February 3, 2024, 8:00 p.m. ET
Fowler Hall in Stewart Center

It’s Shakespeare from the source when Actors From The London Stage recreate A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Five actors take the stage, with minimal props and costumes, and direct themselves in a performance of a complete play, with each actor portraying multiple roles. The goal: to interpret Shakespeare’s text as a blueprint for a performance—and as a gateway to its wide-ranging, transformative poetry.

Conrad Tao, piano and Caleb Teicher, tap

Thursday, February 8, 2024, 7:30 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

The unique duo of classical pianist Conrad Tao and dancer/choreographer Caleb Teicher bring their new sonic and visual take on masterworks of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Gershwin to Purdue. Blending Tao’s idiosyncratic harmonic mastery with Teicher’s contemporary and percussive tap dancing, Counterpoint threads together stylistically varied, landmark pieces into one cohesive thought.

Saturday, February 10, 2024, 8:00 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music

You Can’t Stop the Beat! HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour! Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world?

Featuring the beloved score of hit songs including “Welcome to the ‘60s,” “Good Morning Baltimore” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” HAIRSPRAY is “fresh, winning, and deliriously tuneful!” (The New York Times).

This all-new touring production reunites Broadway’s award-winning creative team led by Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring HAIRSPRAY to a new generation of theater audiences.

Don’t miss this “exhilaratingly funny and warm-hearted musical comedy” (The New Yorker).

Saturday, February 17, 2024, 12:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

In 2024, TEDxPurdueU will explore how recurrence influences our lives at a deeper level. How does recurrence manifest in our social or scientific landscape? How does it impact our political or historical spheres? Take in TEDxPurdueU to explore the variety of ways recurrence is embedded into our experience of life from national and local thought leaders, who present their work in bite-sized talks that are 18-minutes or less.

Friday, February 23, 2024, 8:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

Violinist Melissa White made history in 2022 as concertmaster of Recollective Orchestra, the first all-Black orchestra to perform at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Since then, White’s been enchanting audiences around the world. Now, on the heels of her Carnegie Hall debut in June 2023, White makes her first visit to Purdue, where she will lead a chamber concert alongside another highly decorated international sensation – pianist Pallavi Mahidhara.

Sunday, February 25, 2024, 3:00 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

No GPS, no problem when Ms. Frizzle is behind the wheel. In The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System, she and her students get lost on the way to the planetarium and somehow end up in space! The students must cooperate to get back home, after taking in and learning about all the celestial sights. Exploring themes like science, teamwork, and forgiveness, families will love this epic intergalactic trip on the classic Magic School Bus.

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 7:30 p.m. ET
Loeb Playhouse

After an astounding 50 years, multi-GRAMMY Award winner Kronos Quartet returns to Purdue.  The San Francisco ensemble continues to challenge and reimagine what a string quartet can be on its Five Decades tour. Kronos will perform new commissions, signature works from its vast repertoire, and pieces from its free-access commissioning project, Kronos Fifty for the Future. A recent concert review saw The New York Times rave about the quartet’s “malleable virtuosity” and “wellspring” of memorable music.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 8:00 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music

On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. This stirring and inspiring
musical takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of the small town in
Newfoundland that opened their homes to 7,000 stranded travelers on 9/11. During that
fateful week, cultures clashed and nerves ran high—but uneasiness turned into trust, music
soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Celebrate the best of
humankind and the best in all of us at COME FROM AWAY.

Thursday, April 11, 2024, 7:00 p.m. ET
Elliott Hall of Music

“Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek…” And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Yes, your favorite ogre is back in the hilarious stage spectacle, SHREK THE MUSICAL. This Tony Award®-winning musical brings all the beloved characters from the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks animated film to life.

Note to Journalists: Publication-quality photos are available at convocations.org/press

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 theatre and dance, children’s theatre, 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.


James Britton, director of marketing, Purdue Convocations

(765) 494-5045, jamesbritton@purdue.edu.

Related websites:

Purdue Convocations:  convocations.purdue.edu