Bernstein's 'Mass' centerpiece of College of Arts and Architecture anniversary

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "Mass" -- a theater piece for singers, players and dancers that’s a collaborative venture among Penn State’s School of Music, School of Theatre and Center for the Performing Arts -- comes to Eisenhower Auditorium for performances at 7:30 p.m. April 5 and 2 p.m. April 6. The event is part of the College of Arts and Architecture's celebration of its 50th anniversary.

A journey of faith and what that means to people, "Mass" is sometimes humorous, occasionally bawdy and at times profoundly moving. Bernstein’s masterpiece, based on the Roman Catholic liturgy, includes passages sung in Latin with additional texts in English by Bernstein, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and pop songwriter Paul Simon. The work, scored for orchestra, marching and rock bands, actors and dancers also features rock, blues, Broadway and classical music.

Tickets for Mass are $37 for an adult, $10 for a University Park student and $18 for a person 18 and younger. Tickets are available by phone at 814-863-0255 or 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays when Penn State classes are in session) and Bryce Jordan Center (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

The price of each adult ticket to "Mass" includes a $5 donation to the College of Arts and Architecture Alumni Society Scholarship Endowment.

The production includes Penn State’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Concert Choir, Essence of Joy, singers and dancers from the schools of Music and Theatre and a community children’s choir.Jim Hogan, a bachelor of fine arts major in the School of Theatre, plays the Celebrant, an integral role in "Mass." Hogan was a cast member in the 2011 Center for the Performing Arts presentation of the touring Broadway musical "Spring Awakening."

Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, "Mass" debuted at the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in 1971.

Visit for more on the anniversary celebration and the history of the College of Arts and Architecture.

Last Updated March 28, 2013