August 2, 2021

Purdue Convocations announces a return to live events for the fall in first of two 2021-22 series announcements

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Convocations is thrilled to announce a return to live events on Purdue University’s campus this fall with a series of events to animate the beginning of the academic year. With an emphasis on major impact and maximum flexibility, Convocations is producing an array of free outdoor performance engagements, multiple high-definition film screenings of theatrical productions and the return of a smash-hit virtual production to round out 2021. 

“Let me be the first to say it: We’re back!” said Todd Wetzel, assistant vice provost for student life and executive director, Purdue Convocations/Hall of Music Productions. “Over the last year, we experimented with creative ways to keep audiences connected to our world-class community of artists, and the feedback was definitive. Our audiences valued both the artists who participated and the ingenuity we displayed in supporting the creative ecosystem. We kept artists and crews working. We kept audiences engaged. Now, we will deliver an even more creative approach to the fall season with extraordinary spectacles that will transform the campus and create community around the shared experience of live performance once again.”

This is the first of a two-part season launch as the Spring 2022 traditional in-theatre performance series will be announced at a special edition of Convocations’ Party of the Season on Oct. 7 in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom.

“Our 119th season is just as unique as the year that preceded it, but we used this opportunity to further expand our capacity to surprise and delight our dedicated audiences who have stood by us through the past year,” Wetzel said. “We’re eager to get back into the theatre, but we’re equally excited about the impact we’ll make this fall.”

Five of the fall series events are free to attend, but those that require a ticket or free RSVP will go on sale starting at 10 a.m. ET Monday (Aug. 2).  The Fall 2021 Purdue Convocations events include (All event times are ET):

  • “Hand to Hand” by Squonk Opera. 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (both days) Aug. 25-26, Purdue Memorial Mall. Co-presented by the Purdue Student Concert Committee (included in Purdue’s Weeks of Welcome). An outdoor spectacle of magical stagecraft propelled the progressive rock riffs and cunning humor of the Pittsburgh post-industrialists, Squonk Opera. Music, design, science and art bring people together in this production that The New York Times has called “ingenious, hallucinatory and hypnotic.” Free to attend. No tickets required.


  • Mucca Pazza. Sept. 9-10, times and locations vary (included in Purdue’s Weeks of Welcome). Chicago’s Mucca Pazza is not your average marching band. From brightly colored mismatched “uniforms” to fully idiosyncratic instrumentation, along with an absurdist cheer squad, this fully fun alternative band will march through Purdue’s campus providing a variety of pop-up performances of original genre-bending compositions in surprising locations. Watch for performance locations. Free to attend. No tickets required.


  • 26th annual West Lafayette Global Fest. Festivities start at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 18, downtown Lafayette. Co-presented by the city of West Lafayette and the International Center of West Lafayette (included in Purdue’s Weeks of Welcome). West Lafayette’s acclaimed internationally flavored street festival returns with cuisine, culture and crafts from around the world. Featuring live contemporary funk and forró from Nation Beat, and the Honduran fusion of fiery bomba with folkloric guaracha and salsa from Los Hacheros. Free to attend. No tickets required.


  • “Choir! Choir! Choir!” 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (both days) Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Slayter Center. Co-presented by the Purdue Student Concert Committee. (included in Purdue’s Weeks of Welcome). They teach. You sing. “Choir! Choir! Choir!” is the worldwide phenomenon that includes the audience in the performance. Join Nobu & Daveed as they transform the audience into a choir with custom arrangements of favorite songs. Each of the four performances will feature a different song, making each performance a unique, community-building journey. Free to attend. No tickets required.


  • Party of the Season. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom. In this special edition of the Party of the Season, Convocations will unveil the new Spring 2022 season, filled with in-theatre Broadway musicals, dance, music, theatre and more. Come join in the celebration and be the first to know what’s coming! With a minimum gift of $50, you will become a member of the Friends of Convocations and be eligible to buy tickets to the Spring 2022 series before the general public. Advance tickets are available.


  • Frida: Viva la Vida” (film). 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Fowler Hall. This acclaimed documentary film delves deep into famed artist Frida Kahlo’s work, exploring her influence on artistic freedom and feminism, dissecting her dual life as a pioneering artist, and recreating her tortured masterworks. Advance tickets available.


  • “King Lear” presented by National Theatre Live (film). 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Fowler Hall. In a contemporary update of Shakespeare’s gripping familial tragedy, the legendary Sir Ian McKellan delivers a masterful turn as the aging king seized by madness. National Theatre Live brings the best of British theatre to cinema screens around the world, and now to Purdue’s campus. Advance tickets are available.


  • “War Horse” presented by National Theatre Live (film). 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, Fowler Hall. Based on the 1982 novel of the same name, ‘War Horse” is a powerful epic set during World War I. At its heart are the astonishing life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company. National Theatre Live brings the best of British theatre to cinema screens around the world and now to Purdue. Advance tickets are available.


  • Manual Cinema’s “Christmas Carol.” 8 p.m. Dec. 10-11. Virtual. Convocations reprises this critically-acclaimed 2020 performance (and notable COVID pivot) filled with imagery that ranges from transfixing to touching and a show-within-a-show idea that introduces a clever twist on a cherished holiday classic. Free with advance registration.


Tickets for these performances and events are available in advance, unless otherwise noted, at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW, or online. More information on how to become a Friend of Convocations and make an initial gift is available online.

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, theater, dance, children's theater, 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.

Source: Mike Armintrout, Purdue Convocations senior associate director, 765-496-2913,

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