Performing Arts Center Celebrates 40th Year with Fundraiser on Nov. 19 and Wide Variety of Shows


 For Immediate Release; with link to archived images

Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Back in the day, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel both played Stockton University’s Performing Arts Center, which is celebrating its 40th year of providing entertainment and educational programming with a reception featuring music, wine and hors d’oeuvres, followed by musical show on Saturday, Nov. 19, beginning at 2 p.m.

“The Performing Arts Center has a rich history of presenting the very best in music, theatre and dance,” said Suze DiPietro, manager of the PAC. “We want to share the memories and create some new ones for the community with this fun event, which supports the PAC.”

The catered reception will be held in the Upper K-Wing area, adjacent to the PAC on Stockton’s Galloway campus, 101 Vera King Farris Drive from 2 - 4 p.m. with music from the Stockton Faculty Band.

It will be followed by a performance of Neil Berg’s widely acclaimed “103 Years of Broadway,” a musical revue of Broadway’s most celebrated shows, featuring a dazzling cast of five Broadway stars accompanied by an all-star New York band. The show recreates the greatest moments from the finest shows of the century, featuring original cast members from “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Jekyll & Hyde.

Tickets for the reception and show are $75 and may be ordered online or by calling the Box Office at (609) 652-9000.  The Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 90 minutes before the performance.  For group sales, call (609) 652-4786. 

The Performing Arts Center holds special memories for Stockton’s fifth president, who began as a member of Stockton’s inaugural class.

“As a student here in the 1970s and through all the years, I have enjoyed many shows including performances by Tommy Tune, Ben Vereen and Harry Connick, Jr. and numerous outstanding lectures at the Performing Arts Center, which was - and is - a jewel of a venue,” said President Harvey Kesselman. “There was nothing like it in the area, and today the Stockton PAC  continues its mission of providing outstanding cultural programming, diverse guest speakers and entertainment to the region.

“The PAC also offers our Dance, Theatre, Voice and Music students and faculty a welcoming setting in which to perform and direct shows, gaining valuable experience and honing their skills,” Kesselman noted.

Professor Beverly Vaughn is Music program coordinator as well as Vocal/Choral program coordinator at Stockton. “This wonderful facility has provided our students and the community with opportunities to see first-class performances in productions both large and small. Students who have never been on stage before are inspired by the creative learning experiences the PAC offers them.”

Over its four decades, the PAC has developed partnerships with the Bay Atlantic Symphony, Stockton’s orchestra-in-residence, along with the Atlantic City Ballet Company, the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company and the South Jersey Wind Ensemble.

"The PAC offers something different for the region from most other venues,” said Jed Gaylin, music director and conductor of the Bay Atlantic. “Because it is based at Stockton, the mission is diverse and rich, mirroring and even helping to shape Stockton's distinctive identity. The PAC brings in a range of compelling performance not just varied in genre but also in type - from enchanting to provocative. Students and the greater Atlantic County region benefit tremendously from the dynamism of this cultural hub.

“Bay Atlantic Symphony performs at Stockton anything from towering classics such as Mahler and Beethoven, to a collaboration premiere commemorating Krystallnacht, to chamber orchestra staples, a Veterans Day salute, and more," Gaylin added.

The PAC’s 40th year includes a wide variety of upcoming shows, from classics to psychics:

Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.:  Kim Russo, the Happy Medium, who has appeared on shows including A&E’s “Paranormal State” and “Psychic Kids.”

Monday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.:  “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” a concert by the South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble;

Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10:  “The Nutcracker,” performed by Atlantic City Ballet Company;

Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.:  The Stockton premiere of the late David Fanshawe's world-renowned “African Sanctus,” a monumental work that combines the rich history and performance style of the Latin Mass with the rhythms and melodic traditions of Africa’s many cultures.

Sunday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.: The Bay Atlantic Symphony plays Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

Also coming in the new year are:  Philadanco on Feb. 17, Neil Simon’s play, “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” by the Walnut Street Theater on tour, March 8, and “Into the Woods,” by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim on April 5 and April 9.   

“You don’t have to go to Philadelphia or New York to enjoy top-notch entertainment,” DiPietro said, “and the PAC has free parking and affordable prices right here at home.”             

The PAC also provides a children’s summer theatre series, Imagination Station programs including “How to Build a Storm” by the Franklin Institute, and other educational shows for area students. “A Voyage that Will Forever Change Your Perspective of Home,” by Jeff Goldstein, director of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in Washington, D.C. is one such program for area schools.

Goldstein’s ties with DiPietro led to an exciting new frontier for Stockton students and faculty: designing experiments that will be tested on the International Space Station next year. Stockton has been accepted to participate in Mission 11 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program through Goldstein’s center, a process that began with DiPietro introduced Goldstein to Dean Peter Straub of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

“It all ties into the PAC’s mission to entertain, to educate and to connect with the community,” said DiPietro.