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Center for Performing Arts Governors State UniversityAnnounces New Executive Director and Season

University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (the Center) announces its 28th cultural 2023-24 season, which promises a kaleidoscopic fusion of music, dance, comedy, and theatre.

The season is also one of transition and possibilities, with the Center welcoming Executive Director Scott Sowinski, who took the reins in May. As the Center says goodbye to Lana Rogachevskaya after 11 cultural seasons, she leaves a legacy of creating compassionate communities and curating artistic experiences that inspire the art-lover in all.

Center for Performing Arts Season

The season opens with a celebration in SUGAR SKULL! A Dia de Los Muertos Musical Adventure, perfect for the whole family.

The Center is also hosting a variety of soulful music experiences, including Dearly Beloved…A tribute to Prince with former members of the New Power Generation; the return of the Billboard chart-topping Sons of Serendip, and Orbert Davis’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Soul Migration, a seven-movement epic inspired by the stories of the six million African Americans who fled the Jim Crow south to the north.

Just in time for Women’s History Month, legendary comedy empire The Second City returns on March 2 with She the People, a hilarious, high-octane roast of the patriarchy written, produced, and performed entirely by the women of The Second City.

Mini Dance Festival

The Center for Performing Arts 2023-24 season will also feature a mini dance festival celebration with Chicago-based dance companies Muntu and Deeply Rooted.

Sowinski believes that “With art, all things become possible. This season [is] a hand-picked recipe for ‘whole’ art exposure. From opera to Prince, New Age Quartets, light shows, compelling comedy, Jazz, world dance, and our partners in university programming, I am most excited to place art at the center of the lives of our community. Our 23-24 season offers enormous diversity giving us all the opportunity to grow and evolve through art in all forms!”

Thanks to Partners, Funders, Contributors

The Center for Performing Arts thanks our generous partners, funders, and individual contributors. These include Old National Bank, Sutton Ford, ComEd, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The 2023-24 Season Presale runs August 1 through 14. These presale dates are for Flex Buyers (3+ shows), Groups of 10 or more, and GSU Students, Staff, & Faculty.

All tickets are on sale on August 15.

For more information, ticket prices, and preview videos, visit

Center for Performing Arts 2023–24 Season At-a-Glance

October 2023   

Opera Up Close presents Opera Titans:
The Power and Passion of Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini

Experience highlights from the epic operas of Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini in one afternoon while seated on stage with the vocalists. 


SUGAR SKULL! A Dia de Muertos Musical Adventure!

Vita thinks her family has gone loco planning a celebration for deceased loved ones. Why throw a party for the dead? But when a spirited candy skeleton, Sugar Skull, suddenly springs to life, Vita finds herself on a magical, musical journey to unravel the true meaning of Día de Muertos. Perfect for young audiences and families! 


Dearly Beloved…A Tribute to Prince featuring former members of the
New Power Generation

The former members of the New Power Generation play as if their boss was still front and center: a non-stop musical kaleidoscope of the most iconic chart-topping hits from all eras of Prince’s career. Classic NPG songs are intermingled with hits from throughout Prince’s illustrious four-decades-long career like “1999,” “LET’S GO CRAZY,” “POP LIFE,” “SIGN O’ THE TIMES,” “PURPLE RAIN,” and “KISS.”


The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a Live Shadow Cast and
Audience Partici…pation!

Let’s do the Time Warp again! One of the oddest cult films ever made, this rock’n’roll, science fiction, horror satire is the perfect night out for Halloween. A young couple stumble into a castle inhabited by aliens from the galaxy of Transylvania, including Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist in rhinestone heels and corset along with a household of wild characters including biker Eddie and newly created muscle man Rocky. 

November 2023   

GSU Theatre and Performance Studies presents SHE KILLS MONSTERS by Qui Nguyen

When Agnes finds her late sister Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. This high-octane dramatic comedy is laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, offering a heart-pounding homage to the geek within us all.

December 2023   

Lightwire Theater presents A Very Electric Christmas

Follow the story of a young bird named Max and his family as they begin their journey south for the winter. When Max gets blown off course and ends up at the North Pole, his adventure begins! Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship, and hope set to timeless holiday hits, including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and Tchaikovsky. 

January 2024   

Sons of Serendip

Back by popular demand! This Billboard charting quartet returns to win your hearts once again with their ethereal and emotionally stirring interpretations of pop music, arranged with a unique blend of vocals, harp, piano, and cello. 


Opera Up Close: A Winter’s Journey (Schubert’s “Die Winterreise”)

Franz Schubert’s song cycle “Die Winterreise” is a stunning musical journey through the bitter winter landscape of the human heart. With its hauntingly beautiful melodies, vivid poetic imagery, powerful emotional impact, and timeless beauty, baritone Evan Bravos interpretation is a must-see for any opera lover.

February 2024   

Muntu Dance Theatre and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

In the Bantu language, “muntu” means “the essence of humanity.” Founded in 1972, Chicago-based Muntu Dance Theatre performs authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African American dance, music, and folklore. Muntu is highly regarded for its innovative repertory, preserving traditional African dance while creating new works that build on African, Caribbean, and African American cultural traditions. Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African American traditions in dance and storytelling; it is rooted in traditions of American and African American dance, storytelling, and universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Deeply Rooted collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance, to reflect contemporary voices. 

March 2024   

The Second City – She the People

A high-octane show entirely created, designed, and performed by the fearlessly funny women of world-famous comedy mecca The Second City, She the People is a mimosas-and-madness-fueled foray that proudly roasts the patriarchy in a mashup of sketches and songs that reclaims comedy for everyone!

28 & 30

GSU Dance Company presents Body Language: Cultural Storytelling Through Dance

The GSU Dance Company will perform interpretations of contemporary and popular dance rooted in traditions from around the world. Experience the universal language of dance. No translation required! 

April 2024   

GSU Theatre and Performance Studies presents The Exonerated by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen

The Exonerated combines first-person narrative with legal records to tell the stories of six wrongfully convicted inmates: Delbert Tibbs, Kerry Max Cook, Gary Gauger, David Keaton, Robert Earl Hayes, and Sunny Jacobs, and their paths to freedom. 


Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: SOUL MIGRATION

Composed by Orbert Davis, “Soul Migration” is a powerful, soul-stirring, musical tribute inspired by the stories of the six million African Americans who fled the Jim Crow south to the industrial north.

How to Purchase Tickets

  • Online at
  • Over the phone at 708.235.2222
  • In person at the Box Office: 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484

Box Office Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Thursdays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. and two hours before show times.

Flex Packages

Flex buyers (patrons who purchase three or more shows) save 15% off tickets, receive priority seating, and enjoy flexible exchange or bank-a-credit privileges.

Know Before You Go

Tickets range from $10 to $84. Ask about additional opportunities for box seating and special eventsDiscounts are available for students, children, seniors 65+, groups of 10+, GSU faculty and staff, and patrons purchasing tickets to three or more shows.

Parking is free. For best GPS directions, use the location search term “Governors State University.”

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