As an arts school, we foster innovative collaborations across arts disciplines to produce breathtaking and thought-provoking performances that showcase the remarkable talent of our students and faculty. Whether it’s theatre, music or dance, the performing arts take center stage at Peck School of the Arts.
Renowned for their exceptional acoustics and technical capabilities, our premier performance venues include Jan Serr Studio, Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts and UWM Mainstage Theatre. They not only provide unforgettable experiences for audiences but also serve as platforms for students to hone their skills and build confidence in their chosen artistic disciplines.
Premier Performance Venues
Jan Serr Studio
Location: Kenilworth Square East, Jan Serr Studio | 2155 N. Prospect Avenue
Hours: One hour prior to events
Named after Department of Art & Design alumna Jan Serr, the space provides a home for contemporary and interdisciplinary artists of all kinds. This state-of-the-art facility features a 300-capacity flexible theatre seating, acoustic-tempered digital sound capabilities, adjustable panels and theatrical lighting. Located on the sixth floor of Kenilworth Square East, this vibrant event space offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline, making it a popular venue for our own events and rentals. A cashless bar serves refreshments at select events.
Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
Located directly across Kenwood Boulevard from the main Peck School of the Arts buildings, the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts boasts a grand entrance and two elaborate stained glass displays, as well as exquisite molding, arches and decorative elements. The Zelazo Center includes the 758-seat Helen Bader Concert Hall, a large ensemble practice ballroom, an intimate chamber music recital room and six warm-up/practice spaces. The main PSOA Box Office is also located at the Zelazo Center.
Location: Theatre Building, Mainstage Theatre | 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Hours: One hour prior to events
Spacious and acoustically rich, the Mainstage Theatre provides a captivating experience for both performers and audiences. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and adaptable staging capabilities, it sets the perfect backdrop for theatrical productions, musical performances and dance concerts. The three-quarter hybrid thrust space provides excellent views from any of the 290 wide-format patron chairs and its spacious ADA accessible seating areas, ensuring that every performance is a memorable and transformative experience.
Performing Arts Departments
The Department of Dance presents four large-scale concerts each year: Winterdances and Springdances, which showcase students performing in world premieres by faculty and guest artists, and New Dancemakers and UpStart, which feature choreography by undergraduate and graduate students.
Special workshops and residencies are also scheduled throughout the academic year, providing additional public showings of guest artists. Recent engagements have have included D. Sabela Grimes, Melanie George, Kia Smith, Parijat Desai, Alfonso Cervera, Aysha Upchurch and Joe Goode.
From classical to contemporary, the Department of Music offers a diverse range of ensembles with a vibrant array of performances captivating audiences throughout the year. Whether it’s the soaring melodies of a symphony orchestra, the improvisational magic of a jazz ensemble, or the soul-stirring voices of choral groups, each performance showcases the incredible talent and dedication of our music students and faculty.
Student recitals and guest artists round out the lineup with inspiring performances that not only entertain but also challenge and inspire audiences to explore the power of music.
The Department of Theatre carefully selects a theatre season of diverse plays and musicals that pushes the boundaries of theatrical storytelling and provides a dynamic learning environment. From backstage to center stage, front of house or in front of a classroom, our public performances are a vehicle for training students in every aspect of theatre.
Performances are also a source of high-quality entertainment. Whether it’s a classical drama, a contemporary spin on an old favorite or a freshly workshopped piece in our New Dramaworks series, audiences are immersed in the transformative power of live storytelling.
Go Behind the Scenes with Us
As an arts school, we take campus tours one step further by offering on-the-go information sessions designed for creative minds. Go behind the scenes with one of our arts ambassadors and learn about our programs along the way.