Scroll down to browse through performances, lectures and other campus events open to the public


Missoula Children’s Theatre, July 28-August 2

Cal Poly Arts announces a new children's summer theatre workshop, led by the nationally-acclaimed skilled facilitators of Missoula Children's Theatre. 
The one-week professional workshop is perfect for young actors in grades 1 through 12 – of all experience levels – interested in participating in the fully-staged "ROBIN HOOD" production to be mounted on the Spanos Theatre stage. 
Registration is open now.  Tuition is $110 for actors; assistant directors are free. Registration will be filled on a first-come/first-served basis. 
The workshop begins with the audition process on Monday, July 28 and culminates with a final performance on August 2, open to the public. 
Space is limited!  For details, call 805-756-5914.
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Blue Man Group, September 23-24Blue Man Group

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 and Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Cal Poly Arts will present the Blue Man Group in the Cohan Center at 7:30pm. Following their two sold-out shows, BMG will once again thrill the Central Coast with its high-octane theatrical experience. Escape the ordinary and surround yourself in an explosion of comedy, music and technology. If you’ve never seen Blue Man Group, it’s a must-see. If you’re already a fan, don’t miss it. (This is a high volume performance). More on the show.

Schoolhouse Rock Live, September 26

Friday, September 26, 2014 in the Cohan Center, Cal Poly Arts will present Schoolhouse Rock Live at 7:00pm. Based on the hit Saturday morning cartoon series, the show that taught history, grammar, math and more explodes on stage with songs updated for a whole new generation! On this 20th Anniversary Tour, academic subjects will never seem boring again when presented through megahits like “Conjunction Junction,” “Just a Bill,” “Interplanet Janet” or “Three is a Magic Number.” (Suitable for ages 5+).
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Dave Barry, September 27

Dave BarryOn Saturday September 27, Cal Poly Arts will present comedian Dave Barry in the Cohan Center at 8pm. This Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than 30 books and longtime Miami Herald columnist has been a professional humorist “ever since he discovered that professional humor was a lot easier than working.” Join Dave Barry in an intimate Central Coast conversation, including a spirited audience Q&A.
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Get The Led Out, October 1

On October 1st at 7:30pm, Cal Poly Arts presents, “GET THE LED OUT” in the Cohan Center. From the bombastic and epic, to the folky and mystical, GTLO captures the true essence of Led Zeppelin’s studio sounds in all its depth and glory. Celebrate the British supergroup’s mythic career in a spectacular big concert setting with an awe-inspiring live performance, filled with the songs that shaped a generation. More on the performance

Basetrack, October 4Basetrack

On Saturday October 4, 2014, Cal Poly Arts will present, Basetrack at 8:00pm in Spanos Theatre. Musicians, actors and an action-filled video screen make up Basetrack, the Internet sensation that is now a live, multimedia theatre experience focusing on the intense personal experiences of Marines deployed in Afghanistan, their comrades, and their families in a moving, apolitical documentary that depicts the human side of war and those most affected.
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Branford Marsalis, Marsalis Well-Tempered, October 15

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014 Cal Poly Arts presents a performance from Branford Marsalis and Marsalis Well-Tempered in the Cohan Center at 7:30pm.
Renowned Grammy Award–winning saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis joins the highly celebrated Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in a performance of stirring Baroque masterpieces by Albinoni, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and others. A pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the show

Cirque Zuma Zuma, October 17Cirque Zuma Zuma

The Cirque Zuma Zuma is coming to Cal Poly on October 17, 2014. The show starts at 7pm on Friday night in the Cohan Center. With live music and percussionists, the talented cast of amazing acrobats delivers an action-packed show, combining the mysticism of Africa with the excitement and athleticism of a theatrical cirque performance in the ultimate celebration of music, dance and rituals from the continent. More on the show

The Stepcrew, October 21

With a cast of 11 performers, The StepCrew includes four touring members of Ireland's traditional music moguls, The Chieftains. This completely unique and high-energy extravaganza of music, song, and three styles of percussive dance is an exciting Celtic journey and the group is coming to Cal Poly on October 21st at 7:30pm in the Cohan Center. More on the performance

The Dunwells, October 24

The DunwellsComing to Spanos Theatre on October 24th at 8:00pm, The Dunwells are a pop-rock vocalist group. With an exhilarating blend of English rock and American roots music, these British folk rockers from the pubs of England absolutely fired up the PAC audience when they opened for Los Lonely Boys two seasons ago – and Central Coast fans have been clamoring for them ever since.
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Diavolo, October 28

On October 28th, Cal Poly Arts will present Diavolo at 7:30pm in the Cohan Center. Known as Los Angeles’ “wild child,” Diavolo is a contemporary company of hip daredevil dancers, cavorting on pitching wheels, goliath walls and other unique architectural creations – fusing ballet and contemporary movement with acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts and hip-hop in a major Cirque-style show. More on the show


Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, November 1Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

On Saturday, November 1 Cal Poly Arts presents the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at 8:00pm in the Cohan Center. Celebrating their 42nd season, this Grammy Award-winning classical music ensemble is known for its collaborative leadership style in which the musicians, not a conductor, interpret the score. Their program will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 and violin soloist Jennifer Koh playing the Bach Violin Concerto. A pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the performance

Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music, November 2

On November 2 in the Cohan Center, Cal Poly Arts presents Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music at 3:00pm. This worldwide phenomenon celebrates the Julie Andrews classic film musical on the PAC big screen – in all of its glorious full-screen Technicolor – for a family-fun experience complete with hand props and subtitles so the whole audience can sing along! Charmian Carr, who played “Liesl,” will emcee the event. Start working on your Lederhosen and nun habits now for the big costume competition!  (Suitable for ages 5+). More on the show

Chicago, November 4-5

Come out to the Cohan Center at 7:30pm on November 4th or November 5th to watch the spectacle that is, Chicago. Chicago has everything that makes a Broadway musical great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. Winner of six Tony Awards and thousands of standing ovations. Don’t miss this razzle-dazzle evening of theatre! (Adult content – may not be suitable for children under age 15). Pre-show lecture scheduled for this performance. More on the performance

Dorothy Riess, November 16

Dorothy RiessOn November 16, Cal Poly Arts presents Dorothy Riess in the Cohan Center at 3:00pm. Considered a "living legend" by those who have heard her artistry, “Dr. Dorothy's” organ program will feature an interesting, eclectic mix of original compositions, transcriptions and classical organ repertoire, including Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B minor, Stravinsky's "Petrouchka," and Wagner’s "Pilgrim's Chorus" – delivered with unique interpretations and dramatic flair. More on the show

King Lear, November 18

On Tuesday, November 18th at 7:30pm, King Lear will come to the Cohan Center. With its tempestuous poetry, touches of humor and moments of heart-rending simplicity, Shakespeare’s ultimately tragic King Lear is one of the deepest artistic explorations of the human condition. This riveting evening is performed by one of England’s premier theatre companies on a traveling Elizabethan stage. Pre-show lecture scheduled. More on the show


Audra McDonald, December 3Audra McDonald

On Wednesday December 3, Audra McDonald is coming to Cal Poly. The performanc, which begins at 7:30pm,  will be held in the Cohan Center. Winner of five Tony Awards and two Grammys, the barrier-breaking Broadway legend and charming “Live From Lincoln Center” host dazzles audiences with favorite showtunes and songs from her new album, Go Back Home – her most personal recording to date. More on the show

Brian Regan, December 4

A Center Stage Event, Cal Poly Arts is bringing, comedian, Brian Regan to the Cohan Center on December 4 at 7:30pm. One of the hardest working and most respected comedians in the country – selling out theatres from coast to coast, including a Rotary de Tolosa fundraiser at the PAC – Brian Regan counts Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt and David Letterman among his biggest fans. More on the show

An Irish Christmas, December 15

On December 15, Cal Poly Arts presents An Irish Christmas at the Cohan Center. The Irish Christmasshow starts at 7:30pm. This wildly popular show brings just about everything to the staged story – joy, hope, laughter, friendship and an exuberant celebration of life. Through bright storytelling, Celtic music and dance, seasonal song, and just a bit of “magic,” this holiday event will bring ear-to-ear smiles to audiences of all ages! More on the show


The Hot Sardines, January 14

On Wedneday, January 14 The Hot Sardines are coming to the Cal Poly campus. The show will begin at 7:30pm in Spanos Theatre. Move over Dixieland and let The Hot Sardinesthe Sardines play “hot jazz” from the bygone era when live music was king. Bop ‘til you drop to their unique repertoire tinged with a little glamour, a little grit, a bit of Parisian accent, a lot of passion – and even some tap dance! All coolly wrapped into one extraordinary evening. More on the concert

Samite, January 15

Originally from Uganda, Samité's smooth vocals – accompanied by the kalimba, marimba, litungu, and various flutes – have mesmerized audiences around the world. On January 15th, Samite will be coming to the PAC Pavilion at the Christopher Cohan Center for a 7:30pm performance. In the intimate Pavilion, Samité's East African music will touch everyone as he sings the songs of his people. More on the concert

Kathleen Madigan, January 16

For the past 25 years, Kathleen Madigan has been a top-rated comic vKathleen Madiganoice on virtually every late-night TV show and the headliner in several Comedy Central stand-up specials. On Friday, January 16 Kathleen Madigan will be coming to the Cohan Center at 8:00pm. Understated, observational, and absolutely hilarious, Madigan proves why audiences adore her and fellow comedians like Ron White call her “the best.” (Adult content – may not be suitable for children under age 15). More on the show

Christian Elliott, January 25

On Sunday, January 25th, Cal Poly Arts presents Christian Elliott in the Cohan Center at 3:00pm. One of today’s most prominent concert organists, Elliott excels at authentic silent film accompaniment and promises great fun when he returns to the Forbes Pipe Organ, accompanying shorts by Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy and a feature film starring local silent screen star, Colleen Moore. More on the event

FebruaryRoberta Flack

Roberta Flack, February 4

On February 4th, Cal Poly Arts presents Roberta Flack in the Cohan Center at 7:30pm. The show will include “Killing Me Softly,” “The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face),” “Where is the Love,” “Feel Like Making Love,” “The Closer I Get to You,” and more. Internationally hailed as one of the greatest songstresses of our time, this Grammy Award winner remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music, effortlessly traversing a broad musical landscape of pop, soul, folk and jazz. More on the performance

The Second City, February 8

On February 8th at 7:00pm, The Second City is coming to Cal Poly’s, Cohan Center. It is the 55th Anniversary tour and it includes Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Martin Short, Will Ferrell, and Ryan Stiles. All great comedians, all alumni of this famed improvisation troupe. Come see SC’s 55th Anniversary Tour, filled with the best comedy created by some of the biggest names in the business, mixed up with brand-new material – some written especially about San Luis Obispo – performed by the red-hot talent of today. More on the show

Memphis, February 9Memphis The Musical

Memphis the musical is coming to Cal Poly’s Cohan Center on February 9th at 7:30pm. From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis where rock 'n' roll was born, comes a hot musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. The 2010 “Best Musical” Tony Award-winner, Memphis is an incredible journey, filled with drama, laughter and roof-raising rock 'n' roll. More on the show




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