Festival Performances
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Our Art Festival Performances on Long Island

COVID Update as of March 9, 2021:

Every summer day since 1968, Usdan's Festival Performances have allowed campers and their families to experience a range of art forms live on the big stage. The Festival is central, not peripheral, to students’ artistic happiness at Usdan. 

We are happy to announce that outdoor entertainment venues will be permitted to reopen at limited capacity starting April 2, 2021.  We are currently discussing what this means for our Summer 2021 program. Should we run the Festival, our protocols will be strictly in line with guidance on safe live performances with audiences including physical distancing and mask wearing by all audience members.

Once a plan is in place, we will post it here and update our Summer 2021 families. 

Even if we cannot welcome families into the McKinley Amphitheater to see young artists perform live, we will bring the stage to you via a combination of select livestream and recorded student performances.

Have thoughts, comments, or questions about Festival this summer? Send them to questions@usdan.org.


Festival Performances

The Usdan Festival has hosted professional artists from around the world, including dancers from the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey dance companies, musicians from the New York Philharmonic and International Contemporary Ensemble, mimes, puppeteers, spoken word and Broadway performers, and, in the very first season, an 11-year-old cello prodigy named Yo-Yo Ma. Repertoire for the daily Festival Performance includes traditional and contemporary art from a culturally diverse group of performers. These performances bring art to life for campers in thrilling new ways to further delight, surprise, and inspire our students. All of our professional performers hold a workshop or master class on the day of their performance with students from a related class or department. 

In a typical summer, the series alternates days between professional artists, faculty performers, and student performers, showcasing the talent and commitment of Usdan’s incredible campers and offering a glimpse of the artistry created in the studios throughout the summer. Complementing the in-studio performances, the Festival showcase exemplifies the value of performing for different-sized audiences and with different levels of formality. By participating in the series, performing-arts students learn what it means to come together as a group to produce an artwork, to take risks, and be supported by faculty and their peers on the big stage.

To watch Festival performances from past summers, visit our YouTube page.

Download our 2019 Festival Performance Calendar

Download our 2018 Summer Calendar

Download our 2017 Summer Calendar

Download our 2016 Summer Calendar

Outdoor Performance and Rehearsal Venue Rentals

Usdan's campus consists of 140 acres of natural beauty, peppered with winding paths, gardens, and outdoor artworks. The grounds feature more than 70 studios and theater spaces including the year-round Maurice B. Hexter Center and the 900 seat Andrew and Lily McKinley Amphitheater, an award-winning state-of-the-art performance space. Additionally, the campus features four modern tennis courts, three large outdoor swimming pools, two yoga platforms, and a recreational area.

For more information on outdoor venue rentals on our wooded campus, please visit our Venue Rental page