Our Art Festival Performances on Long Island
COVID Update as of December 1, 2020:
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. With sadness and understanding, we regret that live performances with audiences are currently not permitted in the State of New York.
When New York State again allows live performances with audiences, the Festival will recommence. Our protocols will then be strictly in line with guidance on safe live performances with audiences. Should live performances with audiences be permitted before Summer 2021, rest assured, we are ready to go with a program of professional and student performances all summer long.
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.
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.
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.