Late Afternoon Performances

Rick Hirsch

Here are the First Night performances scheduled to begin between 3 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on December 31, 2016. Click on the + for each listing to learn more.

This page reflects information available as of November 1, 2016. Events are subject to change. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us.

You can find a description of all event venues and access directions here. Events marked with a B require a First Night Button for admittance.

Pepper Lotus Belly Dance Troupe

University Baptist & Brethren Church

Black Cat Belly Dance of State College performs traditional raqs sharqi (belly dance) as well as the folkloric dances of Egypt and beyond.  Featuring Shannon Bishop and the members of Pepper Lotus Dance Ensemble, every show will bring you a sampling of music and dance from across the Middle East.  All shows are high energy and family friendly!










St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

After returning from a tour of the Baltic States with the International Flute Orchestra, Judy Moore was inspired to form State College’s flute choir, Toot-in-Common. The group’s repertoire consists of popular and classical favorites arranged for flute choir and works written especially for flute choir. Instrumentation includes one piccolo, six to eight C flutes, two alto flutes, one bass flute, and one contrabass flute. In addition to performing at First Night State College, the group has performed at other festivals and events in Central Pennsylvania.


The Gizmo Guys

State Theatre
Sponsored by Penn State Health

The New York Times called The Gizmo Guys “master jugglers with ebullient energy and exquisite skill. . . . human virtuosity with a touch of lunacy.” That’s not praise they hand out every day!  The Gizmo Guys, otherwise known as Allan Jacobs and Barrett Felker, have amazed and amused audiences around the world. They’ve played in more venues than we have room to name.  You name it, they’ve done it.  And in their spare time, they’ve made television appearances, won international juggling competitions, and taught at top circus schools. Their act is filled with a frothy combination of infectious humor and dazzling technique. Don’t miss this great show!

Middle-earth Studios

Westminster Hall, State College Presbyterian Church

Since ancient times storytelling has enchanted people of all ages. Middle-earth Studios’ kind of story-telling is an interactive celebration that brings out the kid in everyone.

Anyone can be a part of their story as they costume up to 100 people from the audience.  For days afterwards you’ll still hear people talking about the show where they did things they never thought they’d do.

This year’s show, The Free Folk of Middle-earth, features knights armed with swords and shields, beautiful princesses, the dwarves and animals of the Lonely Mountain (who also happen to be the kingdom’s finest treasure hunters), and the wicked goblins of the Land of Mordor.  It is the story of a quest to recover stolen treasure from the goblins.  Peace is won by cooperation among different kinds of beings

Arietta Women's Ensemble

State College Presbyterian Church

Arietta Women’s Ensemble, under the direction of Janice Mianulli, was founded in 2001 by a group of musicians who did not want to give up singing during the State College Choral Society summer hiatus. Since its inception, Arietta has performed with the State College Choral Society,  and at national conferences at Penn State in addition to performing  for church, community and service organizations, as well as at private events.  Arietta has joined the Juniata College Women’s Chamber Choir for the past several years to perform holiday concerts, both in State College and Huntingdon. Arietta is best known for its rich “womanly” sound, extraordinary musicianship, and its ability and willingness to take on challenging repertoire of all styles, ages, cultures and languages.

Yang Xiao Di

Penn State Downtown Theatre Center

A native of Shanghai, Yang Xiao Di became an apprentice acrobat at the age of six and rapidly excelled a variety of Chinese acrobatic genres, including equilibristics, juggling, trapeze, teeterboard, the traditional Lion Dances and clowning. In a career with several renowned circus troupes, he travelled the globe. Today he is a senior instructor with the National Circus Project, an arts-in-education project that teaches American kids performing skills. Since joining the NCP, he has toured in hundreds of public schools and community centers throughout the U.S., performing and teaching circus skills in his unique style to more than 150,000 American children.

Biscuit Jam

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church

Biscuit Jam performs unique acoustic interpretations of classic rock favorites as well as traditional folk songs and Americana-flavored original compositions. The band has performed at nightspots in the State College area as well as at several central Pennsylvania festivals and at many private events.

Tussey Mountain Moonshiners

Grace Lutheran Church

Tussey Mountain Moonshiners is a progressive bluegrass/Americana band from central Pennsylvania. A Moonshiners performance features dynamic songwriting, singing, and strong improvisational musicianship from all five members, as the band creates energy and joy with audiences at every live show. In 2010, the band won the prestigious DelFest Bluegrass Band Competition in Cumberland, Maryland.

Below Centre

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Instruments that play the bass parts are often the unsung heroes of the symphonic band. The public can name famous trumpeters and flutists, but it’s pretty difficult to name a famous euphonium player, or even spell euphonium for that matter. The gentlemen of Below Centre might just change that, as they create a melodic presence for First Night State College, and perhaps even teach you how to spell the word euphonium.


University Baptist & Brethren Church

Doo-wop is a genre of music that was developed in urban African-American communities in the 1940s, achieving mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. Built upon vocal harmony, doo-wop was one of the most mainstream, pop-oriented R&B styles of the time. Doo-wop features vocal group harmony, nonsense syllables, a simple beat, sometimes little or no instrumentation, and simple music and lyrics.  Ramalama is the Centre Region’s newest doo-wop group and features, Tom Wilson, Jeff Brown, John Zimmerman, Luke Lorenz, Eric McGinnis and Lisa Lenze.

Puppeteer Carolyn Koerber

Days Inn Penn State

Since 1970, master puppeteer Carolyn Koerber has presented puppet theater that excites the imagination. An outstanding artist, she has performed for the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theater, The National Theater, and for schools, theaters, and community groups throughout the mid-Atlantic area.

This will be Ms. Koerber’s final appearance at First Night State College. After a great career in puppetry, she’s retiring. Don’t miss this final chance to see one of her shows!

Carolyn returns to First Night State College with her storytelling, puppetry, and acting skills to retell three Native American stories: The Talking Stone, an Iroquois legend about a lonely old rock spirit that has many stories to tell; The North Star, a Paiute legend about a brave and adventurous mountain sheep; and a Hopi legend called The Wind Spirit, about a farmer who calls on Spider Woman to help him tame the wind. In a humorous and imaginative way, these stories teach children about the Earth and Native American cultures.

Laura Herts

Community Room, State College Municipal Building

Laura Herts, a wacky, energetic female non-scary clown was born  in Washington D.C. (the home of lots of different clowns) and began a world tour at the age of 18. Determined to evolve in the combining of theatre, physical comedy, and mime, she studied in Belgium at The School of Mime-Theatre Lassaa. After finishing her formal training, she created a unique world of clown-comedy derived from observations she made during her world travels. Since 1990, she has played at festivals, theatres, and cabarets all over the world, sometimes in the company of her own theatre company, The Traveling Laughter Association. This is her first trip to First Night State College

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