Posts tagged ‘State Theatre’

Legacies Examined on the Big Screen

Two very different cinematic responses to the Sandusky Scandal will premiere this weekend at the State Theatre in downtown State College.

Happy-Valley_612x907Friday night sees the debut of Happy Valley, a documentary from director Amir Bar-Lev billed as “the story behind the Penn State scandal.” Best known for his films My Kid Could Paint That and The Tillman Story, Bar-Lev filmed in and around State College for a year following Jerry Sandusky’s arrest; the end result is an attempt to explore the scandal’s aftermath, and the climate that allowed it to happen in the first place. Sue ’62, Jay ’91 and Scott Paterno ’97, ’00g were all interviewed and feature prominently in the film, which will be available through iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play and other digital platforms on Nov. 21.

DVD-posterThe People’s Joe debuts Saturday evening, and as the title implies, its focus is the life and legacy of Joe Paterno. It’s the third post-scandal documentary from the State College-based Porterfield Group, which also produced The Joe We Know and 365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley. The film traces Paterno’s life from his Brooklyn childhood to his decades at Penn State through archival footage and interviews with former players, fans, and friends. DVDs of the film are available to purchase at

Ryan Jones, senior editor

November 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 25, 2014

Saturday night’s alright: It’s the second-to-last weekend before finals, and there’s plenty to distract University Park students before the time comes to cram for exams. The annual Movin’ On outdoor concert kicks off Saturday at 2:30 with a lineup of six acts; Onward State offers a beginner’s guide to the performers, who range from “indie folk” to hip-hop, while the Collegian has the details on the late switch of headliners from New York rapper A$AP Rocky to Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa. Movin’ On is free as always.

And on Saturday night, the annual Blue and White Film Festival at the State Theatre will showcase the work of student filmmakers. Admission is free for students and $6 for non-students, and the curtain opens at 7 p.m.

Designing playwright: Some cool news on Carrie Fishbein Robbins ’64, who graced the cover of our March/April 2013 issue: The award-winning Broadway costume designer is set to debut two new plays she wrote. Sawbones and The Diamond Eater, one-acts plays Robbins penned, will have their world premieres next month at the off-Broadway HERE Arts Center in New York City. Also in May, Robbins is the main draw at the Alumni Association’s City Lights event, “Behind the Seams on Broadway,” also in NYC.

Out of this world: Onward State gets to know Eric Ford, the astrophysicist who was part of the team whose recent discovery of an Earth-like planet is getting lots of buzz. It’s good stuff, but I’m not gonna pretend I’m not disappointed that they didn’t ask him what kind of dinosaur he’d be.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 4, 2013

From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.

The place to be: The Penn State Centre Stage production of No Place To Be Somebody opens tonight at the Pavilion Theatre at University Park. For longtime Penn State theatre professor Charles Dumas, it’s something of a swan song.


Dumas (left) as “Sweets,” faces off with “Johnny,” played by Herb Newsome ’02g. Photo by Tina Hay

Dumas is retiring in December, and No Place to be Somebody marks his final Penn State show as a director. He also plays a vital supporting role in the production, which is set in seedy, racially conflicted late ’60s New York City. The play won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making Charles Gordone the first African-American playwright to receive the honor. Based on the preview I attended, it’s tense, heavy stuff, especially challenging for audience members too young to appreciate the tone of race relations in late ’60s America. But it’s tight and well-acted, and I imagine Dumas is quite happy with the idea of challenging his audience.

No Place to be Somebody runs tonight through Oct. 10.

Big-screen hero: Speaking of premieres: Murph: The Protector, a feature-length documentary on the life of Michael Murphy ’98, debuts tonight at the State Theatre in downtown State College. Members of the Penn State ROTC (more…)

October 4, 2013 at 10:06 am 1 comment

A Glimpse At ‘The Joe We Know’

The premise was simple: Gather as many of Joe Paterno’s former lettermen as possible in a limited timeframe, get them in front of a camera to share their memories of playing for—and learning from—the legendary coach, and compile them in a film to be presented to Paterno on his 85th birthday.

The filmmakers’ only disappointment was that they didn’t finish it in time for Joe to see it.

Instead, The Joe We Know is a posthumous tribute, an hour-long collection of remembrances by former Nittany Lion football players. Presented last week as a birthday present for Sue Paterno, The Joe We Know was screened Saturday night in State College for an invitation-only audience, most of them former lettermen and their families. Those of us lucky enough to be in the State Theatre were treated to an hour of terrific, high-pitched Joe impersonations, anecdotes that ranged from hilarious to tear-jerking, and countless variations on a theme we’ve heard so often over the past month: former players who credit Joe Paterno’s role in helping them grow from boys to men.

Beyond this one-hour film, The Joe We Know is an ongoing project; the filmmakers hope to continue filming former player thought next spring, with additional footage compiled at The site is still a work in progress, but you can go there now to check out a handful of short clips. You can also sign up for email updates on the progress of the project, including when it might be made more widely available.

For those in or near Happy Valley, the film will be shown twice Sunday. As of late Saturday night, tickets were still available.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

February 19, 2012 at 12:17 am 4 comments

Rosanne Cash at the State Theatre


One highlight of the Fourth of July weekend for country and folk music fans in the Penn State community was a concert by Rosanne Cash at the State Theatre last night—her first time ever in State College, she said.

The State Theatre, which was a plain-old movie theatre when many Penn State grads were students, underwent a major renovation and reopened as a performing-arts center in 2006. Today, under general manager Harry Zimbler ’90g, it offers a mix of films, local theatre, and concerts by nationally known performers.


Cash with her sideman and husband, John Leventhal.

Cash and her sideman/husband, John Leventhal, played a terrific 90-minute set. The opener was a local bluegrass group called the Allegheny Ridgerunners—its members are Kurt Kroeker ’09; Will Hancock, a faculty member in bioengineering, Celia Millington-Wyckoff ’80g Com, and Keith Miska, a staff member in the Penn State Energy Institute.

I’ve become a fan of Rosanne Cash’s music pretty recently, thanks to her 2009 release The List. The story goes that (more…)

July 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

To Eat Meat, Or Not to Eat Meat

That’s the topic brought up in a new documentary called Forks Over Knives.

The film follows the career paths of two doctors, Dr. T. Colin Campbell ’56 (one of the authors of the 2005 book The China Study) and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. The film illustrates how each of their medical research led them to the same conclusion; that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet could prevent—and in some cases reverse—degenerative diseases and several forms of cancer.

The film doesn’t reach major theatres until March 11th, but the State Theatre had an early screening this past week. Our art director, Carole Otypka, and I were able to go and really enjoyed it. The event was sponsored by such diverse groups as the Center for Well Being and the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

On a personal note: I was excited to see the film because I’m a somewhat new vegetarian and the movie provides great factual information for friends and family to understand why I’m attempting to do it. For example, stopping comments from my mother who, “Can’t believe she raised a kid who doesn’t eat meat.” How preposterous. :)

If the film reaches a theatre near you, it’s a definite must-see, whether you’re an herbivore or not. Below is a look at the trailer.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

January 21, 2011 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

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