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Announcing the Mandell Presents series: Engaging the Community through Interdisciplinary Performance

Mandell Presents logo

September 8, 2021

Drexel University’s Department of Performing Arts announces the public launch of the Mandell Presents series as part of the 2021-2022 Academic Year. Mandell Presents will expand on the mission of Drexel’s Department of Performing Arts to engage a broader University and community audience through an interdisciplinary series of theater, music, and dance productions. Featuring high-caliber professional artists who engage with provocative ideas and innovative concepts through their work, the series will delve deeply into contemporary issues impacting our community. All work presented in this series will include public performances as well as supplementary programming and engagement opportunities including talkbacks, lectures, workshops, classroom visits, and more. To better realize President John Fry's goal of growing Drexel into "the most civically engaged University in the United States," Mandell Presents will operate under a radical funding model that offers all programming for free. ​For the first five years of this program, a gift from the Samuel P. Mandell Foundation will fully subsidize the cost of tickets, allowing all members of the Drexel community, its neighbors in West Philadelphia, and participants from across the city and beyond to attend performances and related activities for free.​ 


The inaugural 2021 – 2022 season of Mandell Presents will include two productions, both centered around the theme of climate change. On Thursday, February 24, 2022, audiences will experience Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project, a multi-disciplinary live performance fusing original music with art, imagery, and science to address global sustainability and provide a path toward meaningful response. Supplementary engagement activities for this presentation will include a free discussion event at the Academy of Natural Sciences on Wednesday, February 23, featuring a conversation between the creators of the piece and moderator from the Academy on the topic of “Growing Art from Science.”


On Friday, April 29, 2022, Mandell Presents welcomes Melting Ice/Changing Winds (Dance and Music of Climate Change), a collaboration between acclaimed choreographer Jody Sperling (Time Lapse Dance) and composer Matthew Burtner. Inspired by the artist’s unique experience in the Arctic and addressing global warming, the work has been described by critics as “dazzling” (The Times) and “mesmerizing” (Edinburgh Spotlight).  


Future seasons of Mandell Presents will incorporate new themes and new partners from across the University and throughout the cityas Drexel embraces the opportunity to welcome traditional arts audiences onto campus while also finding a new way to creatively engage non-traditional performing arts-goers through themes and topics that affect our community. Programming for this series will also seek to supplement curricular goals and offer students an opportunity to explore academic topics and social issues in a new, collaborative way.  


Drexel is grateful to the Mandell Foundation for their support in moving the Department of Performing Arts and the wider-Drexel community forward in its reach as innovative artist-citizens. 


For more information about the 2021-22 Mandell Presents season offerings, visit the Department of Performing Arts website.