Platt Student Performing Arts House
160 Stouffer Commons
3702 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6026
Platt Student Performing Arts House provides leadership and support for the creation and implementation of arts programming for students at the University of Pennsylvania:
- Supporting Penn’s 70+ student performing arts groups, which stage over 100 comedy, spoken word, dance, theatre, and music events each year
- Committing to the learning and development of student artists through trainings, workshops, masterclasses, and career mentorship
- Facilitating youth arts mentorship, audience outreach, and engagement with the regional arts industry.
You have a home at Platt House. We believe that our mission to support the student performing arts touches everyone at Penn. Artmaking is inherent to all of us, and Penn’s performing arts are instrumental in reducing the psychological size of the University, forming communities out of individuals, and helping students recognize and affirm our common humanity. Our aim is to help you build these affirming spaces, stitched together by creative passion and shared development. We seek to continuously amplify the joy, purpose, and artistry in your creative pursuits, inviting all of Penn to grow with you.
The value of any collective artwork comes from the strength of its community. Our student performing arts community is made up of over a thousand people with their own affinities and experiences, an array of media, forms, and practices, and a flow of impactful missions and ideas. Our goal is to display this community in all its diversity and inspire you to meaningful collaboration. We strive to support and uplift your presence here by fostering comfort, engaging earnestly with challenges, and nourishing your creativity.
We believe that equity and inclusion are the central tenets of just organizations, imaginative art, and meaningful programming. Building a thriving arts ecosystem requires us to recognize and repair the harm that artmaking structures can perpetuate. We share the responsibility to create an informed and empathetic space with the resolve to dismantle sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and all covert and overt forms of prejudice and discrimination. Through continuous learning and thoughtful, identity-conscious programming, we work towards building a generous and just performing arts infrastructure that will help all members flourish.
The performing arts are an environment for experiential, tactile, and emotional learning that can empower its makers and audiences. Drawing from the resources of our city, campus, and experienced staff, Platt House acts as a scaffold and safe haven for creative students as you attempt, envision, and bring to life moments that will land among the most memorable chapters of your Penn adventure. We serve as collaborators, cheerleaders, and advisors, reminding you and ourselves of the importance of doing it for yourself, failing fantastically, and writing in pencil. And when stress inevitably comes, we give ourselves and each other grace, we rest, and we reflect, before diving back into the arts galvanized anew.
Creativity thrives in an environment of reciprocal respect, and we want that affirmation to be palpable within Platt House and among all of Penn’s student performing artists. Our intersectional and inclusive ideas of community guide our actions. We celebrate the interplay of all our identities and seek spaces to share our personal experiences and truths. We believe that mutual, affirming respect allows tough conversations to happen while magnifying the goodwill necessary to actualize substantive, lasting change.
You are a human first. We prioritize wellness in all its spheres, and recognize our shared need to balance our creative passions and academic goals with health and safety in mind. We provide the tools and environment to assist you in managing stress for yourself and your artist community, while leaving space for the influx of effort and exertion that follows inspiration. We embrace failure and imperfection as part of the artistic journey. We encourage you to take the necessary time and space to set boundaries, build mindful practices, reflect, and evolve, so that all artists can feel supported in showing up, participating, and leaving enriched by art.
Laurie McCall has been working in the Division of University of Life at Penn since 1992 where she started as Assistant Director of New Student Orientation for the Department of Academic Support Programs. After starting a family in 1999, she remained on a part time basis to run the PennQuest Pre-Orientation Program. In 2007, she returned to full time to work for the Platt Student Performing Arts House and Pre-Orientation Programs. Her role expanded in 2013 as she took on the Director position. She holds a B.S. in Education from Kutztown University and a M.A. in Communication Studies from Bloomsburg University.
Megan Edelman has been a part of the University of Pennsylvania since 2007. As an undergraduate student, she worked for the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. After graduating, she joined the alumni development and alumni relations team for the Perelman School of Medicine and later served as the Rodin College House Coordinator. Megan holds a BA in English Literature from Penn and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies. In addition to serving the students of Penn, she is an actor and performance artist, and she enjoys applying her passion for the arts to her work each day.
Sara Outing is an arts administrator, advisor, and proud Theatre Arts Program alumn, C’13. Moonlighting as a designer, deviser, and fabricator in the Philadelphia regional theatre industry, she serves Penn with a mission to empower young creatives as they claim artistic identities, encourage dialogue that untangles the relationship between artistic excellence and nourishing art practices, and to act as a liason between students and the city’s performing arts communities. Stop by her office to peruse the Platt House tea expansion set!
Platt House Advisory Council
- Maintain a vibrant, vital advisory board that advances the mission of Platt Student Performing Arts House
- Build connections between arts communities at Penn
- Foster alumni connections that support the sustainability of the Penn arts community
- Enhance alumni ownership of the Platt Student Performing Arts House by helping alumni feel proud of their past and current relationship to arts at Penn
2021 – 2022 Members: Alumni Representatives
Anthony Anchelowitz, C’18
During his time at Penn, Anthony Anchelowitz (C ’18) served as the President of Counterparts and the Chair of the A Cappella Council. Through these roles, he created the first annual Raise Your Voice a cappella charity concert, produced award-winning music videos for Counterparts, and worked as one of the producers of the University’s first ever performing arts event at Carnegie Hall. Since graduating, he has interned in film development with Marc Platt and now works as the development assistant for Kristin Burr on the Walt Disney Studios Lot.
Jessica Brand, C’04
Graduated from Penn with a double major in history and international relations. She is now a lawyer at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. On the side, she volunteers at the Sitar Arts Center, teaching dance. She misses her time at Penn, where she danced with Arts House Dance Company, served as the Chair of the Emily Sachs Dance Benefit, and as the Dance Arts Council (DAC) chair for two years. She was also involved with Penn Life Sketches.
Jason Butler, C’09
Graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communications and Theatre Studies. He currently works as a Motion Picture Talent and Comedy Assistant at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in NYC. Previously, Jason worked at Roundabout Theatre Company and The Gersh Agency. While at Penn, Jason was a member of Penn Players, Penn Singers, Front Row Theatre Company, and Quadramics.
Cassandra Georges, C’01, L’05
Cassandra is a lawyer specializing in dispute resolution. She has fond memories of her time with Onda Latina Dance Troupe and as Performing Arts Council (PAC) Chair.
Ankit Dhir, C'10, W'10
Bio coming soon
Lolita Jackson, ENG’89
Lolita Jackson currently serves as the Special Advisor to the Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs in the NYC Mayor’s Office. She is the primary liaison to foreign and domestic governments around climate, and administers activities for New York City’s participation in global climate and resilience networks as well as with the United Nations. Prior to her appointment to this role, she held numerous positions within the NYC Mayor’s Office and has worked there for 12 years. Lolita was also at Morgan Stanley for 12 years, with her last position as Vice President at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Lolita is a 1989 alumna of the Penn School of Engineering, majoring in Applied Science with a concentration in Chemical Engineering. She is currently the President and Reunion Chair of the Class of 1989, which has won the Class Award of Merit twice, a member of the Alumni Class Leadership Council, and a former member of the Annenberg Center Board of Overseers. Lolita is a 2008 winner of the Alumni Award of Merit. She is also a professional singer who has performed in Shanghai, Sydney, Berlin, Tokyo, and Carnegie Hall and performs annually at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. While at Penn, Lolita was a member of Penn Gospel Choir, Quadramics, Counterparts, and lead singer of Billie Soul & the Obsessions, a band comprised of members of Counterparts and the Jazz Ensemble.
Mara Jacobs W'87
Biography coming soon….
Pearl Lo, C’17, GSE’18
Pearl Lo is currently a Ph.D. student studying Higher Education. Her research interests include cross-racial interactions and friendships groups, particularly among Asian Americans and their peers of color. She also conducts research on intersectionality and how the lived experiences of individuals with multiple minoritized identities, specifically queer women of color, coupled with social development affect learning outcomes. She is also interested in experiences of acculturation and assimilation of first and second generation Asian American and Latinx students. During her time at Penn, Pearl was first introduced to the arts through the PennArts pre-orientation program. She later went on to serve as the PennArts coordinator in her junior and senior years. Pearl had the pleasure of serving on PAC Exec as the Community Service Chair from 2015-2017 and loved organizing ASAP (After School Arts at Penn) every week. Pearl was an administrative assistant at Platt Student Performing Arts House, which was her home at Penn. She held leadership roles in various performing arts organizations such as Director of The Vagina Monologues and Penn V-Day, Vice Chair of Stimulus Children’s Theatre, and Technical Manager of the Penn Glee Club. She also performed in or did tech for many different groups and graduated Penn with having been involved in 41 student productions. Pearl was also the Support Chair for the Osiris Performing Arts Senior Honor Society and was a member of Oracle Senior Honor Society. Pearl is excited to continue her love for the performing arts at Penn by being a part of the Platt House Advisory Council.
Sarah Marcus Hansen C'10
Biography coming soon….
Layla O'Kane C'14
Biography coming soon….
Corey Singer C'10
Biography coming soon….
Josh Slatko C'00
Biography coming soon….
Greg Suss C'75
Biography coming soon….
Gilberto Vega C'14
Biography coming soon….
Platt Student Performing Arts House is committed to the learning and development of Penn student performing artists. In addition to the learning experiences students gain from participating and leading performing arts groups, Platt House provides the following programming to benefit student learning and arts engagement.
Join Platt for periodic panels and individual speakers along with collaborative events with Career Services, such as the Creative & Common Good Fair! Alumni: Sign up to be a career mentor!
Platt House organizers pre-production meetings, light board trainings, sound board trainings, fight choreography workshops, and more! This year, we are hosting the first Annual PAC Conference!
The Wallace Award will provide a Penn undergraduate with funds to support a summer internship in a professional performing arts or entertainment environment. The award recipient will receive a $3,000 stipend. Applicants are responsible for securing their internship.
Master Classes, etc.
Master classes, guest lectures, and conversations are listed in the events section of our home page as details are made available. Most events other than performances are free to Penn students with ID; however, they may require a ticket or RSVP. Some events are not open to the public; check event details as listed on the home page.
Platt House recognizes that the size and breadth of arts opportunities at Penn and in the Greater Philadelphia area can be overwhelming. To ensure incoming students are aware of and have access to these rich opportunities, Platt House provides information for interested students to learn more through its pre-orientation program PennArts and additional programs and events. Check out our Events Calendar to learn more.
One of five pre-orientation programs offered by University Life, PennArts welcomes 40 new students to campus one week prior to New Student Orientation for exploration of campus and Philadelphia arts offerings led by a team of upperclass student leaders.
Platt House Inclusivity Campaign
What is the Inclusivity Campaign?
DEI Trainings and Workshops
Trainings and Workshops on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: view the facilitated training resources we’ve offered, and request resources for your project or student group.
Think Tank (formerly the Advisory Committee on Inclusive Programming) is a student assembly supported by Platt House staff. In open meetings, we brainstorm equity initiatives to support the ever-changing needs and interests of our student performing arts community. Get reminders about the next Think Tank meeting
The Community Ticketing Program, recently expanded to serve students as well as community partners, facilitates greater engagement with our performing arts groups by keeping ticket costs from being a financial barrier.
Our newest initiative, Performing Arts Peer Review (PAPR) is a dialogue and feedback system to help arts groups align their work with their values and intentions. We are looking for student reviewers interested in equity and representation in the arts to participate as Peer Reviewers for our upcoming launch!