Thinking of joining a performing arts group?
Platt House provides advisory support, and programming to the wide array of performing arts groups operating on Penn campus. These student-run organizations operate in tandem (and sometimes collaborate!) with professionally-directed performance opportunities from Penn’s illustrious Theatre Arts Program and its comprehensive coursework, as well as the Department of Music’s coursework, private lessons, and the orchestras, choirs and ensembles hosted under the umbrella of Music 007.
For undergraduates considering making a debut in the student performing arts, we encourage you to scroll through the listings, click around on Facebook and Youtube, and get to know as many of the 70+ groups as you can! The groups listed below offer hundreds of positions where you can hone your craft, find your creative voice, and gain practical experience – not only on stage, but in choreography, producing, music directing, stage managing, and designing for scenery, sound, costumes, props, and lights! Those marked with an icon are members of the Performing Arts Council (PAC) which is organized by subcommittee: ACK, for a cappella groups; DAC, for dance groups; SMAC, a catch-all for accompanied singing, instrumental music, comedy, and spoken word; and TAC-e, for theatre groups. Beyond the Performing Arts Council, over 20 independently registered student performing arts clubs hold auditions, rehearsals, and performances using a melange of resources from across Penn campus.
If you are starting a group, we would love to support you! Reach out to schedule an introduction with the Platt House team, and find more from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on how to contact, register, and mange student groups.
A Cappella & Choral
Atma is Penn’s all-female South Asian fusion group. Listen to some of their performances!
Counterparts is Penn’s premier jazz and pop a cappella group, founded in 1981. Learn more about their music and upcoming performances on their website.
Founded in 1998, Dischord is the University of Pennsylvania’s premier Pop and R&B co-ed A Cappella group. Check out their website for more details!
Disney is a co-ed, community service interest, all-Disney-all-the-time a cappella group
Full Measure [ACK]
Full Measure is constantly seeking to define what it means to be a “Christian” a cappella group. Learn more about their music and mission on their website.
Keynotes A Cappella
We’re a co-ed student a cappella group under the University of Pennsylvania that performs music spanning across a variety of genres, including pop, indie, alt, and rock. The Keynotes mission is to foster musical talent and creativity, particularly by exclusively using arrangements created by its own members. Keynotes aims to share this creativity with others through performances.
Off the Beat [ACK]
Off the Beat is a co-ed modern rock and pop group in their 30th year
Pennchants is the university’s premier all-male a cappella group. More information can be found on their website!
Penn Enchord A Cappella
Penn Masala [ACK]
Penn Masala is the world’s first and premier South Asian a cappella group. Check out their website for more information.
PennYo is Penn’s premier Chinese a cappella group. More information about the group can be found on their website!
Pennsylvania Six-5000 [ACK]
Penn Six is Penn’s co-ed comedy a cappella group.
Penny Loafers [ACK]
The Penny Loafers, or Loaf, is Penn’s premier all-gender indie/pop a cappella group! Check out their website to learn more about their music and members!
Penn Sori [ACK]
Penn Sori is an a cappella group dedicated to serve as a cultural bridge between Korean and American cultures.
Quaker Notes [ACK]
Quaker Notes is a nationally-acclaimed all-female a cappella group, and the first a cappella group established on Penn’s campus.
The Shabbatones are the student-run Jewish a cappella group of Penn.
The Songwriters Collective
A diverse group of Penn students whose meetings are a fusion of spiritual gathering and songwriting lab. We support and challenge each other to write songs under strict time conditions to learn to trust and develop our musical instincts.
The Inspiration [ACK]
The Inspiration serves as a musical outlet for individuals with a desire to celebrate the legacy of the African Diaspora.
Glee Club [SMAC]
The Penn Glee Club is the nation’s longest continually running Glee Club. They perform musical repertoire of all genres in addition to writing and producing two original musicals each year.
New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir [SMAC]
As a group focused on ministry, the New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir shall spread the word of the Lord through song and help to serve as a catalyst for change in the spiritual lives of their audience.
Bands & Instrumental Music
Kapacity is a undergrad student-led rock band that features electric guitars, bass, keyboard, drums, and vocals. We hold weekly practices and semesterly concerts, as well as performing on cultural events led by KAP and KSA. We feature genres such as but not limited to K-pop, British pop, Rock-Ballad, and Jazz.
Penn Band [SMAC]
The Penn Band, the largest performing arts group at Penn, performs 100+ times a year at athletic and other events on campus and across the region
Penn Dure [SMAC]
Penn Dure is a group dedicated to poongmul, which is traditional Korean percussion music practiced originally by the agrarian society
Penn Jazz Ensemble [SMAC]
The University of Pennsylvania Jazz Ensemble is an 18-piece jazz big band and smaller accompanying ensembles that plays songs from a variety of styles and backgrounds.
Penn Records is a student-run club focused on fostering the live music scene at Penn by functioning as an artist and event promoter. Penn Records provides students with the necessary resources for performing their original music and succeeding in the music industry. Penn Records hosts monthly concerts, open mics, and charity events.
Penn Sargam [SMAC]
Penn Sargam is the USA’s very first student-groups dedicated to promoting Indian Classical Music
Bloomers Comedy, Mask & Wig, and the Glee Club also have instrumental bands in their organization. See their pages for more!
African Rhythms [DAC]
African Rhythms is Penn’s premiere African Drum and Dance troupe. Since 1993, they have been educating the Philadelphia community about West African and Afro-Cuban drum and dance styles. African Rhythms holds a weekly open class series open to all members of the Penn Community.
Arts House Dance Company [DAC]
AHDC is a student-run group dedicated to presenting the highest level of performance and technique. We produce full shows and collaborative projects in styles including contemporary, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop.
Freaks of the Beat
MMDC (Miss May Dance Crew) x B&G (Bounce & Groove)
Onda Latina [DAC]
Onda Latina is the University of Pennsylvania’s premier Latin Dance troupe.
Pan-Asian Dance Troupe [DAC]
Pan-Asian Dance Troupe is University of Pennsylvania’s premier Asian fusion dance group.
PENNaach is Penn’s only all-female South Asian fusion dance troupe, and has exposed members to various styles of South Asian dance since 1997.
Penn Ballet was created to allow ballet dancers of any level at the University of Pennsylvania to continue their classical ballet education through classes with professional ballet teachers from the Philadelphia area. The group is dedicated to helping dancers at Penn continue doing what they love despite the stress and time constraints of a rigorous academic environment. Classes are FREE and open to all Penn students looking to maintain or improve their skills, try their hand at choreography, or simply get some exercise without running and crunching for hours on end.
Penn Ballet is also a student-run company. Advanced and committed dancers may audition for our shows to learn and perform challenging repertoire. As Penn’s ONLY student group devoted to ballet, we are committed to improving as ballerinas in technique as well as performance.
Penn Chinese Dance Club
The Penn Chinese Dance Club (PCDC) is a student-run, non-profit dance group dedicated to practicing classical and folk chinese dance. Founded in May 2006 as a self-organized group of dance lovers at the University of Pennsylvania, we have flourished into a major performing arts troupe in philadelphia. PCDC’s mission is the enrichment and promotion of traditional chinese arts and culture through dance exercises, instructions, and collaborations.
Penn Dance Company [DAC]
Penn Dance is a co-ed, student-run, modern dance company that prides itself on innovative and expressive choreography. We have the privilege of working with a professional artistic director.
Penn Dhamaka [DAC]
Penn Dhamaka is Penn’s first and only all-male dance troupe. We combine Western and South Asian dance styles, aspiring to present fresh, unique, and innovative fusion of these cultures.
Penn Hype Dance Crew
Penn Latin Ballroom Dance (PLBD)
Penn Yalla [DAC]
Yalla is the University of Pennsylvania’s premier Middle Eastern dance & drum troupe.
Soundworks Tap Factory [DAC]
Founded in 2001, Soundworks Tap Factory is University of Pennsylvania’s one and only strictly tap dancing group. We are a completely student-choreographed team that produces shows throughout the year.
Sparks Dance Company [DAC]
Sparks Dance Company, founded in 1989, is Penn’s premiere dance company dedicated to both performing and community service. The company maintains a high technical level of many styles of dance.
Strictly Funk Dance Company [DAC]
Started in 1997, Strictly Funk has become Penn’s premiere hip-hop and contemporary dance company. We take talent from all over Philly; you think you can Funk with us?
WAVe (West African Vibe)
West Philly Swingers [DAC]
The West Philly Swingers is UPenn’s premiere swing-dancing troupe. Our mission is to foster enthusiasm for swing dance styles including Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Blues, and more.
Sketch & Musical Comedy
Bloomers Comedy [SMAC]
Bloomers is Penn’s musical sketch comedy troupe for underrepresented gender identities in comedy. It was founded in 1978 as the nation’s first and only collegiate all-female musical sketch comedy troupe.
Mask & Wig [SMAC]
Mask and Wig is the nations oldest collegiate all-male musical comedy group. Every year, they write and produce a sketch show in the fall, and an all-original musical comedy in the spring
Penn Improv Society
Without a Net [SMAC]
Without a Net is Penn’s oldest and only comedy improv group.
Simply Chaos [SMAC]
Simply Chaos is Penn’s only student-run stand-up comedy group. We perform at open-mics as well as two SAC funded shows per semester
Excelano Project [SMAC]
The Excelano Project is the University of Pennsylvania’s first and premier spoken word group. This group is about finding voice and breaking down barriers. It’s about holding a speaker up to life’s white noise, to find that every one of us can be heard
Theatre & Musicals
African American Arts Alliance [TAC-e]
The African American Arts Alliance (4A) serves as one of the premier performing arts organizations on Penn’s campus. Our mission is to promote an awareness of Black culture through the arts, specifically focusing on theatre.
Front Row Theatre Company [TAC-e]
Front Row Theatre Company (FTC) is the University of Pennsylvania’s only student theatre group dedicated to performing socially relevant theatre.
iNtuitons Experimental Theatre [TAC-e]
iNtuitons Experimental Theatre is the University of Pennsylvania’s only student-run experimental theatre group. iNtuitons comes from two words: intuition and automaton. The group was chartered to “attract people with diverse artistic interests and in order to provide an outlet for creative people whose ideas are too Classical or Avant-Garde to be supported by existing groups.”
Penn Chinese Theatre [TAC-e]
Penn Chinese Theatre, founded in 2012, is the University of Pennsylvania’s only Chinese drama troupe. Their productions, mounted each semester, mark bold experiments in genre and style.
Penn Monologues, born out of the Penn V-Day Campaign, is a social justice movement launching panel discussions, workshops, local events, and educational marketing campaigns on campus and online. Penn Monologues has become the catalyst for mobilizing people to heighten awareness of violence against female-identifying and non-binary people of all ages, as well as the force that empowers individuals and the public-at-large to bring that violence to an end. Each year, a diverse community of warriors help spread the message to thousands more throughout the greater Penn community.
Over its history, Penn Monologues has raised money for Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) and strives to motivate Penn students, faculty and staff to find their collective voice and demand an end to the violence.
Penn Players [TAC-e]
The University of Pennsylvania’s only professionally-directed student theatre group! Performing a musical in the fall and a play in the spring, we aim to hire talented directors from the Philadelphia area to give our students the opportunity to learn from the pros
Penn Singers [SMAC]
Penn Singers Light Opera Co. is a close-knit company that produces a Broadway-style musical in the fall semester and a Gilbert and Sullivan light opera in the spring semester
Quadramics Theatre Co. [TAC-e]
Quadramics is a student theatre company at the glorious University of Pennsylvan-i-a. Students are our directors, producers, actors, singers, band members and board. Quadramics is also the theatre group focused on enjoying life and getting the best experience possible out of running and working on a production. We are fun-loving, hardworking-more-often-than-not, ridiculous, zany people who share a passion for good times and great theatre, so come join us for the fun, madness, and, as always, the drama!
Stimulus Children’s Theatre [TAC-e]
Stimulus Children’s Theatre Company is the University of Pennsylvania’s premier children-oriented theatre group. We perform for elementary schools, community centers, day care centers, hospitals, and elderly care facilities. We supplement our program with classroom workshops before and after each performance, in which we teach our audiences about theater.
Visual Arts Groups
Platt House provides support and guidance to Penn’s student visual art organizations, which host regular art-making and art appreciation events and programs benefiting the Penn Community.
Penn Art Club
Art-making events, speaker events, public arts initiatives, community outreach, and a studio space make the Penn Art Club the go-to student organization for those interested in visual arts at Penn.
Women in Art Initiative
Community Service Groups
The Performing Arts Council is committed to engaging and interacting with the Philadelphia community at large, and particularly with West Philadelphia and University City neighborhoods. To that end, we support a number of organizations committed to encouraging community participation in the arts, particularly for youth. Below are three PAC organizations dedicated to community service:
Front Row Theatre Company
Sparks Dance Company
Stimulus Children’s Theater
After School Arts Program
Visiting Workshops & Performances
Emily Sachs Dance Benefit Show
Didn’t find what you were looking for?
Browse the full list of registered student clubs (performing arts and otherwise) on Penn Clubs.