You are here

Krannert Center, Virginia Theatre to Collaborate on Two Shows

Two iconic performing arts venues in Champaign-Urbana, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the historic Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign, will collaborate on two events this spring under the title “Krannert Center at The Virginia.” It is the first time the two venues have worked together this closely.

The Virginia Theatre will host two Krannert Center productions: University of Illinois Department of Dance’s Dance at Illinois Downtown from March 30 to April 1, and the Lyric Theatre @ Illinois production of City of Angels April 13-15. The collaboration is a result of renovations to improve accessibility at Krannert Center’s Colwell Playhouse, which will take a little over one year to complete.

“We are so pleased to be working with the Virginia Theatre on these productions,” Maureen Reagan, Associate Director for Marketing at Krannert Center, said in a statement. “We look forward to bringing artists, audiences,
and venues together in a new way.”

“Krannert Center is one of the great treasures in Champaign-Urbana,” said Mitch Marlow, Sales and Public Relations Manager at The Virginia Theatre. “This is just an example of the warm relationships the C-U arts community fosters. We’re happy to assist Krannert Center present these great programs.”

Dance at Illinois Downtown will showcase a collection of contemporary works by Dance at Illinois faculty and graduate students with wide-ranging global influences. Choreographers include Dr. C. Kemal Nance, MFA candidate Anna Peretz Rogovoy, Post-Doctoral Fellow Alexandra Barbier, Professor Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, and new faculty and former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member Paige Cunningham Caldarella. A reconstruction of Women Gather by the late Dr. Kariamu Welsh, dance pioneer and founder of the Umfundalai technique, will also be presented.

Winner of six 1990 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score, City of Angels captures the gritty sights and sounds of Hollywood’s classic detective movies, all set to a brilliant, bluesy jazz score. This story of a screenwriter and the film he is writing was a triumph at Broadway’s Virginia Theatre, built by the very same architects that built its namesake in Champaign.

Opened in 1921 near the end of the vaudeville era, the Virginia has offered the public a wide array of entertainments for over a century, including variety shows, theatre, concerts, local fundraisers, dance recitals, celebrity appearances, comedians, and movies. It boasts a Wurlitzer theatre organ that has entertained audiences since the theatre’s opening.

Through its multiple and integrated roles as classroom, laboratory, and public square, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has served as a touchstone for the exploration and expansion of human experience since 1969. It
was constructed on the University of Illinois campus thanks to a major gift to the University by Herman and Ellnora Krannert; Herman Krannert was a 1912 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the founder
and chair of the Inland Container Corporation. His wife, Ellnora, is the namesake of Krannert Center’s bi-annual Ellnora Guitar Festival.

Tickets for both Dance at Illinois Downtown and City of Angels are on sale now at the Virginia Theatre Box Office, online at, or charge by phone at 217-356-9063.

All Stories