Celebrating 20 Years on Stage

This spring, the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College in Mahwah is presenting music, art and theatrical performances as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration. Built in 1999, the Center was named for Angelica and Russ Berrie who generously contributed to the initial fundraising campaign. With the dual purpose of serving both students as a cutting-edge learning facility and the community as a performance and exhibit space, the Berrie Center has more than lived up to its promise. As part of the College’s School of Contemporary Art, theater and music students perform in the Sharp Theater, and artists exhibit their work in the Kresge and Pascal Art Galleries.

“The Berrie Center has supported programs at the school since its inception,” says Dr. Peter Campbell, Dean of the School of Contemporary Arts at Ramapo College. “Having the Center here not only draws exceptional and talented students to our school, but it also connects us to our community at large.”

Here are some of the planned events surrounding the 20th anniversary:


Les Paul Festival Concert

Feb. 16, Sharp Theater

The annual Les Paul Festival at Ramapo College, now in its eighth year, is a celebration of local resident and guitar legend the late Les Paul as both a musician and technologist. A week of guest workshops for music students leading up to the Festival Concert which will feature prominent guitarist Bill Frisell as well as student musicians and student sound engineers.

Art Gallery


Feb. 27-April 17

Kresge Gallery and campus grounds

The art galleries will be filled with exciting and provocative work in the semester-long !!!PUBLIC ART???, an indoor and outdoor exhibition and program series curated by Gallery Director Sydney Jenkins exploring and questioning public art. Included will be graffiti art; works by Howard Skrill ;and a series of lectures and performances, protests and provocations around campus, including a visit from choreographer/activist Shamell Bell.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

April 6, Sharp Theater

As a nod to the Center’s two-decade anniversary, the Theatre Program will be presenting the Shakespeare classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by faculty member Terra Vandergaw who directed the same play as the first production on stage when Berrie opened in 1999.

505 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, 201.684.7844, Ramapo.edu/berriecenter