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South Orange Performing Arts Center

by: Sue Adler
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  • Location: One Sopac Way  South Orange, NJ 07079
  • Phone: (973) 313-2787
  • Monday-Saturday 12noon-6pm
    Sunday Closed
  • Tickets: $20-$40

The South Orange Performing Arts Center, also known as SOPAC is a state of the art performing arts space located in the heart of South Orange. The venue features comedy, dance, theater and music performances. However, the Center does not host only entertainment events, but also a large number of arts education programs such as Lydia Youth Theatre, Performances for Schools, TADA! Youth Theater, New Jersey Youth Theater, and ArtWorks. The theater itself and the loft located inside the venue can be rented for different private functions. Moreover, the ground floor features the Clearview Cinemas.

The South Orange Performing Arts Center was founded in November 2006 for the community of South Orange. It’s situated in the center of the city, near the train station and it’s very simple to reach. SOPAC is one of New Jersey’s hottest arts venues. The theater is quite large and it can accommodate almost 440 persons. SOPAC’s main mission is to provide innovative educational and artistic cultural experiences for all kind of audiences. The greatest thing about this venue is that it offers an inviting and intimate environment, thus spectators will feel like they’re part of the show. At the same time, the Center intends to revitalize the South Orange’s Central Business District and develop a dynamic cultural institution that promotes the involvement of the community in the arts. Their mission is achieved by presenting and creating unique visual arts, film, music, dance and theater programs. These special programs are staged for people of all ages. Moreover, the South Orange Performing Arts Center organizes shows for persons with disabilities.

The building itself looks absolutely splendid and it’s a work of art. It was planned and built by Carmi Bee at B & RTK Architects and it’s an example of ingenious architecture. Besides the fact that it is extremely spacious, it also has vertical design packs and innovative engineering. In addition, the venue offers an airy feeling. The building entails the performance hall and the Mezzanine with the stage and 12 rows of seats. Plus, it has the SOPAC loft situated on the 3rd floor. It can be used for corporate and private functions and offers amazing panoramas of South Mountain. There are also 5 movie theaters with 600 seats that run family-friendly, foreign and independent movies. Furthermore, the venue has separate box offices and entrances for cinemas and live performance theater.

SOPAC is the major performing arts center in South Orange. Recently, it announced that it will also house the performances of Seton Hall University Arts. Additionally, it features a partnership with the famous and popular Juilliard School of Music. Whoever is interested in seeing these talented artists can go to Juilliard @ SOPAC, an event that features musicians from the above mentioned conservatory.

Upcoming events at South Orange Performing Arts Center include concerts and programs like Los Lonely Boys, Norbert Leo Butz, Broadway’s Night Off, Giants of Jazz, the Golden Dragon Acrobats, The Maytals and Toots, the Nutcracker, The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble and Stephanie Mills.

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