About the Williams Center

Completed in 1983, the Williams Center for the Arts is a major cultural institution in the Lehigh Valley. The centerpiece of the Williams Center is an intimate 400-seat theater/concert hall with superb acoustics and state-of-the-art lighting and stage equipment. The building also contains a versatile art gallery, a 100-seat black box theater, and classrooms and studios for music and art.Morning Call - Williams Center best

The Williams Center is the home of the Performance Series, the Williams Art Gallery and College Collections, the College Theater program, the departments of Art and Music, and the student-led Arts Society. The College Theater program also has faculty offices and a lab classroom/rehearsal hall in Pardee Hall. The Art Department also houses programs in the Experimental Printmaking Institute on Hamilton Street and the Williams Visual Arts Building on North Third Street.

The nationally recognized Performance Series attracts more than 10,000 people each season with a broad range of music, dance, and theater performances in both classical and contemporary genres.

Visiting artists at the Williams Center have included the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (now in its 25th Lafayette season); jazz greats Charlie Haden, Mulgrew Miller, Toots Thielemans, and Chick Corea; Béla Fleck with Edgar Meyer and with the Flecktones; Peter Serkin; The National Theatre of the Deaf; Paul Taylor Dance Company; the Guarneri String Quartet; and Cherish the Ladies.

The Williams Center’s art gallery exhibits artists of national and international repute in six or seven shows per academic year, presenting diverse media, historical periods, and cultures. Recent exhibits include works by award-winning photographer Larry Fink, Roy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Murray, Philip Guston, Frank Stella, and Mexican painter Karima Muyaes, as well as pre-Columbian Andean textiles, Japanese woodblock prints, and Old Master prints by Rembrandt, Dürer, and Lucas van Leyden. The gallery also highlights the work of regional artists including sculptor Karl Stirner, architect and designer Matthew Hoey, painter William J. Zehngut, and photographer Christopher Boas.

Morning Call - Williams Center cutting edgeThe College Theater program produces at least two mainstage productions and two black box productions each season in a range of styles and genres, directed by theater faculty and students, along with guest artists.

The Music Department presents mainstage concerts by its six major ensembles, along with faculty and student recitals.

The student-led Arts Society presents a variety of programs and events, open to all students, to complement programming at the Williams Center and to advance the presence of the fine and performing arts on campus.