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Act 1 Productions

A highly-acclaimed performing arts company featuring plays, musicals, children’s theatre, dance concerts, and film festivals.

Act 1 is the producing arm of the DeSales University Division of Performing Arts.  We encourage our students to bring truth and beauty to the world through their art forms in Theatre, Dance and TV/Film.

We invite you to join us in our celebration of truth and beauty in our production of plays, musicals, children’s theatre,  dance concerts, and film festivals. Most of our productions can be seen either in person or streamed* —  call or email our box office for your tickets and your preference. 

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The DeSales TV/Film students have been instrumental in filming these productions to deliver them in a virtual format. In addition, the Act 1 faculty and guest directors and designers continue to enjoy the challenge of discovering new ways to design sets, costumes, lighting, and sound for both social distancing and filmed live productions. 

*Streaming rights are limited by the licensing organizations; not all shows are permitted to be streamed.

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DeSales University Film Festival

A celebration of the diverse range of genres and styles form the next generation of DeSales filmmakers.

March 23rd 2024 - 7:30 PM

Learn more about DUFF 2024

Upcoming Productions

Act 1 Presents the Annual Dance Ensemble Concert

by Tom McNamara ’92, M’21 Mar 6, 2024
Braswell_Eaton 2

DeSales dancers rehearse Armando Braswell’s “Devoted,” which will be performed at the DeSales University Dance Ensemble Concert March 15-17. Photo by Lena Eaton.


The performing arts division presents its annual Dance Ensemble Concert. The concert opens on March 15 in the Main Stage Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts and runs through March 17.

The Dance Ensemble Concert will feature choreography by internationally recognized choreographers and accomplished DeSales dance faculty members, with the highlight being a restaging of an excerpt of Urban Bush Women’s “Walking With ‘Trane” by previous touring company member Tendayi Kuumba. 

“Walking With ‘Trane” is inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of John Coltrane, a composer at the forefront of jazz innovation in a racially charged America of the 50’s and 60’s and complements the UBW’s mission to “bring the untold and under-told stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance.” 

International dancer, choreographer, singer, and songwriter Kuumba was one of “Dance Magazine's” “25 to watch 2023” and Chita Rivera's Outstanding Female Dancer on Broadway 2022 as Lady in Brown in the Tony Nominated Broadway Revival of Ntozoké Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

"It has been such a privilege to watch our dancers immerse themselves in the work of Urban Bush Women. Through dance, this work explores themes of risk, pursuance, and transcendence, echoing John Coltrane's profound spiritual awakening in 1957.”

 Angela Sigley Grossman, artistic director for the concert and associate professor of dance

Grossman continued, “Throughout the process, restager Tendayi Kuumba expertly wove the dancers' voices into the choreography, resulting in a unique performance that highlights the sense of community that is intrinsic to the DeSales dance department."

Guest choreographer Brandon Coleman is a New York City-based choreographer, performer, and teacher and has danced with KEIGWIN + COMPANY, the Metropolitan Opera ballet, VIM VIGOR Dance Company, Belinda McGuire Dance Projects, and is currently a performer in Punchdrunk's “Sleep No More.” Coleman will premiere “Flight Lines” for the DeSales senior class, a piece inspired by the flight of birds.

Professional dancer and choreographer Armando Braswell is the founder and director of the Braswell Arts Center in Basel, Switzerland, and director of the Dance Basel festival. As a guest choreographer, Braswell will premiere a work called “Devoted,” which reflects his diverse religious upbringing and the journey towards personal spiritual understanding. Guest choreographer and interdisciplinary artist and educator Megan Mizanty will premiere “Loopbreaker,” a work that explores memories, choice, and living in the present moment.

DeSales instructor of dance and choreographer Aleesa Tucker-Parks will premiere  “Study Session: A Hip-Hop Reflection,” and Julia Mayo, chair of the DeSales dance department and associate professor, will present a restaging of “Predator/Prey” from 2016 that explores the transition from fearless to fearful and the individual choice we must make to avoid succumbing to our fright.

The Dance Ensemble Concert runs March 15 at 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., March 16 at 7:30 p.m., and March 17 at 2:00 p.m. on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets for the performances are $20 for adults and $17 for seniors and students. 

Students who attend DeSales or any other Lehigh Valley college or university can purchase tickets for $8. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center Box Office at 610-282-3192.

The Labuda Center for Performing Arts

The Labuda Center for the Performing Arts is home to most Act 1 events. It is handicapped accessible, and features the 473 seat Main Stage Theatre and the 187 seat Schubert Theatre.

GPS Location: 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA 18032

Learn more about The Labuda Center
Labuda Center at DeSales