Back in full swing, UCF Celebrates the Arts returned to Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts with an immersive multi-day festival that highlights the creativity of our Knights. This year, the annual showcase — which started in 2015 — was bigger than ever, with an award-winning, family-friendly musical, concerts in the new Steinmetz Hall, lectures and discussions, multimedia events, chamber music, an expanded visual arts presence, and more. The festival encompassed 37 events and 14 exhibitions between April 5 and 16. Nearly 15,000 tickets were issued to the paid events, all of which offered affordable tickets starting at $10 or $15. More than 3,900 tickets were issued for the free offerings, which included twelve events and entrance to the exhibitions.

Here are just a few moments that spotlight the incredible talent and ingenuity of UCF students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Based on the Dreamworks film, UCF theatre students transformed themselves for Shrek The Musical,  a Tony-Award-winning production that brings the beloved characters from the film to the stage.

Shrek the Musical includes characters familiar to the move franchise, including the Three Blind Mice, Pinocchio, and the Fairy Godmother. In addition to four public performances attended by 7,000 patrons, Theatre UCF welcomed 1,700 k-12 students to an exclusive field trip matinee.

A crowd gathered outside to watch paired students and alums compete in the Creative Clash. The artists raced against the clock using markers to create large-format artwork. This year’s theme was “Fables and Myths;” the art will be available to view at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2023.

Audiences of all ages were able to enjoy the festival. The Orlando Rep presented Yo, Ho, Ho! Let’s Go!, a 30-minute adventure with a pirate on the high seas following a treasure map, designed for very young audiences ages 6 months-5 years old with their caretakers.

During the second half of the Exploration of Land and Sea event, the UCF Symphony Orchestra performed Oceana, an original composition by Pegasus Professor and UCF CREATE Director Stella Sung.

Oceana also included a film by underwater photographer and filmmaker Annie Crawley to help immerse the audience in the depths of the sea.

Created by teams of students in 3D Design Fundamentals classes, this one-of-a-kind sculpture installation celebrated stories and fables from around the world by showcasing visual interpretations of the classic tales that have both inspired and entertained for generations.

A close up of one of the artworks featured in the Visual Tales exhibit.

Students prepare the microphones before the dress rehearsal of Shrek the Musical.

Through a collection of scenes of staged violence from theatrical literature, including sword and unarmed work, UCF demonstrated how fights and dramatic scenes are created on stage.

The chart-topping Flying Horse Big Band performed an evening of music and celebration of the vibrant American Spirit under the direction of Pegasus Professor and Director of Jazz Studies Jeff Rupert. The show was themed to coordinate with Rupert’s weekly jazz show on WUCF-FM, Jazz and the American Spirit.

Attendees checked out the UCF AdLab and El Camino Guitar Collaboration, which included original artistic concepts for guitars.

The UCF Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band performed under Associate Director of Bands Tremon Kizer (left). The performance also included a solo from College of Arts and Humanities Dean Jeffrey Moore (right).

During the Architecture Showcase and Awards, UCF, UF, and Valencia College students presented their work.

The UCF Choirs showcased their skills, and also welcomed high school students to an invitational during which they worked with UCF faculty.

During A Knight to Shine, senior musical theatre students put on an evening of cabaret style performances.

Knightro poses for photos with some attendees in front of an art installation, which was designed by texts and technology Ph.D. student Ha’Ani Hogan, in the the lobby of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.