UCF Celebrates the Arts marked its tenth year at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, showcasing the creative works, innovations and collaborations of the university and our community. The festival offered a diverse range of events, including concerts, lectures, interactive visual art displays, kid-friendly events and a highly-lauded production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The celebration took place from April 3-14 and drew 13,250 guests to the 39 events and 15 exhibitions displayed throughout the performing arts center.

Here are some of the standout moments from the 2024 festival:

Students dressed up in Victorian clothing
(Photo by Hannah Estes)

Attendees experienced Victorian-era art through Tableaux Vivants or “living portraits.” Over 200 students from the School of Visual Arts & Design collaborated to recreate life-size versions of renowned paintings, with the students themselves posing as the subjects.

A choir standing around a piano
(Photo by Hannah Estes)

Many music ensembles, including the UCF Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, the Symphony Orchestra, the Percussion Ensemble, and chamber groups, performed throughout the festival.

Intimate Harmony, a smaller choral concert in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, allowed for a closer connection between the performers and the audience, creating an uplifting and inspiring shared experience.

(Photo by Hannah Estes)

UCF Celebrates the Arts was a hit with guests of all ages. Families flocked to the DeVos Family Room for Let’s Go Camping!, a play commissioned by the Jeannette M. Gould Traveling Theater and designed to be performed bedside for pediatric hospital patients. Young theatergoers also had the opportunity to attend Orlando Family Stage’s interactive performance, Yo, Ho, Ho! Let’s Go!


(Photo by Drew Lofredo)

Students and alumni competed in the fifth annual Creative Clash, a timed art competition where pairs of artists create large-scale drawings based on their interpretation of a theme. The 2024 theme was “creative reflection.”

Graduating students from the musical theatre program performed in Knight to Shine, a cabaret-style show featuring songs from Les Misérables, Frozen, Hairspray and other popular Broadway shows.

(Photo by Hannah Estes)

As part of the lobby exhibitions, festival attendees admired costumes designed and built by students for Theatre UCF productions.

Hundreds of students working behind the scenes to bring the festival to life. These students range from stage and company managers to crew, technicians, designers, costume designers, stylists and every kind of backstage operative, and the experiences they gain in producing the professional-level performances prepare them for careers once they leave UCF.

(Photo by Hannah Estes)

UCF’s Department of English hosted Write of Passage to showcase the work and talent of their Spring 2024 graduating students in the creative writing MFA graduate program.

(Photo by Francisco Perez)

Project Spotlight, UCF’s only student developmental theatre organization, presented Irreverent, a new play by student Hudson Cosgrove-Naftal. The student-run organization is dedicated to allowing all majors to participate in productions and developing new works.

(Photo by Hannah Estes)

As part of the Inclusive Knights Concert Series, the UCF Concert Band performed music themed around planes, trains and automobiles while music education students served as characters and guides for those of all abilities and needs.

(Photo by Hannah Estes)

SVAD graduating seniors presented their creative work in graphic design and experimental animation, followed by a special discussion featuring UCF alumni and former Limbitless Solutions interns about their creative process and career paths.

During the National High School Choral Festival, esteemed choral director David Brunner worked with guest choirs to combine them into a mass choir featuring some of his works. The event brought together over 1,000 students from different schools.


UCF Opera performed an English version of Mozart’s beloved Marriage of Figaro to two sold-out audiences.

(Photo by Jessica Abels)

An exhibition highlight was the College of Health Professions and Sciences’ hologram technology. This interactive experience showcased various content, such as messages from community leaders, health tips, and artistic presentations from musicians, poets and visual artists. The college also hosted a panel discussion focused on performer health.

(Photo by Francisco Perez)

Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd captivated audiences at four performances in the Walt Disney Theatre. The production involved over 200 students and faculty. “Truly an amazing show. The production value was through the roof, the actors all gave everything they had, and it showed in their performance, just amazing from start to finish.”

View more photos from UCF Celebrates the Arts 2024 here.