Welcome To Our Stage
All for you!
The Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center engages the community through artistic, educational, and cultural experiences that enrich lives and promote lifelong learning in and through the performing arts. On our stage, visionary artists celebrate music, dance, engaging conversation, spectacle, and intimate cabaret, making our theatre a premier destination for exceptional artistic performances. Beyond the theatre, we engage with the community, our campus, and elementary schools by providing free and enlightening programs that allow everyone to experience the arts.
Named after the pop music duo Richard and Karen Carpenter, who both attended California State University, Long Beach, the Carpenter Center broke ground on the CSULB campus over 25 years ago.
View photos, artifacts, and memorabilia from Richard and Karen Carpenter’s life and career, from childhood through mega-stardom, including gold and platinum records, Richard’s electric piano, and Karen’s drum set.
The Carpenters Exhibit is located inside the Carpenter Center lobby and is open during all Carpenter Center events and by appointment.
To schedule an Exhibit tour call, 562.985.4274.
From September through May, the Carpenter Center presents captivating performances of music, dance, speakers, cabaret, and spectacle, with series and shows for everyone. Our stage has hosted such inspiring luminaries as Mavis Staples, Captain Scott Kelly, Martha Redbone, Roberta Flack, Neil Gaiman, and the Dalai Lama.
Thank you to KPCC, Hotel Current, and Gelson’s for being our valued season supporters.
Our popular concert series brings together consummate musicians to celebrate the artists and movements that have defined generations, from swing to spirituals, pop, and rock-‘n-roll.
Sunday Afternoon Concert
Past Sunday Afternoon Concert series artists have included The Doo Wop Project, Live from Laurel Canyon, Igudesman and Joo, Damien Sneed, Ranky Tanky, and Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
Witness the transformative power of movement with our Dance series. The Carpenter Center stage is specifically designed for choreographed performances and has featured Complexions Contemporary Ballet, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Wendy Whelan, securing the Carpenter Center as a leading presenter of dance in Southern California.
Our Wit & Wisdom series invites leading authors, comedians, and speakers to the Carpenter Center for engaging stories, hilarious insights, and illuminating discussions that broaden our appreciation of the world.
Wit & Wisdom
Our stage has seen the comedy of Sandra Bernhard and Lily Tomlin, as well as the insight and perspective of Jeffrey Toobin, Ira Glass, and George Takei.
Join us to experience humor, master storytelling, and engrossing narrative that sparks curiosity and understanding.
Our most intimate performance experience, our Cabaret series places the audience at table seating directly on our stage—and less than 40 feet from the artist! Patrons have the option to add a dinner or enjoy a drink at their table before the show. Past Cabaret series artists have included Stacy Sullivan, Davis Gaines, Storm Large, René Marie, and Mandy Harvey.
Family & WOW!
Our Wow! series presents thrilling acts that deserve an exclamation point, from daring stunts to dazzling acrobatics to jaw-dropping spectacles that entrance all ages. From animal acrobats to contemporary circus, past performers have included FLIP Fabrique, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Momix, Cirque Mechanics, and Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience.
Arts for Life
Arts for Life is the Carpenter Center’s education and community engagement program, providing concerts, classes, lectures, readings, workshops, and more to Long Beach schoolchildren, CSULB students, and the community.
Made possible through the generosity of foundations and donors, all Arts for Life events are free to low-cost for participants.
For over 20 years, Classroom Connections has been a staple in the arts education of Long Beach elementary school students, introducing thousands to their first performing arts experience. Professional artists visit classrooms to demonstrate their craft with hands-on workshops, then welcome those students to the Carpenter Center to see a fully produced performance.
Campus Connections links artists with CSULB faculty and students for immersive arts education, including masterclasses taught by professional dancers, musicians, actors, and speakers performing at the Carpenter Center.
Music students in the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music also gain valuable experience as soloist and ensemble performers in a series of public concerts on our stage.
Community Connections provides an eclectic mix of free opportunities to experience and enjoy the arts along with other enthusiasts.
From reading Shakespeare with fellow fans, to attending artist lectures and free concerts like Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, Community Connections broadens the Long Beach community’s access to a range of cultural experiences.
A donation to the Carpenter Center allows us to continue offering free and affordable performing arts experiences to Long Beach elementary schoolchildren, CSULB students, and our community.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated by the Carpenter Center and the students and community we serve.
“I’m impressed with the professional way the visiting teachers worked with my class. The trip to see the performance left a lasting and positive impression on the students. Thank you for enriching our lives.”
– Teacher, Lincoln Elementary
Join the Carpenter Center team as one of our active volunteers! From ushering at performances and special student matinees, to assisting with clerical work and mailings, you’ll be directly supporting the activities of the Carpenter Center.
Volunteers enjoy our annual appreciation dinners, free programs, and making friends with other fans of the performing arts. Learn more.
6200 Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815