Consider attending a musical, concert or comedy show here in Rhode Island

Are you itching to get off-campus this semester and experience entertainment in the surrounding area? Rhode Island offers numerous events and activities to scratch that itch.

As an out-of-state student living on-campus, I was a little wary about attending a school in such a small state. I grew up a short train ride from New York City, so Providence isn’t the biggest or exciting city to me by any means, but I made a conscious effort to do my best to explore what the surrounding area has to offer and I was pleasantly surprised that the answer is quite a lot.

According to their website, the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) is the second largest theatre of its kind in the country. PPAC is also home to a Broadway series featuring touring productions of beloved Broadway shows, one of which I attended last year and loved. The next upcoming show in the series is “Escape to Margaritaville,” a musical comedy featuring the songs of Jimmy Buffett. It opens Sept. 29 and closes Oct. 5. The series continues on Oct. 29 and closes on Nov. 10 with hit Disney Theatrical touring production of “Aladdin.”

If theater isn’t your thing, don’t fret. PPAC also hosts stand-up comedy events and concerts. On Oct. 11, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne will be performing and on Oct. 19, comedy legend Carol Burnett will hold “An Evening of Laughter and Reflection Where The Audience Asks Questions.” 

However, if theatre is your thing, but you would rather stay more local or avoid the more expensive ticket prices (though student rush tickets are available at the PPAC Box Office), you can visit the Contemporary Theatre Company in Wakefield. 

Previews for the thrilling play, “The Skriker,” about two teenagers being pursued by an ancient fairy, began Sept. 13 and performances end on Oct. 4. Following this will be a production of the classic Shakespeare play, “Hamlet,” with previews beginning on Oct. 18 and the run ending on Nov. 9. Every Friday at 9:30 p.m., the theatre hosts Micetro Improv, a competition in which the audience votes for an actor to become the Micetro.

Rhode Island is also home to a Tony-Award winning theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, better known as Trinity Rep. Their current show, “The Prince of Providence,” about former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci, closes on Oct. 27. This will be followed on Nov. 7 by a musical fitting for the season, “A Christmas Carol,” which will close Dec. 29. 

Another performance space in Wakefield is the Pump House Music Works, a concert venue that offers live music shows every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Sep. 28, there is an open mic/potluck with just a $5 suggested donation. On Oct. 11, Fiddle and Mandolin Players Christian Sedelmyer and Dave Goldenberg will perform their retro folk and pop inspired original songs.

Just because Rhode Island is a smaller state doesn’t mean big artists don’t have concerts within the state every once in a while. On Oct. 4, John Legend will be performing at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport. 

Close to the Kingston Campus is the Courthouse Center for the Arts in South Kingstown, which hosts more local artists and plenty of exciting tribute performances, such as the “Moondance Tribute” to Van Morrison on Oct. 11 and the “Sacred Fire Tribute” to Santana the following night.

Hopefully, if you’ve been feeling like I did when I first stepped on-campus, you’ll find some cool, interesting and exciting events from this list and do some exploring of your own.