Kristine Allen

Program Director

Kristine Allen is Program Director of WPSU-FM.  She also files feature stories for WPSU on the arts, culture, science, and more. When she's not at WPSU, Kris enjoys playing folk fiddle, acting, singing and portrait-sketching.  She is also a self-confessed "science geek."  Kris started working in public radio in college, at age 17, and says she "just couldn't stop."

Ways to Connect

Melissa Hart
Min Xian / WPSU

FUSE Productions presents the musical "Cabaret" Thursday through Saturday in Penn State's Schwab Auditorium.  The production blends professional actors with local talent. And it includes one Broadway veteran and former Penn State theatre professor who has played the two major female roles in Cabaret - decades apart.

(photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU)

Hollidaysburg Area High Shool is one of a few hundred schools in the U.S. with their own planetarium, built during the space race in the 1960's. But the vintage projector, which worked its magic mechanically, no longer works. WPSU's Kristine Allen reports on a fundraising effort to bring the old planetarium into the 21st century. 

View the slide show above for photos of the planetarium and murals.  

Hollidaysburg Area High School will hold a Save The Planetarium concert and silent auction Friday, Feb. 10.  Details here: http://radio.wpsu.org/community-calendar/event/87762

Jerry Zolten
Photo courtesy of Jerry Zolten

Jerry Zolten, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and American Studies at Penn State Altoona, will share his music and pop culture knowledge Saturday night on the nationally-syndicated  program "American Routes" from PRX!  You can hear the show Saturday night, February 11, from 8:00 to 10:00 on WPSU-FM.

(photo: Penn State)

Penn State President Eric Barron released a statement Sunday on President Trump’s executive order blocking citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days.

Kristine Allen, WPSU

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, a group called "Writers Resist" held more than 90 events around the country and abroad.  One of the Pennsylvania events  was held Sunday evening at Webster's Bookstore Cafe in State College.

The tables at Webster's were filled with an attentive audience, ready to hear powerful words on race, gender and freedom.

Author and poet Nicole Miyashiro, writer and editor for the PA Center for the Book, read from some of her poetry.

photo: Kristine Allen

This past fall,  yard signs for Clinton, Trump and other candidates peppered the lawns of Central Pennsylvania.  Now, new kinds of yard signs are popping up.  These  signs are meant so send a message of healing after a divisive election.

On University Drive, one of the main thoroughfares in State College, you’ll find multiple examples of two yard signs on display.  While the two designs look very different, they spring from the same sentiment.

This month, hear a Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano by Andre Caplet, from the 2016 season of Music at Penns Woods; and the Symphony No. 3 by Franz Schubert, played by the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, in October of 2016.

(photo: courtesy of Tempest Producitons)

Edgar Allen Poe is the inspiration for an original multi-media performance tonight at the State Theatre in State College.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen tells us how it all comes together.

Actors dressed in Gothic black; dancers wearing handmade masks; eerie images and haunting sounds will share the stage tonight when Tempest Productions presents “Poe: Deep Into That Darkness.” 

(Photo: AP)

WPSU-FM has been taking a look at some of the races in the Pennsylvania State Legislature that will be decided on election day.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports on the 171st State House district race, which pits a long-time incumbent against a lawyer who’s a newcomer to politics.

NPR's Shankar Vedantam
(Photo: Gary Knight VII)

The Hidden Brain recently celebrated it’s first anniversary as an NPR podcast. WPSU’s Kristine Allen speaks with the show’s host, NPR Correspondent Shankar Vedantam, about the unseen mechanisms behind human behavior.

ALLEN: Shankar Vedantam, NPR’s Social Science Correspondent and host of the Hidden Brain podcast, thank you so much for spending time with us.

VEDANTAM:  Oh, happy to be here, Kris.

(Photo: WPSU)

Senator Pat Toomey made a campaign stop in State College Tuesday to meet with a group of local farmers gathered at Hess Farm, just off Route 45.

The senator came to the farm to make a point about what he sees as overreach by the EPA in a recent rule aimed at protecting waterways and wetlands. He says the “Waters of the United States” rule places undue burdens on farmers.  Toomey said he also objects to such rules being handed down by unelected bureaucrats.

(Photo: AP)

The head of Penn State’s Department of Political Science, Professor Lee Ann Banazak, took some of her students are to Cleveland this week. They’ve been studying protesters outside the Republican National Convention. WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with Banazak by phone to find out what this research project is all about.

BANAZAK: My name is Lee Ann Banazak, I’m Professor of Political Science at Penn State.

ALLEN: From where are you speaking to me right now?

Photo courtesy of Pat Lloyd & The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

The 50th Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts continues this week in State College.  WPSU's Kristine Allen Reports on how the festival began.

A public radio legend is about to give up his Saturday night gig.  Garrison Keillor retires as host of A Prairie Home Companion, from American Public Media, this summer, marking the end of an era that that featured Guy Noir, Private Eye; the cowboys Dusty and Lefty; and the “News From Lake Wobegon.” Keillor, 73, will bow out of the Saturday evening variety show that has entertained millions of public radio listeners over four decades.

This month, hear a song by Franz Schubert from a Music at Penns Woods chamber concert, featuring soprano Sarah Shafer, accompanied by her father, pianist Timothy Shafer, and clarinetist Anthony Costa, both Penn State Faculty Members. We’ll also hear the Beethoven Triple Concerto from a Penns Woods Festival Orchestra concert, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, featuring three Penn State Faculty Member: James Lyon, violin; Kim Cook, cello; and Timonty Shafer, piano. 

Kelly McEvers was Middle East Correspondent for NPR for several years, reporting from war zones and covering the Arab Spring.  Now she's host of NPR's All Things Considered, and has a new podcast, called "Embedded." 

She recently spoke with WPSU's Kristine Allen.

Allen: Kelly McEvers of NPR, thanks so much for talking with us.

McEvers: Thanks for having me.

Allen: You’re a host of All Things Considered, and you’re a reporter, too, which is a very full plate already.

McEvers: (laughs)

(Photo: WPSU)

David Folkenflik is Media Correspondent for NPR News. His stories are heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, as well as on on NPR's website and mobile platforms.  He joined NPR in 2004, after a decade as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, politics, and the media.

Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik is author of the book Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

(Photo: WPSU)

Julie Mader of Smethport is this year's winning artist in WPSU's Art for the Airwaves competition.  Her winning work is an acrylic painting based on a photograph of flowers from her father's garden.  She calls the painting "Landing Zone." Mader is our first repeat winner, who won the competition with a different painting in 2014.  She spoke with WPSU's Kristine Allen about her painting.

Photo: WPSU

WPSU is taking a look at how central Pennsylvanians  decide whether to make their home here or move on, in our new series, "Reasons To Stay."  WPSU's Kristine Allen reports on a computer programmer who left State College with his wife to see the world, then came back.

Visit the multi-media side of the Reasons to Stay project.

photo courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee has been in the news lately.  The author released a sequel to the novel last year, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is currently working on a new stage adaptation for Broadway.  As WPSU's Kristine Allen reports, Altoona Community Theatre presents an earlier stage version of the story this week.  A special matinee for schools was held on Wednesday, and local teachers brought their students in droves.

When Sybarite5 plays at Penn State’s Schwab Auditorium tonight, they’ll be out to break boundaries and expand the audience for classical music.  WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with two members of the group during a week of events they held at Penn State.

This month: hear the Piano Quintet in E Minor by Johnannes Brahms, in a performance from Music at Penns Woods; and the Penn State Philharmonic in the overture to “Die Meistersiner” by Richard Wagner.

A Central Pennsylvania Christmas 2015 features performances by the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, led by Douglas Meyer; harpist Anne Sullivan; The State College Area High School Chamber Singers, directed by Robert Drafall; the Pennsylvania folk bands Fieldstone and Seasons; and Penn State's Essence of Joy with Essence 2, directed by Anthony Leach.

Photo: WPSU

An NPR holiday tradition is now a stage play! This week, FUSE Productions presents The Santaland Diaries, written by David Sedaris, and starring Seth Tucker. The production opened Wednesday, and runs now through Saturday, December 19th at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center. WPSU's Kristine Allen sat in on a rehearsal for the show.

This month: the Concerto Grosso in B-flat, Op. 6 , No. 7 by George Frideric Handel,  played by the Penn State Baroque Orchestra in November of 2015;  Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G Minor from a concert by the Penn State Chamber Orchestra in November of 2015; and Songs and Dances for Horn and Piano, composed in 2014 by Paul Basler, featuring Lisa Bontrager, horn and Su Haug, piano, from the Penn State School of Music’s September 2015 Spotlight Concert.

Friday November 13 at 11:00am & Monday, November 16 at 8:00pm.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month: Autumn Song by Felix Mendelssohn, sung by Discantus, a chamber choir from the Oriana Singers with Jane Glocke conducting and Svetlana Rodionova at the piano. The Planets by Gustav Holst, played by the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein.

Photo: WPSU

Legends and folklore from Pennsylvania are the subject of a new television show produced by WPSU-TV.  Pennsylvania Legends and Lore: Ghosts of the Commonwealth premieres on November 12. WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports the pilot episode, the brainchild of producer Lindsey Whissel, is a vivid retelling of some spooky local stories. 

Find out more about Pennsylvania Legends and Lore here.

IN PERFORMANCE AT PENN STATE: October 2015

Friday, October 9 at 11:00am & Monday, October 12 at 8:00pm.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we hear Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, from the 2015 Music at Penn's Woods Festival Orchestra; music from a John Williams film score played by the Penn State Trombone Choir, and Panamanian Dances by William Grant Still from a Music at Penn's Woods chamber music concert.

On Saturday, September 25, Penn State Altoona celebrates music of the “Canal Era” in Pennsylvania, around the mid 1800’s.  As WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports, they’ll hold a “Canal-Era Music and Entertainment Summit” at the Allegheny Portage railroad site in Gallitzin.

Photo courtesy of Nittany Theatre

Five Fall Frights At Central Pa. Theatres

Football season has begun, and the smell of pumpkin spice everything wafts from coffee shops and bakeries. But the fall chill is not just in the air – it’s on the stages of several central Pennsylvania theatres that offer five fall frights to delight, from campy musicals to tense thrillers. Here’s a roundup:

Pages