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

Image courtesy of Penn State Archives

This year marks the 30th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at Penn State, University Park.  One of the events on Monday, January 19th ,will be a replaying of the audio of a speech King gave at Penn State 50 years ago.  

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a piano trio by Anton Arensky, played at a Music at Penns Woods concert; and a Vivaldi Cello concert played by the Penn State Baroque ensemble with Guy Fishman, principle cellist of the Handel and Haydn Society orchestra, and guest director Aisslin Nosky, concertmaster of Tafelmusik.

Wil Hutton

The theatre community in State College suffered a great loss last week when actor and director Susan Riddiford Shedd died of cancer the age of 53.  She was Operations Manager of the State Theatre for many years, founded the Nittany Valley Shakespeare company, and acted in many local productions. WPSU’s Kristine Allen has this remembrance.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The networks called the Pennsylvania governor's race minutes after polls closed, but this was an election that was over before it began.

That's what you'll hear from independent analysts as well as Republican and Democratic political operatives. Incumbent Republican Tom Corbett lost this election more than two years ago, when he pursued policies that would prove unpopular and didn't see the need to actively defend them.

Join us for Fright Night, tonight from 8:00 to midnight on WPSU-FM.  You'll hear an eclectic mix of scary music, stories by Edgar Allen Poe, and some first-person accounts of hauntings at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona, which first opened its doors in 1906.

courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre

Altoona Community Theatre  presents GHOST TOURS of the Mishler Theatre in Altoona Wednesday, October 29 and Friday, October 31.  While the tours features actors as  "live" ghosts, rumor has it that the Mishler is also haunted.

(NOTE: Be sure to listen to FRIGHT NIGHT, Friday, October 31 from 8:00 to midnight, to hear more extended stories from those who've experienced spooky, unexplained events at the Mishler Theatre)


Friday, October 17 at 11:00am & Monday, October 20 at 8:00pm

Julia Kasdorf
Penn State Univeristy

Julia Spicher Kasdorf is Professor of English and Women's Studies at Penn State University, and an accomplished poet.  She took a sabbatical last year to visit areas of Pennsylvania affected by Marcellus Shale development, and is now completing a collection of documentary poetry based on her interviews with local residents.  WPSU's Kristine Allen speaks with Kasdorf about her recent foray into "docupoetry."

Penn State School of Music

Violinist James Lyon, a faculty member in Penn State's School of Music, will play the Bruch Violin Concerto in G Minor September 30th with the Nittany Valley Symphony at Penn State's Eisenhower Auditorium.  WPSU's Kristine Allen asked him why this Bruch concerto is ranked among the best, with concertos by the likes of Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

Murder in the Stacks book cover.
Kris Allen

This was a book I almost literally couldn’t put down. I devoured its 400 pages in just 3 days. Murder in the Stacks: Penn State, Betsy Aardsma, and the Killer Who Got Away, by David DeKok, is a thriller of a tale.  It brings to life a 45-year old cold case: the murder of a 22-year-old grad student among the bookshelves at Penn State’s Pattee Library. 

In Performance at Penn State is the monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear two performances from the Music at Penns Woods Concert Series held in June of 2014 on the University Park Campus.  We'll listen to a trio sonata for woodwinds by George Friedrich Handel from a Music at Penns Woods chamber concert, and the Penns Woods Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, in the Symphony No. 7 by Antonin Dvorak.  Listen to part one and part two of the August 29th program below.

King Lear Actors
Nittany Valley Shakespeare Company

The Nittany Valley Shakespeare Company in State College presents two different productions of "King Lear" this summer: the full version of the play, starring Charles Dumas and a cast of local and professional actors, August 21-24 at the State Theatre; and a kids' version, dubbed "Little Lear", starring 13-year-old Ryan Babb, performed outdoors in Orchard Park August 23 & 24.  

For more information, visit:

Chorus Line
photo by Kristine Allen

In this edition of WPSU's occasional series, Beyond the Classroom, we bring you the story of three Penn State theatre students performing alongside professional actors in the musical, "A Chorus Line."

Putting sensors on pland
photo by Kelly Tunney

Many of us talk to our houseplants, or play music for them.  But what if the plants could play music for us?  Actually, they can, thanks to a gadget called the “MIDI Sprout.”

Sam Cusumano, an audio engineer and experimental sound artists from Philadelphia, is the creator of that device. He paid a recent visit to Schlow Library in State College, and stopped by WPSU’s studios to talk about the MIDI sprout, and show us how it works.  We brought a big leafy plant to the studio for the demonstration.

Pete Hatemi
Kristine Allen / WPSU

Pete Hatemi teaches Political Science, Microbiology and Biochemistry at Penn State. His research explores the complex connection between evolution and our political attitudes. He speaks with WPSU’s Kristine Allen.

Michael Kooman
photo by Kristine Allen

“Dani Girl,” a musical written by Altoona native Michael Kooman, will be performed Saturday night, July 12 at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona. The show is about a child who’s in a hospital fighting cancer.

“It is such a humorous, emotional, important show,” says Karen Volpe, manager of the Mishler Theatre and Special Events Coordinator for the Blair County Arts Foundation.  She is also the director for this production of “Dani Girl.”

Penn State School of Music

Music at Penn’s Woods, a professional classical music festival presented each June by Penn State’s School of Music, begins tonight on the University Park campus.

“First of all, it’s not as the name suggests,” says conductor Gerardo Edelstein, with a laugh.  He means the concerts are not out in the woods. 

A memorial service will be held Wednesday in Philadelphia for businessman, lawyer and philanthropist Lewis Katz, who died in a plane crash on Saturday. He was a graduate of Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, and someone very special to the Penn State Community.

“He graduated first in his law school class, in 1966."

Rod Kirsch, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Penn State, remembers Lewis Katz as a very smart guy.

"And there's really no better time to turn it over to someone else to regenerate and transform, do the next thing that needs to be done. I'm looking forward to seeing the next person working with them."

Today we talk with two of the four Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor. Tom Wolf is a York businessman and the current front runner in the race. He's put $10 million of his own money into his campaign so far and he's flooded the television airwaves with ads. Katie McGinty is a former environmental advisor to President Clinton and former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Ed Rendell.

In case you were wondering what Ethiopian Pop music of the 60’s & 70’s would sound like blended with jazz and funk - . wonder no more! WPSU’s Kristine Allen says the answer can be found when Debo Band plays a concert in the Juniata Presents Series at Juniata College in Huntingdon.

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Each year, WPSU holds our "Art for the Airwaves" contest. And our panel of judges selects a winner, whose work is made into a limited edition poster print offered during our fund drive. WPSU's Kristine Allen visited Smethport to talk with this year's winner.