Arts Center to bring in national, local acts

Kyle Nelson

A new performing arts center at Kent State University Tuscarawas Campus, which will feature both local and national talent, is slated to open this fall.

The 1,100-seat theater will be only the third building on Tuscarawas’ campus, but will boast technology upgrades found in big-city theaters.

Mike Morelli, general manager of the performing arts center, said the theater is designed to take in the largest of Broadway shows.

“We’re envisioning four different kinds of series,” Morelli said. “We’re envisioning a Broadway series, a music series, a family friendly series — you know, things like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or ‘Stomp’ — and then a school series for kids where schools bus in students and come see professional work.”

Morelli said some people may think the location is not ideal for a Broadway style performance space, but he sees it differently.

“We’re a little bit rural and a little bit isolated,” Morelli said. “A lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to see the shows. That’s part of the reason we’re doing this.

“One of the things that I’m hoping to do is set up events at Kent that people want to see. It would be great to have some kind of bus so students can come down.”

Morelli says that all the funding is being taken care of by private donations, with a little bit of government assistance.

“There’s been no resistance at all,” Morelli said. “This isn’t one of those controversial things. It’s one of those things that everybody in the area is saying they want more of. This center is being built with the community’s desires in mind.”

Contact regional campuses reporter Kyle Nelson at [email protected].