Kent Stage revamps ‘Alley’ for weekly themed dance parties

Megan Moore

DJ, disco ball transformed space into new hangout

Some people wouldn’t dare to step foot in an alley after dark, but the Kent Stage has found a way to make it less intimidating by holding weekly themed dance parties.

Equipped with a disco ball and heart-thumping music, the Kent Stage hosted “Techno Dance Party” in the alley next to the building Saturday evening. Techno is just one of the many themes to come for the Kent Stage Alley shows.

The idea for the alley parties started with the collaboration of a few Kent State students and the venue’s owner, Tom Simpson.

“We got hooked up on the Fourth of July at Kent Fest, and we were (disc jockeying) out here,” said Troy Vansant, junior fashion merchandising major. “The owner liked it so much he said, ‘Let’s make this an annual thing,’ and we were like ‘All right, let’s do it.'”

Kent State alumnus Jim Garibaldi, who promotes the venue’s events, said the Kent Stage has generally been used to bringing in music that may be less appealing to students. He said his role is to bring in acts that appeal to the college crowd.

“Basically we’re trying to bring in Kent State students,” Garibaldi said. “A lot of people don’t even know this place is here and it’s like, right down the road.”

Simpson said they wanted to find a way to utilize the space in the alley for summer events and the dance parties are one way of doing that.

“When it gets cold, I think we’re going to take it inside and do it in the theater on the stage,” Simpson said.

Amanda Miller, freshman fashion design major, said dancing in the alley is her way to get out and have fun after a long week.

Senior psychology major Sam Windler said he was attracted to the alley because of its diverse music selection.

“I’ve been coming out to this thing for probably a month and a half,” he said. “My roommate is into this crowd and I started to like it and kept on coming.”

To get to the alley, students must walk through the Kent Stage entrance, which is located at 175 E. Main St. The themed parties will be held every Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission is $2 for students 18-20 and students 21 and older get in free.

For information on future Kent Stage events go to www.kentstage.org or check out http://www.myspace.com/thekentstage.

Contact features correspondent Megan Moore at [email protected]