Orange Media Network


Orange Media Network


Orange Media Network



PRAx Open House Tour


On Saturday, April 6th, I went to the PRAx Open House event, marking the completion and opening of well, the PRAx (Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts). I’m here to tell you a little bit about it. There are four main areas of the building. As you enter, you’ll find yourself in the Thomas W. Toomey Lobby. The lobby is also home to an informal stage. For the open house, there were various poets and writers doing readings of their pieces.

To the left of the lobby’s “stage,” is the Kate and John Stirek Gallery, which is currently hosting “Sonic Booms” – an exhibit on the evolution of music over the past 150 years. It’s totally free to visit, and if that isn’t reason enough for you to go there, a playable theremin is on display. I’ll admit though, I couldn’t master the instrument during my visit, so I might have to go back again…

There’s also the Edward J. Ray Theater, across from the reception. When I visited, the room was almost pitch black, and there was an exhibit featuring whale songs, and “trippy” visuals projected on meshy fabrics suspended from the ceiling. I’m not doing it justice – It’s probably better if you check it out yourself.

Overall, though, I think the theater was designed with flexibility in mind, allowing it to hold many different types of events, particularly interactive ones, in the future. In particular, I’m interested in the “Slumberland VR Theater,” which will replace the current exhibit starting April 21st and running through May 11th. 

Finally, there’s the Lynne Hallstrom Detrick Concert Hall, arguably the centerpiece of the new building, capable of seating 490 people at full capacity. On the open day, musical performances were being cycled through and we were free to walk about or stay. The seating options were great, especially the gallery seats, which offer a head-free viewing experience. If you want, there are even balcony seats behind the stage, so you can look down at the backs of all the performers.

Sadly, I have no idea how pricing works for seats, especially given the variety of events the Concert Hall will be hosting. If you’re interested in any performances, I suggest you make sure you get the seats you want. Here’s a link to the PRAx website, where you can find details for each upcoming event.

I mentioned how PRAx will be home to a plethora of events, so I’ve shortlisted a few events that piqued my interest. Firstly, The Wonder and the Worry, a documentary by OSU Productions about National Geographic photographer Chris Johns’ career, his rise to editor, as well as how his daughter is following in his footsteps.

I’ve actually watched this film, as it was directed by the assistant professor in a film class I took last Fall. If you’re at all interested in documentary films, and the life of people in the industry, I can’t recommend this film enough. There will be two showings of the film soon, on the 17th and 18th of April, at 7pm. Tickets will be $10 across the board, for OSU students and the general public alike.

Another event that caught my eye was “Songs and Stories with Roger McGuinn”, which will be on the 23rd of April. I’ll admit, I didn’t know who Roger McGuinn was at first, but a quick look at the pamphlet I got from the open house told me all I needed to know. McGuinn was the frontman of The Byrds, a ‘60s rock band. Now, that sounded familiar to me, The Byrds… Where had I heard that name before? Also, a song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, is brought up, being one of their hits.

It took me a while, but I finally realized where I’d heard that song, and The Byrds in general. It’s part of the Forrest Gump OST, and plays [SPOILERS?] right after Forrest is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, specifically after he reunites with Jenny, only to have her whisked away again.

Based on the event description, “Songs and Stories with Roger McGuinn” will be both a performance and talk. If you’re a fan of The Byrds, or are invested in rock music at all, mark the date on your calendars. And get your tickets. You’ll need those. It’s $5 for students, and between $35 to $45 for the public. Take advantage of those student prices.

Having been relegated to one of the older buildings on campus for the majority of my time at OSU, a predominantly STEM school, I look forward to the host of events and exhibits that PRAx will house, and I’ll be returning soon, hungry for more.

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