Performance Space

SPENCER H. BIBLE, Arts&Entertainment Editor

This isn’t a review of Das Racist. If you liked it, awesome. If you didn’t, awesome. Shows are a product of the audience. Since people rushed the stage (which I always support), people must have had a good time. Also, Himanshu is adorable.

But this isn’t a review of Das Racist.

This is a review of Pearsons and its position as our go-to performance space for larger events. Used throughout the winter, the DK’s cafeteria has held tons of memorable performances. But, with the reconstruction of Pearsons in question, what’s to be said for its future as a venue?

I say scrap it. Its drastic transition from a low to high ceiling (coming out from under the awning) doesn’t lend itself to tightly-packed crowds. It’s a big room (the largest available besides the gymnasium) and, while that allows for a nice stage and towering speakers, it leaves the people on the fringes exposed. If you’ve ever been to Vortex or any other Student Activities programming in Pearsons, you may know the feeling of dancing with no one behind you. This vulnerability doesn’t lead to good shows.

On a nerdier note, the acoustics are terrible. The pillars are conveniently placed directly in front of the speakers, which choke the sound as it’s projected into the more cavernous back half of the room. There’s nothing the sound engineers can do about it, it’s the nature of the beast.

There are also time constraints. For security reasons everyone needs to be gone by midnight, so the shows have to start early. Because of this, the campus can’t get its drink on and show up in time to party until the show’s almost over. That may sound like a joke. We all know it’s not.

For all the grunge of C-Haus, it’s an effective space. It’s compact but not claustrophobic, open till 2a.m., effectively indestructible (due to low standards), and has great acoustics. Yet. C-Haus isn’t large enough to accommodate the type of crowds that acts like Das Racist are capable of drawing.

DK’s needs to meet health codes.

People are talking about “space” a lot on campus. There should be space allocated in the Alliant Center for a concert hall more conducive to Beloit’s needs. It’s time Beloit had a top-notch ballroom for concerts, speakers, dancing and campus functions. If they’re planning on re-doing Pearsons, DK’s isn’t going to be an option for much longer. This’ll leave traditions like Vortex and Ballroom Dance homeless. We have a lot of money allocated to bringing entertainment to Beloit, and if the powers that be are smart, there’ll be more coming. It would prove a valuable resource for future generations of Beloit College students.



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