Koger Center For The Arts Unveils New Plaza Stage
June 2, 2022
The Koger Center is excited to announce the addition of a new outdoor performance space, the Plaza Stage at the Koger Center for the Arts. As a cultural destination for audiences seeking diverse experiences in a lively and dynamic setting, the Koger Center for the Arts stands out as Columbia’s premier center for the performing and visual arts. Patrons of the Koger Center now have more outside areas to enjoy before performances and the stage offers opportunities for pre-show concerts as well as stand-alone events. As a member of the University of South Carolina family, the Plaza Stage will offer UofSC students an outdoor area for studying and performing.
As the pandemic ebbed, people were eager to venture out of their homes and attend performances, but it was still unsafe to host events inside. The Koger Center hosted several outdoor events as a way for local arts groups to perform in a safer environment. The director of the Koger Center, Nate Terracio, saw that there was an interest in an outdoor performance space that would transcend the pandemic. The plaza in front of the Koger Center is an ideal location with landscaping and terrain offering a natural seating area, thus the idea of the Plaza Stage was born.
The development of the Plaza Stage at the Koger Center for the Arts is split into three phases: phase one, the construction of the Plaza Stage, is completed providing the ability to host events. Beginning soon, phase two includes additional landscaping and power for the stage. The third and final phase includes infrastructure for stage lighting and shade.
As the official kick-off for the Koger Center Plaza Stage, join us for three free performances of Hand to Hand by Squonk on Sunday, September 25 at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM and Monday, September 26 at 6:00 PM. Squonk creates boisterous outdoor spectacles by fusing fantastical visual design, playful staging, and high-energy original music. Witty and whimsical, Squonk’s performances bring audiences together for a joyful celebration of humankind and our peculiar world.
Since their first big show in a Pittsburgh junkyard, Squonk Co-Artistic Directors Jackie Dempsey and Steve O’Hearn have led a group of musicians, artists, designers, and other creatives to produce shows with big visual and musical impact. Squonk’s productions have taken them to Off-Broadway, Broadway, America’s Got Talent, Europe, Asia, and all over the United States. They have released 9 albums, a blend of styles propelled by driving rhythms and hypnotic riffs.
For its 30th anniversary, Squonk takes its show Hand to Hand on a U.S. tour and is excited to be in Columbia for the first time. In this festive event, Squonk invites audiences on stage to operate two giant purple puppet hands during the performance, creating a humorous, uplifting visual extravaganza propelled by Squonk’s rollicking music. The Koger Center is pleased that this one-of-a-kind family-friendly outdoor extravaganza will be the first of many to grace the new Plaza Stage.
By Chip Wade, Director of Marketing, Koger Center For The Arts