How to have fun when you’re under 21

Curated by Elizabeth Backo and Kate Fickell

Although Ohio University has been dubbed a No. 1 party school, there is still much to do before turning 21. Athens is filled with a variety of music and art groups along with fitness centers and beautiful bikeways. Although fest season and HallOUween may seem like the ultimate party at OU, seeing a movie at the Athena Cinema or attending a football game at Peden stadium can be just as much of a buzz.

Here’s a guide for how to have fun when you’re under 21:

Performing Arts:

1. Instrumental music, located in Memorial Auditorium and the Glidden Hall (which is at the top and bottom of Jeff Hill)

Free music is abundant on campus. The School of Music hosts different events throughout the year including OctubaFest, an event dedicated to tuba playing, and the annual Jazz Festival. In addition, there are several organizations for music majors and non-majors to participate in, including symphonies and orchestras. Events and information can be found on the School of Music’s website

2. Athena, located near The Chop Shop and The Shack on Court Street

The Athena Cinema is placed among the oldest movie theaters in the nation. It has three screens and an art deco-style interior. The theater also offers popcorn and concessions. The films include documentary, independent, classics, foreign and local. Every year, the Athena Cinema hosts multiple events including Ohio University student screenings, environmental panels and the Athens International Film + Video Festival. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with what’s happening.

3.Improv/Comedy, located at Front Room, Donkey Coffee and Baker Theatre

Black Sheep Improv, an improvisational group on campus, takes over Front Room on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and on Thursdays in Baker Theatre at 9 p.m. The Improv troupe spends its time making jokes and trying to get the audience to crack a few smiles. Comedy groups can also be found around campus and uptown, such as the Blue Pencil Comedy stand-up group that frequently performs at Donkey Coffee and Espresso. “I think anyway of making new friends is something I would be interested in haha! I know no one.” Bethel Park High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

4. Art Barn, located down the road behind the Summit Apartments at Coates Run

The Dairy Barn Arts Center promotes artists and provides the community access to fine arts and crafts from outside the region. The program calendar that you can check out here includes international juried exhibitions, festivals, touring exhibits, programs of regional interest, live performances and activities for all ages. They have volunteer work and Kroger community awards.

5. Choirs, performing in Memorial Auditorium on College Green

The Choral Union is a large, mixed chorus of students, faculty and townspeople. The ensemble unites annually with the Ohio University Symphony to perform outstanding major choral works. Click here to check out their page and other singing and instrumental groups. “I hope to find a job and join the choir. I don’t need alcohol or partying to have fun. Yeah, those can be fun to do but also remembering things sober are much better than not remembering.” Harrison Central High School in Cadiz, OH.


1. Bike Path, behind South Green

When the weather is warm and sunny, the bike path located behind South Green is a go-to place for bikers, runners, skaters and walkers. The path is relatively flat with a few twists and turns. Anyone can enjoy a view of the Hocking River or witness the blooming Japanese Cherry Blossoms in the spring. It also can be used to take a trip to Wal-Mart.

2. Ping, behind Clippinger near South Green and the golf course

The Ping Center is 168,000 square feet spanning three floors with a 36 foot, double-sided climbing wall, five basketball/volleyball courts, two multipurpose gymnasiums, a four-lane indoor running track, seven racquetball courts and two fitness areas. Ping Center also provides free weights, aerobics, fitness, combative sports, dance, and meeting rooms. Follow Ping on Twitter to keep up! “I just want to take in as much as possible and find what interests me. I want to get the experience that comes with finally moving out of your parents’ house and be on your own. I love spending time in the gym.” Monroe Central High School in Woodsfield, OH.

3. Sport Fields, multiple locations described below

Peden stadium, located near the Convocation Center, has a seating capacity of 24,000 and hosts Bobcat football. Students attend football games in the fall to cheer on the Bobcats as well as collect free gear and food. The Marching 110 also plays a halftime performance that leaves the audience bouncing with excitement. The Intramural Fields are located between East Green and the Hocking River and offer individual, dual and team sports for men, women and coed teams in a variety of seasonal league and tournament formats. “I’m committed to the women’s soccer team so for fun I plan on hanging out with my future teammates.” Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware, OH.

4. Bird Arena, located near the bottom of Baker Center

Bird Arena is another outlet for people who would rather slide then run. The indoor arena provides a 190-by-85 foot surface for skaters of all ages. Bird Arena has open skate hours which can be found online and might change for the 2016-17 academic year. Skate rental fees are $3.50. Additionally, the arena offers different programs such as synchronized skating, club hockey and even beginner classes that can be taken for academic credit. You can find this icy rink at the bottom of Baker Center.


1. The Post, room 325 in Baker Center

The Post is one of several media outlets on campus. After more than 100 years of publishing, The Post is becoming a weekly tabloid with a daily digital product. The organization covers a range of topics from blog posts about pet Instagrams to political controversy on campus. The Post has several staffs that work daily to produce its product, which includes culture, sports, news, copy editing, digital, social media, design, multimedia and photography.

2. Backdrop, office located in Baker Center in room 309 or can be contacted here

Backdrop is a magazine on campus that publishes four times throughout the academic year. The magazine focuses on long-form content ranging from the history of fashion at OU to an in depth look into police officers’ K-9 sidekicks. “I also got into OSU but I chose OU over it. I am really looking forward to being involved with certain magazines on campus, especially the one dedicated to music because although I don’t play an instrument, I love all genres of music and talking about them.” Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, OH.

3. The Athens News, located between Red Brick and Cats Eye on Court Street

Known for its in-depth local news reporting, The Athens News features news, entertainment and an advertising section. With Ohio University making up an important segment of the Athens County population, The Athens News newspaper is able to effectively reach both the university and community markets, according to its website. The publication has written about everything from Number Fest to the construction of uptown bars.

Comedian Julie Goldman brings laughs and energy to OU stage

Arms flailed and feet flew as she screamed on the stage. Wild-eyed and red-faced, Julie Goldman was a ball of energy on a roll.

Julie Goldman visited Ohio University on February 9, and left Baker Center Theatre rolling on the floor. Goldman is both Jewish and a lesbian, aspects of her life that she focuses on heavily in her comedy. Jokes about growing up in a Jewish family, eating Chinese food for Christmas and feeling like the black sheep for her sexual identity were all fair game.

Julie has fun with the OU audience
Julie has fun with the OU audience

Goldman is extremely conversational, pulling the audience in and making them feel like they’ve known her for a long time. She told stories of growing up with her family, including the time that her brother burned their house down. “When you’re the lez in the family your brother burning the house down is the best thing that could happen,” quipped Goldman.

Among the family stories, Goldman was not afraid to tackle big issues with her comedy. She joked that according to television women love getting proposed to, going out to lunch, cleaning, taking stripper pole classes and relaxing by themselves in lingerie.

Goldman did get a little serious later on in the evening, a welcomed change of pace. In a Q&A after the show, Goldman did not shy away from pointing out that comedy is more like a frat house than anything. This makes breaking out in a big way more difficult for women, especially a lesbian woman who doesn’t gain appeal from straight men by making heterosexual jokes.

“I think that the entertainment industry is extremely sexist,” said Goldman. “[Comedy] is like a frat house, within a bowling alley, within a football field. It’s super sexist, even though there are a lot of women in it,” said Goldman.

Despite this disadvantage, Julie Goldman has been a part of “The Sopranos,” “The Big Gay Sketch Show,” “The People’s Couch” and more.

Julie Goldman is fast, funny and high energy. By the time she is done with a joke you don’t know what hit you. I expect that we will see more of Julie in the future, and I would personally love if she came back to do another show at Ohio University.

Julie Goldman laughs the night away at Ohio University


Julie Goldman is one part Jewish, one part lesbian and all parts funny. The crowd at Baker Center Theatre on Tuesday night, February 9th, certainly seemed to agree, laughing early and often at the comedian’s humor.

Goldman started out by talking about her very Jewish mother. She described her mom as “very controlling” and “a typical Jewish mom” in many jokes that got the crowd laughing early and often. One of her best jokes on this topic was when she talked about how her mother sometimes compares Goldman and her brother.

Goldman thinks that she will and should always be thought of as the better child.

Her reasoning is based off a major event in their childhood.

Her brother was a big smoker. One day, thinking his cigarette was out, threw it under the front porch.

It wasn’t out. The house burned down. And Goldman was thereafter assured of being the better kid in her mother’s eyes.

Goldman went on to crack jokes about how things that guys typically do are kind of gay in a sense. One of her examples was how a lot of guys like to get together at someone’s house with only guys and watch guys play football on TV. “YA, not gay at all,” Goldman said.

She shared to the crowd an experience she once had at a Victoria Secret. She was just casually shopping and noticed that everything was in very small sizes. Goldman is not a big lady, so she figured the clothes should be in her size. She then asked a worker, who was of Eastern European descent, if there was anything in her size.

She cracked a joke about how it seems like workers at stores are always Eastern European that got a big laugh from the crowd. Anyways, the worker took her to the back to measure her. Goldman described being measured in a very entertaining way and, it turned out the measurement instrument being used did not fit around her.

There was nothing in that store that was her size. She went on a hilarious rant about her reaction to that.

Julie Goldman doing a q and a session after her performance.

Goldman finished up by singing a song about being a lesbian, while playing a guitar. There was constant laughter in the crowd throughout it.  After her performance, she had a question and answer session with the crowd.

Before it started, some people decided to leave and, Goldman heckled them as they left.  She received questions mostly about the background of some of her stories she told. One student asked if she has a good relationship with her mother. Goldman laughed and said that she loves her mom to death.

Goldman currently hosts her own show The Peoples Couch on Bravo. She has also performed on Comedy Central, E!, Rupaul’s Drag Race, LOGO and VH1. She was a star on Logo’s Big Gay Sketch Show and was a comedy writer for E!’s Fashion Police.

Bacon, cheese, and Chinese food: the non-kosher loves of Julie Goldman

Looking back at when Julie Goldman’s brother burnt down her family’s house after throwing a cigarette butt beneath the porch, she claimed it was the best thing that ever happened to her.

“I could dyke around all I wanted after that!” she said, kicking out her leg as the audience laughed.

Julie Goldman, a comedian  who has performed on Comedy Central, Bravo and E!, brought bold and snappy humor to Ohio University’s Baker Center Theatre Tuesday night (February 9th). Although her act, sponsored by the LGBT Center, Campus Involvement, Performing Arts Series and Hillel at OU, was filled laughter and prancing around the stage, Goldman tackled bolder topics– lesbian stereotypes, what it means to be feminine or masculine (or, as she put it, “mascu-lean”), and breaking through the glass ceiling of the comedy world– with a serious tone.

Julie Goldman, who is described by ____ as "Part Jewish, Part Lesbian, All Parts Funny," posed with audience members after the show.
Julie Goldman, who is described as “One Part Jewish, One Part Lesbian, All Parts Funny,” posed with audience members after the show.


But not too serious.

Goldman told of the dilemmas and joys that came with growing up in a Jewish family. She described her mother, Phyllis, as being “four feet tall and full of disappointment,” as well as high-strung, intense, and commanding. Phyllis was a key figure in the comedy act, and Goldman impersonated her loud, fast-talking voice throughout her routine.

“She’s not angry,” Goldman said. “She’s just Jewish.”

Goldman also described the troubles of kosher living. She admitted that, like many other Jews, she loves Chinese food and looked forward to every Christmas when her family would “break the rules,” and get take-out.

“It’s literally made from pork and Christians!”

After that statement, one member of the audience whispered, “She’s like a Jewish Ellen.”

Goldman highlighted her loves for cheese, bacon, cheese and bacon, and cheese and bacon in croissants, as well, and she discussed the other taboos of the Jewish home: nudity and privacy.

Although much of her comedy act centered on her Jewish heritage, Goldman also discussed sexism and how it plays into her career.

“I’ve learned a lot about women by watching TV,” she said. After all, women love to go shopping, talk about lunch, clean the house for their husbands, get proposed to, attend pole dancing classes, unwind in their favorite lingerie set, and erotically eat by themselves. “I think sexism is the root of all evil.”

She ended her comedy bit with “the power of lesbian folk rock music,” singing a song she created herself: “Pro-Choice.”

delfin bautista of the LGBT center, whose laughter could be heard above everyone else’s during portions of the show, said they identified with Goldman because their “Cuban mother was very much like her mom.” They were worried the show’s attendance would be affected by the snowy weather, but the theater was nearly full.

“There’s so much power in her story, ” bautista said. “She tackled issues that matter, but no one wants to discuss.”






Black Sheep Improv

Outside of Thursday Night Football, there’s very little to do on Thursday’s. That’s where Ohio University’s improv comes into play. Ohio University’s improv is an umbrella term that holds two improv groups: Black Sheep and Six to Midnight.

Both of these groups provide a free weekly show on Thursday’s at 9 p.m. in the Baker Center Theater, and they pack the place. Each group performs for about 45 minutes a-piece. They also have an informal performance every other Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Baker Center Lounge. Both groups collaborate together to put on their Tuesday shows.

One of the members of Black Sheep, sophomore Matt Cudahy, said, “If I had to describe Black Sheep in three words it would probably be fun, chill and swag.”

What Black Sheep does with their shows is have the audience throw them a word and then on the spot, they create their whole show around that word.

“We basically just wing it. We all trust each other and so whatever’s the first thing that pops in our mind we just run with it,” Cudahy said.

Black Sheep brings in advisors and professionals from across the nation, even from the famous Blue Pencil Comedy in Chicago, to help guide and give them ways to improve their improvisation.

Cudahy said, “It is invaluable, they are very smart and funny people so I appreciate the time they spend to help make us better performers and comedians, even if there is no hope for me.”

These professionals range from giving advice on delivery to the basics of how to handle nervousness on stage.

“The nerves are real. To be honest my first show was pretty much a blur. I think I might have been a dentist in one scene, or maybe it was lion tamer? It was definitely one of the two.”

But after Cudahy has settled in for the past year, there are particular characters that he enjoys to become on stage.

“My go-to character can only be described as the ‘cool’ dad who really isn’t that cool. He cracks cheesy jokes and just goes with the flow. He definitely thinks he is cool though.”

Any and all people are welcome to audition for the group in the fall semester. Cudahy joined his freshman year and loves every minute of it.

“My favorite part has to be the people I’ve met. They have all become my homies, and there is no other group of peeps I’d rather chill and do improv with.”

Student Org Screens ‘Obvious Child’

United Campus Ministries located on College Street is showing a free screening of the film, Obvious Child on Saturday at 4 PM. Youth Against Misogyny and Sexism is hosting the event. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as “a group of young people dedicated to fighting to end misogyny and sexism that plague our society.”

United Campus Ministries: Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice is a nonprofit organization that focuses on interfaith and socially progressive values. It is located at 18 N. College Street right across from the Athens Police Department.

With the topic of abortion being a huge debate for people of all faiths and political ideologies in the US,  this film sheds light on what is a very controversial issue that affects us all.

The film stars Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, David Cross, and Gaby Hoffman. Donna (Jenny Slate) is the main character that has a drunken one night stand and finds out she is pregnant. This is an unexpected romantic comedy/drama that focuses on real experiences that happen to women everyday.

Check out the trailer below:

Obvious Child was listed as a New York Times Critic’s Pick and gave a review that said, “’s both funny and serious without trying too hard to be either, and by trying above all to be honest.”

The Washington Post movie critic, Ann Hornaday, weighed in stating “The result is a movie that feels risky and forgiving and, despite its traditional rom-com contours, refreshingly new.”

You can find out more about this event on the Facebook page.

The film will be showing at 4 PM at UCM and remember, it’s FREE!