If all of Athens’ entertainment venues were at a party, The Athena would be a wallflower; it might not have the party atmosphere that the college town is famous for, but it’s still an interesting — and underappreciated — aspect of Athens culture.
Located on Court Street, the Athena opened in 1915, making it one of the oldest movie theaters in the country. Ohio University purchased the theater in 2001, restoring it with an Art Deco-style interior.
The Athena’s distinction from many other theaters in the area is its unique movie selection. The theatre hosts many independent films, and has hosted the premises for many major movies such as Aaron Sorkin’s Jobs and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. Many film classes here at Ohio University take place in the Athena, and its three theaters can even be rented out for private events.
During weekdays, movie goers can access many deals. On Tuesdays, all tickets cost only 4 dollars. On Wednesdays, one small popcorn is free with the purchase of a ticket. Additionally, any show before 6 P.M. is only 5 dollars.
The Athena is a great resource for Athenians to experience great film. It provides students a great way to spend their weekend, and is a suitable alternative to the college party atmosphere.
The Ohio University Theater Division is back in action with its first Athens main stage production with the new play “Elbows Off The Table,” which starts at 8 p.m. at the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater in Kantner Hall, and plays until Sept. 26.
Written and directed by Rebecca VerNooy, “Elbows Off The Table” features a cast comprised of undergraduate student actors. Though they are just students, the actors handled the difficult subject matter like professionals.
The movement- and dialogue-driven show tells the story of a young woman from her birth and to womanhood, at times in painful detail. Being a woman, even in modern times, is not easy.
From the time she’s born, the young woman is confronted with the societal pressures of what it means to be female. She is surrounded, literally, with voices shouting at her what to do and how to behave. “Wear a dress!” “Sit up straight!” “Be a good girl!” “Elbows off the table!” are just a few of the commands that were hurled at her throughout the play.
One of the most gripping themes of the play is the young woman exploring her sexuality. She is told to be careful. Understandably, she faces confusion about how she feels and how far she is willing to go. She’s pressured on all sides. It’s heartbreaking and sometimes uncomfortable but bravely shows the struggles many girls go through in their adolescent and young adult years.
The biggest problem with the show is that it moves slowly for the first portion. It took a while for the play’s message to sink in. There are times the plot is confusing, but maybe that’s the whole point because life is often confusing.
Supporting student theater productions is important, but can often be overlooked. The price of admission is free with a student ID, so why not enjoy a cost-free night out as well as some great entertainment?
To see the Theater Division’s lineup for the rest of the 2015-2016 season, visit its website.