The Loft opens to provide new student space

Kenny Chilton

Whether it’s sitting at a table with friends and enjoying the art-decorated walls or standing on the terrace to get a sweeping view of UT, The Loft will offer many new opportunities before and after performances at Bass Concert Hall.

The Loft Kickoff Celebration tonight will celebrate the opening of a sixth floor hangout spot the Texas Performing Arts and Hook ‘em Arts created with students in mind. The lounge will provide amenities and atmosphere for students to enjoy a show.

“Texas Performing Arts created The Loft because we wanted students to feel like they had a place to call their own,” said Maggie Bang, student development specialist. “The Loft will be a fun place to unwind with friends before a show. For example, there’s nothing quite like laughing with your friends to get you ready for a comedy show.”

Revamped with new technology, a new bar, new furniture and even a graffiti wall, The Loft was designed to be comfortable and for students to take advantage of the fine arts shows available to them at UT.

“The Loft was created to have a place to come and hang out before and after shows that are happening at Bass Concert Hall,” Bang said. “Sometimes this will include photo booths that have backdrops and props. We’ve got a couple of game nights, and we’re going to make a giant Mad-Lib. We’re working with other departments in Texas Performing Arts to get some of the artists to come and talk back with students.”

Bang said often in performing arts, audiences will all come to see the same show but never connect with one another. The Loft will bring a social aspect to seeing plays, allowing students with similar interests to talk about the performances.

“I hope that The Loft allows students to feel more comfortable. The Bass Concert Hall is on the UT campus, so it’s kind of like the students’ theatre, but I don’t think students feel that way,” Bang said. “Hopefully this is a place where students can come and relax. Starting discussions in The Loft and branching out to other people at these performances is what we hope is accomplished.”

The Loft will help put plays into context, giving many opportunities to prepare audience members for each show.

“We have one show coming in October, The Infernal Comedy, and it’s supposed to be really strange, so we were thinking we’d have people up in the Loft after the show to really break it down,” said arts director Lauren Shelton. “It will really enhance the experience because you’re seeing other peoples’ views on it, but at the same time, being able to fully form your own thoughts about it.”

Printed on September 1, 2011 as: Lounge at concert hall opens to promote student interaction