What each performance venue has to offer

Limelight Staff


Iowa State has many places for entertainment on campus. Here’s a look at a few of them.


The Maintenance Shop:

The Maintenance Shop hosts concerts, professional comedians, Grandma Mojos Moonshine Revival (the Iowa State improv group) and open mic nights.


Professional comedians appear once per month on the middle Wednesday in each full month of school.


Grandma Mojos performs every other Wednesday, while open mic nights occur every other Tuesday on alternating weeks.


“Mojos is a collection of individual voices, depending on who is in the troupe,” former Mojos member Taylor Sklenar said. “The same debates will come up about how much is for fun and how much is art, and with people shifting in and out, the traditions get passed down.”


Concerts are scheduled at different times of the week throughout the semester.


“Iowa State has this hidden secret where you have the opportunity to go see these bands and comedians and performers with like 60 people there, and you’re standing right next to someone who’s going to win a Grammy or be in a Will Ferrell movie,” former M-Shop director Andrew Lopez said.


Maintenance Shop is beloved by the Iowa State community for its intimate vibe and unique setting.


“The second I walked down the ramp… it was just a really inviting spot and it made me feel so welcome that I wanted to do it again,” former M-Shop director Angela Chamberlain said. “I hadn’t even started my first show and I wanted to come back for more. I thought this was a spot where I could be myself.”


The Maintenance Shop has hosted Twenty One Pilots, the Lumineers, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Dan Gill, Aaron Carter and many more bands and artists.


The Great Hall:

The Great Hall hosts larger concerts, lectures, the Cyclone Voice competition and ISU AfterDark, which may include musicians, magicians, animals, comedians and other performers.


The Iowa State Lectures Program tries “to bring to campus a broad spectrum of lectures, political debates, and academic forums; cultural events, including musical performances and art and dance programs; and entertainment, such as film and comedy.”


In 2016-2017, lectures included topics on the presidential election, climate discussion, video game production, issues in several different industries and discussions on race.


Leslie Odom Jr., who originated the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway production of “Hamilton,” performed and talked about motivation in life. Artist Paul Cooley talked about recovering from addiction through art.


Most lectures take place in the Sun Room, though larger lectures are scheduled in the Great Hall, which has been the venue for such acts as Twenty One Pilots, X-Ambassadors, Smallpools, Echosmith, Andy Grammer, Jesse McCartney, Phantogram, Eric Andre and regurgitator Steve Astarr.


The Iowa State Center:

The Iowa State Center, which is managed by VenuWorks, hosts numerous productions each year in Hilton Coliseum, Stephens Auditorium, Fischer Theater and the Scheman Building.


Hilton Coliseum

Aside from men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and wrestling, Hilton Coliseum also hosts other events that are not related to ISU sports teams.


“Hilton does not have a lot of availability, so we find artists that could work for their dates and then decide from there,” said George Micalone, director of student activities for the Memorial Union.


Hilton has hosted Kevin Hart and DNCE, among others.


Stephens Auditorium:

Stephens Auditorium is host to a wide range of theatrical performances. Shows include off-broadway productions, concerts, choirs and symphonies, large lectures and even a local annual production of The Nutcracker.


There are four to six broadway productions that come to Stephens Auditorium each season.

Tammy Koolbeck, executive director of the Iowa State Center, said Stephens gives the Iowa State community multiple opportunities to access the arts and expand the horizons of the students.

“Stephens is really a crown jewel of the campus, and we really want it to stay around with the help of the student body,” Koolbeck said.


Fisher Theatre:

Fisher Theatre hosts ISU Theatre productions, local theater and dance productions and choirs.


ISU Theatre is an Iowa State club affiliated with the Theatre Department that puts on between three and four plays or musicals each semester. Performing Arts majors are required to participate in productions, and design and art majors are encouraged to contribute to the shows.


The Iowa State all women’s choir, Cantamus, also hosts showcases in Fisher Theatre.


Scheman Building

The Scheman Building is home to Iowa State’s Brunnier Museum which is known for its decorative art. The collection consists of furniture, wallpaper, prints, carpet and any kind of art one may find in a home.


This venue hosts meetings, weddings and other events year round.


The Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall:

The Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall is located inside of Music Hall. It serves as a stage for Iowa State opera, jazz bands, concert bands and choirs.


The Hansen Agricultural Learning Center:

The Hansen Ag Center hosts the ISU Rodeo, the Iowa State Bacon Expo and several concerts.


It has hosted acts such as Sam Hunt, Rae Lynn, Dan and Shay and Waka Flocka Flame.


Carver 101:

Carver 101 is one of the larger lecture halls on campus, located just inside the lobby of Carver Hall. Aside from hosting classes, Carver 101 is home to Cyclone Cinema and the 48-hour film festival.


Cyclone Cinema provides showings of recently released films to students and community members for free. Recent trends have included each Marvel film that was released, popular animated films and a chick-flick or two.


Members of the Student Union Board, the student club that runs most of the entertainment on campus, vote on which movies to bring in for the next semester. The fall and spring semesters often have a style difference, however.


“Spring is normally more of… Academy Award-winning or nominated films,” said former Cyclone Cinema co-director Hannah Nation. “And then we try not to put too many of the same genre films back to back.”


The 48-hour film festival is co-hosted by Cyclone Cinema and the ISU Film Producers Club. The festival began in the Spring 2015 semester.


“Cyclone Cinema is a very routine thing, and with this [festival], we can kind of break that routine,” Nation said.


The idea for the festival evolved out of the Des Moines 48-hour film festival, but was tailored to what Iowa State and the Film Producers Club can offer.


“The festival was something we wanted to use to reach out to the student body and involve Iowa State in film,” said Kelly Werner, former president of the ISU Film Producers Club and the driving force behind getting Student Government to fund the project. “There aren’t many outlets for film here, so we are trying to provide some of those opportunities.”