Olyphant performance hall sets the stage for locals | New

It took a village to open a new performance hall in downtown Olyphant.

Keystone Stage opened in September at 125 W. Lackawanna Ave. and has already hosted dozens of local and regional musicians, comedians, poets, artists and more. They regularly host open mic parties, concerts for all ages, and special events including a recent Halloween party.

Co-owner Jason Macheska came up with the idea for the concert hall last year, saying he was inspired to create new opportunities for artists during COVID-19. He and co-owner Jeff Nye envisioned a place that could showcase local talent and help them be successful, but they didn’t expect to find so much success.

“It was just a small idea that grew into something bigger when everyone joined us,” Macheska said.

They first opened the venue in Dickson City. It was a lot smaller than Keystone Stage, but they did their best to showcase local talent there as well. The venue in Dickson City lasted for a few months, until circumstances began to change.

Soon Nicholas Lipinski contacted to see if he could rent a space for his music company, Primal Sounds, which does graphic design, sound effects and works with the electronic dance music scene. He eventually became a partner, too, and the trio began to dream a little bigger.

The response to the Dickson City venue was so great that they realized they needed more space to accommodate the artists who wanted to perform there and the audiences they attracted.

“We had such great support from everyone there, and we realized we could make things better,” Nye said.

This is where co-owner Samantha “Sam” Palumbo and her husband, Will, came in. They helped find a new location for the concert hall. Sam Palumbo also took care of the website and Facebook page management, as well as the advertising of the place.

“We are really there for the community,” said Sam Palumbo.

Nye says it’s important to have places where artists and musicians, especially younger ones, can come and play music or present their work.

“When I was a kid the only place you could see bands playing was a bar,” he said, meaning anyone under the age of 21 can’t attend.

Alcohol is permitted at The Keystone

Stage but only during certain events and the patrons must bring it themselves. During these events, any minor would be required to have bracelets marking them as such during these events.

The four owners see Keystone Stage as an integral part of the community – more than just a performance venue, but a place where artists can come and showcase their work and just relax. Already, local artists have decorated ceiling tiles in the building; other designers exhibit and sell their jewelry, T-shirts and other art objects there.

The new place has already gained a good reputation among local artists. Singer Katie Evans has performed on the Keystone stage more than once and thinks they are great for the community.

“Everyone supports me a lot and is very involved in the community,” she said.

Michelle Pagan, who plays the drums, says it’s a great gathering place.

“It’s a wonderful place for artists to come together, network and appreciate each other’s talents,” she said. “The crowd always feels united, which is heartwarming to experience,” she said.

The Keystone Scene hosts several events in December and January, including a Holiday Craft Fair on December 12 and a New Years Eve party for those 18 and older. For a full list of upcoming events or more information about the venue, visit their website: www.thekeystonestage.com

They are also always looking for new numbers. Anyone interested in showing off their talents can talk to storefront owners.

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