In July, the University of Lynchburg will host the Summer Festival, a monthlong series of events presented by Endstation Theatre Company.
All events, most of which are ticketed, will be held at the pavilion, located behind the University townhomes off College Street. The venue opens at 6:30 p.m. for a cookout, drinks, and lawn games, with shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. Food and drinks will be available onsite for purchase.
“The spirit of the event is really wanting to create a festival atmosphere with the concessions — cotton candy, popcorn, cookout fare,” David Lee, Endstation’s managing director, said. “It’s more than a show, it’s an event. See a show and spend time outside.”
The Summer Festival kicks off Monday, July 5, with the Hometown Talent Competition. Admission is free, but reservations are required.
The talent show — think “America’s Got Talent” or “The Voice” — will include 15 performers selected from local singers, songwriters, dancers, rappers, musicians, and family acts that submitted videos prior to the competition.
At the show, a panel of professional guest artists will choose seven performers. The “lucky seven” will work with talent coaches and then perform on the festival’s final night, Saturday, July 31. The winner that night will be awarded $1,000. According to event organizers, free tickets will be available online for the final event soon.
The Summer Festival rounds out with the following performances, all of which require tickets:
- Tap dancer John Manzari will perform “Tappin’ in the Burg” Tuesday and Wednesday, July 6-7.
- On Friday and Saturday, July 9-10, musical trio Sage Melcher, Fran Prisco, and Vince Di Mura will present “Songs for the Ages.”
- Bob Dubac will perform his comedy show, “The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?” on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13-14.
- The musical duo “Howlin’ at the Moon,” comprised of David Haught and Skip Robinson, will perform Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18.
- “Get Happy! A Judy Garland Tribute Show,” featuring Jenna Pastuszek, will run Wednesday and Thursday, July 21-22.
- On Friday and Saturday, July 23-24, award-winning Elvis Presley tribute artist Taylor Rodriguez will present “A Tribute to the King.”
- Desirée Roots will perform “Ladies of Jazz” on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 27-28.
“The pavilion is a really perfect space for us this summer and that’s what led to us choosing University of Lynchburg to partner with,” Lee said. “It’s the perfect combination of covered seating and outdoor, open-air space. A little bit of insurance against the weather, but also the air, during this day and age, is so important.”
Lee added that everyone he’s encountered at Lynchburg, specifically Conference and Events Manager Lauren Ferry Merck, “has been a dream to work with.”
Apparently, the feeling is mutual. “Working with Endstation Theatre has really been a breath of fresh air after going through a year where we weren’t able to host many events on campus,” Merck said. “David reached out back in December, and we both agreed to tentatively begin planning, despite the many unknowns we were facing.
“I was thrilled at the idea of the partnership, and I’m so happy to see it coming to fruition now. It’s really exciting to be able to bring people together on campus again. I know this is going to be a wonderful festival for the University to host, and we hope to continue to work with Endstation Theatre in the future. It has been a great opportunity.”
For more information and tickets, visit Endstation Theatre Company’s website.