Return of the summer arts with theatrical performances and free outdoor concerts at UNC
After two years of canceled or shortened seasons due to the pandemic, the University of Northern Colorado’s summer arts season is back with several productions from the
Little Theater of the Rockies and the return of the popular series of free outdoor musical performances, Concert under the stars.
UNC’s Little Theater of the Rockies (LTR), the oldest professional summer theater west of the Mississippi and the oldest professional theater company in Colorado, is launching its Production schedule summer 2022 From June 16 to 19 with the murder mystery/farce Index. Additional representations of The revolutionaries and All stirred are scheduled for July.
Nearly a dozen UNC alumni return to campus, taking on director, lighting, and sound design roles in LTR productions. And they are no strangers to the scene. Many starred in LTR growing up, including Megan Van De Hey, who is this year’s Art Director. Van De Hey says LTR prepared her for the professional theater world by developing her physical and mental stamina.
“LTR has been a mainstay in my life for nearly 30 years,” Van De Hey said. “I have grown as an artist and as a person through my time with LTR. I feel so lucky that the University and the community appreciate this program because what it offers students is invaluable.
Above: Performers from the Little Theater of the Rockies rehearse Clue at UNC.
Concerts Under the Stars features a diverse lineup of musicians every Tuesday in July, starting with the Denver Brass on July 5. Other shows include the Colorado Jazz Orchestra on July 12, The Burroughs on July 19, and Salsa Forte on July 26. Outdoor concerts begin at 8 p.m. at UNC’s Garden Theater and are open to the public. Blankets, picnics and garden chairs are welcome.
“This year’s lineup promises a mix of sounds that includes swing, funk, Latin and a taste of Americana right after the July 4 holiday, when vocalist Stephen Taylor joins the Denver Brass.” said Melissa Malde, associate dean of UNC’s College of Performing and Visual Arts. “We couldn’t have done this without the generosity of our community partners.
While UNC’s College of Performing and Visual Arts organizes and helps sponsor these events, generous donors also make the performances possible. UCHealth is the primary sponsor of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, and the The Bohemian Foundation’s Littler Youth Fund grant provided funds to ensure young people in Weld County could attend performances at the Little Theater of the Rockies for free. The Weld Community Foundation also supports Concerts Under the Stars and LTR.
“For years, concerts under the stars at the Garden Theater have been an iconic summer tradition. His absence has left a noticeable void,” said Rand Morgan, president and CEO of the Weld Community Foundation. “The mission of the Weld Community Foundation is about our middle name, ‘community’. We knew our 25th anniversary was approaching this year, and what better way to celebrate than to help bring Concerts Under the Stars back? »
Morgan added that the event is known for bringing the community together. “Where else did individuals and entire families show up with lawn chairs, picnic blankets and brown bag dinners, and mingle? You see spontaneous and informal gatherings of friends and neighbors greeting each other, hugging, chatting, then settling into celebration, sometimes dancing, to delightful music, all under our beautiful warm July skies. This brought the community together – the perfect setting for the Foundation to partner with UNC and provide a meaningful gift to the community for their support over the years.