Greenville’s Glow Lyric Theatre Announces Return of Summer Theater Festival

  • By cvbizz
  • May 11, 2021
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Glow Lyric Theatre, South Carolina’s only summer opera and musical theatre festival, has announced plans for the summer of 2021 in the wake of its 2020 season cancelation due to COVID-19.

Executive and Artistic Directors Christian and Jenna Elser will welcome audiences back to the Glow Lyric Theatre 2021 Summer Festival Season in late August with three new and completely original productions at the Fred Collins Performing Arts Center at Greenville’s Kroc Center. This summer’s Festival Season will run August 19-29, 2021.

In line with state and local mandates, guidelines from the CDC, and with oversight by a Covid Safety consultant, Glow is implementing a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan to keep both their artists and audience members safe. It will be posted publicly and adjusted as needed throughout the next several months. Currently, the plan includes audience masking and limited seating to allow for social distancing.

Headlining the Summer Festival is a brand new 90 minute musical production titled Rock Opera. It features a unique fusion of opera, musical theatre, pop and rock created to respond to our collective Covid-19 experience while celebrating the spirit of human resilience. Local actors Javier Pagan, DeBryant Johnson, DeAna Earl and Janelle Odom join five other professional performers from around the country in this exciting show.

Glow’s second production, Passione, is full of star power in the form of tenor Hugo Vera from The Metropolitan Opera and soprano Marina Harris from the San Francisco Opera. Opera

lovers as well as those brand new to opera will feel a thrill when these two powerhouse voices join for a passionate and elegant performance of famous operatic arias and love duets.

Finally, audiences are in for a special treat with the last Summer Festival production: The Jenna & Christian Show. Starring Glow co-founders (and married couple), Christian and Jenna Elser, the production is a humorous and intimate cabaret highlighting the Elsers’ charming love story, their creation of Glow, and an array of your favorite music from the Golden Age of Broadway.

“This season we are holding nothing back, especially after being dark for over a year. Our shows are completely original, they’re personal, they’ll have live musicians, and they’ll celebrate our human connection,” says Executive Director Christian Elser. “We will, as always, be producing at the high artistic level audiences expect from Glow.”

Hailed for their innovative production pairings and season line-ups, the 2021 Summer Festival Season hashtag/theme is, appropriately, #GlowOn.

“Not only does our theme describe our re-emergence and re-opening after Covid, but it also reflects our promise to respond, through our shows, to all that we’ve been through as well as celebrate all that lies ahead,” Jenna Elser states.

In an effort to connect these productions to actionable change in the Greenville community, Glow will partner with mental health awareness organization Walt’s Waltz for the 2021 Season. Glow is the first theatre company in the Upstate to be named a Stigma Free Zone by Walt’s Waltz.

Walt’s Waltz Founder and Executive Director Susan Crooks explains that the partnership will consist of “sharing a number of virtual recordings from mental health professionals as well as people who live with anxiety and depression with Glow’s audiences. These curated videos will all speak to the role the arts can play in seeking treatment and expressing emotions.”

“We have a long way to go as we emerge and heal from the past year and half, but Glow’s 2021 Season is designed to help us do just that,” says Jenna Elser. “After all, that’s what live theatre is for.”

Box Office Information:

Season Subscriptions are available by purchasing a Festival Pass for $105. Festival Pass Holders receive a 15% discount and an automatic upgrade to reserved seating.

June 14: Festival Passes open to past season subscribers
June 25: Festival Passes open to the general public and group sales open July 5: Single Tickets open to general public

Purchase tickets by phone: 864-558-4569 or online at


At the Kroc Center’s Fred Collins Performing Arts Stage

Rock Opera

Rebellious. Revolutionary. Relevant.

A fusion of rock, pop, musical theatre and opera.

August 19, 20, 21, 27 & 28 at 8pm, August 22 & 29 at 3pm

With a kaleidoscope of song, dance and poetry, Rock Opera confronts our recent collective experience having undergone a national pandemic, a re-emergence of racial reckoning and cultural chaos. Personal perspectives from the cast mix with legendary and revitalizing music from productions and artists like Queen, Marvin Gaye, Foreigner, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent, Carmen and Tosca. Celebrate the resilience of the human spirit in this truly epic musical performance! Seating is limited- reserve your tickets early.


Elegant. Intimate. Uplifting.

Your favorite love duets and arias sung by two international opera superstars.

August 25 at 8pm, August 28 at 3pm

Experience the passion, thrill, and power that is unique to opera. Swoon-worthy tenor Hugo Vera from The Metropolitan Opera and soprano primadonna Marina Harris from the San Francisco Opera join their powerhouse voices together for an exhilarating evening of operative love duets and famous arias. Featuring selections by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, and Leoncavallo (among many others) this passionate concert is a must see for opera lovers and those new to opera. Seating is very limited-reserve your tickets early.

The Jenna & Christian Show

Personal. Humorous. Heart-warming.

A special once in a lifetime concert featuring Glow co-founders (and married couple), Jenna and Christian Elser.

August 26 & 29 at 8pm

Delight in love with Glow’s co-founders Jenna & Christian as they share anecdotes from their “showmance-turned-love-story” as well as their most cherished memories from Glow’s past seasons. Revel in this rare and charming treat as they sing their favorites from Broadway’s greatest productions like South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, and I Do! I Do! Be sure to reserve your seat for this limited event.

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