Circle Theater finds way to hold summer fundraising concerts


Courtesy / Circle Theatre

Allison Rafferty, Staff Reporter

Despite not being able to perform their usual Summer Concert Series, Circle Theatre has still found a way to bring live performances to its patrons. Throughout the summer, the theatre has been performing a series of Circle Summer Fundraising Concerts. The final concert in the series is set to take place Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. on the lawn at Circle Theatre. 

Tickets are $25 and all proceeds will go to Circle Theatre. The fundraising concert will feature a variety of performances by Lisa Knight, Ellie Frances, Brandon Harris and Larry Young. Musicians for the performance include Perry Moody, John Parker and Danny Robinson.

Marketing and Outreach Specialist for the theatre Ashlee McGreevy said that getting artists to perform at the event was “surprisingly simple.” 

“After the success of our first fundraising concert and by request of our patrons for more, we decided that we wanted to bring back more performers who, just like everyone else in the performing arts, are fighting to get back on stage,” said McGreevy. 

Circle Theatre is expecting about 100 audience members to show up. The previous two shows sold out, and McGreevy said that this one is expected to as well.

This third and final Summer Fundraising Concert is set to last an hour and social distancing guidelines will be enforced. All guests are required to wear masks while entering the event and while moving about the event. Guests will also check in and be escorted to where they are seated, ensuring social distancing between groups. 

The idea behind the Summer Fundraising Concerts series stemmed from not being able to conduct the theatre’s typical Summer Concert Series. McGreevy said that the theatre still wanted to find a way to give patrons the live performances they love. 

“We knew that we wanted to give our performers a place to perform safely this summer, so we came together and thought through how we could bring excellent entertainment to the community in a safe and socially distant space,” McGreevy said. “Our lawn was the perfect place for these events.”  

Entertainment is very much important during these difficult times, McGreevy said, so these concerts are important for keeping the community motivated.

“People need entertainment; it takes them away from the everyday stresses of their lives, it keeps people laughing and keeps people together building their community,” said McGreevy. “We want to be a part of all of that and we have the opportunity for people to relax, see the talent that West Michigan has to offer, and enjoy the performing arts. We felt that we had to do something to keep our doors open and keep our patrons engaged.”

McGreevy said that Circle Theatre is thankful for the Grand Rapids Community, “who has held us up and kept us going through this extended intermission.”