Over the past decade Glow Lyric Theatre is proud to have grown into a world class lyric theatre producing innovative, engaging and socially relevant seasons of musical theatre and opera right here in Greenville, SC. Sadly, after monitoring the spread of COVID-19, Glow Lyric Theatre has made the decision to postpone its 2020 Summer Festival Season. Plans are in place to present our 10th Anniversary season of Aida, Show Boat and Tosca in the summer of 2021.
This is the first time in our history that we have ever postponed our Summer Festival Season, and Jenna and I, as Co-founders and caretakers of Glow, are heartbroken and disappointed. This is certainly not how we wanted to see our 10th Anniversary Season end, especially when we were on track to have our most successful year yet. However, as this pandemic spreads, our singular focus is the health and safety of our audiences, artists, staff, and the entire Greenville community.
One of the most special and unique aspects of our Festival Season is that over 120 artists and 5,000 audience members travel from near and far to experience our productions. While the national reach of our work is a point of pride for Glow, we now also have to consider how Covid-19 is affecting those cities and communities from which we draw artists and audiences that are beyond South Carolina. Group gatherings are a health risk we cannot take as the pandemic continues to spread across the country.
Jenna and I started the company with only $700 from our personal checking account, and since then, fiscal responsibility has always been one of Glow’s main values. Glow is a company with no debt, and we take pride that we consistently earn over 50% of our annual budget through our ticket sales. Unfortunately, we cannot accurately forecast what our audience attendance will be due to the unpredictable nature of the Covid pandemic. Therefore, postponement is the most responsible decision for us. It best ensures that Glow can continue to fulfill its vital mission of producing thought-provoking and innovative musical theatre and opera for our next 10+ years.
Glow will be contacting all who have already purchased tickets and passes to the 2020 season. Ticket holders may choose to roll their tickets over to our 2021 season, donate the full or partial value of their tickets to Glow as a tax-deductible contribution, or elect to receive a full refund.
Jenna and I Co-founded Glow in 2009, during the recession. You supported us, and showed us that the performing arts are what give people hope during times of confusion and uncertainty. The same is true now. We see daily the power the performing arts have to bring joy, laughter, introspection and empathy to all who experience them.
Rest assured, we will be connecting with you all through the spring and summer, and we’ll still need your support, generosity and patience. We wish you and yours health and safety!
Christian Elser, Executive Director
Q: Why was it necessary to postpone the Summer Festival Season this year?
Rising concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to postpone, as we hold the safety and health of our artists, staff and audience members our first priority. Almost 30% of our audiences each summer are tourists, who travel from over 3+ hours away for the season. Additionally, this season also featured artists from over 15 states in the US, many of which have been heavily impacted by Covid-19. Some of our staff was set to arrive as early as mid-May, during dates that fall during the CDC’s recommended social distancing.
Q: Why can’t the Summer Festival Season just be postponed to the fall or later in the year?
Glow is a unique arts organization whose identity resides in our Summer Festival Season, which features our main-stage line-up of shows. We purposefully choose to present performances during July and August as this is often a time when other theatres are not producing. Each summer, we rent the performance space at The Warehouse Theatre, which produces a full season of their own starting in mid-August and ending in June. This means the theatre space is unavailable to Glow during those months. Also, the artists that we hire are in high demand. Most are already engaged at other theatres in the fall and beyond. By postponing until 2021, we are hopeful that we can hire the same artists who were engaged for this summer.
Q: What about the tickets I’ve already purchased?
Glow will contact anyone who has purchased Festival Passes or Individual tickets for our 2020 Season. Ticket buyers will be offered the flexibility to choose refunds, roll their tickets over to 2021, and/or convert their tickets to a tax deductible contribution.
Q: What are the dates for next year’s Summer Festival Season?
Q: What can I do to help?
We urgently ask those who have the resources to make a donation now to Glow to help offset the loss of the 2020 season and ensure we can produce in 2021. We earn 50% of our annual budget through ticket sales. We estimate the loss of revenue from refunded tickets, as well as the postponement of the performances, to be over $100,000. You can donate online here or you can mail your donation to:
Glow Lyric Theatre, P.O. Box 1155, Mauldin, SC 29662
Feel free to call us at 864-558-4569 if you want to speak with us about other giving options.
Q: How can I stay connected to Glow this year?
Even in these uncertain times, Glow is working to fulfill our mission virtually by providing free performances on our social media for those experiencing isolation at home. Sign up for our Mailing List to receive exclusive updates, behind the scene insights, and ticket deals. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram for fun videos, memes, and to watch special performances like our Couch Concerts: mini-concerts featuring Glow favorites- from their couch to yours.