Moonlight Musicals will be back with a strong season of performances this summer which is called Finding Family. From the “Sound of Music” (June 10-26) and “Honk, Jr.” (July 8-17) to “In the Heights” (August 5-21), the lineup guarantees something for every family member and promises to leave you humming for days.
Moonlight Musicals, like all performing arts, had a nightmare to deal with in 2020. COVD-19 devastated the arts and entertainment industries by leaving performance companies with the inability to perform thereby, severely decreasing their revenue sources. Moonlight went virtual during the time they had to close creating some innovative and creative reading performances to keep audiences entertained and inspired.
Moonlight is excited to get back to live performance and will have a great season this summer for which they have been preparing for throughout the year. As I have gotten to know the staff of Moonlight, I’ve learned about its very interesting history and true grass roots beginnings. Moonlight Musicals began one night, as Gerald and Karen Dolter sat looking at the barren stage of the Mackenzie Park’s amphitheater. Mackenzie Park is one of Lubbock’s most beautiful venues with its sweeping hills and trails. Dolter was a professor of voice at Texas Tech University at the time and had a pressing issue – he needed a place for his students to perform in front of an audience during the summer months. They were leaving Lubbock to go elsewhere to gain critical on-stage experiences and a venue was desperately needed in Lubbock. With a unique collaborative partnership forged with the City of Lubbock, a new theatre company for Lubbock was born.
Karen had the brilliant idea to name the theatre company “Lubbock Moonlight Musicals” inspired by the beautiful moon in the South Plains sky. As the idea developed, it became clear the value it would bring to not only Texas Tech students, but also to community members who love musical theatre – not only to watch, but also to perform. And…it would bring life to a stunning outdoor venue.
Moonlight Musicals allows the performer to come out in anyone, creating a unique experience for all ages of performers who are willing to share their talents with the community. The first performance was the musical favorite, “Oklahoma!” in 2006 and since then, except for 2020, each summer Lubbock patrons look forward to this unique and charming theatre experience. A venue that is outdoors and family friendly is a special place where memories are made, and the love of musical theatre transferred to the next generation. The dress code is relaxed, and audience members are often seen eating dinner or bringing their favorite comfortable lawn chair.
Volunteers are the backbone of Moonlight – be they ushering, building sets, or creating costumes. The company is supported by people with a passion for the arts and musical theatre.
Musical theatre transforms and allows its audience to escape life’s everyday troubles for a while. Community theatre allows its performers to forge lifelong friendships, renew passions for song, dance and acting and have a collective experience which will never be forgotten.
We may not have many hills in Lubbock, but Mackenzie Park is one place which does, and its hills are most certainly alive with the “Sound of Music” this year and thankfully, will be for many years to come.
To purchase tickets or get involved in Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, you can visit their website at: https://moonlightmusicals.com/shows/. Moonlight will host a “Bloom and Grow” picnic on June 9 to kick-off the season and the “Sound of Music”. This is a great way to support the theatre company and will feature not only a picnic dinner, but wine, music, an auction, and will be the chance to see “The Sound of Music” in advance of its opening. Tickets are available now on the Moonlight Musicals website.