The Grand Valley Performing Arts Festival will take place August 4-7 at Colorado’s newest university, Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo.
Colorado Mesa – formerly Mesa State College – earned official university status in June. The Performing Arts Festival will be one of the first major events that Colorado Mesa hosts.
The inaugural event, taking place at the school’s Moss Performing Arts Center and outdoor quad, promotes the variety of performing arts in the Grand Junction community through high-quality performances and educational activities in dance, theater, music and poetry, for both adults and children. All activities and workshops throughout the weekend are free, with the exception of the Main Stage Show on Friday and Saturday nights.
The weekend kicks off on Aug. 4 with a children’s theater workshop and a performance of “Fairy Tale Extravaganza,” by local playwright Shawn Clingman. Children ages 8 to 18 can join in the show, with rehearsals beginning at 9 a.m. The performance takes place at 6 p.m.
The Main Stage Show will take place on Aug. 5 in the university’s Robinson Theater, and will feature a multimedia dance tribute to the Colorado National Monument, jazz from local musicians and scenes and songs from several musicals, including “Quilters,” “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
Entertainment begins at 5 p.m. with musical performances and poetry readings. The Main Stage Show begins at 7:30 p.m., and is the only event of the festival bearing a charge. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 17 and under.
The Kid Zone will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 6, offering musical and puppet theater and workshops on making puppets and instruments. Dance workshops for both adults and children will take place throughout the day. Multicultural artists will perform on the outdoor stage from 1 p.m.-7 p.m., with additional music and drama performances in Recital Hall and at the Black Box Theater during the afternoon. The Main Stage Show will again take place beginning at 5 p.m., while the Grand Junction Centennial Band will perform outdoors at 6 p.m. The evening also features a showing of “Colorado National Monument – Celebrating 100 Years of John Otto’s Dream,” the recently produced PBS special.
On Aug. 7, The Theater Project, a troupe of adult actors, will present a matinee performance of “Seussical,” the musical, at 2 p.m. in the Robinson Theater.