Summer 2021 is not afraid of the endless cancellations of last year, but nothing is certain either. Each event is starred as the state moves towards a full reopening while the specter of COVID-19 still lingers.
Columbus Drama Theater, May 27-Sept. 5
Towards the end of last year, the news about vaccines was just positive enough that Actors’ Theater was planning a return to the stage in 2021. Artistic director Philip J. Hickman decided they could cancel anytime, but nothing to prepare would guarantee another missed summer season.
He and the staff thought about how the productions could look like and agreed on four plays with a maximum of eight actors, which will be performed every Thursday to Sunday at 8 p.m. in the amphitheater Schiller Park 20), “The African Company presents Richard III” (24. June to July 18), “Eurydice” (July 22 to August 8) and “The Secret Garden” (August 12 to September 5), a very first collaboration with Columbus Children’s Theater on a complete production.
The season, aptly called “Changes”, will be different from previous years. Actors’ Theater marks areas on the lawn for groups of six to eight guests, with spacing between the pods, and attendees can reserve seats in advance. Donations are still encouraged – there’s no entry fee, although productions cost $ 17-18 per viewer – but they’re collected digitally.
Hickman was also pensive about the season’s content. Each piece deals with difficulties, “radically unexpected circumstances” and the search for a life beyond obstacles. The African Company, for example, is a true story of 19th century black actors who found their artistic voice despite attempts by white society to suppress them. Hickman hopes the productions will spark conversation after the patrons return home. “What I like about these pieces, what I think they ask of us is to look forward to where we are from – to call the evil ‘evil’, to be real about the circumstances and yet after to look ahead. ”theactorstheatre.org
The memorial tournament, 3. – 6. June
In the midst of the modified 2020 PGA Tour season, Jon Rahm won the grand prize on Jack Nicklaus’ praised Dublin course in mid-July without fans. This year’s tournament returns in early June and reports say more than 30,000 masked spectators can watch him defend his title. Other big names include Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas. themorialtournament.com
Big Gigantic in the drive-in at Westland Mall, June 11th
Last fall, the void in live music was filled by the Prime Social Group’s creative show series in the defunct Westland Mall, which combined the natural social distancing of drive-in theaters with a modified music festival atmosphere. Colorado-based duo Big Gigantic takes the stage for a June show showcasing their hybrid electronic-instrumental sound. Imagine a dance club DJ with live drums, keys and lots of saxophone. $ 99 and more, westlanddrivein.com
[Your Street Name Here] Art Festival, 11th – 13th June
Another fresh start, this city-wide Dublin arts festival, encouraged residents to bring art they have created or bought out of their homes and onto driveways and sidewalks – often propped up on patio furniture – to please passers-by. Thirty neighborhoods participated in the new event last year, and the 2021 version will expand from one day to three days. Free, dublinarts.org
Picnic with the Pops, June 12th – July 31st
The Columbus Symphony recently announced that their summer concert series will return to the Columbus Commons this season. June concerts include tributes to the music of Queen (June 12) and Elton John (June 19), as well as Patriotic Pops with guest vocalist N’Kenge on June 26. Popcorn Pops take place on June 18th and July 16th. columbussymphony.com
Juniteenth Community Festival, June 19th
This is the first year Juneteenth is a paid holiday in Ohio, and Franklin County’s commissioners have put it on their workers’ calendars for Columbus Day as well. Celebrate the anniversary of black emancipation at the Phenix Banquet Center near Eastland with music, live performances, food trucks and local vendors. $ 5, phenixeventvenuecolumbusoh.com
London Strawberry Festival, 24.-26. June
With this annual ode to the red summer berries, the region’s first carnival with the theme of fruit and vegetables returns. The organizers are still planning the details, but there will be bands, parades, car shows and lots of food vendors across central London. Free entertainment, londonstrawberryfestival.com