We’ve all heard of the flash mob.
But how about the more loosely defined flash performance?
“I’m sure you’ve seen this around the country before,” Anna Bentson, executive director of Lynch’s Landing, said Monday. “An opera singer will start singing in Grand Central Station, and people will join in. That kind of thing.”
This week, the Lynchburg Economic Development Authority, Lynch’s Landing, the James River Council for the Arts & Humanities and the Lynchburg Marketing Partnership have teamed up for “Random Acts of Culture,” a series of unexpected performances by Endstation Theatre Company actors in unexpected locations.
The performances started Monday at Wiley|Wilson on Nationwide Drive and will continue throughout the week at other local businesses.
“Random Acts of Culture” is the brainchild of Marjette Upshur, Lynchburg’s director of economic development, who said she’s seen similar things happen in bigger cities.
“I just thought it was incredible,” she said. “I’m always trying to do something that will promote arts and culture as an economic sector.”
Knowing Endstation had professional actors in town for its Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival, she approached Executive Director Geoff Kershner about collaborating on the idea.
“I just looked at him and said, ‘Geoff … I want to take culture to the workplace,’” she says. “A lot of these businesses support culture.”
Upshur said each performance will be different, but will feature numbers from Endstation’s three summer shows: Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Cymbeline” and the 1990s off-Broadway play “Violet: A Musical.”
Last week, Upshur got a sneak peek when she had the troupe surprise attendees at a meeting.
“They just walked in and they did it, and people were absolutely delighted,” she said. “I just think the element of surprise is one of the great parts about it.”
If you’re looking for some performances of the expected variety over the next week, here are a few to keep an eye out for:
– Bluegrass at Sedalia will kick off Thursday and run through Saturday at the Sedalia Center in Big Island. The Bluegrass Band Contest will be held Thursday (admission is $10), while Kody Norris and the Watauga Mountain Boys headline Friday ($10) and The Bluegrass Brothers Saturday ($15). Tickets for all three days are $30 per person, and kids get in free. For more information, call (434) 299-5080 or visit www.sedaliacenter.org.
– Altavista’s Avoca Museum will be hosting its first Made in the Shade Craft Beer Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. The day will include live music, food, a bake sale and tastings of Virginia craft and domestic beers. Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the gate for tasting tickets, $10 for general admission (no tasting) and $5 for children ages 6 to 11. Call (434) 369-1076 for more information.
– Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers will perform at The Ellington at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 7:30 p.m.). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Call (434) 845-2162 or visit www.theellington.org.
– And, down the road, Endstation will continue its summer theater festival with one final show: “Violet: A Musical,” which opens June 28. Check out next week’s Burg for more on the musical, which ran off-Broadway in the 1990s and incorporates elements of gospel, rock, country and R&B music in its score.
Contact Casey Gillis at (434) 385-5525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.