ROCKFORD (WREX) — A one of a kind outdoor theater in Rockford is bringing magic back to its stage for the 2021 summer season.
Starlight Theater has a rich history. Some say it's the talent found in our communities that make it successful, while others say it's theater at its core that keep the audience and the staff coming back each season.
"I've been doing this, Starlight, every summer since high school," said Producing Artistic Director Christopher Brady.
When asked why he comes back each season, Brady said because of how special Starlight is to him and so many others.
"We're unique in the sense that we are an outdoor community theater. We have this beautiful building. We are here on the RVC campus...so all of those things together really make us really unique," said Brady.
Starlight has won the hearts of its audience through powerful storytelling skills under the night sky.
"We have a ton of talent out here and so what we see on the stage is some ridiculously talented people creating something uniquely Rockford," said Brady. "These are original shows with original art, original storytelling, original performances on the stage."
"Chris always says the art is in the work and I think that is something that has always stood by me," said six-season Starlight Theater Performer Marcus Tobias. "It's very great work but you can tell when you see the audience really enjoy the story that that work has paid off."
What you see and hear on stage is a culmination of months of work, hundreds of hours and hundreds of people.
"It brings you a thrill, especially as an artist. For me, it is my job to entertain. It is my job to take you away from your life for just a moment and just enjoy it," said Tobias.
The long time performer says it's the feeling of community, inclusiveness and competition that make this experience unlike any other.
"But when there is a moment, or when someone breaks character, we all just enjoy it," said Tobias.
"Proud that we exist, proud that we have some value to give to our community," said Brady.
Starlight is showcasing talents that are homegrown and ready to break a leg once again.
"Seeing all the lives that this touches: audience, the people that are involved in it. I mean if we are talking about making it worth while," said Brady.
Starlight Theater has five shows this summer. "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" is showing now until July 17.
You can get tickets online or call the Starlight Theater box office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more information.