People’s Light Announces Outdoor Programming for Summer ‘21

-Courtesy of Perpetual Motion PR
Feature photo: Highway 61 Revival at People’s Light in 2020. Photo by Charles T. Brastow

People’s Light in Malvern opens their 7-acre campus for a bustling summer of safe, outdoor offerings. There’s something for everyone—theatre programs and performances for kids, al fresco dining, and music, music, music! Last summer’s popular drive-in concert series is back on the parking lot, with a great lineup of new and returning acts running late June through September. Visitors can dine outside Thursday through Sunday at The Farmhouse at People’s Light, with live music on select nights. The Theatre has built a new outdoor stage in The Glen, centrally located between the Leonard C. Haas and Steinbright Stages, which will be home to more intimate concerts, along with Folk Tales in The Glen, an outdoor edu-tainment offering for families with young children. And People’s Light SummerBLAST for ages 7-18 returns with full-day outdoor sessions. Get all the details about Summer 2021 at  People’s Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road in Malvern, PA.

“We cannot wait to see everyone,” says People’s Light Executive Artistic Director Abigail Adams. “We’re just overjoyed at the prospect of providing green, open spaces for people to safely reunite with friends, family, and neighbors, and enjoy live art again.”

People’s Light puts health and safety first in making all programmatic choices. Each summer offering has its own set of protocols in place, which can be read in full on each program’s page at People’s Light is following all current PA regulations for outdoor events and will update guidelines if state regulations change. All outdoor events offer accessible seating options, parking, and ADA-compliant portable toilets and handwashing stations.

Saturday, June 19 at 1pm
Tickets: $25 for 2/$35 for 4
Our inaugural concert in The Glen! Newlyweds Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes and Haitian-American jazz vocalist Claudia Zanes perform Dan’s greatest hits, as well as folk and blues classics from their popular new songbook entitled Dan Zanes’ House Party!: A Family Roots Music Treasury. The concert also includes selections from their Kennedy Center-commissioned folk opera, Night Train 57. The audience is invited to dance and sing along in what might be called a casual – and subversively educational – party atmosphere. The music is homespun, joyful, sophisticated, and artful. This concert is intended for audiences of all ages! Reservations are available in groups of 2 or 4 by purchasing a family circle for $35, a designated area on the grass that seats up to 4 adults/children and 1 infant, or a pair of chairs (provided by People’s Light) for $25. Before purchasing tickets, please read the full list of guidelines under “Know Before You Go” on the Dan and Claudia Zanes page at

Pumpkins & The Elephant runs June 23–July 10
The Mirror: A Tale of Friendship runs July 14–July 31
Wednesday-Saturday at 10am
Tickets: $35 per group
The Folk Tale Friends are back again this summer in a series of socially distanced, outdoor edu-tainment offerings for families with young children! Two storytellers lead us through two new interactive tales about caring, pride, and healing. The adventures are inspired by South Asian, Korean, and Lenape folk tales – and science! Recommended for wigglers and gigglers ages 2 through 8, each 45-minute frolic full of audience participation will enchant the whole family. Reservations are available by purchasing a family circle, a designated area on the grass that seats up to 4 adults/children and 1 infant. Each reservation is $35 per group, regardless of the number of attendees. People’s Light provides cloth mats which are sanitized before each Folk Tales event, and accessible seating is available upon arrival for those who request it. Before making a reservation, please read the full list of guidelines under “Know Before You Go” on the Folk Tales in The Glen page at

Dates run June through September
Tickets: $75 per car (up to 5 people, not including children under 12)
People’s Light’s popular drive-in concert series is back! Featuring a wide variety of bands and musicians performing throughout Summer 2021, these outdoor concerts are the perfect way to safely enjoy warm weather and live music with your community. Plus! Summer fare and refreshing beverages can be pre-ordered from The Farmhouse at People’s Light, right next door. The first three acts—Erin McKeown, Ali Awan, and The John Byrne Band—have been announced, with plenty more to come throughout the summer, including folk and jazz music-themed weekends.

Erin McKeown
Friday, June 25 at 6:30pm
Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique —clear, cool, and collected. Over the last 20 years, she has performed around the world, released 10 full length albums, and written for film, television, and theater, all the while refining her distinctive and challenging mix of American musical forms. Leading her own band, she has performed at Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, and the Newport Folk Festivals. A familiar presence on NPR and the BBC, McKeown’s songs have also appeared in numerous commercials and television shows. Learn more about Erin McKeown.

Ali Awan
Friday, July 9 at 6:30pm
Ali Awan was born to an immigrant Pakistani father and first-generation Turkish mother just outside of Philadelphia, spending most of his early life in transit. That upbringing coupled with a love for sound and expression made a life in music natural to him. After his debut release “Citadel Blues,” an eastern cityscape of sampled drums, field recordings, and instrumentation dubbed “ferocious” by WBEZ’s Sound Opinions host and Chicago Tribune writer Jim DeRogatis, Awan formed an alternating live band and has been writing, touring, and recording under his name ever since. To date, he has shared stages with the likes of Natalie Prass, Low Cut Connie, Cherry Glazerr, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The National Reserve, Ex Hex, Vacationer, and many more. Learn more about Ali Awan

The John Byrne Band Presents the Music of Shane MacGowan & The Pogues
Friday, July 16 at 6:30pm
John Byrne is a Dublin native and Philadelphia resident, hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “one of the few musical artists today who truly manage to be traditional and modern at the same time.” His new record A Shiver in the Sky (2019) shows his band of multi-instrumentalists vibrantly executing ten new originals. Strings, horns and guitars escort Byrne’s vocals through a set of songs about living and pushing forward through negative times. Following up After the Wake (2011), Celtic Folk (2013) and The Immigrant and the Orphan (2015), A Shiver in the Sky focuses on triumph over trauma. Support from radio all over the country pushed the album to #1 on the Roots Radio Report Alternative Folk Chart in January 2020. John’s solo/duo shows weave his own material with Irish and American folk and Americana songs. Critics have called his writing “powerful, deeply moving work that will stay with you long after you have heard it” (Sing Out). This July 16 set by The John Byrne Band features the music of Irish punk/folk legends Shane MacGowan and The Pogues. Learn more about The John Byrne Band

More bands will be announced soon for the following dates:
July 24-25: Folk Music Weekend! (multiple bands)
July 31-August 1: Jazz Weekend! (multiple bands)
August 13 @ 6:30pm: Band TBA
August 14 Time and Band TBA 
August 27 @6:30pm: Band TBA
August 28 Time and Band TBA
Drive-In Concert tickets are $75 per car and limited to 5 passengers (not including children under 12). Each vehicle is assigned a parking spot and adjacent “Home Space” for setting up lawn chairs. In order to safely enjoy live music together, People’s Light has provided guidelines for concertgoers, which can be read in full under “Know Before You Go” on the Drive-In Concerts page at

A big thank you to Drive-In sponsors John & Sarah Schmader, 1830 Family Foundation, Gordon Eadie Landscape Design, Brightview Senior Living-Devon, East Norriton, McGriff Insurance Services, Point Entertainment, and DBS Audio Systems. 

It’s time to get off Zoom and get outside! People’s Light summer programs return with full-day outdoor sessions that embrace theatre essentials—voice, movement, imagination, and the open air. Students ages 7 to 18, grouped with their peers in 2 or 3-week sessions, learn from professional theatre artists as they explore the transformative power of storytelling and collaboration. So, unplug, get moving, and most importantly, have a blast this summer! Learn more and register at

Dine alfresco Thursday through Sunday in the garden at The Farmhouse at People’s Light, with live music on Thursdays at 6:30pm. Local singer-songwriters will wow you with their stunning vocals while you sip a margarita and partake of The Farmhouse’s summer-inspired menu. Reservations required. Learn more here.

Founded in 1974, People’s Light serves as one of Pennsylvania’s largest professional non-profit theatres, known for its resident company of artists, eclectic mix of productions, and innovative work with young people.

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