PEABODY — The Sunflower Theatre will host a free concert and sneak peek at the theater.
The kickoff celebration will be 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Sunflower Theatre, 210 N. Walnut St., Peabody. The event is free and open to the public and will be the culminating event of the Peabody Fall Festival.
The concert, which will be performed inside the theater on the old bowling lanes, will feature the premiere of “Sunflower Theatre Scenes: A Musical Diorama” by Peabody resident Susan Mayo. Mayo, working in conjunction with the Peabody Community Foundation, an affiliate of Central Kansas Community Foundation, received a grant from the KCAIC to compose a work for this event, based on historic performances at the Sunflower Theatre.
The work will feature the WC Quartet, an improvising string quartet, the Peabody High School choir, and guest artists Rachelle Boling Goter, clarinet, and Paul Elwood, banjo. Interspersing instrumental renditions with choral interludes, the project leads the listener through the musical history of the Sunflower Theatre. Influenced by silent film scores, the “Rin Tin Tin” theme song, “The Wizard of Oz,” the Andrews Sisters and ’50s sci-fi flicks, the musical diorama ends with a unique version of the state song, “Home on the Range.”
In addition, there will be a screening of the video “The Sunflower Theatre: Past, Present, and Future,” featuring local residents sharing their Sunflower Theatre memories and dreams for the future, in the lobby before the concert.
Memorabilia, including photos, posters, artifacts, and the original blueprints of the theater, will be on display in the lobby.
Memories of the theater and ideas for the future will be collected at a video booth and used to continue the video project “The Sunflower Theatre: Past, Present, and Future.”