Video: Governor, 'Carol' cast send Colorado National Guard thanks and hope

by John Moore | Nov 28, 2017

Video: Watch Governor John Hickenlooper's holiday message to members of the Colorado National Guard and their families with cast members from the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol,' from left: Sam Gregory, Latoya Cameron and Peyton Goosen atop the shoulder of Brian Vaughn. Video courtesy Colorado National Guard. 

 

Raising The Guard: Hickenlooper joins Denver Center actors to bolster local military spirits at holidays

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

Cast members from the DCPA Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol joined Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the State Capitol on Nov. 21 to film a message of gratitude and hope for members of the Colorado National Guard.

The video is a direct address to Guard members and their families after an extraordinary year when service members were called upon to combat disasters in Colorado and neighboring states including wildfires and catastrophic weather events.

"On behalf of everyone in Colorado, we want to thank you for your service to our state and nation," Hickenlooper said. 

Participating cast members from the Denver Center were Sam Gregory (Scrooge), Latoya Cameron (Mrs. Cratchit), Brian Vaughn (Bob Cratchit) and Peyton Goosen (Tiny Tim).

A Christmas Carol. Peyton Goosen "After massive hurricanes pounded Houston, the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, you helped save lives and reduce human suffering," Gregory says in the video.

Adds Cameron: "Whether you defend the homeland or support the war fight, when you wear the uniform, you embody service and sacrifice."

The message also served as an acknowledgement that the holidays can be a time of loneliness and isolation, especially for members of the armed forces.

"Your willingness to defend our nation is what makes you so amazing," says Hickenlooper. "But sometimes it's the little things that seem enormous. Watch out for each other and take care of yourself."

(Photos: Peyton Goosen, who plays Tiny Tim, on the steps of the State Capitol, above, and with Colorado National Guard Major Darin Overstreet, below right.)

The actors wove messages from Charles Dickens' classic story into their address to National Guard members who may feel vulnerable at this time of year. 

"At times the future may look bleak by way of past misfortunes but that doesn't need to be the way it is with you," says Gregory. "The future can differ from what you see now. Resources are bountiful."

Colorado National Guard A Christmas Carol The suicide rate in the military used to be lower than the population at large. But in the years following the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, service members began taking their own lives in increasing numbers.

"The Colorado National Guard considers suicide prevention a top priority, and all members of our organization are encouraged to get help for themselves and their fellow warriors," said Chris Neuenfeldt, who manages the Colorado National Guard's Resilience, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention program, which is available to troops of all ranks and statuses, anywhere across the state, 24/7.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

A service member who needs help has a number of resources available via The Colorado National Guard's R3SP webpage. For additional help, a soldier or airman should start by contacting Neuenfeldt via email or the CONG's R3SP Facebook page. Service members are encouraged to contact either of the Directors of Psychological Health, Doug Bryan at 720-250-1562, or Victoria Howatt at 720-847-9438.

The video message above, directed by Major Darin Overstreet, also will be shared overseas to deployed Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

A Christmas Carol opens on Friday and runs through Dec. 24 at the Denver Center's Stage Theatre.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.


Photo gallery: Creating the Colorado National Guard video:

Making of 'A Christmas Carol' 2017

Photos from the making of the Colorado National Guard video. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


A Christmas Carol:
Ticket information
A Christmas CarolAt a glance: Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.

  • Presented by the DCPA Theatre Company
  • Performances through Nov. 24-Dec. 24
  • Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
  • Tickets start at $25
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
Previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol 2017:
A Christmas Carol: A timeline to today
DCPA's 25th A Christmas Carol brims with mistletoe and milestones

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ABOUT THE EDITOR
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.