Creede Rep to celebrate 50th birthday with a nod to past, future


The Creede Repertory Theatre had a party at Denver’s Cap City Tavern on Sunday to announce its 50th anniversary season. From left: Christy Montour-Larson, John DiAntonio, Ryan Prince, Artistic Director Jessica Jackson, Adrian Egolf, Caitlin Wise, Jonathan Alsup, Diana Dresser and the Arvada Center’s Melanie Mayner. Pictured below right: Montour-Larson, who will direct “August: Osage County,” with Jackson. Photos by John Moore.

Creede Repertory Theatre, the sixth-oldest theatre company in Colorado, will celebrate its 50th season next summer with a nod to its past, present and future. And with an assist from many faces familiar to Denver Center for the Performing Arts audiences.

Creede is a picturesque town nestled in the San Juan Mountains 250 miles southwest of Denver. It was credited with saving the dying town after the demise of the mining industry in 1966 when a dozen students from the University of Kansas heeded a plea sent out by the local Jaycees asking someone — anyone — to come to Creede and infuse the town with culture and economy.

Today, the Creede Repertory Theatre is the largest employer in Mineral County, generating more than $4 million a year. The company operates two theatres on Main Street, drawing nearly 22,000 theatregoers this past summer. The company’s young-audience outreach production, ¡Viva Agua!, played to more than 23,000 students.

Creede_50_400The 2015 season opens June 12 with two American classics: Guys and Dolls and Our Town, Artistic Director Jessica Jackson announced today. Guys and Dolls was staged in the company’s inaugural 1966 season. Then will come two world premieres: Ghost Light, a 50th anniversary commission by Nagle Jackson; and I Love St. Lucy, a farce written by National Theatre Conservatory alum John DiAntonio. Nagle Jackson has directed many DCPA Theatre Company productions and written several more, including Bernice/Butterfly, A Hotel on Marvin Gardens and adaptations of Scapin, Cyrano de Bergerac and The Miser.

Jackson’s Ghost Light will celebrate the founding of the Creede Repertory Theatre by comically reimagining that fateful summer in 1966 when those University of Kansas students came to town. (Two years later, a young Mandy Patinkin would join them.)

The season culminates with Tracy Letts’ searing family drama August: Osage County, which many consider to be the best American play of the new century. That will be directed by Christy Montour-Larson, who helmed last season’s Shadowlands for the DCPA. August: Osage County will star NTC alumna Anne F. Butler in the tour-de-force role of Vi, the pill-popping, cancer-stricken matriarch, and Creede Rep veteran Christy Brandt as her steely sister Mattie Fae. 2015 will mark Brandt’s 41st season with Creede Rep.

Creede will also bring back its annual children’s offering, Pants on Fire (a made-up musical for young audiences), and its late-night improv comedy, Boomtown. The week of Aug. 4-9, 2015, has been designated as “Alumni Week,” with a host of special events in the planning stages.

The DCPA always has maintained a strong presence within Creede Rep. Jamie Horton, Mike Hartman, Randy Moore, Jeff Roark, Caitlin Wise, Anthony Powell, Steven Cole Hughes, John Arp and Jeff Carey are among other past and present DCPA artists who have summered on Creede stages. And Diana Dresser, Michael Bouchard, Jake Walker and Adrian Egolf are among those who have returned the favor by migrating from Creede to the DCPA. Wise, DiAntonio, Hughes, Butler, Carey and former longtime Creede Rep artistic Director Maurice Lamee all graduated from the DCPA’s National Theatre Conservatory masters program.

Creede Rep expects to again tour one of its 2015 offerings to the Arvada Center, as it has each of the past five seasons, but a final agreement has not yet been reached.

Creede Rep veteran Christy Brandy, left, starred in “The Last Romance” with John S. Green this past summer. It  was then brought to the Arvada Center. Photo by John Gary Brown.

Creede Rep’s 50th Anniversary Season
(Descriptions provided by Creede Repertory Theatre)

​Good on Paper 

By George Brant
In this romantic comedy, Peg is a lonely police-sketch artist who prefers the company of her many drawings of criminals to the real men in her life. But when her romance-novelist sister gives her a mysterious hand-carved pencil, her sketches begin to come to life! Peg finally has the “perfect” man – because she drew him that way. Unfortunately, she also has an apartment full of hilarious criminals because she drew them, too. This modern Pygmalion tale asks the question: does love define or defy perfection? But also – how do you keep the good guy and lose the creeps?


Guys and Dolls
By Jo Swerling, Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser; based on characters by Damon Runyon
Directed by Jessica Jackson
Set in mythical New York City, Guys And Dolls tells the story of Nathan Detroit, a gambler who tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town. Meanwhile, girlfriend Adelaide is a nightclub performer who laments their 14-year engagement. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, but Sky is busy romancing straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown. A colorful introduction to the shady denizens of New York’s underworld.

Our Town
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Michael Perlman
Described by Edward Albee as “the greatest American play ever written,” this play is not-to-be-missed by anyone who loves this town as much as we do. Welcome to the small town of Grover’s Corners. This ordinary town awakens us to the powerful truth that being alive is a precious, ephemeral gift. Follow two families as their children fall in love, marry, and discover that life’s challenges are the gateway to life’s deepest meaning: to cherish the glory of every-day life.

August: Osage County
By Tracy Letts
Directed by Christy Montour-Larson
Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after the patriarch disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a tornado of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. This black comedy exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family.

Ghost Light
Written and directed by Nagle Jackson
This sparkling comedy reimagines Creede Rep’s fateful inaugural summer in 1966. But Instead of a full compliment of 12 aspiring artists, only one silver-tongued professor and three students make it from Kansas to Creede. This tiny company must band together with locals to breathe life into a dilapidated theater in the most unlikely of places. And if that isn’t enough, they must deal with supernatural intrusions from three famous Creede ghosts who are intent on setting the story straight.

Pants on Fire

A totally made up musical for kids. This hour-long improvised musical is created from the ideas given by kids in the audience.

Improv comedy
Back for its ninth summer, Creede Rep’s improv comedy-makers will again embrace its unique brand of twisted spontaneous comedy.

Ticket Information
Call 719-658-2540  or go to Creede Repertory Theatre’s web site.

Creede_50_Mildred_800From 2014: “The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild. Photo by John Gary Brown.

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