Theatre companies around Colorado are made up some amazing human beings who are making the world a better place
One creates theatre with architecture students in India. Another conquered her fear of public speaking and now manages an entire company. One student creates issue-oriented theatre that raises money for non-profit advocacy groups. One turned her Cerebral Palsy into a leadership position. Two actors met in rehearsal and haven’t stopped making music together since.
Colorado makes summer theatre far and wide. But you don’t have to look far to find a wide panorama of really interesting human beings who are making the world a better place in philanthropic, educational, advocational and creative ways. Here are just a few:
Mare Trevathan, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
- Your role this summer: Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet
- Hometown: We moved a lot.
- Home now: Longmont
- What’s your story? This winter will be my second trip to Ahmedabad, India, to work with architectural students creating site-specific performances. The notion is that by physically interacting with the built environment, they’ll come at the design process thinking about the humans who will interact with their buildings. The students themselves make and perform the shows, occupying rooftops and stairwells and hallways and such. They’re so brave. Singing at the top of their lungs despite baffled passersby. I mean, it’s not a performing-arts school. People don’t shout and contort and such unless something’s gone terribly wrong. A common refrain from the students was that they feel energized and liberated by the process. One woman told me she’d always been scared of using her voice, and that now she’s sharing her poetry aloud at open mics. I heart them.
- How did this become a passion of yours? I’ve been a big fan of both travel and site-specific theatre for a long time, but this particular project was the brainchild of architect Shubhra Raje. Shubhra attended a Local Theater Company performance of Pain Management, which I directed in the abandoned wing of an old hospital. She contacted me afterward with a brain full of thoughts for how site-specific theatre created by an ensemble might work in her world. We co-teach these workshops, and she’s magnificent. She throws herself into my outrageous theatre exercises, and by example gives the students permission to take risks.
More information: maretrevathan.com
- Why should readers visit the Colorado Shakespeare Festival this summer? The creative teams have approached this summer’s plays as if they had never been done before. They feel fresh and vital and inhabited with such passion, humor and intelligence. It’s a really strong season.
COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL SUMMER SCHEDULE
At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or coloradoshakes.org
- Through August 10: As You Like It (indoors)
- Through August 10: Romeo and Juliet (outdoors)
- Through August 11: Twelfth Night (outdoors)
- July 19-August 11: King Charles III (indoors)
- August 4: King John (outdoors)
Morgan Parker, Little Theatre of the Rockies
- Your role this summer: Publicity Manager
- Hometown: Sheridan, Wyoming
- Home now: Greeley
- What’s your story? I am an officer for a student organization called Manifesto Theatre at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Manifesto Theatre is a charitable student theatre organization that strives to produce compelling and relevant works of theatre while raising money for an advocate organization relevant to the work. In our first two years at UNC, we have raised money for The Innocence Project, The Greeley Community Grief Center, UNC’s Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, The Alzheimer’s Association and Assault Survivors Advocacy Program.
- How did this become a passion of yours? When we were starting this student organization, we knew that we wanted to create something that would be impactful. Theatre is a great way to raise awareness by portraying issues to an audience. But we wanted to go one step further by helping people to learn how to contribute to the cause. Since our first production, I have been hooked on helping people learn about others’ struggles in life and informing them on how they can make a difference.
- More information: Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages @ManifestoTheatre
- Why should readers visit Little Theatre of the Rockies this summer? We are the oldest theatre company in Colorado and we are celebrating our 85th anniversary of creating entertaining summer theatre. The Sondheim classic Into the Woods is a work of art that makes you laugh, cry, rejoice, sing, dance and mourn. It is a show for all ages, and it will connect with people of all backgrounds because everyone dreams and wishes.
LITTLE THEATRE OF THE ROCKIES SUMMER SCHEDULE
University of Northern Colorado campus, Norton Theatre, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com
- Through August 4: First Date
- July 18-August 4: Into the Woods
Morgan Severeid, Creede Repertory Theatre
- Your role this summer: Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor for the company, and Associate Costume Designer for Ripcord
- Hometown and home now: Westfield, Indiana
- What’s your story? I have Cerebral Palsy, a disability that affects the way my brain controls my muscles. My Cerebral Palsy makes certain tasks – mostly fine motor tasks – difficult for me. In spite of this, I chose a career in sewing. I deal with tiny buttons, needles and pins all day long – and I love it. Having Cerebral Palsy is a large part of why I got involved with Creede Repertory Theatre’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts. I only graduated this past May, so I am still learning how to advocate for myself in terms of making sure I have the necessary accommodations to do my job, such as having larger snaps on costumes that are easier to open and close quickly.
- How did EDI become a passion of yours? I joined Creede Rep’s EDI Committee with the intention of advocating for the needs of minorities as well as my own. I believe theatre is a vulnerable space where people have the opportunity to share truths about what it means to be human. For theatre to be a vulnerable space, it must be a safe space, and for theatre to be a safe space, EDI work must be present.
- Why should readers visit Creede Rep this summer? This summer, Creede Repertory Theatre is sharing stories you thought you knew in a whole new way. Do you think you know the story of “Peter Pan”? Come see Peter and the Starcatcher. Do you love Little Shop of Horrors? Come see our life-size man-eating plant in action. Want to see a comedy you haven’t seen before? Come see Ripcord and watch two hilarious ladies battle each other in a retirement home. Creede Rep has something for everyone.
CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE SUMMER SCHEDULE
124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or creederep.org
- Through Aug. 8: Ripcord
- Through August 24: Peter and the Starcatcher
- Through August 25: Little Shop of Horrors
- July 26-September 14: Pride and Prejudice
- August 16-September 13: Hazardous Materials (Headwaters New Play Festival World Premiere)
Leisa Norris, Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre
- Your role this summer: Company Manager
- Hometown: The continental United States. I moved 11 times as a youth but ended up in Colleyville, Texas, as a parent.
- Home now: Trinidad
- What’s your story? I don’t have a background in theatre. My first career was in education. I developed the first full-day program for Special Education Pre-K children in an underserved community in Texas. After starting a family, the position got to be very challenging, but luckily an avenue opened up for me to work from home. As the Booster Club President for my daughter’s high-school volleyball team, I ended up having to speak publicly in front of large groups. But I started to experience panic attacks at these events. To face my fear, I decided to immerse myself in something that scared me, so I started belly dancing and performing on stage. While I prefer to be behind the scenes, it helped me trust myself, and I learned I loved being around a community of creative and expressive people.
- How did this become a passion of yours? My passion is being creative and making a positive difference in the lives of others. When I was asked to help make costumes for a production of The Scarlet Letter, I jumped right in with very little costuming experience. I fell in love with designing costumes and recruited other volunteers to help sew. I have never had a problem organizing and getting things done, which is what led me to be offered the opportunity to manage the summer theatre company.
- Why should readers visit the Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre this summer? I think it’s crucially important to support rural professional theatres. This is where our stars are polished, dreams are nurtured and foundations for their careers in the arts are built. These young, creative people work incredibly hard and are amazingly talented. Watching them is awe-inspiring. We are blessed to have professional, intimate productions in our tiny town of Trinidad.
SOUTHERN COLORADO REPERTORY THEATRE SUMMER SCHEDULE
At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com
- Through August 17: The Last Five Years
- Through August 18: Grounded
- July 26-August 16: Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps
Katherine Viviano and Stephen Coakley (aka Viv and Steve), Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre
- Your roles this summer: Viviano is playing Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act and understudying Patsy Cline in Always … Patsy Cline. Coakley is the pianist for Disaster! The Musical and is also playing Wealthy Man and other roles
- Hometown: Viviano is from Overland Park, Kansas; Coakley is from Leesburg, Virginia
- Home now: Chicago
- What’s your story? “Viv and Steve” met in Grand Lake during the summer of 2018 as ensemble members for the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. Their first musical collaboration was a cover of “Maybe” from the hit musical Annie, which was the season-opener and the first show they performed in together. Since then, they have been writing and performing original tunes and popular covers – Steve on composition and keys, and Viv on vocals. Inspired by their jazz, pop and musical-theatre backgrounds, Viv and Steve released their first single “Maybe It’s You” in April, and it has since reached more than 75,000 listeners. Their full Extended Playlist, “Missed Out on Me,” was released in June and is available on all streaming services. They are thrilled to be back in the magical place that brought them together for the summer and fall of this year.
- How did this happen? Viv and Steve have been passionate about music for as long as they can remember. But it wasn’t until they met in Grand Lake that they felt inspired to create music together. During rehearsal breaks, they filmed short snippets of their arrangements and posted them on social media. They then began performing live throughout Grand County. The positive encouragement they’ve gotten from the Grand Lake community inspired them to keep making music together.
- More information: com or stephentocoakley.com
- Why should readers visit the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre this summer? For decades, Rocky Mountain Rep has been delivering wonderful theatre by top-notch theatre professionals in one of the most beautiful towns in all of North America. We would love to see you in Grand Lake!
ROCKY MOUNTAIN REPERTORY THEATRE SUMMER SCHEDULE
800 Grand Ave., Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
- Through August 22: Disaster! The Musical
- Through August 23: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
- Through August 24: Sister Act
- August 30-Sept. 28: Always… Patsy Cline
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.