Encore performance of Elkins’ ‘box.’ at Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts this Sunday

Photo courtesy Zach Burke
Dennis Elkins’ “box.” returns to the Thingamajig Theatre Company stage at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts this Sunday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. for a one-night-only encore performance. This biographical solo play written and performed by Elkins resulted in standing ovations and rave reviews by audiences at Thingamajig’s Playwrights Festival in October.

By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
Because of the huge popularity of the show when it played here in October, Dennis Elkins’ “box.” returns to the Thingamajig Theatre Company stage at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts this Sunday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. for a one-night-only encore performance.
This biographical solo play written and performed by Elkins resulted in standing ovations and rave reviews by audiences at Thingamajig’s Playwrights Festival in October. Among the reactions: “Brilliant.” “Deeply incisive.” “Alternating very funny and hugely sad.” “A special treat to see such first-class acting in our little mountain town.”
Elkins’ “box.” focuses on the psychological trials in our lives associated with packing and unpacking boxes — literally and figuratively. We follow Elkins through major events in his adult life including his mother’s death, his son’s overdose, coming out of the closet and leaving academia.
It is an intensely moving and intimate portrayal, even comedic at times. The colors red, blue and green play an important role in the show, representing organization, order and compartmentalization as we pack and move from location to location in our lives.
Tickets for “box.” are available at pagosacenter.org or by phoning 731-7469. If you purchased a Thingamajig season ticket with festival pass but did not see “box.,” your season ticket is good on Dec. 23.
Before coming to Pagosa, the opening section of “box.” debuted in a workshop in 2012 in Vancouver, Canada. The full play premiered in February in Savannah, Ga., and was performed in March in Elkins’ home town of Elkhart, Kan. Elkins then took the show to Seattle as well as London, England, and Cape Town, South Africa. After the Pagosa performances in October, “box.” played at the United Solo Festival in New York City.
Over the eight years that Thingamajig has brought professional theater to Pagosa Springs, Elkins has impressed both locals and out-of-town visitors with his brilliant acting, keen directing and remarkable versatility. He starred in significant dramas including “Red,” “A Picasso,” “A Few Good Men” and “Proof”; played major roles in musicals like “Cabaret,” “Hairspray” and “Sister Act”; and earned laughs in comedies like “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Tuna Christmas.” This summer, he directed the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
This Christmas, he is directing “A Christmas Carol” and “Little Women, the Musical.”
Elkins spent 25 years in the academic theater arena, including a five-year tenure as head of the theater department at Fort Lewis College. He made a name for himself in other major venues including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Single Carrot Theatre in Baltimore, Md., and the Clarence Brown Company at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He also directed “Comedy of Errors” in 2017 and “The Merry Wives of Windsor” last summer at Albuquerque’s Shakespeare on the Plaza.
Elkins’ current home base is the South Harlem area of New York City, where he divides his time between acting, directing, teaching and writing.

This story was posted on December 21, 2018.