Theater – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Wed, 29 Jul 2020 19:28:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg Theater – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Thingamajig’s Perry Davis Harper wins best actor http://www.pagosasun.com/thingamajigs-perry-davis-harper-wins-best-actor/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 11:00:55 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207900

Photo courtesy Carole Howard
Perry Davis Harper, star of Thingamajig Theatre Company’s summer 2019 production of “Jekyll and Hyde,” won best actor in a musical from the Denver-based Henry Awards, known informally among actors as Colorado’s Tony Awards.

By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company

Perry Davis Harper, star of Thingamajig Theatre Company’s summer 2019 production of “Jekyll and Hyde,” won best actor in a musical from the Denver-based Henry Awards, known informally among actors as Colorado’s Tony Awards.

Winners of these distinguished annual awards normally are honored at a gala event in Denver. Because of COVID-19, however, this year’s celebration was a virtual ceremony streamed live on YouTube on Sunday, July 26, that was available for viewing by thousands of friends and family of the nominees and fans of theaters throughout the state. 

Thanks to gremlins in cyberspace, however, Harper almost missed seeing the announcement of his win when the Internet went down at his new home in Charleston, Mo., just as his honor was being broadcast. He quickly reached for his phone, where he and his family watched the exciting news on its small screen. 

Reactions from Moore and Harper

“We are incredibly proud to have Perry honored with this award,” said Tim Moore, producing artistic director and co-founder of the theater with his wife, Laura. “When I first auditioned Perry in 2014, I knew he was something extraordinary. Not only is he a once-in-a-lifetime vocalist, but more important, he was actively seeking ‘community’ and meaningful artistic endeavors. 

“Perry is one of those unique performers you meet who you instantly want on your theatrical team. He inspires greatness with his commitment to excellence, is an amazing collaborative partner, and cares deeply about the work and the people he’s surrounded by.” 

Said Harper, “I am deeply humbled by this win. ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was one of the most exciting and rewarding shows I have ever been a part of. I am so grateful to Tim and Laura for the opportunity, and to Melissa Firlit for her brilliant direction.” 

Harper became a local favorite when he first came to Pagosa in 2014 to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables.” Since then, he has performed in a variety of roles in six more Thingamajig productions, including “A Very Perry Christmas” and “Grand Night for Singing” over the holidays last December. Had the coronavirus not made Thingamajig go dark, Harper would have been on its stage this summer in the lead role of “Sweeney Todd,” another production that is an ideal platform for his amazing voice.

Other Thingamajig
nominations

This year, the prestigious Henry Awards also honored Thingamajig’s “Jekyll and Hyde” with two other major nominations — Melissa Firlit for best direction of a musical, and Thingamajig Theatre Company plus Firlit and music director Boni McIntyre for outstanding production of a musical. 

As well, Kathleen (“Kat”) Macari was nominated last year for outstanding actress in a musical for her performance in the lead role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” directed by Dennis Elkins, during the summer 2018 season.

Nominations for the Henry Awards are determined through a judging process conducted by a panel of more than 100 statewide peer professionals, academics/educators and other theater lovers.

“Jekyll and Hyde” is a horror thriller musical loosely based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella. It was part of Thingamajig’s highly successful Broadway in the Mountains 2019 summer musicals season that also included “Ring of Fire,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Alice in Wonderland.” 

Henry Awards
background

Established in 2006, the annual Henry Awards showcase outstanding achievements among members of the Colorado Theatre Guild, the largest not-for-profit theater organization in the U.S. 

Thingamajig competes in Tier 1 of the Henry rankings against prominent theaters with stellar reputations in Colorado. They include Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Creede Repertory Theatre, Arvada Center, Cherry Creek Theatre, Vintage Theatre and more. 

Normally, the Henry Awards season runs from June 1 through May 31 of the following year. Because of the shortened theater season due to COVID-19, this year the awards season closed on March 31. In the 2018-2019 season, judges saw 206 shows in Colorado. Because of the shortened season, judges saw only 157 shows for 2019-2020. About 40 shows were either canceled or postponed across the state because of the coronavirus.

More about Thingamajig

Thingamajig is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round. The theater closed in March because of public health directives relating to the coronavirus pandemic just as it was about to begin its 10th season. 

Thingamajig’s mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible, as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth, many of whom are recipients of scholarships, with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.

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Curtains Up Pagosa says goodbye to long-time board members http://www.pagosasun.com/curtains-up-pagosa-says-goodbye-to-long-time-board-members/ Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:00:46 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207661

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Kim and Walt Moore, who served six years on the board of Curtains Up Pagosa, are stepping down as board members.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) has been quite busy with transitions and changes this year. 

For the past six years, we have been honored and extraordinarily blessed with having Kim Moore as our president and Walt Moore as our treasurer. The Moores are well-known locals who have worked here for years, raised their family and volunteered with many, many organizations. We were thrilled when they chose CUP to give their time and hearts to. 

They were not your typical board members, as in addition to their officer roles and responsibilities, you could find Kim Moore baking her signature cookies and cupcakes for show concessions, coming to rehearsal to give some love to our cast or helping with productions at the bus barn. Walt Moore was always running some show errand, hanging a sign at the library or picking up something at the store, again. 

We will always appreciate the endless hours of work and, more importantly, their belief in CUP’s music, and their service to kids and community. They gave their love and hearts freely. We will miss the meetings in front of the fire, with the dogs at our feet, talking and listening and dreaming and creating. 

Yes, the Moores have stepped down from their official roles, but will still continue to work with, support and believe in Curtains Up as volunteers. 

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Thingamajig Theatre honored with major nominations from Henry Awards http://www.pagosasun.com/thingamajig-theatre-honored-with-major-nominations-from-henry-awards/ Fri, 12 Jun 2020 11:00:04 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205560

Photo courtesy Jeff Laydon
Thingamajig Theatre Company’s summer 2019 production of “Jekyll and Hyde” received three major nominations from the Denver-based Henry Awards for outstanding production of a musical as well as best director, Melissa Firlit, and best actor, Perry Davis Harper. These prestigious nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by a panel of more than 100 statewide peer professionals, academics/educators and other theater lovers. “Jekyll and Hyde” was part of Thingamajig’s successful Broadway in the Mountains 2019 summer musicals season at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company

Thingamajig Theatre Company’s summer 2019 production of “Jekyll and Hyde” received three major nominations from the Denver-based Henry Awards, known informally among actors as Colorado’s Tony Awards.

The prestigious nominations honored Melissa Firlit for best direction of a musical, Perry Davis Harper for best actor in a musical, and Thingamajig Theatre Company plus Firlit and music director Boni McIntyre for outstanding production of a musical. Nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by a panel of more than 100 statewide peer professionals, academics/educators and other theater lovers.

“Jekyll and Hyde” is a horror thriller musical loosely based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella. It was part of Thingamajig’s highly successful Broadway in the Mountains 2019 summer musicals season that also included “Ring of Fire,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Alice in Wonderland.” 

Nominees’ reactions 

“We are incredibly honored to have Thingamajig’s production of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ nominated for these three Henry Awards,” said Tim Moore, producing artistic director and co-founder of the theater with his wife, Laura Moore, both extraordinary actors and directors in their own right. “Director Melissa Firlit has inspired so many performers over the years. I’m not the least bit surprised both she and Perry Davis Harper were recognized for their work on this production. I’m particularly proud to see ‘Jekyll’ recognized as one of the five best musical performances in Colorado in 2019. The work that music director Boni McIntyre has done with our musicals is second to none, and the whole company of artists — from the lighting designer to the on-stage ensemble — created a piece of art Pagosa will not soon forget.” 

Said Firlit: “It feels really great to have our work acknowledged on a larger scale. I am extremely proud of that show — it was an incredible collaboration for all involved, cast and creatives.” 

In addition to “Jekyll and Hyde,” Firlit has directed 16 productions at Thingamajig over the years, from serious drama like “Red” and “Proof” to musicals like “Aida” and “West Side Story.” She also serves as the artistic director of the Thingamajig Playwrights Festival.

Said Harper: “I am humbled by this nomination. ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was one of the most exciting and rewarding shows I have ever been a part of.” 

Harper became a local favorite when he first came to Pagosa in 2014 to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables.” Since then, he has performed in a variety of roles in six more Thingamajig productions including “A Very Perry Christmas” and “Grand Night for Singing” over the holidays last December.

Henry Awards
background

Established in 2006, the annual Henry Awards showcase outstanding achievements among members of the Colorado Theatre Guild, the largest not-for-profit theater organization in the U.S. Nominations are announced each June, and winners of the distinguished awards normally are honored at a gala event in Denver a month later. Because of the coronavirus, however, this year’s celebration will be virtual, taking place online on July 26.

Thingamajig competes in Tier 1 of the Henry rankings against prominent theaters with stellar reputations in Colorado. They include Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Creede Repertory Theatre, Arvada Center, Cherry Creek Theatre, Vintage Theatre and more. 

Normally, the Henry Awards season runs from June 1 through May 31 of the following year. Because of the shortened theater season due to COVID-19, this year the awards season closed on March 31. In the 2018-2019 season, judges saw 206 shows in Colorado. Because of the shortened season, judges saw only 157 shows for 2019-2020. About 40 shows were either canceled or postponed across the state because of the coronavirus.

More about Thingamajig

Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round. The theater closed in March because of stay-at-home directives relating to the coronavirus pandemic just as it was about to begin its 10th season. 

Thingamajig’s mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth, many of whom are recipients of scholarships, with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.

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Students recognized with theater and music awards http://www.pagosasun.com/students-recognized-with-theater-and-music-awards/ Fri, 29 May 2020 11:00:04 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204551

KC Yeneza

By Dan Burch and
Dale Johnson
Pagosa Springs High School

The following Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) students are recognized for contributions to theater and music over the school year. 

2020 PSHS drama awards

Jazz Square Award

The Jazz Square is a term used to describe a classic dance step. This award is presented to honor excellence in dance. The art form of dance offers opportunities to express emotion, evoke feelings or tell a story through movement and expression. 

This year’s recipient has performed in our high school musicals throughout her time here, most recently in “Matilda the Musical,” where she portrayed the character of Lavender. She is a gifted dancer, actor and vocalist. Additionally, she is a kind and patient mentor to those students she works with and a joy to be around. 

The Jazz Square Award goes to KC Yeneza.

Hannah Rockensock

Linchpin Award

A linchpin. It’s kind of a funny word if you don’t know what it is. A “linchpin” is the most important part of a train. It holds the cars together. In a wheel, a linchpin holds the wheel onto the axle. According to Seth Godin, a linchpin is “an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen.” 

As an actress, Hannah Rockensock does all of these things and more. Whether it’s the morning after a late night of rehearsal or wound up with nerves and a good night’s sleep, whether it’s rehearsal, opening night or closing night, it simply doesn’t matter: When she walks on stage, theater happens. She brings all of her being to the stage and is a catalyst, drawing excellence from the rest of the cast. She is conscious of the art of acting even when she is lost in the character or the story, and is able to stand on the line between art and reality confidently and skillfully. 

Rockensock, thank you for the dedication you have shown in the strangest year of theater, ever. We are looking forward to seeing what amazing things you’ll do next. 

The Linchpin Award goes to Hannah Rockensock.

 

 

Megan Foster

Lightmaster Award

The technicians of any production (lovingly referred to as “techies”) are the behind-the-scenes heroes. Coming in late into the rehearsal schedule, they jump into action, embracing the show, working with others, creating lighting design, studying scripts and music, developing special effects and more. They help paint the picture, tell the story and bring the show to life. The lightmaster also works as an ongoing mentor for the new student studying the craft.

Megan Foster has been in the light booth for four years now, creating magic and beauty. She is dearly loved and appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Thompson

Wicked Good Award

The Wicked Good Award is in a class by itself. If you come from Boston, you were raised on the expression “wicked good.” This year’s recipient is not a stranger to the stage and has in fact been performing in one way or another most of her young life. She has performed in musicals, shows, concerts and plays. She is a natural and gifted performer, with outstanding skills as a dancer, singer and actor. She recently brought her choreography talents to productions. She lights up the stage with her unique, strong stage presence; she has worked very hard on her performance skills and it shows. She is “wicked good” because she shows up, never gives up, is passionate about her work and others, respects her peers and is always trying to be better. She most recently “graced” our stage in “Matilda the Musical,” portraying Mrs. Wormwood.

The Wicked Good Award goes to Grace Thompson.

 

 

 

 

Jacob Miller

Sprout Award

The Sprout Award is given to a student who is a newcomer to the stage, who bravely and boldly auditions for a show, is cast, enters a completely new and foreign world, and begins to understand the mind of an actor and the environment of the stage.

This year’s recipient embraced the new theater world boldly, eagerly and with a sense of humor. He spent endless hours learning new skills in song, dance and acting. He most recently portrayed the character of Rudolpho in “Matilda the Musical.”

The sprout award goes to Jacob Miller.

 

 

 

 

Sydney Mitchell

Best Performing Artist Award

Over the years as she has matured, Sydney Mitchell has become an actress who recognizes the art in herself and uses it to bring the audience into the story. Many actors and actresses have talent — and Mitchell has more than most — and many talented actors and actresses are content to rely on that talent. But not Mitchell. She has pushed herself to hone her skills by auditioning for every show available, playing as many parts as she can, and even directing a play with a cast of her peers. She has attended several prestigious acting schools and camps already and is now preparing to push herself even more at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Most notable about her, however, is her willingness to support and aid other actors in their own explorations. It is as common to find her helping others hone their skills as it is to find her working on her own. 

Mitchell, for all you have done to make our shows better, for all you have done to challenge us to become better people, thank you. We will miss you, but I know we will be seeing you on the stage.

 

 

 

Drama letters and pins

Drama letters: Hannah Rockensock, Karissa Foster, Jordyn Milioto, Nina Smith, Kaeden Thomas, Carissa McSwain, Caroline Smith, Alyssa Martinez, Alanis Sanchez, Hayden Kiker, Hunter Swinehart, Grace Wiersma and Lexie Valdez.

Drama pins: Sydney (Simon) Mitchell, Cheyenne Todd, Ethan Mazur, Sophia Raymond, Ella Hemenger, Grace Thompson, Maya Nasralla, Olivia Craig, Emma Happ and Megan Foster.

Mark Holladay

2020 PSHS music awards

Louis Armstrong Award

Mark Holladay greatly deserves the Louis Armstrong Award. Holladay is an incredible musician who has added so much to the jazz band throughout his four years in high school. His keyboard skills are exceptional. He can play the complex jazz rhythms and holds down the center of the rhythm section. 

 

 

 

 

 

Hayden Kiker

Director’s Award

Hayden Kiker is an exceptional musician who excels as a vocalist, a percussionist and as a violinist. He is always the one to arrive early and haul equipment and then stay around to clean up. He adds to every performing group here at PSHS. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethan Mazur

Musicianship Award

Ethan Mazur has proven his musicianship in so many ways. He is an accomplished pianist, he plays the horn at an All State level, he sings in PSHS choral groups and has delivered astounding lead roles on the theater stage. He is also arranging instrumental and choral music on the side. He is a complete musician in every way. 

All State Band Award

Ethan Mazur has played the horn for only a couple years and yet he auditioned for the All State Band in December and made it into the prestigious All State Concert Band. Unfortunately, the All State Band event was canceled due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

 Choral Award

Grace Thompson has been in all the choral groups at PSHS and has been a key part of all the success of our music department. She has consistently qualified for several choral festivals each year since her sophomore year. Thompson has been a solid leader in all the choral groups she has performed in. She has also given incredible lead role performances on the theater stage all four years.

 

Skylar Sherman

Most Improved Award

As a freshman, Skylar Sherman came into the jazz band playing the alto sax and quickly rose to a first-chair level. She made great progress this year. We are looking forward to many great things from Sherman. 

Music letters and pins

Honor Choir pins: Grace Thompson, Ella Hemenger, KC Yeneza, Hannah Girardin (with letter), Trenten Albach (with letter), Hayden Kiker (with letter), Chandler Mazur (with letter), Kaeden Thomas (with letter), Olivia Craig (with letter), Karissa Foster (with letter) and Carissa Foster (with letter).

Honor Band pins: Cerenity Keating, Case Harris, Ally Ashbaugh, Emma Happ, Grace Wiersma, Ethan Mazur, Gaby Gallegos, Hannah Girardin, Kelsi Rollins, Caleb Calabaza, Hayden Kiker, Mark Holladay, Lexie Valdez, Jessi Gurule, Makayla Collins (with letter), Skylar Sherman (with letter) and Zach Olson (with letter).

Pep Band pins: Ally Ashbaugh, Hayden Kiker, Case Harris, Mark Holladay, Nina Smith, Hannah Girardin, Zach Olson, Caleb Calabaza, Andre Jones, Ethan Mazur, Skylar Sherman, Chandler Mazur, Alyx Velarde (with letter), Emma Ziminsky (with letter) and Chris James (with letter).

 

 

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Curtains Up Pagosa announces quartet of scholarship recipients http://www.pagosasun.com/curtains-up-pagosa-announces-quartet-of-scholarship-recipients/ Tue, 26 May 2020 11:00:42 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204060

Emma Happ

Anika Thomas

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) is thrilled to announce the 2020 recipients of the John Graves Memorial Scholarship, given to students pursuing advanced degrees in the performing arts. 

There are four students receiving scholarships this year: Emma Happ, Anika Thomas, Sydney (Simon) Mitchell and Grace Wiersma. All of these exceptional students have been active performers with CUP for many years, and have chosen unique and specialized career paths within the performing arts. 

Happ will be attending Northern Arizona University, where she will work toward the goal of special education teacher with an emphasis on music and art therapies. 

Thomas’ choice of college is Colorado Christian University, where she will double major in music education and kinesiology/exercise science. Thomas plans to further pursue a master’s degree in music therapy and eventually return to Pagosa to give back to the community she loves. 

Sydney (Simon) Mitchell

Grace Wiersma

Mitchell has been accepted into the prestigious and rigorous theater program at Rutgers University, to pursue a degree in theater, a passion since a child. 

Wiersma will be headed to Vanguard University to study music and business on her way to creating a nonprofit that supports the musical arts.

We look forward to supporting and following the career paths and adventures of these extraordinary young students that we have grown to know and love over the years. They will always be part of our CUP family.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sydney Mitchell http://www.pagosasun.com/sydney-mitchell/ Thu, 07 May 2020 21:00:17 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=202910

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson

Pagosa Springs High School senior Sydney (Simon) Mitchell seen here in the last rehearsal for “Matilda the Musical,” playing the villainous and tyrannical headmistress Miss Trunchbull before the play was shut down due to coronavirus. Mitchell has been accepted into the prestigious theater department of Rutgers University. Other senior actors and techies in “Matilda” are: Grace Thompson, KC Yeneza, Hunter Swinehart, Emma Happ, Kaden Hessman, Cheyenne Todd, Nick Voelker, Megan Foster and Alanis Sanchez.

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This year’s ‘Matilda’ performances canceled http://www.pagosasun.com/this-years-matilda-performances-canceled/ Sun, 03 May 2020 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=202574

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
The cast of “Matilda” during its final rehearsal. Work on the production was stopped four days short of opening night.

By Dale Johnson
Special to The PREVIEW

The directors, cast, crew and musicians for this year’s spring musical, “Matilda,” put in countless hours of hard work only to see it stopped four days short of opening night. 

Although this has been such a disappointment for everyone involved, we all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world. We are living in unprecedented times and every single area of our normal lives has been affected.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to perform this year. We appreciate the time, the talent and the heart everyone gave. Much love to all our more than amazing directors: Dan, Venita, Dale and Billy. We all grew as performers as we sang, danced and acted to bring our wonderful “Matilda” to life. 

More importantly, we walked away from the show having experienced kindness, acceptance, compassion, tolerance, patience and love as part of the “Matilda” family. The experience is the journey. Our experience has been one of greatness and love.

 

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Hayden Kiker receives music scholarship http://www.pagosasun.com/hayden-kiker-receives-music-scholarship/ Sun, 03 May 2020 11:00:15 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=202577

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Hayden Kiker.

By Dale Johnson
Special to The PREVIEW

Juliana was a beautiful, brilliant and talented young woman of 19, who loved music and singing and life. A music scholarship was created to honor her memory and spirit. Our latest scholarship recipient is Hayden Kiker.

Kiker has been in several Curtains Up Pagosa productions, beginning with “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He has participated in “Hollydaze,” “Tarzan” and “Willy Wonka,” and was the fiddler in “Fiddler on the Roof.” He has also performed in “Mary Poppins,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Footloose” and “Matilda” with Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS), and “Jungle Book” with Thingamajig Theater Company. Kiker lends his vocal talents to Heralds of Christmas each year. 

Kiker is a voice and piano student with Venita Burch and a violin student with Heidi Tanner. He also plays percussion in the PSHS concert band and jazz band, as well as the community band, and he performs with the PSHS Piratones and the Americana Project. 

Kiker is appreciative of Juliana’s scholarship so that he can continue his studies.

 

 

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Curtains Up Pagosa http://www.pagosasun.com/curtains-up-pagosa-4/ Wed, 22 Apr 2020 11:00:29 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=201599

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson

Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) is quiet right now in terms of performances, rehearsals, auditions and readying for concerts and productions. It is happy to be able to help the community by donating fabric, materials and equipment for masks. Dale Scrivener, CUP’s music director, has been hard at work sewing masks and getting them out to folks in Pagosa. Stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Matilda’ cast and crew thankful and waiting http://www.pagosasun.com/matilda-cast-and-crew-thankful-and-waiting/ Mon, 20 Apr 2020 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=201604

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Pagosa Springs High School’s cast of “Matilda the Musical.” Although unable to continue rehearsing or have its planned opening night, the cast and crew are thankful for the experience and continue to wait to be able to perform the show for the community.

By Dale Johnson
Special to The PREVIEW
Being part of a high school musical is magnificent, fun, exhausting, inspiring, exhilarating, crazy, life-changing and challenging. Over a 10-week period, those involved spend an enormous amount of time together, usually five nights a week of intense song, dance and acting training. Some involved and cast are veteran performers, some first-timers, all working towards common goals.
Opening night of a show is akin to an all-state competition, the culmination of months of rehearsals, drills and practices. A few weeks before opening, technicians and musicians begin attending rehearsals, adding sound, lights and music.
On March 12, the cast and crew and musicians held their last “Matilda” rehearsal on the high school stage, five days before they were set to open. Although it was not a dress rehearsal, cast donned costumes, called parents last minute, acquired a video camera and proceeded to give a performance to a small audience gathering. They were amazing. They were courageous and strong and supportive and mighty. They performed with amazing vocals, high-energy dancing and strong acting. Our small audience cheered. We took a bow.
Afterward, we sat together and talked. And cried. And hugged. We honored our seniors with a little ceremony. Then we put the costumes away, hoping we would still be able to come together and have our opening night.
I am incredibly proud of our young performing artists and how they came together not only to perform, but also to learn and grow from one another, leaving the experience better young people than they were at the start.
We are still waiting for our “Matilda the Musical” opening night, but whatever happens, we are thankful for the experience, the process, the love and the heart that goes into getting ready.

 

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