Theater – The Pagosa Springs SUN The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Fri, 04 Dec 2020 15:30:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Theater – The Pagosa Springs SUN 32 32 Thingamajig honored with record number of nominations for ‘best of the decade’ Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:00:09 +0000

Photo courtesy Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company’s 2017 production of “Hairspray” is nominated for best musical production of the decade in the 2020 statewide contest currently being conducted by BroadwayWorld Denver to honor the best in theater in the past 10 years in the state of Colorado. Thingamajig’s actors, directors and designers received a record 59 nominations for awards in the contest, almost double the number of nominations for any other theater. Voting is underway at and runs through Dec. 31.

By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company

Thingamajig Theatre Company actors, directors and designers received a record 59 nominations for awards in the 2020 statewide contest currently being conducted by BroadwayWorld Denver to honor “the best in theater in the past decade” in the state of Colorado. Thingamajig’s figure is almost double the number of nominations for any other theater.

Among the most prestigious of the many tributes to Thingamajig are being nominated for “theater company of the decade,” “top arts supporter of the decade” and “best theater staff,” as well as having the theater and both Tim Moore and Dennis Elkins nominated for “arts educator of the decade.” 

More Thingamajig

Here are the additional Thingamajig people and productions that made it to the final ballot in this respected competition:

Ensemble cast of the decade: “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “West Side Story,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Tarzan” and “Cabaret.”

Production of the play of the decade: “Sylvia,” “Red,” “Proof,” “A Picasso,” “Misterman,” “God of Carnage” and “Welcome to Siberia, Now Go Home.”

Production of the musical of the decade: “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Hairspray,” “West Side Story,” “Cabaret,” “Tarzan” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Director of the play of the decade: Melissa Firlit for “Red” and “Proof,” Moore for “Grounded,” Michael Thomas Walker for “God of Carnage” and Elkins for “A Christmas Carol.”

Director of the musical of the decade: Ryan Hazelbaker for “Cabaret” and “Damn Yankees,” Firlit for “Jekyll and Hyde,” Elkins for “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Walker for “Hairspray,” Pia Wyatt for “The Who’s Tommy” and Anita Jo Lenart for “Big River.”

Original script of the decade: Elkins for his one-man show “box.”

Costume design of the decade: Nanette Cheffers for “White Christmas,” Taylor Marrs for “Damn Yankees” and Elly Hunt for “Men on Boats.”

Set design of the decade: Laura Moore for “Little Mermaid,” “Men on Boats” and “Tarzan”; Matt McCarren for “West Side Story” and “A Christmas Carol”; and John Santangelo for “Good People.”

Lighting design of the decade: Laine Wong for “Jekyll and Hyde” and “West Side Story,” and Jason Flamos for “A Few Good Men.” 

Sound design of the decade: Tim Moore for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Hannah Shutt for “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Robert Hornbastel for “A Christmas Carol” and Michael Fuchs for “A Grand Night for Singing.”

Top arts supporter of the decade: Friends of the Theatre, Thingamajig Theatre Company and Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

Best fundraising supporter of the decade: Friends of the Theatre.

Best youth theater camp of the decade: Whatchamawhozits Children’s Theatre Summer Camp.

Reaction from

Said Tim Moore, producing artistic director and co-founder of the theater with his wife, Laura, executive director, when the nominations were announced: “After 10 years of incredible growth because of our patrons, audiences and other supporters who could have imagined that our beloved theater would be dark because of a global pandemic. 

“This situation makes us even more grateful for these BroadwayWorld nominations that let us revisit and celebrate all the good times we have had together at Thingamajig. The nominations are a tribute to the amazing talents of the hundreds of actors, directors and designers who have created such memorable experiences for us over the past decade. 

“We all look forward to next summer when we expect that our lights will be on again.”

How to vote

If you want to vote in this awards contest, go to, where online voting is underway now. Voting runs through Dec. 31 and winners will be announced in January.

Thingamajig is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional theater in residence at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. The company was co-founded in April 2011 by the Moores, both of whom won individual BroadwayWorld awards for their work in 2017. 

In addition to these multiple nominations for Thingamajig, Pagosa Springs is receiving additional positive visibility as three of our local restaurants were nominated for best pre- and post-show dining, and Pagosa Arts Initiative is nominated for supporting the arts.

High-caliber competition

Thingamajig competes in the impressive Denver regional professional theater market, which also includes Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Creede Repertory Theatre, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Arvada Center, Cherry Creek Theatre, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts, The Source, Boulder Dinner Theater and many more. 

This year’s nominations honor productions which opened in Colorado between 2011 and Sept. 30. Regional productions, touring shows and other shows were included in the statewide awards categories. This means that the caliber of the competition is extremely high. 

BroadwayWorld is the largest theater site on the Internet, covering Broadway in New York, the West End in London and other key artistic locations worldwide. This year’s awards attracted a record number of nominations in more than 100 cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. 

“In a time when theater across the globe is facing unprecedented obstacles, we wanted to take the time to celebrate past achievements while looking forward to the productions of the future,” BroadwayWorld wrote in a statement.

CUP’s ‘Stayin’ Alive’ Concert Series available online Sun, 04 Oct 2020 11:00:55 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Kaitlen Smith as Eve in Curtains Up Pagosa’s“Children of Eden,” 2018. The community theater organization recently released its “Stayin’ Alive” Concert Series online.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

When Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP), our community’s premier community theater, decided to produce a virtual concert during these COVID times, we hoped to be able to get about a dozen performance entries. 

We were instead both pleased and excited to receive 26 videos from our CUP family of performers. Additionally, we were able to partner with Pagosa Springs Dance Academy as it shared selections from several of its students. 

We would like to offer our warm and heartfelt thanks to our cast of performers: Dale Scrivener, Jason Rose, Anika Thomas, Taylor Jones, Robert Neel, Aaron Bishop, Doug Roberts, Gus Palma, Trace Gross, Johannah Laverty, Antonia Bussoli, Jeff Reardon, Allora Leonard, Diana Kelly, Caroline Smith, Sydney Mitchell, Pat Doocy, Gracelyn Kiker, Leela Simpson, Hayden Kiker, Olivia Mazur, Riley Perrie and Ella Hemenger. Our Dance Academy students include CUP veteran performers Sophie Martinez, Avonlea Thomas and Leela Simpson. We were also thrilled by the powerful dance duet offered by Casey Crow and Jacob Miskimens. 

CUP’s “Stayin’ Alive” Concert Series, produced by Dale Johnson and Dale Scrivener, was a huge success, both from a performance and community perspective. Our actors were able to experience the joy of performance, albeit in a different way, and our community was able to view the beloved performers they have missed. Many thanks to Scrivener, Katrina Thomas and Dan and Venita Burch for helping to rehearse, record and post our performances. They can be viewed on our CUP Facebook page. For further information on CUP, go to 

Cindy’s Dance scholarship recipient named Wed, 23 Sep 2020 11:00:45 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Avonlea Thomas is the newest recipient of the Cindy’s Dance scholarship from Curtains Up Pagosa.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

Cindy Gustafson was a dear, sweet and wonderful woman who loved Curtains Up Pagosa’s (CUP) kids as her own, never missed a performance and loved the art of the dance. 

The Cindy’s Dance scholarship was created to honor her memory and history with CUP. 

Our most recent recipient of this special gift of scholarship is Avonlea Thomas, in the fifth grade and already a long-time veteran performer with CUP, the high school and other performance events. 

Thomas is passionate about dance, as she expressed that “Taking dance teaches me so much more than just how to dance — emotionally, physically, artistically and socially I am a much better person for it.” 

CUP is happy to be able to provide help as Thomas pursues the beauty and wonder of the dance.

Curtains Up Pagosa announces scholarship recipients Mon, 07 Sep 2020 11:00:44 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Joni Bussoli.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

One of Curtains Up Pagosa’s (CUP) gives to the kids and folks of our community is the gift of song with Danna’s Song through our music education program. 

This scholarship is offered in memory of our dear and sweet Danna Laverty, who was a CUP supporter, volunteer and lover of our kids and music. Her kids were involved with CUP shows, in particular Johannah Laverty, spending many years on our home stage performing in community theater. 

We are slowly and on a limited basis starting up our program again, on hold since the pandemic began, with lessons given following COVID-19 guidelines of social distancing and protection. 

 We are excited to announce our latest students, Nina Smith and Joni Bussoli, who will be taught by vocal instructor Dale Scrivener. We look forward to the time when we can all be back on stage together.

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Nina Smith.

Curtains Up reschedules ‘Cinderella,’ offering ‘Stayin’ Alive’ concert series Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:00:45 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) has rescheduled its production of “Cinderella” until 2021. The group last did the show in 2012. CUP is currently offering its online “Stayin’ Alive” concert series.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) had planned for and was in preproduction for its 2020 summer show, “Cinderella” (Broadway version), when everything was shut down for COVID-19. 

We miss our CUP family of performers, musicians and techies. We miss the camaraderie, the hard work, the music, the dance, the hugs. We miss our stage and the acting and our collective love and passion for theater. CUP has rescheduled “Cinderella” for summer 2021. With great hope that we will all be able to gather once again in celebration of the performing arts.

During this down time, Dale Johnson and Dale Scrivener have continued to work on plans for next summer, but also on their current project of “Stayin Alive,” an online concert series that can be found on CUP’s Facebook page. 

Additionally, CUP is in development for an original Broadway revue production called “Moving Mountains, The Power of Music” to be presented live as time and safety allow. 

Please consider a donation to CUP, now in its 31st year, to keep the organization going and alive until they are able to sparkle and shine on stage once more. 

CUP announces Ellsmore scholarship recipient Sun, 16 Aug 2020 11:00:39 +0000

Ella Hemenger

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

Juliana Ellsmore was a beautiful, brilliant and talented young woman of 19, who loved music and singing and life. Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) has created a music scholarship to honor her memory and spirit. This gift of scholarship is for students interested in studying music or vocal performance. 

CUP’s most recent student chosen for this gift is Ella Hemenger, a rising senior at Pagosa Springs High School. Hemenger started performing at the age of 8 in CUP’s production of “Annie” and has been in just about every show produced by CUP and the high school since then. 

She wants to use the scholarship gift to study voice with Venita Burch.

Curtains Up Pagosa announces ‘Stayin’ Alive’ concert series Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:00:04 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Jason Rose as Kerchak and Kaitlen Smith as Kala in the 2019 Curtains Up Pagosa production of “Tarzan.” In August, the organization will present the “Stayin’ Alive” concert series featuring its actors.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

Curtains Up Pagosa (CUP) is excited to announce its “Stayin’ Alive” concert series. 

We have been missing our CUP family and performances this summer. We have been missing our work, rehearsals, the song and dance, and each other, and we want to share the music. 

For the month of August, we will be featuring CUP actors singing and dancing Broadway. These performances will be on video, featured on our CUP Facebook page. 

We will happily accept donations to keep us “Stayin Alive,” either on our Web page,, or by mail at P.O. Box 2218. 

We are excited to perform for you and appreciate your continued support of our theater organization of 31 years.

Curtains Up Pagosa welcomes new president and treasurer Mon, 03 Aug 2020 11:00:32 +0000

Photo courtesy Dale Johnson
Ricardo and Nora Martinez, the new president and treasurer, respectively, for Curtains Up Pagosa.

By Dale Johnson
Curtains Up Pagosa

In the fall of 2018 during auditions for Curtains Up Pagosa’s (CUP) “Nutcracker the Musical,” we were delighted to meet a young newcomer to Pagosa, Sophie Martinez, who stole our hearts with her song and dance, and kindness. Little did we know then how big a part she and her family would play in our organization. 

So, this year when Kim and Walt Moore announced they would be stepping back from their board roles and we were pondering who might fill their shoes, I went straight to Ricardo and Nora Martinez, Sophie’s parents. They had already been active in volunteering with CUP since they moved here, helping out with every aspect of productions. We had already observed their kindness and support with our cast, especially our young actors. We were beyond excited and very grateful when they accepted taking on the responsibilities of Ricardo as president and Nora as treasurer.

The Martinez family came to us from Laredo, Texas, where they both worked in public health. They actually learned about Pagosa from an article in Cowboys and Indians Magazine. They came to Pagosa initially to escape the Texas heat and then, like so many of us, fell in love with the mountains, the beauty, the peace of this place. Ricardo and Nora Martinez also were touched and impressed with Pagosa’s hospitality and the kindness of its people.

Ricardo Martinez is the clinic director at Archuleta Integrated Healthcare, part of the Axis Health System, while Nora Martinez is the director of Head Start locally. Sophie Martinez will enter sixth grade in the fall.

When I asked Ricardo Martinez why he would be willing to take on this challenging role, he said that while watching many rehearsals and being part of CUP productions that he had “been touched and inspired to see kids of all ages, from 9-90, give so much of themselves, for the love of performing and music and dance and theater.” 

Watching them interact, mentor and support each other, seeing self-confidence grow, and watching personal transformations had a big impact on both Ricardo and Nora Martinez. CUP is wrapping its arms in a virtual hug around the Martinez family as they step into CUP.

Thingamajig’s Perry Davis Harper wins best actor Fri, 31 Jul 2020 11:00:55 +0000

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

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

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.

Curtains Up Pagosa says goodbye to long-time board members Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:00:46 +0000

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.