Final weekend for Thingamajig’s ‘The Pillowman’

Photo courtesy Thingamajig Theatre Company Will Hardyman as Katurian in “The Pillowman.” There is one weekend left to see “The Pillowman,” with performances at 7 p.m. tonight and Friday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

Photo courtesy Thingamajig Theatre Company
Will Hardyman as Katurian in “The Pillowman.” There is one weekend left to see “The Pillowman,” with performances at 7 p.m. tonight and Friday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

By Audrey Crocker
Special to The PREVIEW

Any time a patron enters a theater, he is inundated with a lot of information. Thingamajig Theatre Company is no different.

Located in the beautiful Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, Thingamajig immediately presents a patron with a haunted forest ready for Halloween, a beautiful art gallery decked out with local art and a shop/bar where folks can purchase mementos and snacks.

A trip into the theater will provide him with the set for a new play, which very shortly will house professional actors, putting their work on display to tell a story. There are a few things you don’t see, though, and they are things of great importance.

You (hopefully) never see the backstage crew. You miss the ways things are rigged to create theater magic. You miss the incredibly fast quick changes that happen just behind the curtain. And, perhaps most importantly, not on display is the director of the piece you have come to see.

Unless you come to opening night, you likely will not meet or see a director after the project has opened and, thus, remain unaware of the profound affect a single person can have on a collaborative art such as theater.

Thingamajig’s production of “The Pillowman” is a great example of collaboration between director and actor, producer and designers, and all under the leadership of one Melissa Firlit.

In her fourth directing project at Thingamajig Theatre Company, Firlit’s name has become synonymous with daring, artistic and truthful work. Her debut direction here in Pagosa was with the brilliant one-man show, “Misterman,” starring Pagosa favorite Craig Dolezel.

Following were the challenging and fantastic productions of “Red,” “A Picasso” and “The Secret Garden.” If you have seen multiple productions Firlit has directed, you recognize the hallmark stamp of creativity and ingenuity that she brings as an artist. Sets are conceived in an unexpected manner, actors are brought out of their shells to produce honest work and the audience is left stunned by the product in front of them.

Thingamajig is proud to continue to work with such a skilled and generous director and doesn’t plan on releasing her soon.

Firlit is a perfect fit for a company whose ambition is to provide world-class theater to a community that is clearly hungry for such an endeavor. She relentlessly pursues truth and integrity in story-telling, both from her cast and herself.

Her work in “The Pillowman” is a great example of her commitment to text and the heartbeat of the play, whether that is a beautiful tale of a young girl or a macabre tale of murder and mystery. Firlit knocks it out of the park once again with this black comedy in which she expertly led the cast to toe the line between shock and hilarity.

The Pillowman runs through Nov. 1. Thursday and Friday’s performances are at 7 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $28 in advance and $33 at the door. Visit pagosacenter.org or call 731-SHOW (7469) for more information.

This story was posted on October 30, 2015.