Creede Repertory Theatre considers outdoor venue


City needs more specifics before it makes

CREEDE — The Creede Repertory Theatre is looking at a potential outdoor venue for its 2021 season and sought approval from the City of Creede during a special meeting on March 16.

During the meeting, CRT Artistic Director John DiAntonio opened with a letter explaining the process by which the theatre would perform shows and asked that the $25 a day fee be waived to help with additional expense to the theatre.

In a letter submitted by DiAntonio and Managing Director Morgan M. Manfredi it stated, “Given the limitations of indoor capacity and strict regulations from Actors Equity Association, Creede Repertory Theatre (CRT) is seeking an outdoor venue for our 2021 Summer Season. Sieme Park would be an ideal location for CRT. CRT is seeking an exclusive rental of Sieme Park from Monday, June 7 through Tuesday, September 7, 2021 — a total of 93 days. CRT requests that the City of Creede waives the $25 daily park rental fee, a total of $2,325.

“Performances would take place from on or about June 24 through September 5, 2021. CRT plans for six performances per week between Wednesday and Sunday, primarily evening shows (7 p.m. curtain) with one or two matinees (11 a.m. and or 2 p.m.) per week. Amplified sound-music will occur only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.; CRT will adhere to any other City noise ordinances.”

The theatre closed for the 2020 season due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic and though hundreds of donations were made to the theatre during the year, the organization suffered through the closure like many business and organizations nation-wide.

With vaccines spreading throughout the community and with the help of community members and travelers alike, the theatre is optimistic for a smaller 2021 season in an outdoor venue.

“CRT would like to erect a temporary stage on the dirt patch on the far east side of the park,” theatre officials stated. “Four Port-o-Potties will be on site from June 21 through September 6, 2021 — they will be serviced regularly. Avery Augur has given permission for patrons to park vehicles on the dirt lot across the street to the west — CRT will staff the parking lot and the crosswalk between the lot and the park to ensure safety.

CRT is adhering to strict regulations from Actors Equity Association and working with Silver Thread Public Health to develop COVID safety plans with appropriate distancing, egress, and cleaning protocols. Avery Augur, owner of Creede America, is in enthusiastic support of this endeavor, CRT officials stated.

DiAntonio also stated that the theatre is considering a discounted ticket price to help bring people to the area and though they will be wading through both state and local guidelines as well as guidelines set by the Actors Equity Association, Sieme Park would be an appropriate venue for the vision they have for the coming season.

Some concerns brought up by the board was making sure the theatre had people to clean the park before and after shows without burdening the city’s Public Works department. DiAntonio explained that the theatre would have a full front of house team designated to complete those tasks before and after every show.

Other concerns from the board included whether or not the theatre would be serving beverages or food during performances and would they place signage on the road next to the park to warn people that there were pedestrians as well as increased vehicles during showtimes.

DiAntonio stated that the theatre would not be serving any kind of food or beverages besides water during performances at this time and that proper signs would be placed before and during performances on the main road beside the park.

The board approved the continuation of plans for the possibility of having CRT perform at Sieme Park and to return with plans in place that would contain more details such as capacity limits, electrical connection needs and other specifics before issuing a final approval. The city is in full support of the theatre’s endeavor and will continue to work with them in order to see this season become a success.

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