CREEDE—CRT’s Headwaters New Play Festival is the source of new plays in the West and fosters the development of new plays for CRT’s stages and beyond. 2017 Playwrights will spend one week in development with a cast, director, and dramaturg at Creede Repertory Theatre, culminating in public readings and performances Aug. 25-26.
This year’s plays in development include “Visible from Four States” by Barbara Hammond, “The Mess of Us” by Moss Kaplan and Greg Ungar and “Caliban’s Island” by Diana Burbano. Readings will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25. Saturday, Aug. 26 will premiere our 2017 Young Audience Outreach Tour Show, “Albert Porter: Boy Explorer.” The weekend also features two performances of the World Premiere production, “General Store,” by Brian Watkins on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26, which was one of last year’s festival selections. “Dramaturgy for Visible from Four States” and “The Mess of Us” is by Jessica Kahkoska.
“We’ve created a safe haven for playwrights to collaborate at Creede Repertory Theatre. Our Headwaters New Play Festival is a place where insightful, thrilling, thought-provoking theatre is born,” says Interim Executive Director John DiAntonio. “Our 2017 presentation of three new plays will elicit deep and exciting discussions, broaden our view of humanity, and expand the stories we share with each other. ‘Visible from Four States’ captivates with its incisive and heart-wrenching conflict; ‘The Mess of Us’ explores complicated family relationships with a hilarious twist; and Caliban’s Island, a Shakespearian riff, takes us on a fantastical adventure.”
This year’s staged readings include:
Visible From Four States
By Barbara Hammond, Directed by Kent Thompson
This subtle, profound story will grip you until the final blackout. “Visible from Four States” centers around a small American town wrestling with whether to put a cross or a cellphone tower on its only hilltop. As the townspeople grapple over their core beliefs, the local prison warden’s friendship deepens with a young man on death row. Barbara Hammond explores the deepest issues of responsibility, tradition, and mercy by placing each of her characters at the modern crossroads of belief and communication. Can an individual carry the moral burden of a nation?
Barbara Hammond (playwright) Hammond is a new dramatists resident playwright and is currently under commission from the Royal Court Theatre with her new play “Terra Firma.” The Evan Trilogy will have its world premiere at the Magic Theatre in the fall of 2017 and “We are Pussy Riot” or “Everything is P.R.” will have its west coast premiere at Theatre Battery in Seattle in August 2017. Barbara and her plays have won recognition, awards, funding, residencies and commissions from many national and international sources, including The Royal Court, New Dramatists, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Moscow’s VGLAZ. She is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, and was named one of the Influential Women of 2011 by the Irish Voice. She lives in New York City.
Kent Thompson (director) is a theatre director, producer, consultant and author. He served as producing artistic director of the Denver Center Theatre Company (2005-2017) and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (1989-2005). He created the Colorado New Play Summit, Off-Center, the Women’s Voices Fund, and the Southern Writer’s Project. Widely known for his support for new plays, Kent has produced 45 world premieres, and commissioned/ workshopped dozens more. Kent served as a trustee and board president of the Theatre Communications Group. He has served on numerous peer panels, including Doris Duke Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Panel (also chair), and Fulbright Scholars Panel, among others. He is currently a member of the Playwright Award Advisory Committee of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He is finishing a book entitled, “Directing Professionally.” He is married to Kathleen McCall.
The Mess of Us
By Moss Kaplan and Greg Ungar, Directed by Lynne Collins
Sam and Ross’s life is getting a bit messy: their 15 year-old daughter Ruby is caught sexting, a job opportunity threatens to uproot the family, Sam’s mother has become something of a hoarder, and now the family’s off to Vermont to help clean out her ramshackle home. But there’s more to clean up than is possible for this combustible family. “The Mess of Us” is an intelligent, big-hearted comedy that will test the bounds of a family’s love and leave audiences rolling in the aisles.
Moss Kaplan (playright) is currently co-chair of the Creative Writing Department at
Denver School of the Arts. He has a BA in theatre from Lewis and Clark College, a diploma from Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City, and an MA in English Education from The University of Colorado at Boulder. He is currently finishing a second master’s degree in creative writing. He recently published the creative nonfiction essay “Viewing the Dead” in The Literary Review.
Greg Ungar (playwright) is an actor, director and writer who has worked at New Swan Shakespeare Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Orange County, The Hunger Artist Theatre, The Comedy Central Space (Hollywood), Improv Olympic, Curious Theatre, and South Coast Repertory. He has an MFA and Ph.D from the University of California, Irvine, and is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of Denver.
Lynne Collins (director) is the artistic director for plays in the Arvada Center’s Black Box Theatre where she recently directed Tartuffe and The Drowning Girls. Locally Lynne directed for six seasons at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, including Much Ado About Nothing (Denver Post Ovation Award nominee, Best Comedy), Romeo and Juliet (Denver Post Ovation Award nominee, Best Drama) and Noises Off (True West Award Winner, Best Comedy). She was an Affiliate Artist and resident director with the Foothill Theatre Company in California from 1990 to 2009 where she directed many productions, including The Glass Menagerie, Woody Guthrie’s American Song and Dancing at Lughnasa. She directed many productions for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival including Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth. She studied at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, HB Studio in New York and with Stella Adler. She holds an MA from San Francisco State University.
By Diana Burbano, Directed by Charlie Oates
Characters from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “The Tempest” intertwine when a young girl with magical powers, a deceptively cute fairy, and a horned monster with a heart of gold. Caliban’s Island explores the struggle between wishes, dreams and wisdom.
Bring the entire family to this witty, whimsical celebration of language and life. Part “Peter And The Starcatcher,” part Shakespeare, Burbano writes with a unique voice all her own.
Diana Burbano (playwright) is a Colombian immigrant, an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist. Written works include Policarpa, Drama league Rough Draft series May 2017, Fabulous Monsters, Festival51 2016 winner, about women in Punk Rock, Picture me Rollin’ (featured at the 35th annual William Inge Festival and Inkfest at 2cents.), Silueta, (about the Cuban artist Ana Mendieta), with Tom and Chris Shelton, and the TYA Shakespeare mash-up, Caliban’s Island 2017 Headwaters New Play Festival at Creede Repertory. (Published by YouthPLAYS). Libertadoras, Vamping and Linda were written for the 365 Women a Year with Linda featured in more that 20 festivals over the last year, including Center Theatre Group’s community library series. Diana is one of the original members of the writers circle for Latino Theatre Association/ Los Angeles. She is also a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. dianaburbano.com
Charlie Oates (director) has directed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Around the World in 80 Days, Mrs. Mannerly, The 39 Steps, The Mystery of Irma Vep, A Beautiful Country (which he also wrote) and Ladder to the Moon (which he co-authored with his daughter Rakaia) for Creede Rep. Other recent directing credits include, Fool for Love for Chalk Rep in Los Angeles, A Lie of the Mind at UC San Diego, Flush at Theatre Alfred in Prague and Save You, Hate Me at RAW Tempel in Berlin and Damascus at UCSD’s Wagner New Play Festival. As a movement coach and fight choreographer and he has worked at the San Diego Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Denver Center Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse and Chautauqua Theatre Company. He has conducted residencies at actor training programs around the world, and taught at several American institutions including his long time position teaching movement at UC San Diego where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.
World Premiere of Young Audience Outreach Tour (Yaot):
CRT’s Headwaters Festival also includes the world premiere, fully-staged performance of our acclaimed Young Audience Outreach Tour at 10am on Saturday August 26 at The Ruth. Celebrating 34 years of bringing excellent bilingual musical theatre to schools across the Southwest, Creede Repertory Theatre’s Young Audience Outreach Tour (YAOT) is one of the largest providers of educational theatre to the rural Southwest, serving over 24,000 children in over sixty communities. YAOT’s mission is to bring high quality musical theatre to young audiences in rural and underserved communities by annually producing an original children’s show that tours throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. After the performance, each child receives an original book that reinforces the play’s themes and connects with their school curriculum. In 2016, YAOT served 24,047 children from 97 schools, nearly half of whom are minority and many speak English as a second language. This year’s tour is:
Albert Porter: Boy Explorer/Niño Explorador
Albert Porter is an ordinary kid in every sort of way. At least that’s what he thinks – until he discovers the people and stories from the past that make him exceptional. Throughout his journey he learns about the many cultures that make up Colorado’s diverse landscape: including Pueblo and Ute ancestors, Hispano explorers, and more. Travel with Albert as he adventures through time, discovering the rich cultures that weave together the contemporary landscape of the Southwest!
Lojo Simon (playwright) - Lojo Simon is extraordinarily excited to bring Albert Porter: Boy Explorer (Niño Explorador) to children and families in Creede and the Four Corners area! Lojo’s other plays for young audiences include Nice & Slow, which won the Old Miner Playwriting Award and toured Utah schools earlier this year; Mi Corazón; and a commissioned middle-school play for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre. She also writes grown-up plays, which have won awards and been produced nationwide, making audiences laugh and cry and hopefully spend more time thinking about their humanity and connection to the people and world around them. You can learn more about Lojo at www.lojosimon.com and read her plays on the New Play Exchange.
Ian LeRoy (composer) - Ian is a composer, music director and musician. Ian is excited to be working with CRT this summer! He is currently a graduate student at the Dana School of Music, where he is studying conducting with a focus on musical theatre and opera. He is a proud alum of the University of Mount Union, having worked with both the music and theatre departments during his time. Some favorite music direction credits include: Jesus Christ Superstar at Near West Theatre, Avenue Q: School Edition at the Beck Center for the Arts, and West Side Story at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse.
Mallory Logan (illustrator) - Mallory is the owner and creative director of RoShamBo Marketing + Creative in sunny Gunnison, Colorado. RoShamBo has essentially served as CRT’s in-house design team from afar since 2012. Mallory is excited to expand RoShamBo’s reach through Creede Rep by serving up vibrant illustrations for the Young Audience Outreach Tour’s traveling tour book!
Melissa Firlit (director) - Melissa Firlit is a New York City based director and teaching artist. Recent credits include: Aida, Buyer & Cellar, A Few Good Men, Red, A Picasso, The Pillowman (Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts), Dracula (Mile Square Theatre), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (The Princeton Festival), Misterman (The Dairy Center & PSCA), Bubba (FringeNYC, Theatre Tuscaloosa), SIDD (Chicago Fringe), Trojan Women: A Love Story (Fort Lewis College), Stop Kiss (Wagner College) and Under Construction, Fabulation, Machinal, Solitary, boom, Any Place But Here, Lone Star and Lost Persons (Rutgers University). She teaches at various institutions nationwide. Her passion lies in the collaborative development of new work with playwrights. Training includes: MFA in Directing: Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, BA in theater and a minor in music: The University of Hartford and The O’Neill National Theater Institute. Associate Member SDC. www.melissafirlit.com.
For a complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets visit us online at http://creederep.org/headwaters/ or call our box office at 719-658-2540.