CREEDE— The Eighth Annual Headwaters New Play Festival kicked off this weekend in Creede and brought in crowds from all walks of life. The Creede Repertory Theatre has had an amazing season, featuring plays that have stunned audiences all summer long and though the season is coming to an end, the theatre wowed crowds during their new play festival event as well.
The 2019 season featured a play selected from the 2018 Headwaters New Play Festival titled “Hazardous Materials,” by Beth Kander that received excellent reviews from several audiences that attended. This particular play will run until Sept. 13 and is described as dramatic and highly entertaining.
“This is my first season doing the new play festival but from what I can see, this was an exceptional year attendance-wise,” said Marketing and Communications Manager Brandon Davis. “The reading went very well and there was a great response from the audience that attended. The audience was engaged and very responsive to the two new plays.”
This year the festival featured North Star by Georgette Kelly. According to the synopsis, “Summer in the north woods of Minnesota—the days are long. The stars are bright. But when it gets dark, it gets really dark. North Star is a new play that centers around an all-female group of campers and counselors coping with violence that leaves them utterly vulnerable. At the crux of this play is the question: what happens when social contracts are broken, when gun violence breaks through places that should feel safe, and when young people lose trust in the adults in their lives? Their stories are entwined with the French-Canadian myth of La Chasse-Galerie, in which a group of voyageurs made a deal with the devil to journey home in a flying canoe in order to see their lost loved ones. This play takes a hard look at wilderness, both historical and contemporary: from the isolation of the woods in the 19th Century to the wild rash of gun violence currently sweeping our nation. The characters in ‘North Star’ are all explorers, trying to find a path through their own frontiers.”
The second play was titled “Into Place” by Skye Robinson Hillis. “In a small town in Indiana, Frank Wheelan has lived every day the same since he can remember. Work, beer, bingo, Amazing Race night. When a former childhood crush returns to town with her ailing son, he begins to see things in a new way and his small life begins to grow and soon fills him to the brim with emotions and motivations he doesn’t understand. As she grapples with potentially losing her son, Frank and his friends learn to open themselves up to new possibilities and prepare for what may await them outside county lines.”
The festival also included two showings of this year’s Young Audience Outreach Tour play titled, Best Foot Forward! El Mejor Pie Adelante! which included music by Brandon Scott Grayson and is directed by Melissa Firlit. According to the description, “Sawyer McNally really wants to win the ‘Dance Starz’ crown, but the competition is fierce, and ‘Lil G’ Gonzalez has all the right moves. When a storm forces the two dancers from different walks of life to get to know one another, Sawyer learns that there are more important things in life than winning. An original, bilingual musical, Best Foot Forward exposes students to a variety of music and dance styles, promotes appreciation of differences and reinforces positive behavioral patterns.”
Davis also stated that the attendance for the Young Audience Outreach Tour was in top form with two sold out shows each performance. “We had two teams doing the two performances and we had a great turn out for both. Over all the weekend was a great success.”