Driving into the Four Corners felt like coming home. Arriving at my family home in Dolores was being home. Walking into the Durango Arts Center was like arriving at my second home.
I have just returned from attending graduate school at the Accademia dell’ Arte in Arezzo, Italy, where I earned my Masters of Fine Arts degree, specializing in devised and physical theater with emphasis in voice, movement, circus arts, Commedia dell’ Arte, and mask performance and construction.
I wasn’t sure if I would ever come back. But Durango and DAC called, and like so many artists who have left, I found myself circling back to my roots.
This summer, I am working with DAC as an actor and choreographer for its summer production, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and also working as an instructor, director and choreographer for the DAC Applause! Program’s performing arts summer camps.
I am amazed at how Durango and the theater community has grown in recent years to support so many new and emerging artists, and it has been exciting to reconnect with the organizations and people who helped shape my own career.
Dr. Ginny Davis, the director of “Charlie Brown,” is my own former professor from Fort Lewis College and a continued mentor. I have also been proud to perform in “Charlie Brown” with fellow alumni and current students of the FLC Theatre and Music departments.
During my time in the FLC Theatre Department, I was encouraged to explore performance opportunities both locally and outside the area.
It was during this time, and years after graduating, that I was fortunate enough to work with numerous theater companies in the area and several female theater artists who have been instrumental in shaping me as the artist I am today.
It was the opportunities that I received at these venues and the knowledge I absorbed from these incredible theater professionals that inspired me to leave the safe haven of the Four Corners to explore what the rest of the world had to offer in the theater arts.
The DAC staff has been a true support in my professional development, as I know they have for several artists in the region – from assisting in producing my work when no one else would, to helping me gain confidence as a performing artist and teacher of the next generation.
The Durango community is a place to explore and share art, and DAC is the place for experiencing creativity at every age.
I am full of gratitude to return home and give back to the thriving arts community that has and continues to support me professionally and enrich me personally.
I invite you all to come into the Durango Arts Center this summer to experience a live theater show, view the spectacular work in the galleries or peek in on the dynamic art camps at work and at play.
Alyse M. Neubert is currently performing as Lucy in the Durango Arts Center’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and is a lead instructor for DAC’s summer children’s theater camps.