A complex treat is coming our way in early February - one with so many facets that theater buffs may want to move into the Fort Lewis College Theatre Department from Feb. 4 to 7.
The treat even offers a live production of that tribute to high-kicking, gilded, Broadway scrappers, "A Chorus Line."
The Rocky Mountain Theatre Association is bringing its annual festival to Fort Lewis College this year. It's an exercise they do to give students and theater professionals a chance to learn and expand their experience by working with one another.
They're bringing a musical, a drama, a dance concert (a collaboration with many of our local dancers) and an original art work plus workshops, classes, competitions and employment auditions.
Kathryn Moller, the FLC Theatre Department's chairwoman, said Monday she didn't know how Fort Lewis was picked but hoped the department's reputation was making the rounds.
Moller received an invitation from the association two years ago, allowing plenty of time to prepare. Consequently all of the department's faculty and staff as well as a task force of students are organizing the myriad details they'll need for the visitors.
Last year's festival was in Lakewood, near Denver, with 400 people attending.
The week's headliner must be "A Chorus Line," which will be performed by a company from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Appropriately for the times, it's the epitome of "Yes, I can" determination with dancing Broadway gypsies trying to claw their way into the line, though they're not big on Obama-esque cooperation.
It's showing at the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. (the starting time for the four main shows) Feb. 5.
The musical will constitute the second night of dance in the concert hall. On Feb. 4, the association plans a collaborative concert with dancers from across the state performing alongside local dancers and choreographers.
The drama is David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole," played by the Adams State College Theatre from Alamosa. It's a drama about the effect on parents of a child's accidental death. Cynthia Nixon, of "Sex and the City" recently led a company performing the play in New York. This will play Feb. 6 at the college's Mainstage Theatre.
Moller warned that tickets may be limited. Two hundred people have signed up for the entire festival, and they will have preference. Because the hall holds only 220, there will be a crowd.
The original work is from the Community College of Aurora - "Glimpses ... Portraits of the Soul: The Stories of Our CCA Community," written by the players. It's a multimedia performance about the students themselves and how their community fits together. It will be Feb. 7 at the Mainstage Theatre.
Moller said the major performances are chosen by the association. But the piece she is proudest of adding to the mix is workshops by actors and teachers Kari Margolis and John Flax.
Moller said she has wanted to bring Margolis to the campus for years. She is an actor and director who has evolved a method based on the actor's physicality. Her workshops will cost an extra $20 above the $55 base fee for the four days. Auditions also will be extra.
Besides all this, players from Creeds will do an afternoon reading of "Reviving Ophelia." Moller promised readings each day.
Moller said the base of the financing has come from the association, though Linda Schott, dean of Fort Lewis's School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has contributed funds.