Fresh faces take center stage at Theatre Aspen
The Aspen Times
If You Go …
What: Theatre Aspen Apprentice Showcase
Where: Hurst Theatre, Rio Grande Park
When: Sunday, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.
How much: $33
The young performers in the Theatre Aspen Apprentice program get their time in the spotlight this weekend.
The musical actors, who have shared the stage with pros in three Theatre Aspen shows all summer, are staging a showcase Sunday night at the Hurst Theatre. The one-night production promises show tunes, jazz standards, pop songs, a bit of tap dancing and four numbers from the composer/lyricist team behind “Legally Blonde,” Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin, who are Theatre Aspen’s composers-in-residence this summer.
Apprentices this summer range in age from 16 to 25, coming mostly from conservatories, colleges and graduate schools around the U.S. (the youngest is Aspen High School’s own Lyon Hamill, who plays Lennie in “Junie B. Jones”). The program is in its third year and has already become a sought-after gig nationwide for young theater students seeking experience. Theatre Aspen received more than 500 applications for its 13 spots this year. The class is a cross-section of artists, including seven actors, three designers, one stage manager, one art administrator and one educator.
“They go on this huge journey over the summer,” said David Gram, associate director at Theatre Aspen and its apprentice coordinator. “They learn about themselves as professional artists. … We look at the showcase as a celebration and the culmination of their time here.”
In Aspen, apprentices work alongside Broadway and regional theater professionals while also taking master classes and teaching in the theater’s school (and working theater concession stands). It provides a unique, creative experience.
“From an apprentice perspective, I’m freaking out that a) we get to work with these people and b) that we’re treated as equals with the rest of the cast,” performance apprentice Spencer Hansen of Texas State University, said in July.