Theatre Aspen announces upcoming summer season details

Staff report

Theatre Aspen’s third annual Aspen Theatre Festival, featuring new plays and musicals being developed for the stage, will run Sept. 8 through 16 and will welcome workshops of “The Mad Show!,” a new comic musical in development by the minds behind Mad Magazine and Second City. Writer Rich Talarico, most recently of “Key & Peele,” will team with comic and musical talent in Aspen to work on the show.

Theatre Aspen also this week announced the casts of its upcoming season of summer shows, which includes the musical “Hairspray,” the play “Sex with Strangers” and the children’s show “The World According to Snoopy.”

Award-winning director and Theatre Aspen regular Mark Martino returns to to direct the Tony-winning musical, with Taylor Hartsfield in the lead as Tracy Turnblad. The Turnblad parents will be portrayed by Patrick Richwood (Wilbur) and Kevin Carolan (Edna). Elise Kinnon, who previously appeared in the company’s productions of “Mamma Mia!” and “Cabaret,” returns as Velma Von Tussel. They will be joined onstage by Tamara Della Anderson (Motormouth Mabel), Denis Lambert (Corny Collins), Annabel O’Hagan (Amber), Abigail Isom (Penny), Christian Probst (Link), Stephen Scott Wormley (Seaweed), Carlita Victoria (Little Inez), Taylor O’Toole, Gianna Yanelli, Gabriel Bernal, Kayla Ryan Walsh, Rachel Webb, Karma Jenkins, Keith Gruber, Isaiah Reynolds, Michael Gorman, and Wesley J. Barnes.

The two-person drama “Sex with Strangers” by Laura Eason will star Jessica Robblee (Olivia) and Patrick Ball (Ethan).

Kaitlin Hopkins directs the newly revised musical “The World According to Snoopy,” featuring Charles Schulz’s iconic characters. Gabriel Bernal stars as Snoopy, and the “Peanuts” gang is played by Keith Gruber (Charlie Brown), Wesley J. Barnes (Woodstock), Gianna Yanelli (Sally), Taylor O’Toole (Lucy), Christian Probst (Linus), and Abigail Isom (Peppermint Patty).

The trio of shows will be performed in repertory from June 27 to Aug. 19 at the Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park.

Theatre Aspen was the most-awarded theatre in Colorado last year, winning eight Henry Awards for the 2015 season, including Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company, Outstanding Production of a Musical (“Cabaret”), and several awards for the actors and creative teams.

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