Aspen Fringe Fest to reopen Wheeler Opera House June 11 and 12

The 13th annual Aspen Fringe Festival will bring live dance, theater, film, music and a photography show to the stage of the Wheeler Opera House June 11 and 12, reopening the historic theater following a 15-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The program will feature a new ballet, “Phoenix Rising,” choreographed by Adrianna Thompson and performed by former Aspen Santa Fe Ballet dancers Katherine Bolanos, Seia Rassenti and Anthony Tiedeman. Aspen Santa Fe dissolved its acclaimed locally based company in March due to the pandemic.

“This original work is dedicated to all performers who must now struggle to spread their wings again and breathe new life into their art,” reads a draft Fringe Fest announcement.

The program will also include a new dance piece by Mark Caserta and performed by Samantha Alenau, who relocated to Snowmass Village during the pandemic and made her local debut in Fringe’s FallFest program in September 2020.

Short theater on the program will include new work by former Fringe resident playwrights Sharr White, Simon Stephens and Penelope Skinner with casts of local actors including Fringe co-founder David Ledingham, Sonya Meyer, Mike Monroney, Aidan Ledingham and Kathy Pelowski.

A new classical musical work, “The Light Fantasie,” composed for Aspen-based mezzo-soprano Nikki Boxer, will premiere at the festival.

A short film written by Stephens and a multimedia presentation of Aspen photographer Jim Paussa’s portaits of local restaurant workers are also on the bill.

More details about the program and seating capacity are expected to be released by May 25, when tickets will go on sale. Updates and virtual previews of the festival are also expected at