Theater impossible without backstage help
Dear Editor:I had the good fortune to be the set designer for the recent production of “The Sound of Music,” presented by Aspen Community Theatre. Many people have been very kind to compliment me. While it gave me great pleasure to design the overall visual conception, it took many people from all over the valley who gave their time to help create what was seen on the stage. I would like the community to recognize them.The set builders: technical director, master carpenter and rigger Brian Beacom; carpenter and run-of-show carpenter Denis Cyrus; and carpenter Ned Sullivan.The scenic artists assisted me and created much of what you saw: Mo Clow, Hailey Dart, Nicole Denholm, John Goss, Lizzie Klein, Linda Koones, Mark McKinney, Margie Musgrave, Virginia Pearce, Rob Price, Jessica Salet, Helene Slansky, Staci Wallace and Jay Wiviot.Beth Oden, Diane Wallace, and Aspen High School student Zach Oden found or created the props and helped with the set.The backstage crew, unseen by the audience and run by AHS senior Tyler Baker, included Meghan Braisted, Kerri Kimmel, Skyler MacLean, Lauren Peisach, Charlie Roselle and Sarah Shultz. They are all, with the exception of Charlie, AHS students.On the fly rail: head flyman, Nate Hernandez, Mel Greene and AHS student Kelsi Coia.Other highly involved AHS students included: Spencer Adams, Ian Soroka, Natasha Gitlitz and Fallon Chitty on sound; Danny Bacheldor, Weston Boyles, Kevin Colombe, Noah Hoffman and Andre Preusch on lights; and dressers Kourtni Keller and Sierra McKinney.The theater arts students of Aspen Middle School and AHS participated as part of their curriculum. Coordinating the movement of every scenic element by the cast and crew was stage manager Loren Wilder and her assistants backstage, Becky Dillon and Shirley Tipton. Costumes were created, altered and repaired by Carol Auld, Sallie Enderlin, Elaine Gerson, Kaitlin Gerson, Kelsey Gerson, Linda Kleher, Kathryn Koch, Brenda McCartney and Uri Merriman.Theatre is a collaborative art form, and I want to acknowledge the other creative artists who collaborated with me: lighting designer Lloyd Sobel, costume designer Kathleen Albert, sound designer Arman Boyles, and music director Wendy Larson. What you saw was an amalgamation of all our designs. Without their talents, sets are just a bunch of wood, steel, fabric and paint.Fifty talented actors not only gave you a fabulous performance but assisted with sets as well. Their talents onstage, combined with those behind the scenes, become the well-oiled human machine that makes live theatre.Brad Moore, director of the District Theatre, was helpful in so many ways; his creative schedule-juggling of theater classes, auditorium use, and other performances made it possible for us to finish large set pieces on the stage.Producers Rita Hunter and Jody Hecht assisted the creative team, allowing us to fulfill our vision, while keeping the business and financial side of production under control. They also fed everyone on workdays.Director Marisa Post had a strong and clear vision of the show, and she guided the artistic team, actors, musicians and crew toward our final goal and ultimately the performance you saw.Thank you to everyone involved in the scenes, behind the scenes, and those who sat in the seats for supporting live theater. Aren’t we fortunate to have such a talented and vibrant community of players and playgoers?Tom WardAspen
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City of Aspen officials are trying to figure out what the downtown core looks like this winter as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state and in some parts of the country.