Want to know a secret?
August 17, 2005
Indiscretions, fantasies, guilt, wrongdoing, longings, skeletons in closets – in short, secrets of all sorts – will be revealed Sunday on the Theatre Aspen stage.Aspiring local actress Ellie Davis has spent the better part of a month collecting secrets from Roaring Fork Valley residents for her monologue, part of Theatre Aspen’s Sunday Series.Accompanied by cellist-music student Gabrielle Athayde, Davis will read from a collection of roughly 100 anonymous confessions donated to her performance.
She placed collection boxes up and down the Roaring Fork Valley and invited residents to share their deepest secrets in writing. Many – at least in Aspen and Carbondale – apparently complied. “I was really pretty blown away by what people shared. I was honored,” said Davis, who works as a massage therapist in addition to her theatrical pursuits. The performance, she said, “is a lot of different things, but it’s definitely funny.”Inspiration for “Secrets of the Roaring Fork Valley” came both from a website on which people post their secrets and the practice of writing out burdens and then burning the paper as a means of release.”I think it’s gorgeous to have the smoke take it away; I love the idea of cyberspace and having the anonymity there,” said Davis, who hopes her reading of secrets has the same symbolic effect. She said she plans to sprinkle a few secrets from her own life into the performance.
“Hopefully, I won’t blush doing mine,” she said.Among those who shared their secrets, some thanked Davis for giving them a chance to confess something they’ve kept buried for years. Some clearly tried to disguise their handwriting as they poured their confessions onto paper.When they hear the secrets read aloud, Davis hopes audience members realize they’re not alone in life’s missteps, embarrassments and shameful moments.”I would never mock or ridicule somebody for something they had kept hidden, but I do want to shed light … we’re not isolated. We’re not the only one who has done these crazy things,” she said.
Davis, no stranger to local theatrical productions, is bringing her second work to the Theatre Aspen stage this summer. Last month, she organized and performed in “An Evening of Tough Love,” featuring musical selections, readings and a short play she wrote.Her performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the tent at Rio Grande Park. Tickets are $10 at the door.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org