Celebrating 30 years of bringing theatre arts to Aspen, CO, Theatre Aspen is an institution and an opportunity to enjoy enriching entertainment a short walk from the core.
Their mission: “Theatre Aspen’s mission is to entertain, enlighten, enrich, educate and challenge the residents and visitors of the Roaring Fork Valley through professional quality theatrical productions, new play development initiatives and a broad spectrum of education programs. This is abundantly clear if you have had the opportunity to enjoy any of a myriad of works presented in their summer and winter seasons.
Each season they tend to present a diverse collection of plays including, drama, comedy, original plays and timeless classics. This small theatre tackled the grand master of musicals, “Les Miserables” in a two hour forty five minute grand and uplifting experience that packs an emotional wallop and thrilled audiences.
The depth of one of their actors was highlighted in Fully Committed. A rapid-fire play that is knock funny without being slapstick or obvious, and it does so via an inventive one-man conceit that has one actor playing 40 parts in 75 minutes!
In the 2013 season the theatre performed, Cross That River, a musical about the Black West, celebrating the important role of America’s Black Cowboys who represented nearly half of the brave individuals who drove cattle northward after the Civil War. The story not only illustrates the horrors of slavery but also transports the audience to the unsettled West of the 1860’s through the eyes of our protagonist “Blue,” a former, and now freed, slave. It is an entertaining and personal story of hardship and enduring perseverance.
In addition to spellbinding performance the theatre has several education programs. Including but not limited to after school programs where children from local schools learn to sing, act and gain confidence on stage. A Winter Conservatory where local youth rehearse from October to December and then have a Christmas show during the holidays. The education programs are just for kids though, Adult acting classed run in six week blocks, so if you feel you missed your calling and want to take a shot at acting this could be just the opportunity you are looking for.
Performances are held in the Rio Grans Park, a short and lovely stroll from downtown Aspen. The Theatre has been fortunate enough to build a new tent over the last year and the results are great. A larger space the feels more intimate with great acoustics and more comfortable seating.
If you are in the mood for something different on your next ski vacation to Aspen a trip to the Theatre may just be it.