Alleman takes center stage at the Lake Dillon Theatre |

Alleman takes center stage at the Lake Dillon Theatre

DILLON -Chris Alleman almost became trapped in the world of academia – then he applied for a job in Dillon.After completing 21 hours of a doctoral degree in theater, Alleman resolved his inner conflict between pursuing academic theater and running his own theater. He applied for the Lake Dillon Theatre’s performing arts director when his friend and the director of “Eleemosynary,” Chris Willard, told him about the opening.”When this opportunity came, I thought, “Well, you stupid, why weren’t you looking for this sooner?'” Alleman said. “I had aspirations to own my own theater and put all of my ideas into some kind of actual motion. Something inside pushed me toward academic theater, (but) I didn’t like the constraints and ideas some academics pushed.”Alleman, 31, grew up in Oklahoma, completed his bachelor’s degree in education, taught English in Japan for a year, lived in Texas for six years and completed his master’s degree in theater at Texas A&M University.He has directed nine plays, including “Cabaret,” “Stuart Little” and “Oliver!” He has designed three sets and has performed in 16 shows, including “Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma!”He also developed and directed a drama troupe, which toured high schools, commenting on social issues through theater.As the full-time performing arts director at Lake Dillon Theatre, he will do everything from choosing the shows to stocking the bar. He also will work with the Lake Dillon Foundation on fund raising, sponsorship and advertising for both the theater and the summer concert series at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre.”It’s important that you have pride in the things you do, and in this position there are so many things to feel good about – there are so many aspects to it, (from) productions to gaining sponsors,” Alleman said.”(This position) really required someone like Chris, who has the ideas and experience and who is intelligent, gregarious, and has a personality people will want to deal with,” said Kitty Hilsabeck, who has been the interim artistic director at the Lake Dillon Theatre.Hilsabeck liked the fact that Alleman wants to blend into the direction the theater was heading, rather than control it, she said.”I think it’s important that we don’t just follow my aspirations, but also the aspirations of the board and the community,” Alleman said. “You have to let the theater grow with your ideas. We need to fill seats, like the past two or three shows have. The collaboration is not just artistic. It’s also administrative and community (oriented).”Hilsabeck, who held the temporary position since April 1, plans to remain active on the board while pursuing her acting career in Denver. She begins rehearsals for the Arvada Center’s “Children of Eden” Nov. 4.”I’ve got to keep dancing before I can’t do it anymore,” she said. “If dancing were something you could do all your life, I’d probably have stuck around (as artistic director) longer.”While Hilsabeck works on her new role, Alleman will be working on his role as director of Lake Dillon Theatre’s next play, “Art,” which runs from mid-December through mid-January. The show revolves around three male friends whose relationship becomes strained when one buys a $200,000 art piece.”I think this theater is on the cusp of growing and expanding,” Alleman said.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at—Casting CallAuditions for “Art” are from 4:30-6:30 p.m.Tuesday and from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Men ages 30 and older should come with a one- to two-minute monologue. For more information, call (970) 262-2186.

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