Backstage Theatre to create new Leadership Council |

Backstage Theatre to create new Leadership Council

Erica Marciniec
Summit daily news
Special to the Daily/Chris WillardThe Backstage Theatre offers diverse programming and workshops throughout the year. The new Leadership Council will help to chart the theater's direction moving forward.

The Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge seeks members for its new Leadership Council, the goal of which is to chart “the long-term health and excellence” of the theater by identifying direction in terms of programming, costs and market positioning for the future, said Theo Fleisch, member of the Board of Directors. The role includes planning for the theater’s upcoming 40th anniversary.

After conducting a strategic review this year, the board determined the need for the Leadership Council, which will meet two to three times per year.

“Learning from our proud 38-year history we developed the outlines of a bold 2020 vision,” said Fleisch, who has served on the board for the past three years. “We want to hold on to what has been the best of our theater in terms of community talent, comedy and kids programs,” Fleisch said. “At the same time we want to grow towards becoming an Equity theater with the influence and resources to bring in more of the best of professional shows and talent.”

“Breckenridge as a town is moving forward with the Arts District Master Plan. … It is only wise that we synchronize our plans for an expanded, state-of-the-art facility, thereby cementing the town’s position as an excellent place to live as well as a cultural magnet for resort guests from all over the world,” Fleisch said.

“The town of Breckenridge has been very supportive of providing avenues of expression in every form for those who live and play here,” said board president Frankie Hood. “These are exciting times for the arts here in Breckenridge.”

The Leadership Council will work to sharpen the theater’s new vision and execute identified strategies.

“I am proud to be a founding member of the Leadership Council,” said Breckenridge councilmember Mark Burke. “The Backstage Theatre has been a treasure for the town and I am looking forward to help in continuing having it as a true asset for the next 40 years.”

“I am a new resident in Breckenridge and love the balance of outdoor activities and cultural offerings,” said founding member King Pouw. “I am a strong supporter of the National Repertory Orchestra and believe that the theater needs to be more connected with other cultural institutions and the business community. I also would like to see scholarships for young actors working in our theater.”

Other founding members include Geralyn and Jim Smitherman, Paul and Marte Singerman, Susan Pouw, Renate Fleisch and Tracy Burke. They will host a series of social gatherings in the next two months for people interested in learning more, followed by a formal gathering in late December when most people are in town for the holidays.

Leadership Council members must be Director-level ($2,500) theater donors. Year-round residency is not required. In addition to helping create a world-class theater, rewards include recognition and publicity, the opportunity to work with Summit County leadership, multiple passes to shows and VIP event invitations, Fleisch said.

Now in its 38th year, the Backstage is already planning for its 40th anniversary, which will include a celebratory look back in addition to a full year of special programming. “We have secured rights to some powerhouse plays and musicals (that we’ll announce at the premiere of ‘Avenue Q’ next summer),” Fleisch said, “but to pique your interest, one of these projects we are working on is an exciting new play cycle that focuses on the development of the ski area itself. The first of these plays honors the dedication and contribution of the soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division.”

“The energy, vision and commitment of the Leadership Council is just what our theatre needs to gain even more vibrancy and strength for a healthy future for the performing arts in our area,” artistic director Chris Willard said.

For info on joining the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre Leadership Council, call (970) 297-8995. Visit for info on the theater.

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