Breckenridge: Get a better seat at the theatre |

Breckenridge: Get a better seat at the theatre

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

The Backstage Theatre is a gem in the mountains ” the Western Slope’s oldest and most award-winning theater. But, the seats are a bummer.

In order to make audiences more cozy, the Backstage initiated a seat campaign in September to replace “all of the stodgy, awkward chairs … with state-of-the-art seating,” according to its website. The new chairs ” 100 of them ” are from the Inspire series manufactured by Bertolini. They will be constructed ergonomically and will offer waterfall roll-over front cushions and plush, padded seat-backs with lumber support. Willard chose a “subtle, lightly-textured grape color,” he said. A sample chair is located in the lobby for patrons to try out.

So, if you’ve always wanted your 15 minutes of fame ” or, if you just want to be more comfortable as you watch dramas, comedies and musicals unfold at the Backstage ” now’s the time to pony up. A tax-deductible donation of $175 will garner you years (rather than minutes) of notoriety; it will earn you a plaque with your name (or if you’re not the star type, the name of a loved one) on the theater lobby’s wall. And, if you can’t decide on just one name, you can name two chairs for $300.

“The confluence of finding the right chair and our 35th anniversary year made this the perfect time to initiate the campaign,” said Christopher Willard, the Backstage’s artistic director.

And, the theater is almost there ” Willard has sold “naming rights” to almost 60 chairs, he said. He will purchase the new chairs after “Tuesdays with Morrie” closes, Feb. 16. The campaign will continue until each chair dons a purchased plaque.

The Lake Dillon Theatre held a similar adopt-a-chair campaign in the fall of 2004, where organizers placed donors’ names on plaques in the lobby and on the chairs. More than 75 people donated money for the new seats, which replaced 15-year-old stackable chairs “that were narrow, uncomfortable and falling apart,” said Chris Alleman, artistic director of the Lake Dillon Theatre.

To donate to the Backstage Theatre’s effort, visit and click “community support” for a downloadable pdf contribution form, or stop by the Breckenridge Theatre lobby or at the Bank of the West in Breckenridge for a form.

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