Summer stock in Dillon to put on four productions
SUMMIT COUNTY – The grand old theatrical tradition of summer stock is alive and well in Summit County, as the Lake Dillon Theatre celebrates the season with four productions scheduled to run from June through August. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” and “Charlotte’s Web” are both slated for venues in Keystone, while “Once on this Island” will be performed at the Lake Dillon Theatre and the musical “Gypsy” at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre.Last year marked the first season of summer stock for the Lake Dillon Theatre, with gratifyingly successful results for the company and its artistic director, Chris Alleman.”We were in the black last year, which gave us the momentum to grow this year,” said Alleman. “This is an expensive venture and we’re taking a risk, but a summer stock program in Summit County could end up being huge. Our goal is to have people come in from Denver just to see the performances.”With the exception of the sophisticated adult comedy “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!” this summer’s offerings will veer toward family-oriented entertainment. Alleman attributes this choice of repertoire to the nature of the summer season traffic, with its mix of tourists, returning second homeowners and kids out of school. But in true Lake Dillon Theatre tradition, Alleman promises something for everyone.”We’ve found that, with most of our regular patrons, if they’re here they’ll come and see anything we do,” said Alleman. “And since there’s a different tourist base here in the summer, we’re able to tap into that demographic as well.” The summer stock season will feature a paid staff of 10 actors and a full-time stage manager. Recently, Alleman attended the Southeastern Theater Conference in Florida, a universal “cattle-call” audition venue for actors throughout the country. There, Alleman sat through 900 auditions, from which he pulled nine actors to perform in the summer season. “I got my number one choices at the SETC, and it’s the biggest audition in the country,” he said. “And it was an easy sell to bring them here, because it’s the mountains. All I had to do was bring pictures along and show them.”This summer’s biggest production, “Gypsy” will be performed at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre. Because of the unavailability of theatrical lighting for nighttime, all performances will take place during the afternoon. But with free admission, Alleman has high hopes that the musical will garner a huge turn-out. In addition, only a portion of the cast will be from his pool of professional actors. In true community theater fashion, the rest will be locals, with open-call auditions to be held in June.”We didn’t want to exclude local talent from this production,” said Alleman. “We want this to be the cornerstone of our future summer stock productions.”One important aspect of Lake Dillon’s summer stock season is its partnership with the Keystone Neighborhood Company, which provides local performance venues, financial support and housing for the out-of-town actors and technical crew.According to Keystone Neighborhood Company events manager Josh Blanchard, the partnership with the Lake Dillon Theatre began in the summer of 2003. Prior to that, Keystone had brought in a theater company from Denver to provide summertime performances.”Chris approached us and said, ‘Why can’t we provide this for you?’ said Blanchard. “This way, we can use local company actors. And then last year, Chris augmented it with the summer stock season.” Blanchard, who is also an actor, director and producer for Lake Dillon Theatre, will produce both “Charlotte’s Web” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at two venues in Keystone – the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre and the Keystone Pavilion.Mountain summer stock season performances- “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!” July 6 through Aug.17: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion at Keystone, tickets are $18. (No performance July 27.)- “Charlotte’s Web”July 7 through Aug.11: Fridays at 11 a.m. at the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre in Keystone, tickets are $4.- “Once on this Island”July 7 through Aug. 13: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Dillon Theatre, tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and $12 for children under 12.- “Gypsy”Friday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19 at noon and Sunday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m. at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre, free admission. For tickets or more info, contact the Lake Dillon Theatre at (970) 513-9386 or http://www.lakedillontheatre.org.
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