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Support your local theater

Gary KetzenbargerSummit Cove

I have lived in Summit County for a long time now. I originally came up here to work as an underground miner at Climax in the late 70s and early 80s. Needless to say, I have seen a lot of changes in the county since that time, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the relative lack of support (audience support, that is) for serious theatre in Summit County. Mind you, I’m not an artsy-fartsy egghead; I think my prior history as an underground miner attests to that. So, I am not making the above observation from the biased standpoint of a theatrical specialist. True, I am involved as an actor in the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s current production of Equus, and so I have a vested interest in encouraging attendance at this particular production, but only because I don’t think people fully realize the outstanding quality of theatre that is going on in this county (in particular, I think, at the Lake Dillon Theatre) that is every bit the equal of professional quality theatre being performed in Denver. Perhaps this is wishful thinking on my part, but I don’t believe so. In any case, I’ll leave it to others to make that decision for themselves. The point is, though, that it’s impossible to make that decision if it’s merely hypothetical. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and you have to go and see Equus in order to truly judge for yourselves. And, so far at least, there are far too few people making the effort: an effort, I believe, that this particular production more than deserves. After all, Equus is one of the genuinely great plays in the English canon written in the last century. Thematically, religiously, philosophically and theatrically, Equus is challenging and, I think, rewarding in ways that few plays ever are, especially when given a dramatic interpretation of this caliber. And yet, the general attitude in terms of attendance is more or less one of indifference. This is disturbing to me. In particular, I am disturbed by the lack of interest shown by the so-called community leaders in the county: the political leaders, the business owners, the journalists, the educators, and the cultural intelligentsia of whatever stripe. In short, I am disturbed that those who ought to be in the vanguard of supporting the best that Summit County has to offer in terms of cultural achievement are, by and large, noticeable by their absence. This is a pity, especially since the talent performing in this production is local and deserving of support and encouragement. We call Summit County “Colorado’s playground.” Well, there’s more than one kind of play going on, and right now far too many of us are missing it.


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