SCRT Meets Mt Carmel - A Perfect Match
By Joyce Wolff

All I did was volunteer to do a very small chore for a Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre (SCRT) function last Sunday at the new Mt Carmel facility where Trinidad, Our Stories, Vol 1, will be performed the next two weekends.  The chore isn't worth mentioning but the reward of seeing this newly restored building and getting a sneak preview of the play needs to be.

I had not yet been in the new Mt Carmel facility.  I was amazed, impressed, and thrilled.  It is fabulous and I don't know how else to describe it.  The work, workmanship, art, design, thought and planning apparent in the on-going realization of this place is amazing, impressive, and thrilling.  It fulfills a dream for the community with grace and style.

The theatre is state-of-the-art, thanks to Fred Vaugeois, who made the suggestions that the Mt Carmel Organization, wanting to have a first class theatre, put into action.  It is a small tasteful space that seats about 90.  The stage, which projects into the floor space, allows intimacy between actors and audience should the director chose to use the thrust stage in that way.  The décor is lovely.  Whenever and wherever possible the original stained glass from the church was preserved and reinstalled, giving a warm glow to the theatre, as stained glass will do.  The high lofty ceiling is a marvel of woodwork finished in a dark but warm brown.  The old and new have been so beautifully integrated that I found it impossible to my untrained eye to tell where one ended and the other began.

The entry is gorgeous with a mural on the facing wall that rises two stories to a painted sky above a graceful stairway to the upper floors.  Well, I could go on, but I know that everyone will eventually enjoy some venue in this building.  There are ambitious plans ongoing and for the future.  I can't wait to see it finished.  It will be spectacular.

I hope you will enjoy the facility sooner than later by attending the SCRT performance of Trinidad, Our Stories, Vol. 1, this weekend the 4th through the 6th and the following weekend, the 11th through the 13th.  I was doubly rewarded by enjoying a sneak preview on Sunday.  It was quickly obvious that the high standard of performance that day maintains the same high standard that has been the hallmark of the Southern Colorado Reparatory Theatre from the beginning.  The actors were enthusiastic and capable, delivering their reading with humour and style.

If you haven't already heard what the play is about I imagine you have been snoozing for the past couple of weeks.  It has received good previews and description in the local media.  The style is called Reader's Theatre.  The actors sit on stage behind stands that hold their scripts, and then relate all manner of tales about a wide variety of local Trinidad characters: residents both young and old – through the years - and even some wildlife.  Their props hang on coat racks behind them.  Although there are only five or six actors on stage at a time, there are several more "in the wings." They move in and out switching places seamlessly as the play progresses.  I had a good time and am looking forward to attending the gala the first weekend and the dinner package the second.  Walt and I have found that one performance of an SCRT performance is never enough.  We notice new things or pick up lines we missed each time we go.

Tickets are available at the new SCRT office on Commercial in Vibika Adkisson's beautiful building, or by phone, 846 - 4765.  The office is staffed Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Mt Carmel is providing an added nicety since parking spots in front of the theatre door are limited.  Patrons can park in a vacant lot across Highway 12 from the theatre, where a shuttle will pick them up and transport them to the theatre door.  There is limited parking on the street.

Now for the editorial.  Last summer many theatre goers were disappointed to lose live theatre in Trinidad.  We now have the opportunity to bring it back.  This year will be critical to the success of the newly organized SCRT and this coming year is ambitious.  The actor's theatre that Fred Vaugeois has organized finds area amateurs performing in well known and favorite plays throughout this winter and spring.  Anyone who has attended any production directed by either Fred or Harriet knows that they inspire amateurs to perform like professionals.  We can enjoy excellent theatre ALL YEAR.

It will take the support of the community to get theatre back into full swing.  We did it once eight or so years ago and then again three years ago with S.O.S.  We can and will do it again.  So, we count on you attending Trinidad, Our Stories, Vol 1, and if you are new to live theatre performances I'll bet you find you can't see just one.