Defiance Players founders ‘coming home’ to Glenwood
Family and friends will gather in the Roaring Fork Valley this weekend to remember two of the Defiance Community Players theater company’s founding members, Pete and Jackie Cabrinha.
The couple met and fell in love in the valley. Pete moved to Colorado from Hawaii, and Jackie grew up in Glenwood Springs; her family homesteaded at Spring Valley and donated land to Colorado Mountain College for the Spring Valley Campus.
For decades, Pete and Jackie helped entertain and made shows come to life during the countless stage productions, first as the Defiance Community Theater Company and later as the Defiance Community Players. With Pete’s great voice and guitar playing, accompanied by Jackie’s behind the scenes roles of proof reading and backstage work.
Chip Winn Wells, vice president of Defiance Community Players Theater, remembers Pete and Jackie well.
“Pete was always warm and considerate, he was fully entrenched in show business, but took the time to share his talents with the local community theater,” she said.
Wells also spoke highly of Jackie, who was a long-time elementary school teacher in the Roaring Fork Valley. “Jackie was funny, always very theatrical in her teaching and was a wonderful compliment to Pete.”
Pete and Jackie passed away last year, within six months of each other. Their children have decided to bring them home, and will hold a memorial and internment at Spring Valley this Saturday, July 21.
A public reception also will be held Saturday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. at La Quinta Inn and Suites (the former Ramada Inn) in Glenwood Springs.
History of Defiance Community Players
Starting in the early 1970s, Larry and Sheila Mincer, Pete and Jackie Cabrinha and Don Vanderhoof began performing melodramas for entertainment. The group joined with Peter Marshall from Colorado Mountain College to form a community theater, performing in the space now occupied by the Italian Underground.
In the mid 1980s the company was renamed Defiance Community Players. Over the years, there were many productions. The company even hosted a dinner theater in the Hotel Denver for a time.
Also during this time a partnership began between Defiance and Glenwood Springs High School that continues today.
GSHS hosts the theater’s productions in the Jeannie Miller Theater, also named in memory of a former theater group member, and the members of the company also volunteer to help during high school productions.
Made up entirely of volunteers, the community theater goal is to provide high quality entertainment, with a mission to give back, with profits going to a scholarship program to help develop artists and fund their training and education in the performing arts.
Over the last 32 years the theater has produced 36 shows for the community. After a two-year hiatus, the theater is back with a revitalized board and ready to stage a production of Lionel Bart’s “Oliver” this fall. The show will be dedicated to Pete and Jackie Cabrinha.
Auditions will be held Sept. 7 and 8 at St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church, and the show will begin a two weekend run Nov. 9 in Jeannie Miller Theater at Glenwood Springs High School.
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