CMC Theatre presents Tom Stoppard’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ |

CMC Theatre presents Tom Stoppard’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’

Photo courtesy Scot Gerdes/CMC

SPRING VALLEY, Colorado – Colorado Mountain College Theatre takes a step back in time to Communist-occupied Czechoslovakia and the social upheavals that revolved around three decades of music in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s with its latest production, “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

The play, by renowned playwright Tom Stoppard, directed by former CMC Theatre program director Tom Cochran with a cast of both community and CMC student and faculty talent, opens tonight and continues Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the New Space Theatre on the Spring Valley campus, 3000 County Road 114. It also runs March 11-13, at 7 p.m. nightly, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 14.

Cochran describes the play as “an amazing exploration of people under all kinds of different stresses, punctuated by rock and roll music.”

The play includes many well-known songs of the era, as well as some lesser-known ones by European and Czech bands.

Rock ‘n’ Roll is a story about Jan (played by Ryan Fleming), a student returning to a Communist-occupied Czechoslovakia, and his mentor, Max (Jeff Carlson), the stoic philosopher insulated in his Cambridge ivory tower.

After returning to the land of his birth, Jan is forced out of his apolitical stance and toward dissent, confirming Aristotle’s ancient observation that man is indeed “a political animal.”

“We see the transformation of Jan, the naïve young Czech student who at first doesn’t see the insidious nature of the Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakian authorities but becomes radicalized through the influences of his friend, Ferdinand,” writes Christie Smith, associate professor of humanities and communication at CMC, in a dramaturg’s note about the play.

“In the end, he is the voice of national hero, poet and later president Vaclav Havel,” she relates. “Pulsing through history and through the play is rock ‘n’ roll music, the soundtrack of the young and rebellious all over the world, and to Czech youth, a portal they will wrench open to freedom.”

“Doesn’t our music have as much to do with our politics as our cultural and spiritual beliefs?” asks Cochran. “Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘N’ Roll argues that it does.”

Tickets for the play are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. To reserve tickets, call 947-8177, or e-mail

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