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New theater gets a standing ovation

CARBONDALE – Thunder River Theater Company opened its doors officially on Friday, Dec. 30, 2005, to a sold-out crowd of mostly locals who wanted to be part of history. They were the first patrons to support TRTC in its new space at 67 Promenade in downtown Carbondale.”Last night (Friday, Dec. 30) I probably knew everybody here,” said Lon Winston, founding artistic director of TRTC, at Saturday’s New Year’s Eve gala. “I probably know half the people here tonight. It’s a different audience. A lot of people wanted to be here for the first show.” The different crowd probably had something to do with the difference of price. On Friday, a seat cost $25. Saturday’s big-ticket event was $100. People milling around the new theater space after the shows were dressed a little differently, but had similar sentiments about sharing a very important moment for Carbondale and TRTC. Patrons were unanimous in their support of the new space that opened with the Greek comedy “Lysistrata” and will be a permanent home for TRTC, as well as a venue for other organizations to utilize.”This was an incredible night, not just for the Thunder River Theatre Company, but for Carbondale,” Winston said, sporting a sharp tuxedo and sampling some of the gourmet food generously provided at cost by The Kitchen Fine Catering, a local company.”This is tremendous,” said Carbondale Trustee Scott Chaplin, who drew the lucky card among town council members to attend the gala as a guest of TRTC. “It’s a wonderful asset for the town.”Ex-town planner Mark Chain was at the gala full of smiles.”It’s a good thing in the right place,” said Chain, who added that he’s seen the theater company perform everywhere around the valley. “For a while there we thought it (the theater) would be located in Basalt.”A woman named Susan, who called herself a Greek lover, was sneaking out the door just after 10 p.m. TRTC celebrated New Year’s Eve by dropping a disco ball at 10, but the party lasted a while after that. It was just beginning for Susan.”It’s a Greek tradition,” she said with a sly smile following her date out the door. “Whatever you’re doing at midnight is most likely what you’ll be doing throughout the year.”Donna Linnecke was with a group of friends who normally go on a hut trip for New Year’s Eve, spending time touring around in the great outdoors.”This year we decided to do something different,” said Linnecke, wearing a lovely gown and fancy shoes, quite different from the apparel of someone heading out on a hut trip. “We wanted to do something that supported the town of Carbondale.””It’s like an infusion of joy into the bloodstream of Carbondale,” said TRTC actor Michael Miller who said it was like a miracle as an actor to have so many people build a theater so that he could perform.The shows continue on the weekends through Jan. 14. More information is available at http://www.thunderrivertheatre.com


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