Photo Essay: Raising the curtain

It takes a village of staff, board members and volunteers to help put on a show each and every performance for members of the New Ute Theatre Society

Patrons pack the floor area in the Ute Theater as they wait for The Young Dubliners to take the stage Saturday night in Rifle. The American rock band made its traditional stop in the Colorado River Valley before St. Patrick’s Day last weekend. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)
The Ute Theater marquee lights up the evening as dusk settles over Rifle Saturday before the Young Dubliners performance. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

Activity fills the grand halls and back rooms of the historic Ute Theater long before the acts take the stage for a show.

For New Ute Theatre Society board members, theater staff and volunteers the day begins eight to nine hours before the first note of music fills the art deco theater on Fourth Street in Rifle.

Tanya Giard, a NUTS board member, prepares the green room back stage for the Young Dubliners Saturday afternoon. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

Last Saturday the Ute hosted rock band The Young Dubliners for the fourth year in a row. 

Colorado River Valley favorites, the Young Dubs, as some locals like to call them, sold out the venue with nearly 300 patrons packed into the theatre.

“A sold-out crowd is what we are striving for.  We want everyone in the Colorado River Valley to know about the Ute,” New Ute Theatre Society board member Tanya Giard said. 

Members of the sound crew, Ute staff and stage crew setup the stage for Saturday’s performace in Rifle. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

“It’s a place where communities can gather and enjoy the nostalgia the Ute offers. The growth in the theater’s popularity means more business for downtown Rifle — the restaurants benefit, the hotels benefit, and therefore the city of Rifle benefits.”

With seven volunteers helping the staff and NUTS board members, the show went off without a hitch.

Ute Manager Wayne Pleasants said The Young Dubliners returned for their biggest show yet at the Ute. 

Tyler Rust and Jake Statler, members of the Tyler Rust Band work with the Snob Production sound crew to set their levels before opening up for the Young Dubliners at the Ute Theater. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)
Wes Stark, with Snob Productions, sets levels during sound check prior to the show Saturday. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

“We received great audience response to the demo Meyer Sound system, and everything came together thanks to staff, volunteers and a great band.”

Working with Snob Productions out of Junction, the theater demoed a new sound system it hopes to purchase and install later this year.

Patrons file into the Ute Theatre for the show Saturday night in downtown Rifle. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)
Elissa Nyes, NUTS board member and Anna Kaiser, Ute Marketing Director, check tickets as fans make their way into the foyer of the Ute Theater. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

The New Ute Theatre Society will present the next big show Saturday with the Outlaw Country show featuring four bands including, Hogan and Moss, Feeding Giants, The Queen Bee Trio (featuring Aundrea Ware, Joey Ball and Portia Rogers), and The Rust Statler Duo.

Members of the Young Dubliners take the stage during Saturday’s performance at the Ute Theater in Rifle. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)
Keith Roberts, the lead singer of the Young Dubliners, belts out a tune as the American rock band plays there traditional show before St. Patrick’s Day at the Ute Theater. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)
The sold out crowd packs the floor of the Ute Theater cheering on the Young Dubliners Saturday. (Kyle Mills / Citizen Telegram)

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