Virtually intact: Thunder River Theatre Company’s ThunderStream moves First Friday to the web |

Virtually intact: Thunder River Theatre Company’s ThunderStream moves First Friday to the web

Member of Thunder River Theatre Company enjoy a toast during a ThunderStream happy hour earlier this week. Matthew Bennett / Post Independent

Generally lively with bands, food vendors, art and dancing in the streets, Carbondale’s Creative District has looked and sounded quite a bit different lately.

But Thunder River Theatre Company, Carbondale Creative District and the Carbondale Chamber, however plan to still bring the community together, virtually, for one of the town’s most beloved traditions — First Friday.

Thunder River Theatre Company recently launched a free online series titled ThunderStream, which provides virtual mini performances from the theatre’s Consensual Improv! comedy troupe, Diva Cabaret singers, local musicians and other artists amid the stay-at-home order.

“We decided right away that we wanted to innovate and retool as quickly as possible,” said Corey Simpson, Thunder River Theatre Company executive artistic director. “We still believe in our mission.”

Thunder River Theatre Company has brought residents from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley together since 1995, and hopes to continue doing so via ThunderStream.

“The platform that we’ve created online is really a flexible platform and a perfect way for us to have lots of different activities and performances happening all remotely,” Simpson said.

During April’s virtual First Friday, local distillers will share cocktail recipes, artists will open up their studios and musicians will still perform, just virtually.

According to Simpson, viewers can also expect an appearance from the Consensual Improv! comedy troupe too.

Carbondale Arts Executive Director Amy Kimberly and Simpson will host the virtual event set to go live at 6 p.m. on ThunderStream.

“We’re just happy to carry on the tradition of First Friday, in whatever form,” Kimberly said. “Just to see each other, even if it’s from afar or virtually, I think will feel good.”

Anyone can access ThunderStream for free on, or on Thunder River Theatre Company’s official Facebook page.

Since launching on March 28, ThunderStream has featured a happy hour with its Consensual Improv! comedy troupe, a live performance from award-winning actor and musician Bob Moore as well as First Friday.

According to Simpson, ThunderStream will also offer a playwriting camp and twice-a-week music classes for children in the coming weeks.

A 14-year resident of Carbondale, Simpson has been to his fair share of First Friday’s over the years, and was looking forward to April’s virtual installment.

“I think it’s just a reminder that we can all pull together and still be a community,” Simpson said. “That fact that we are innovating to continue being creative is just really exciting.”

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