World premiere of ‘Confession of Faith’ is Feb. 17 |

World premiere of ‘Confession of Faith’ is Feb. 17

Kristin Carlson
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Nick Garay, Jennifer Schiller and Heather Ardley rehearse for the upcoming production of CMC Theatre’s “Confession of Faith,” at the New Space Theatre at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley Feb. 17-20 and 25-27. Photo Scot Gerdes

“Confession of Faith,” an original drama written by Colorado Mountain College theater professor Gary Ketzenbarger, will have its debut performance this week.

Set against a backdrop of violence and suspicion, Ketzenbarger’s play explores the complicated intersection of faith and family ties.

The adult-themed drama will open Thursday at Colorado Mountain College’s New Space Theatre in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley.

Directed by Sue Lavin, “Confession of Faith” highlights the struggles of a dissident writer who has lost faith in all of the belief systems that once held his world in place – communism, intellectualism and Islam.

Caught at a crossroads in history, he finds himself persecuted for a religion he no longer embraces, rejected by a son who has chosen fundamentalism, distanced from a daughter whose mind has been destroyed by rape as a weapon of war and estranged from a wife he has betrayed.

“Confession of Faith” is produced by Colorado Mountain College President Dr. Stan Jensen and his wife Teresa, and features the acting talents of Ketzenbarger, theater students Nick Garay and Sophie Sakson, and community members Jennifer Schiller, Heather Ardley, J.D. Miller and Brian Thornton.

“I think the issues presented in this play, though depicted in a very different place and time, will resonate in today’s world, where we’re just a stone’s throw away from devolving into chaos,” said Ketzenbarger.

The action takes place at a fictional point in recent history and in a fictional place, loosely based on Sarajevo. Informed by the strife between the Serbs and Croats, the play addresses the horrors of ethnic cleansing, the sparks of violence that ignite in a power vacuum, the limitations of linguistic and cultural translations, and the marginalization of the intellectual elite in times of civic unrest.

“I don’t see personal stories as separate from history,” said Ketzenbarger, in describing his approach to writing the play. “People’s lives are a microcosm within a macrocosm.”

The seeds for the play began to take root in Ketzenbarger’s imagination in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

“I became interested in the history of radical Islam,” he said. “I’d always been interested in faith – how much we seem to need it and how hard it is to hold on to in this world.”

The title, Ketzenbarger explained, is drawn from the first pillar of Islam.

“I hope that people who see this show can come to realize the challenge that theater can bring to our lives. It’s not always about music and laughter. At its best, it can shake us to our core,” he said.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, and can be reserved online at, ordered by phone at 947-8177 or purchased with cash or check at the door.

Performances run Feb. 17, 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m., and Feb. 20 and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. at the New Space Theatre at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley.

Please note that the content is for mature audiences only, and is not appropriate for children.

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