A new era for performing arts in the valley
On Dec. 30, the Thunder River Theatre Company will open its 11th season in its brand new 11,000-square-foot theater building in downtown Carbondale. The new theater is a giant step forward for the performing arts in the Roaring Fork Valley. For the past 10 years, TRTC has bounced around from one venue to another, like a refugee, never having a home for its performances, rehearsals, and for building and storing scenery. It has had to adapt each performance to fit the limitations of different venues. Even with this handicap, TRTC, an outstanding professional theater group, has provided theater-goers in our valley 10 years of memorable performances.Thunder River Theatre’s resident company consists of 11 performing artists from Basalt to Rifle, including founding executive and artistic director Lon Winston and founding associate artist Valerie Haugen.The opening performance in the new theater will be “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes, ancient Greece’s foremost comic dramatist. There will be eight performances – Dec. 30 and 31; and Jan. 1, 6, 7, 8,13 and 14. Curtain time on Fridays and Saturdays is 7:30 p.m., and on Sundays at 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 Fridays and Saturdays, and $22 Sundays (students $15 and $12 respectively).The new theater will be far more than just a venue for TRTC performances. TRTC will offer theater training for and performances by children throughout the valley from grade school through high school, and will also provide opportunities for Spanish language theater. In addition, the theater will be a site for a variety of entertainment, both local and out of town, including concerts, dancing and educational events.With its location in the heart of Carbondale and the benefits that that brings to Carbondale, the TRTC theater deserves the financial support of the entire Carbondale community, both businesses and individuals. And as a cultural asset serving the entire Roaring Fork Valley, it also merits broad financial support from the entire valley.At the present time, four of the building founders have each pledged an additional $50,000 as a challenge grant of $200,000 to match all new contributions dollar for dollar to complete the funding for the construction and equipping of the theater.This is a golden opportunity to double the value of your contribution to this worthy endeavor. Checks and pledges should be made out to TRTC and mailed to TRTC, 1266 Crystal Springs Mountain Road, Carbondale, CO 81623. Donations are fully tax deductible.There’s another “must see” attraction now showing in the valley – a magnificent collection of woodcut prints of Colorado during the mining and railroad building heyday of the final decades of the 1800s, reproduced in two well-known New York newspapers of the time, Harpers Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News. These prints, which were created by artists sent west by the newspapers in response to their subscribers’ fascination with the new frontier, were truly works of art. They have survived because people were taken with them, so they cut them out, colored them, framed them, and hung them on their walls.The exhibit, called “Rush to the Rockies,” is on display at the Glenwood Springs CMC Gallery at Ninth Street and Grand Avenue, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., January 3-23. Don’t miss it.Glenwood Springs resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.
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