Although it would seem unlikely that live, repertory productions of Shakespeare would play in the small mountain town of Westcliffe Colorado, such is the case, and if you haven’t caught this season’s productions, 4th of July weekend is your very last chance.
You can catch Love’s Labour’s Lost at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1 and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 3. As for the most excellent production of King Lear, you have just one chance. Be there or be square at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. It is your loss if you don’t go.
Dan Hiester assumes the role of King Lear. As age takes its toll, Lear loses his grip on his family, his country and ultimately reality. Hiester takes us with him as he spirals down, and the audience feels King Lear’s confusion as political treachery and power-grabbing fill the vacuum.
Hiester is supported by a wonderful cast. Wayne Ewing stars as Lear’s faithful ally, Kent; Charlie French excels as the blinded Gloucester; and Daniel Zeller exhibits a broad range of emotions as the natural heir Edgar. New to Westcliffe was the talented Riley Capp, a summer intern in the role of the scheming, bastard son, Edmund.
The entire cast under the direction of Chris Tabb was very strong. Using trumpeter Jessica Carter to signal scene changes was a good choice on Tabb’s part.
Westcliffe nights are brisk. Come prepared to sit in the under-the-stars amphitheater behind the Jones. Bring folding chairs, a jacket and a blanket. Beverages and snacks are sold on-site. You need to pay for the beverages, but the brilliant Dark Sky is free.
And where would we be without Producer Anne Kimbell Relph who saved The Jones Theater in 1992. From those humble beginnings, we now have an upgraded theater which hosts movies, In-Concert classical music, and an ambitious summer season to include two, full-length plays, Shakespeare in repertory, Creativity Camp, a youth theater production, a Broadway-style musical, and a weekend of performances featuring the winning submissions to WCPA’s 10-Minute Play Competition.
Driving through eastern Colorado recently, I saw dying town after dying town, and each had a theater – an old, abandoned theater with a sagging threshold and 1970s movie posters behind dirty, cobwebbed windows. We are so lucky that Relph had a vision and saw it come to fruition. Support The Jones and have fun doing it.
Go to< http://jonestheater.com> for season details.
Oogie – a smart dog who barks in iambic pentameter.