Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre summer shows open June 12
On Friday, June 12, the curtain goes up and the lights go down as the professional actors, musicians and technicians of Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre kick off the 2015 Summer Season with their opening night performance of 42nd Street.
Artistic Director for RMRT Michael Querio discussed his past with RMRT, the upcoming season and how the theatre company is preparing for summer productions.
Querio, a Chicago native, has been working for RMRT for 20 years.
“I started back in ’95,” said Querio. “The people running the theatre were looking for a musical director. I was looking for a summer job. Nunsense was my first show.”
Querio originally came to the theatre world from a musical background before expanding his knowledge of the other aspects of the business such as acting and set design. He was the piano player for RMRT for several years before eventually taking one of the leading roles with the theatre company as artistic director, 10 years ago.
While the theatre season in Grand Lake lasts a few months out of each year Querio described his job as a “12-month job.” Each year in January and February Querio and Artistic Associate Jeff Duke begin the audition process for the upcoming season, screening actors, singers and dancers in multiple cities around the U.S. After auditions they begin the process of eliminating the hopeful many and spend March and April hiring for specific positions. The theatre employs roughly 50 people altogether to make the productions.
For many years now a senior crew of individuals has helped create the culture at RMRT. Along with Querio, Duke has been with RMRT for many years, currently beginning his 12th season in Grand Lake. Production Manager and Projection Designer Kent Barrett is entering his eighth year.
The stage performers are a more eclectic mix. Some of the techs, musicians and actors are veterans of the RMRT stage and come back to the high country for several years. But many of the actors on stage in Grand Lake this summer, as always, will be fresh or fairly recent college graduates.
“Many of these actors will go right on to New York and start a career on Broadway,” said Querio.
The crew at Rocky Mountain Rep is currently rehearsing for next Friday’s show. The sound, lighting and stage technicians arrived about three weeks ago to Grand County, along with Querio and Production Manager Kent Barrett, and started working on building the soon to be used stages and scenes. Shortly afterwards the actors arrived followed by the theatre musicians.
“Since the whole company is resident, everyone lives in our compound of cabins, we have very long days, 12 hours or more,” said Querio, describing the rigorous schedule the company follows in the lead up to opening night.
“We have rehearsal all day; singing, dancing and acting. Eventually we put it all together and begin running scenes. While we are rehearsing our set techs are getting everything ready; lighting, video, set design. In the middle of next week we will put all the pieces together to do set rehearsal.”
All this work so far has been done in preparation for the first show of the season, 42nd Street. Querio described 42nd Street as, “an old fashioned Broadway classic. It’s got wonderful well known songs and great comedy,” he said. “It’s got great energy to start the season.”
Querio said the troupe ran rehearsal on act one for 42nd Street on Thursday and will begin rehearsing for the company’s second production, The Addams Family, this Sunday.
“Each year we try to have something new and different,” Querio said, explaining that the beloved classic television show was only recently turned into a stage musical.
Performances at RMRT begin Friday, June 12, and run throughout the summer. Along with 42nd Street and The Addams Family, the summer season at RMRT will also feature “All Shook Up”, inspired by and featuring the music of Elvis Presley.
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