Prep at the Rep: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre getting ready for 52nd season in Grand Lake
Roster features fan favorites "Sister Act," "Sweeney Todd"
To passersby, the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater looks mostly dark and empty at this time of year, but that belies the dozens of hours of work that the theater’s company has already put into preparing for the upcoming season.
In order to prepare for the theater’s official season opening on June 7, Michael Querio, the executive artistic director for Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater, and his team began auditions in February.
Querio travelled to Denver, Chicago, Memphis and New York City to find this year’s cast for each of the four shows on the roster, including the popular disco musical “Sister Act,” the story of the demon barber of Fleet Street “Sweeney Todd,” a newer comedy called “Disaster!” and an ode to country music star in “Always… Patsy Cline.”
“I think for the actors, it’s the promise of being able to do good work in a great place,” he said. “People know that Rocky Mountain Rep has a good reputation now so they’re going to be able to do good work and then you show them pictures of the environment and they’re sold.”
June 7 – Aug. 24: “Sister Act”
June 14 – Aug. 22: “Disaster!”
June 28 – Aug. 23: “Sweeney Todd”
Aug. 30 – Sept. 28: “Always… Patsy Cline”
For more information on showtimes and tickets click here.
Audience members will also be able to spot a local face in the company’s performance of “Disaster!” and behind the curtain, local students will serve as lighting crew and one as an understudy.
By the time the cast arrives at the end of May, they will have all of their lines memorized and jump right into rehearsals, Querio said.
“Even though the company isn’t there yet, there’s a lot of people who are hard at work now and have been already,” he said. “We only have about 10 days to rehearse before we open the show, so everybody is doing the prep work now.”
This is partially due to the repertory nature of the theater where performances of different shows overlap, Querio explained, which is also something the crew has to prepare for.
“It’s an intense six weeks for us doing shows in rotating rep,” he said. “We’re one of the few theaters in the country that still do that.”
This year’s roster features some shows that involve technical challenges when it comes to set design, such as the set of an upside-down sinking ship for “Disaster!,” but the work is well under way.
“It’s a special challenge,” he said. “Three shows have to be on the stage and in the wings all summer long and they all have to work together.”
Whether it’s 18th century dresses, 70s style garb and life jackets or black and white habits, costumes, this season also requires a lot from the costume designers, who try to have everything finished before the actors get to town.
Finally, one week before showtime, the musicians will arrive in Grand Lake and be incorporated into rehearsals.
Ultimately, Querio said the theater’s goal is to provide something that everyone will enjoy.
“We want to offer something that is light and easy to watch, that you could bring the whole family to, (…) but we also want to do something as new as possible,” he said. “And then we always want to do something epic, that’s really momentous or huge or unusual.”
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