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Trailblazer Theater Company, Local Group Getting Underway in Lamar

 

Sue Lathrop

 

Area residents who have wanted a community theater group in Lamar and the surrounding area can take note of a newly formed organization, Trailblazer Theater Company. The company is comprised of about two dozen like-minded individuals whose common goal is to bring various theatrical and stage performances to Lamar.

Sue Lathrop, Lamar Librarian, explained that several meetings have already been held. “We have interested parties from the library world, Lamar Community College and the schools as well as from all walks of life,” she explained, noting that some have theater history such as Dr. David Frankel at LCC while others can offer set design experience or have performed in some form of community theater. She added, “It’s the bits and pieces of really strong experience that can help pull us together.  We have the will, but we need to take it and do something with it for the next stage in our development.”

Lathrop said she had been made aware of a general interest in a theater company from conversations with patrons at the library, but there hadn’t been a sustained interest. “I contacted the Picketwire Productions group, but they were comfortable in their own niche and had no interest in expanding in our direction.”  She explained that to develop on-going momentum, a group was formed so that if one person drops out, there were others who could continue to work towards their goal.  “We meet the first Saturday of every month at the library at 3pm and anyone is welcome to attend and learn about our project and see what they can offer.”

The company has applied for a $10,000 grant through their alliance with the Southeast Colorado Arts Association, using their non-profit status. By-laws are being written and an elected board may be as far as a year away.  Lathrop said they’ll receive word on the grant in July which would provide operating funds for perhaps the next 18 months.  She said the funds will provide for a workshop or some limited performances.  “The idea is to get things rolling so we could have a mystery theater night or some improv nights, perhaps classes at the library with professional instruction.  We don’t have a lot of experience, but we know people want to have something like this in their community where they can take part on some level, from stage production to acting or directing and we’re planning that right now.”

Some other projects include an open entertainment night for the community; improv at the Pocket Park or Shore Arts Center and to get the high school involved. Lathrop said the high school only holds one performance a year and the company has discussed a young people’s committee with productions specifically for them or a junior improv night.  “We’d hold classes for the interested groups, teach them how to go about it and then let it rip.”

The company has a mailing list to contact interested residents who can reply about any interest or help they’d like to offer from their backgrounds. “At some point we’d like to start a theatrical production and open up for auditions.  We don’t want this to be just a small group of people; we want the community to become involved.  If you audition and you’ve got the talent, you’re going to get the role.”  In the meantime, Lathrop said the company has some fundraising events planned that will be theatrical in nature.  “The whole point behind this is having fun.  It’s great for children, education, theater arts, a place where a person, young or old, can express themselves.  The next meeting will be held this Saturday, April 7th at 3pm at the library.  Call the library at 336-4632 for more information.

By Russ Baldwin

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