Local Theater: Taking Action

By: Lance Waring

From sweet transvestites in fishnet stockings to the demon barber of Fleet Street to Romeo and Juliet, the Telluride Repertory Theatre-or “the Rep,” as the locals call it-has graced Telluride with community theater for 12 years. The Rep has also taken shows on the road with the ACTions tour, which brings live theater to schoolchildren in under-served communities and Indian reservations around the Southwest.

Now the Rep has expanded its programming and hired Robin McKee as producing artistic director. McKee, a native Californian, is no stranger to Telluride. She directed her first play for the Rep in 1993 and has been returning ever since. She and her family now call Telluride home for half the year.

Under McKee’s leadership, the Rep’s new annual production plan calls for three family oriented main-stage shows: a blockbuster, a musical and a contemporary play. ACTions extends the schedule with two months of visiting regional schools, and the Rep will also host readings, acting workshops, youth mentorship programs and a dramatic lecture series throughout the year.

In addition to McKee, Rep Artistic Associate Jeb Berrier now directs bold outside-the-box shows under the name “Second Stage Productions.” Berrier’s initial Second Stage offering was a play called Bug, which was about delusional crack addicts and love.

McKee is excited about the Rep’s bigger role in Telluride. “We are creating community theater in the best sense of the term. We may bring in a few professionals to raise the bar, but the backbone of the Rep is local actors, musicians, designers and artists.”