09 Aug ASPEN DAILY NEWS: Theatre Aspen apprentices stage their talents in end-of-season showcase
If you attended Theatre Aspen’s production of “Our Town” this summer, you may have been swept up by apprentice Blake Bojewski’s performance as all-American, sweet George. If you appreciate how the lighting in the cozy Hurst Theatre can completely intensify the mood of a piece, apprentices Macy Rupp and Nicholas Villemarette helped craft that ambience. And if you know a child who participated in the local nonprofit’s monthlong education program, you can thank apprentice Karlie Kohler for wrangling a lot of kiddos in her role as choreographer and assistant stage manager for “Madagascar, A Musical Adventure!”
“It’s a chance for us to step into these roles, learn by doing and take the lead on a project,” said Kimberly Sears, an administrative and content development apprentice who recently graduated from the University of South Carolina.
“I Wish” is staged as a series of songs and a few dance numbers that, Sears explained, connect what everybody wanted the showcase to be. And as each apprentice exhibits a different wish throughout the show, it offers a unique glimpse into the dreams, desires and opportunities ahead for these talented young people.
“Because of where we want to go in the world, we’re full of wishes,” said Sears.
Expect plenty of humor. The showcase’s opening song is a parody of “Into the Woods,” the prologue of the Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name, at the end of which all the characters end up in Aspen together. There’s a medley of “overdone” theater songs, said Sears, and another parody, of the “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago. But there’s also some serious commentary on the industry they’ve chosen, such as one company member wishing for more representation in theater for people that look like her.
The show also brings the talents of those who work behind the scenes to a perhaps slightly more uncomfortable position on the stage. One of the administrative apprentices, for example, was coaxed into demonstrating the fruits of her master’s degree in vocal performance.
Once the curtain goes down on “I Wish,” the apprentices will settle back into their summer roles for just a few more days before scattering all over the country to pursue their studies or professional careers.
“This is the end cap on our experience here in Aspen,” said Sears. “You’ve seen us all summer in the box office or onstage or moving pieces across the stage. This puts into perspective that we’re young professionals, and you’re going to be hearing a lot more from us.”
If You Go
Theatre Aspen Apprentice Showcase
Sunday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m.
Hurst Theatre, Rio Grande Park
Tickets at (970) 300-4474 or theatreaspen.org