Theatre Aspen Blog
July 2, 2015
As my final semester of graduate school at The Boston Conservatory quickly approached, the only question I ever found myself asking was: “What next?” I have always been the type person who is known to keep themselves busy by jumping from one project to the next, so I was eager to see what my first endeavor following graduation would be. Thankfully I encountered the lovely Paige Price and the beauty that is Theatre Aspen. The Theatre Aspen Apprentice Program has been a positive environment for me to apply all of the skills that I gained throughout my educational career while working alongside Broadway veterans, which is both rewarding and inspiring. Aside from enriching my craft, I am truly convinced that I am spending my summer in the most beautiful place in the world. Whether it is going for a bike ride, hiking the lovely Maroon Creek Trail, or even going for a stroll downtown, both Aspen and its natives are such a breath of fresh air. As are my fellow company members. Today we celebrated Spencer’s 20th birthday and as a surprise Thom Christopher Warren showed up to rehearsal with a freshly baked “sticky pudding” concoction that Spencer’s character in Peter and the Starcatcher adores. Little gestures of kindness and love like this seem to find their way into the rehearsal room everyday, and I think they are the real reason why we are able to collaborate so effectively and mount the productions we do. The Theater Aspen team is not just a team; it’s a family. Which reminds me of home, which I miss, but fortunately I’ll be able to spend some time at home after this summer and then head to my next project: The Little Mermaid at The Fiddlehead Theater in Boston. Working at Theatre Aspen has been a dream, and I only hope I can one day return to experience the magic again sometime soon.
July 2, 2015
When I left John Wayne Airport, I had no idea that I would be leaving the sunny warmness of Southern California in exchange for the rain and coldness of May in Colorado. Quite honestly, I did not know what to expect, only that I knew this summer was going to be filled with adventure and memories to last.
This summer is the summer of firsts. First time in Colorado, first time in Aspen, and first time creating art in a tent. First time attending a Bluegrass Festival, first time camping in the Rockies, first time living with a group of six other girls. This is the first time for white water rafting and free bus shuttle riding. First for Aspen Ideas Festival and Lemonade Day. First for free Yoga by a lake and first time watching the Tony Awards in an Opera House. It is the first summer I had eaten real French Onion soup from an authentic French Bakery and the first time I had ever meditated with Tibetan Monks. First time I got donuts from a Donut Cart. This summer was the first time I got to ride in a light up party taxi. First summer to swim in a natural Hot Springs. But most of all, this is the first time I feel as if I have the ability to hone in on my craft and skills as a young theater professional in a “real world” setting.
Theatre Aspen’s Apprentice Program has given me the opportunity to spread my wings as a young professional. Being kind, caring, and compassionate are all good things to have as a young professional, but also knowing when to break out warrior mentality and stick up for what you believe in is just as important. Confidence! Being 24, almost finished with a master’s degree, and being new to a company is challenging. But this program has allowed for me to transition into a new space while still feeling I have the support of my colleagues. This program has taught me to always ask the question: “What can I do better?” Thus…. creating a first for everyone.
June 3, 2015
Have you ever gone into something thinking it would be ‘pretty good’ and it turned out to be great? Well, that’s not exactly what happens when you join the Theatre Aspen Apprentice Program (TAAP). Before you even arrive you know that it’s going to be great. What you don’t know is that it will be life-changing. A little more than a year ago, I arrived in Aspen ready to have a great summer full of performing and learning from accomplished actors and theatrical designers. Alongside my fellow TAAPers, I discovered the program we’d begun offered a great deal of self-guided opportunity. With a strong sense of self, a strong desire to grow, and a strong work ethic, we could really map out our own course and become well-rounded performers. I came to Aspen ready to gain more performance experience. I left with experience in performance, service, networking, costume and wardrobe operations, office operations, teaching, writing, advertising, producing and more. I came to Aspen ready to receive, but I left having grown in my ability to give back. The experiences I gained as a member of the TAAP Class of 2014 served me well during my final year of college and commencement with the University of Oklahoma Musical Theatre Class of 2015. I am now embarking on yet another journey in a new city, New York City to be exact. Before I arrived here, I knew the time I spent here would be great. As I go on auditions, attend classes, meet new people, and navigate the highways and subways of this great metropolis, I have the sneaking suspicion that my life is about to change once again. I must say, with a summer at Theatre Aspen under my belt and with all that I’ve learned about musical theatre and myself during the past four years, I couldn’t be more excited!
Thank you Theatre Aspen!
-Kyra Faith (TAAP Class of 2014)
July 22, 2014
Lauren Jaenecke - Costume Apprentice, Susquehannah University
My first thought after landing in Aspen, was that I couldn’t believe I had actually made it here. Well that’s not completely true, I think my very first thought was something along the lines of “What in the world is happening to my lungs right now?!” But the awe at actually being in Aspen was followed closely after that. Having just graduated in May, coming to Theatre Aspen has been a really big step out into the great beyond of life after college. Obviously I learned an incredible amount in my years at Susquehanna University but there are just some things that you have to learn on the job, through a trial by fire per se. I would definitely include working wardrobe in theatre in that category. The days seem to have flown by since that first day here. They have been filled with hikes, and nature, and good food and friends, and of course, a lot of hard work. I thought I understood how much work it was it get a summer season up, but when that season includes such amazing shows as Full Monty, Little Women and The Cottage, it takes a whole lot of people working sometimes crazy hours to pull it all off. There have been days when the amount of alterations or laundry or organizing just seems too much to handle. But when everything finally comes together, and the full vision of the show is up on that stage, well it all becomes worth it. And it’s the little things like your roommate bringing you lunch, or having a good laugh at the tent, or sitting on the lawn in the sun for a while, or just doing an amazing show, that balances out all the difficult times. But those are also the times when you learn most what you are capable of, and how strong both mentally and physically you actually are, which is pretty amazing for only being half way through the season. That’s one of my favorite parts about theatre: the sheer unpredictability of it all. Each show is a bit different; each project has you using different skills, each member of the company is completely different, and that is what makes this experience so interesting and so rewarding. I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store for me!
July 22, 2014
Rodney Ingram - Performance Apprentice, Laurie (Little Women) CAP21
Two months ago when our plane
turbulently landed in Aspen, I could not have anticipated all the highlights and fond memories that I would have accrued throughout my stay in this exceptional city. And much like many of the articles that the cool kids are reading these days on the interwebs, I wanted to create a list that would adequately summarize some of these.
10 ways you know you were a 2014 Theatre Aspen Apprentice
1. You know the grammatically correct pluralization of apprentice is ‘apprenti’. Tell your friends.
2. You’re considering bringing alpacas to the next party you throw in your mansion.
3. That moment when your rehearsal schedule conflicts with when your country plays in the world cup.
4. You buy groceries at City Market with a conspicuous amount of $1 bills because of tips while working concessions #stripper
5. Your roommate belts high B-flats when he wakes up just to make sure he’s still got it. Incidentally, he’s still got it and you don’t need your alarm clock anymore.
6. You still don’t know how to pronounce 'Periaktoi'
7. Your volleyball skills have drastically improved due to the many hours spent on the courts. Full Monty vs. Little Women. #highstakes
8. You tried to buy an article of clothing here and realized that a million dollars is outside your pay grade.
9. You still don’t know who that dude is who lives in the Ski-Co laundry room. He seems nice though.
10. You’re writing this blog at the last possible moment before the deadline hits. #DontTellDavidGram
July 21, 2014
John Caliendo - Performance Apprentice, John Brooke (Little Women), Marty/Tony Giordano/Ensemble (The Full Monty) Montclair State University
I could start off by telling you about how nuts it is that it’s already the end of July, or I could tell you how ridiculously beautiful the landscape is here in Aspen, but I feel all of that is pretty self explanatory. What is really astounding about this summer is the experience of enjoying a different style of life. Coming from the New Jersey coastal suburbs, (and no - it’s not anything like Jersey Shore…) and going to school so close to New York City, it was a little bit of a shock when coming out to Colorado. I’ve always wanted to travel to exotic and adventurous places, and for Theatre Aspen to have given me the opportunity to escape the sea-level setting has been nothing short of friggen awesome. New places inherently change the way you see things. That is always great when having lived in a beach suburb or a metropolitan setting for most of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those places more than anything, but a change of scene, quite literally, keeps me on my toes. As an actor, there is nothing more satisfying and grounding than traveling and experiencing new things. Every one of those new experiences will augment a performance on future projects. It would be so, for lack of a better term, one dimensional if I were to only let the beach or New York City inform my work because that’s what I know and what I’m comfortable with. It is important to push myself out of those settings and to find other shades of color that I have yet to explore. Aspen has allowed me to experience such new findings. The people here live much more differently than they do on the east coast, and instead of seeing it as discomforting because it’s foreign to me, I choose to embrace it because it can only enhance my work. It truly takes all kinds of people. The same can be said for working alongside such seasoned professionals here at Theatre Aspen. They all come from varied backgrounds and handle things differently, and to get to observe each individual’s personality is to explore a new landscape. Such new experiences, not only with the physical scenery, but more importantly with the diversity of human character, have opened my eyes to different walks of life that will so well contribute to my future as an actor. Even as I type this, I can see massive green and snowcapped mountains from my window. It’s good to realize that even though they aren’t made of steel, they’re just as tall as any skyscraper in New York City. Thank you, Theatre Aspen!
July 21, 2014
Tess Weinberg- Arts Administration Apprentice, Butler University
It’s crazy to believe we are already half way through the season! It feels like not long ago that I was arriving in Aspen ready for a new adventure, but already I have had amazing experiences and have learned so much. As the Arts Administration Apprentice it has been amazing to have the opportunity to work closely with the administrative staff who are all so supportive and passionate about what they do. I already feel like an integral part of the organization and am very appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of this organization and meet all of the wonderful people who make Theatre Aspen’s productions a success.
Aspen itself is an amazing place to be in the summer as well. There’s hiking, white water rafting, endless arts and cultural activities, and plenty of good eats! I have loved every experience especially being able to share it all with all the awesome people I have met here. One of my favorite memories so far was hiking up to the top of Aspen Mountain with 3 other apprentices, tiring but worth the trek. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for the rest of the season!
July 21, 2014
Jess de Jong- Performance Apprentice, Meg (Little Women) Texas State University
Wow this season is flying by! I can't believe we're already half way through our run of "Little Women". I'm having a blast with all of the cast members. Some of my favorite moments have been the sand volleyball games with the Full Monty cast. I also love our March family gatherings we have from time to time. Every single one of those girls is so special to me. I feel so lucky to call them both friends and colleagues.
I've also really enjoyed getting to observe The Cottage rehearsals. They are fast and furious, but some amazing work is being done! I can't wait until they've got an audience. It's so funny people will be crying from laughing so hard! The cast is so incredible. Each one of them has a moment in the show where I literally can't control my laughter. What a cool opportunity to get to see them in their process.
I'm also loving getting to spend time with all of the other Apprentices. Everyone is SO good and so multi-faceted. I can't believe they're not already established in their careers! Most of us are either finishing up college or have just graduated. I think the coolest part is that no one can tell who's an apprentice and who isn't. It just goes to show the calibre of each apprentice here. And, they're all such great people! I love it when we get to have grill outs at Ski-Co or order pizza all together.
I'm so proud of all of the work being done here at Theatre Aspen, and I feel so honored to be a part of it. I had no idea what I was stepping into this summer, and now I'm wishing this could be every summer!
June 4, 2014
Since leaving Theatre Aspen last summer I've spent the year working on a few different projects. I began the year by directing a production of RENT for MUSKET at The University of Michigan in the fall. Here's a link to the production reel! In the winter, I was fortunate enough to work as Bill Berry's Associate Director on LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, a co-production between the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. In the fall, I'll be going to Connecticut, to work as the Assistant Director on HOLIDAY INN at Goodspeed Opera House. Then I'll be returning to school in January where I will graduate from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Directing in May!
Hope everyone is doing well up in beautiful Aspen! Send everyone my love!
June 4, 2014
This last year really has gone by so fast. I have been finishing up my senior year of college at University of Minnestoa Duluth with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology, while working at the University's Student Center where I am a technician for events. I also continued to work on numerous shows on and off campus. Highlights for me were designing for The Pillowman, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove and Buried Child. I am returning to Theatre Aspen as Master Electrician for the 2014 season! And afterwards will be headed to Lowell, MA just outside Boston to work at Merrimack Repertory Theatre as the lighting and sound apprentice for their 2014-2015 season.