Performing Arts Take The Stage!
"O, HAD I BUT FOLLOWED THE ARTS!"
- Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
Casper has it all - music, dance and theatre. The only question is, when the lights go down and the curtain goes up, which adventure will be revealed? There are year-round offerings in Casper. With organizations like ARTCORE, The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and theatre companies both at the college and in the community, the performing arts will keep you entertained no matter what adventure you choose! Adventure Guide Pat Greiner is the Continuity Director for a group of local radio stations, and has been heavily involved with Casper's Stage III Theatre since its beginning.
Stage III Theatre has been captivating audiences for over 25 years. With a season that runs from September through June and six productions a year, this intimate theatre-in-the-round showcases comedy, drama and bone-chilling "whodunits." Although this material has been successful, Greiner says that several of the more controversial dramas they've put on - specifically "The Laramie Project" and "Inherit The Wind" have garnered a strong response. "We want to try and bring ourselves a little more into the cutting edge...put some things out there that make people think, and also things that will appeal to a younger audience." They also present their "theatre of the mind" with a reader's theatre production that takes place at the Casper Planetarium sometime in the fall. Shows like "The Martian Chronicles" and "Dimension X" have lent themselves to this experience, so keep an eye on the Stage III website for this year's production.
Continuing the tradition of excellence in performance, Casper College brings the Gertrude Krampert Theatre. Not only will you experience shows with quality acting, the budget allows for some pretty flashy sets and costumes! "The facility, the talent, the dedication...they have the material resources to do big splashy shows that you won't necessarily find at Stage III," Greiner admits. "They do the musicals, and they do them right!" With productions like "It's A Wonderful LIfe," "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Beauty and the Beast," big cities have nothing over the talent you'll encounter here!
Speaking of big cities, the Casper Events Center is proud to bring their "Best of Broadway" events to our fair city! "The shows are familiar to most people -- they tend to bring in 'standards' here," Greiner says, adding, "I've never seen a bad show come in on 'Best of Broadway' - these are professional, national tours with people who have very impressive credentials, and they do a marvelous job." Past plays include "The Producers," "Rent" and "Jesus Christ, Superstar."
Casper also knows how to tickle your funny-bone! The Casper Events Center has been host to several great comedians - Rodney Carrington, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White, to name a few.
Wondering how the little ones get bitten by the theatre bug? The Casper Children's Theatre is a wonderful introduction to the world of performing, and their hard work and dedication make it a joy to attend, no matter your age. "The productions they do just never cease to amaze me with what they can get from those kids!" Greiner proclaims. They've had some outside influences over the years - actor John de Lancie (of Days of our Lives and Star Trek fame) once brought his knowledge and experience to this incredible outfit!
ARTCORE is Casper's organization that ushers in performers from all walks of the profession. "The thing about going to an ARTCORE event is it really makes me aware of the fact that this country is full of so many more working artists - people who devote their lives to it, and make a living from it, not as superstars...but they can make a living out of their art," Greiner muses. Many are local talent, such as Likai He (violinist, grand prize winner of the 2006 Wyoming ASTA Young Artists Solo Competition) and the Tremors (a blues/jazz/folk-based ensemble). There are also "amazingly talented and amazingly diverse" acts, like "a steel drum band from the Caribbean - it was one entire family of about 15 people!" gushes Greiner. "It was just a magical evening of music."
Another incredible performance group is the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. Bringing in musicians from all over the state, the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra entertains with beautiful classical and pops concerts. If that sounds a little highfalutin' for your taste, check out the local underground band scene - if you inquire at Sonic Rainbow downtown, those swell guys and gals can tell you what's playing any given week-end!
If dance is your fancy, ARTCORE's 2007-2008 schedule also includes the Soul Street Dancers, a company that began with a self-taught street crew. And already on the schedule for December 18th is the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at the Casper Events Center. Casper College also brings Flight, the dance company of the Department of Theatre and Dance. "They've built a very impressive dance program over the last couple of years," Greiner admits. To discover more about their performances, go to www.caspercollege.edu.
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