|Front: Stephanie Sly (Ashley), Angie Gerholdt (Crystal). Back: Becky Lofton (Agent Chroma), Garfield Gerholdt (Agent Prism).|
Playwright: Cyndi Parr
Company: Dragon Theatre Productions (a program of Imagination Celebration in a partnership with the Pikes Peak Library District)
Venue: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs CO
Running Time: 1 hour
Date of Performance: Friday, August 14, 2015.
You may remember the recent internet controversy over what color(s) is the dress in this photo. Blue and gold? White and gold? Black and blue? None of these?
So the Dragon Theatre has taken that story and put it on the stage, turning the controversy into a teachable moment. The science of color, it turns out, is not as simple as we believe it to be. Women can see color better than men. Guys…can any of you see mauve? No? That’s what I thought. Color is much more subjective than we realize. Our brains interpret color and light, but as with a lot of things, your brain won’t always agree with other brains on what color the dress is.
The story includes two brilliantly dressed characters to help us make sense of the color question. Agent Chroma (Becky Loften) and Agent Prism (Garfield Gerholdt) arrive
So Dragon Theatre sets out to tell us that things are not always what we perceive, and they succeed in doing so. But perhaps not in the way you might think.
From the program:
“Dragon Theatre Productions is a completely community-inclusive theater program that welcomes anyone willing to make the performance commitment to have the ability to perform, regardless of race, age, disability, orientation, or income. The scripts are adapted to showcase the unique talents and abilities of the performers in a fun and cooperative environment.”
That’s right. No one is turned away. Anyone can and will be cast, without regard to the factors above.
Given that information, you will understand why the point of my review is not the performance, which as information, was entertaining and enlightening. Rather, this is a review of a company and its’ commitment to the transformative power theater can bring to all of us.
A partnership with the Pikes Peak Library District and Imagination Celebration, Dragon Theatre Productions writes scripts that are tailored to their actors skills. Think about that for a minute. If you had a son, a daughter, a friend, or even an acquaintance with a disability, you can probably relate to how that disability takes an emotional as well as physical toll on that person. It’s difficult to know that, in some sense, people think you’re not “normal.’ Anyone trying out for a role at Dragon Theatre Productions gets a chance to be someone else, someone new. Someone people can see, listen to, and relate to, apart from the person they thought they knew.
It’s like a therapeutic costume party where you become someone else and go to a place where everyone is equal, happy, and productive. It is Dragon Theatre Productions that is opening that door and giving everyone a chance at equality, happiness, and productivity.
For some, a successful theater is one that sells a lot of tickets. For others, it’s producing shows that enhance our lives. Dragon Theatre Productions is in the latter category. Their focus isn’t to make a lot of money selling tickets, nor is it necessarily to enhance the lives of the people in the audience. Rather, their purpose is to enhance the lives of those who live around us, among us, and with us, but who are all too often marginalized.
Dragon Theatre Productions might not put on a lot of award winning shows. That, frankly doesn’t matter in the slightest. In fact, the very concept of awards for art is a dubious one. Instead, Dragon Theatre Productions takes its many intangible awards as they come.
We heard about a volunteer who wanted to be in a production, but couldn’t speak at the time. Dragon Theatre Productions found her something she could do onstage. Over time, that actor has begun to speak, and she can now deliver some lines. She has been transformed emotionally and physically, and she exudes a level of joy and happiness we all seek.
The intangible rewards we get in life are almost always the best ones. Dragon Theatre Productions understands that, and their intangible rewards have been substantial. Theater, done well, is very powerful. So is theater done right. Dragon Theatre is doing theater right, which the audience may find touching, but more importantly, has a transformative impact for their performers.
As I mentioned above, things are not always as we perceive them. We don’t always perceive colors correctly, nor do we always perceive people correctly. Dragon Theatre Productions is helping us with the latter, and for that, they deserve and get my highest praise.
|What Color IS That Dress?|
I usually only credit the main performers and crew in the interest of brevity. For Dragon Theatre Productions, I will make an exception and be “community-inclusive.” Every single person who was credited in the program has been included below.
This show closes on August 16, 2015
On a personal note, my wife, Roxie, has lymphedema in her right arm as a result of breast cancer treatment and has to wear compression bandages or garments all the time. We are aware of the glances of others and although she is not bothered by questions, I am astounded at how many people feel free to ask her what happened. She feels an instant kinship whenever she meets another person with lymphedema - giving complete strangers hugs. She, and we, get it.
PHOTO CREDITS: Dragon Theatre Productions.
TICKETS: At the door.
Director: Angie Kinnett
Assistant Directors: Angie Gerholdt, Nathaniel Bourn, Pam Parr, Robert Bowman, Eileen Morgan, Cyndi Parr
Produced by: Jeff, Jane, Matt, and Velma Hall
Dragon Theatre Program Director: Cyndi Parr
Imagination Celebration Executive Director: Deborah Thornton
Imagination Space Manager: Dan Wecks
Imagination Celebration Board: Emily Foster, Keith Johnson, Lee Kyle, Diane Loschen, Ana Olivas, Beth Seymour, Becca Sickbert
PPLD Staff: Dee Sabol, Sean Anglum, Danny Walter, Jamey Hastings, Travis Duncan, Jeremiah Walter
Dedicated in Memory of Past Dragon Theatre Participants: Mike Chase, Leslie Levengood, Rita Marks, Tiffany Maxwell, Steve Warmington.
Costume Design: Ashley Gamba
Scenic Piece Designers: Ben Sloan, Angie Kinnett, Robert Bowman
Additional Set Creators: Roy Ballard, K8e Orr, Joel Newmiller, Jeff Hall
Stage Manager: Monica Erck
Backstage Manager: Devin Walker
Backstage Crew: Pam Parr, Angela Wu, Christina Reyes, Robert Bowman, Jane Oliver, Stephanie Sly, Bob Wolf, Marsha Miller
Dramaturgs: Angie Gerholdt, Becky Loften, Robert Bowman, Ben Sloan, Devin Walker
Lighting Designer: Ben Sloan (www.m3colorado.com)
Sound Designer: Maelle Dassonville
Light Assistant: Bob Wolf
Music: The Rogue Spirits: Travis Duncan/Jeremiah Walter
Set Painters: Angela Wu, Christina Reyes, Emily Sorenson
Set and Prop Movers: Angie Gerholdt, Matt Gerholdt, Joe Kinnett, Angie Kinnett, Wesly Kinnett, Jane Hall, Matt Hall, Anita Azare, Glenn Azare, Ashley Whitead, Robert Bowman, Ben Sloan, Cyndi Parr
Helpers, builders, lifters: David Sorenson, Danny Walter, Sean Anglum, Daniel Medina
Dance Choreographers: Anita Azare, Micah Spiers, Stephanie Sly
Fight Choreographer: Tom Condas
Costume Goddess and Workshop Leader: Jane Hall
Costume Creators: Angela Wu, Christina Reyes
Costume Helpers: Brendon Kern, Tristen Kern, Collen Kern, Cathy Hoefker, Sarah Kirkbride, Eileen Morgan, Matt Hall
Costume Donors: Weston Kreuger, Josh Kruger, Starr Vansholtz, Justin Courtier, Joan Courtier, Stephanie Sly, Tracy Rodgers, Joyce Rodgers, Cyndi Parr, Matt Hall, Robert Bowman, Isabel Sorenson, Joy Blackburn, Matthew Miller, Marsha Miller, Shannon Liska, Jamie Oliver, Jane Oliver, Beth Wood, Betty Wood, Anita Azare, Ashley Whitead, Leanna Wolf, Nancy Wolf, Bob Wolf, Michael Blickhann, Angie Gerholdt, Garfield Gerholdt, Dan Wecks/Imagination Celebration, Betsy McClenahan, Carolye Asfahi
Costume Running Crew: Angela Wu, Christina Reyes, Jane Hall, Wright Family, June Gordon, Russ Gordon, Mike Olive, Jane Oliver
Prop Workshop Leaders: Joel Newmiller, Bandon Busby, K8e Orr (www.jibwa.blogspot.com)
Prop Master: Matt Hall
Prop Creators: Lindsey Roy, Rod Merriman, Lura Winter, Sarah Kirkbride, Chris Gould, Anita Azare, Ashley Whitead, Jeff Hall, Jane Hall, Ron Foster, Donna Winter
Prop Donors: Dan Wecks/Imagination Celebration, Drew Johnson, LaVonne Taylore, Robert Bowman, Matt Hall, Jane Hall, Jen Sorenson, Joyce Rodgers
Photographer: Matt Meacham
Poster Design: David Ball
Printing by: Cheetah Printing
Program Design: Cyndi Parr
Poster Art by: Michael Hague and www.xkcd.com
Ad Sales: Drew Johnson, Cyndi Parr, Jane Hall, Cletis Johnson
Promotional Team: Cyndi Parr, Shannon Liska, Travis Duncan, Jermian Walter, Sean Anglum, Deborah Thornton, Jen Furda, Joy Blackburn, Micah Spiers
Awesome Supporters: Daina Beck, Beth Merriman, Donna Winter, Jeff Hall, Chris Gould
Snack Master: Angie Gerholdt
Wesly Wranglers: Jeff Hall, Pam Parr, Joe Kinnett
Crystal: Angie Gerholdt
Red, Bee 1: Anita Azare
Yellow Bee 2: Ashley Whitead
Agent Chroma: Becky Loften
Athena, Purple: Beth Marie Wood
Royal Sea Snailer, Cerberus, Butterfly: Cathy Hoefker
Voiceover of Light Designer: Cyndi Parr
Green, Mantis Shrimp: Eric Williams
Agent Prism: Garfield Gerholdt
Cleopatra, Sparrow: Heather Hayward
Sheep, Bee 4: Hillary Hayward
Zeus, Reindeer: Jamie Oliver
Bee 3: Jane Hall
Blue, Woman in Red, Claude Monet, Queen Bee: Joyce Rodgers
Scientist, Violet: LeeAnna Wolf
Hades: Matt Hall
Artist: Michael Blickhahn
Color Illusionist: Robert Bowman
Ashley: Stephanie Sly
Orange, Man in Red, Zuckerberg, Chameleon: Tracy Rodgers
Special thanks to:
Audrey Bussanich, Tommie Sue Wojnarowski, Chris Terrien, Becca Sickbert, James Kelley, Velma Hall, Shannon Liska, Angie Gerholdt, Robert Bowman, Tom Fleecs and D-11, Dan Wecks, Deborah Thornton, Betsy McClenahan, Drew Johnson, Lavonne Taylor, Cindy Whittington, Warren Epstein, Nora Hardin, Gloria Shanstrom, Midnight Multimedia M3, El Paso County, Fox21 News, Kim Green, KCMJ, Pikes Peak Interagency Transition Team, New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, Peak Radar, COPPeR, Colorado Theater Guild, Colorado Community Theater Festival, Pikes Peak Arts Council, James McClain and the Bellevue Youth Theatre, and the entire staff of the Pikes Peak Library District.
Media Sponsor: Colorado Springs Business Journal
Ad Sponsors/Donors: elope, Inc., Jeff, Jane & Matt Hall, Springs Realty Group, Jerry and Margaret Morris, Midnight Multimedia M3, Qualtek, Jane Dillon, Terri & Cecil Harrison, Touchstone Internal Medicin, Bruce Tabberson DDS, TechWares.