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Play launched at CMC wins multiple awards

Aspen Stage production on gay marriage advances to regional contest

120808 FPE RFC Unmarried wins Salida award - 1

Cast and crew of the Aspen Stage production of “€œUnmarried in America”€: in first row, Kristin Carlson, Karen Zanella Fleming, Wendy Tennis, Cindy Hines, Maureen Jackson; in second row, Raleigh Burleigh, Brad Moore, Ryan Fleming, Olivia Savard, Patrick Bondy and Jeff Carlson. Award-winning director Wendy Moore not pictured.

A play that debuted at Colorado Mountain College in Spring Valley, and which features CMC faculty and staff in numerous roles on and behind the stage, placed second overall at a statewide theater competition in Salida last weekend.

“Unmarried in America” was written by Glenwood Springs playwright and CMC adjunct instructor Kristin (K.D.) Carlson and presented as a staged reading at Colorado Mountain College-Spring Valley in September 2011 and at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House in January 2012.

The play, which focuses on the national debate over gay marriage, wowed audiences at the Colorado Community Theatre Coalition festival in Salida, winning a total of nine awards and a slot at the regional theater competition to be held in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in April.

The Aspen Stage production in Salida won both Best Ensemble and the People’s Choice awards. Wendy Moore (who teaches English Comp for CMC and has directed numerous plays for CMC Theatre) earned Best Director honors, and Wendy Tennis was named Best Actress. In addition, four members of the company received All-State Excellence in Acting awards: Maureen Jackson, Ryan Fleming, Jeff Carlson and Brad Moore. Even CMC Theatre student Brittany Chicon was on hand, as a crew member.

Brad Moore is not only technical director for all CMC Theatre productions, he is directing (and designing) both fall shows this year, plus teaching Theatre Production I & II, Elements of Theatrical Craft & Design, and Improvisation.

As if that weren’t enough, he also helped found Aspen Stage, which produced this particular performance of the play. He said: “The audience response was incredibly affirming. Winning the People’s Choice award is just a huge honor.”

The People’s Choice award is selected by festival attendees, who vote by blind ballot. “To be selected by your peers, all avid theatregoers and discerning audience members, is very gratifying,” said director Wendy Moore.

120808 FP RFC Unmarried wins Salida award - 2

Some of the cast and crew of the Aspen Stage production of “€œUnmarried in America,”€ from left to right: Raleigh Burleigh, Cindy Hines, Kristin Carlson, Al Lyons, Brad Moore, Wendy Moore and Brittany Chicon.

Over the next six months, Aspen Stage will rehearse and raise funds for the regional competition. “We’re hoping that supporters who would like to see the message of this play carried to a wider audience will step forward,” said Brad Moore.

Congratulations to the ensemble that pulled it off! And onward to Jackson Hole!