When conjuring up images of the FAC, paintings and sculptures and art classes come to mind for most students. In addition to these visual art mediums, the FAC’s performing arts program – and specifically the Theatre Company – present valuable and shouldn’t-miss opportunities to the Colorado College community.
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center was the first institution in the United States to give equal weight to visual and performing arts when it opened in 1936, and it remains as one of only a few in the United States that continues to do so. The stunning 400-seat SaGaLi Theatre and the 108-seat music room are original to the building.
Colorado College students have free access to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theater Company shows. Students can simply show their gold card at any time within an hour before the show, and if there are seats left, they gain entry for free.
Additionally, students can audition, submit their resume for backstage or design work, and/or apply to work as an intern with the performing arts at the FAC. Being involved with the company is a big commitment, though. For the mainstage productions (of which there are five per year) rehearsals run for four weeks, then the show runs for another four weeks. During this time, the commitment is like a full time job: 40 hours per week.
The FAC Theatre Company is made up of trained theatre professionals. There are a dozen year-round staff members, but all artists are hired on a show-by-show basis. In fact, 80 percent of artists are sourced locally from the Pikes Peak region.
“While we sometimes hire performers who have little experience, we generally rely on filling our casts with working professionals,” said Scott RC Levy, Director of Performing Arts and Producing Artistic Director. However, he recommended smaller theaters nearby for rookie actors to get their feet wet, such as Springs Ensemble Theatre, Theatre D’Art, Funky Little Theatre Company, and Star Bar Players.
The FAC Theatre Company is celebrating its 30th season this year of producing professional theatrical productions for the Pikes Peak Region. Before 1987, the department at the FAC presented other groups’ theatre work, and brought in internationally known performers, such as Martha Graham
Levy said that since the merge with CC, the Performing Arts Department has felt more able to take risks with regard to programming, knowing that CC is now their strong financial foundation.
Levy is currently working on show selection for the 2018-2019 season.
“It’s a mixture of art and science,” he said. “I read a lot, see as much as I can, I talk to artists about what they would like to do. Then I try to create a menu of the best mix for the season, and try to acquire the rights to produce the show.”
Currently playing at the SaGaLi theatre are Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery and Bunnicula. Nationally recognized comedian Tom Papa is performing on November 3 at 7:30 p.m. In the music room, Open Mic comedy is happening on Friday, November 3 at 8:30 p.m.