Putting on an act

Craig Performing Arts Project readies for performance

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Something's afoot among theater enthusiasts in Craig who plan to bring the dramatic arts back to this town.

Cindy Chotvacs has lived here for several years and often pondered why there wasn't an active performance group. The Boom Town Players disbanded several years ago, and there hasn't been an ongoing theater group since then.

When Linda Putnam moved here a year ago, Chotvacs was excited that Putnam had theater experience and proposed the idea of starting a new organization.

"We have a lot of talent and there's not an outlet for it here," Chotvacs said. "We are excited about bringing people together in an artistic venue."

The women invited anyone interested in the Craig Performing Arts Project to three meetings they have held during the past couple of months. At first, participation from men and those with technical experience was lacking, but recent response has been encouraging.

"There are lots of opportunities for all of those who want to get involved," Putnam said. "Maybe not on stage, but behind the scenes."

The project's first planned production, called "Something's Afoot," is a murder mystery musical set in England. The play is a parody on crime author Agatha Christies's style.

Putnam, who will direct the first play, said the plot poses some set difficulties.

"Each person has their own way of being murdered, which is what the technical challenge will be," she said. "It really does involve some technical gimmicks to make it work."

The cast list includes six men and four women, some singing and basic choreography to accompany the music.

"The music isn't that complicated," Putnam said. "The music furthers the plot. It really tells a lot of the story."

Auditions are planned for early January, and organizers encourage anyone interested to give it a shot. Everyone in the cast sings, though not everyone has a solo.

"We would love to have participation from everyone, whether you've had lots of experience or no experience," Chotvacs said.

The performance dates are set for April 8 and 9, though a location has yet to be determined.

The group is looking forward to a possible class at the Colorado Northwestern Community College in conjunction with future productions. They also hope to include interested high school students.

"We've been putting feelers out in the community to see if there's interest and it looks like there is," Putnam said. "It really looks like we have a lot of people who want to do it and have a high-quality experience."

For more information about the project, call Chotvacs or Putnam at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries at 824-5116.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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