What’s Happening at CRT
Hello CRT Friends,
Creede has already seen its first big winter storm of the season, and the snow-capped cliffs are more beautiful than ever. With the world changing every hour, we thought you could use an update on what’s going on at CRT.
“Why didn’t CRT produce shows during summer 2020?”
We did! While it wasn’t the typical season folks are used to seeing, CRT did produce outdoor concerts, our annual KID Show, and various online events and programming throughout 2020.
However, in conversation with local public health officials and in observance of statewide and county mandates, CRT could not determine a safe and responsible path forward to produce a typical indoor season in summer 2020.
Additionally, CRT has operated under an agreement with Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, for nearly twenty years. At the onset of the pandemic, AEA effectively shut down in-person performances; between March and August 2020 there were no professional theatrical productions in the country. In August, two theaters were given permission to produce shows outdoors under extremely strict guidelines. Until October, no other theatres were able to meet the two required safety standards of 1) frequent, rapid testing for all employees and 2) declining COVID cases in the theatre’s county and all surrounding counties. While some theatres chose to jeopardize their union status in the face of these restrictions, CRT knows we owe much of our artistic quality, reputation, and ability to attract the best talent to our stages to our AEA agreement; the loss of which would do great harm to our theatre.
We are working tirelessly with public health officials to create a comprehensive plan that meets all AEA benchmarks so that we can have programming next summer.
“What is the CRT staff up to these days?”
People understandably wonder: “If y’all aren’t putting on shows, what have they been doing?” While we didn’t have our usual hundred-artist company in town, the year-round staff and many seasonal company members who chose to make CRT their home for the year had a remarkably busy spring, summer, and fall.
Education had a banner year. In March, when shutdowns loomed ahead, CRT’s Education team launched into action and recorded twelve weeks of daily programming for kids of all ages, including Toddler Time, Cozy Corner, Sing Along with Holly, and Friday Day Camp Live! Brittni and Lavour Addison recorded 12 episodes of their original comedy The Adventures of Sunny and Blue, featuring Creede’s resident clowns. We worked closely with Mineral County Public Health to safely offer in-person camps for children all summer long. In July, we had a sold-out run of the outdoor, promenade production of CRT’s beloved KID Show; this world premiere of Hansel or Gretel featured an ensemble of local children, directed and designed by a team of professional artists. We are offering free Friday Day Camps this fall as well as continuing our daily theatre residency with Creede School District.
CRT offered two free concerts featuring songs, monologues, and comedy by local company members in Basham Park over Labor Day and the Car Show Weekends. We also offered a plethora of online programming, including free “Zoomtown” Improv shows, May Monologue Madness, a 10-Minute Play Festival, an all-day fundraiser benefit for Giving Tuesday Now, and a thank-you concert for donors.
We utilized our extra summer hours to give some much-needed love and attention to our facilities. We employed local workers and CRT company members and staff to complete a Mainstage Lobby makeover, backstage improvements, siding on the back of the Mainstage theater, and improvements to our housing units to increase the quality of life for our summer company.
Finally, I would like to highlight the big picture work that has been done over the last eight months. We just completed a new five-year strategic plan that we’ll soon share with the community, made huge strides in our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives, launched a new website (which you probably noticed since that’s where you’re reading this now!), and created three commissions through our Headwaters New Play Program.
“Will CRT produce shows in summer 2021?”
The short answer is, “Yes.” The question remains, “To what extent?”
We typically announce the summer season in November. This year we hope to announce the 2021 Season in February. It could be the original 2020 line-up, a few of those titles, or an entirely new line-up. Shows may take place in the Mainstage, Ruth, Outdoors, or a combination. We will reach out to 2020 ticket-holders with more information as soon as it’s solidified.
There are many factors – some in CRT’s control and many, like the number of COVID cases in our area, far outside of CRT’s control. Like everyone on the planet – particularly performing arts institutions – we must remain flexible for the time being. No matter what, CRT will be here to entertain and inspire you at the intersection of incredible art and astounding natural beauty.
We would like to send a special thank you out to our amazing donors who helped keep us alive during this difficult year. We say that this is ‘your theatre, always,’ because through thick and thin this community has stood by CRT.
As always, I would love to discuss any of these questions further with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out or stop me at the K-Belle. I hope you and your family are staying healthy and well during these intense times.
All the best,
Producing Artistic Director
719-658-2540 Ex. 229