Theatre brings high quality entertainment to Grand County

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photo by Tara Walker RMRT director Michael Querio meets with Zandra Walker and Bridget Brown during Annie Auditions in Denver on January 25. The two girls have had several summers with RMRT youth productions and were excited to have the opportunity to audition for RMRT’s Annie Production.
photo by Tara Walker RMRT director Michael Querio meets with Zandra Walker and Bridget Brown during Annie Auditions in Denver on January 25. The two girls have had several summers with RMRT youth productions and were excited to have the opportunity to audition for RMRT’s Annie Production.

by Tara Walker

Passion is evident if you’ve ever attended a show at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake. The sound quality is clear and every seat is a good seat as we hear amazing talent every summer. It’s an opportunity for Grand County to experience Broadway shows in our own backyard. Great summer productions are anticipated as locals and tourists can purchase tickets starting on March 7 to see Annie, The Full Monty, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Auditions are ongoing and many local children are excited at the opportunity to audition for Annie. RMRT Summer Youth theater registration starts February 23rd.

There is a reason that RMRT shows are so outstanding and it has a lot to do with people. Michael Querio has been the executive artistic director for the past 3 years at RMRT and has been with RMRT for 23 years. Michael is an accomplished performer himself as a conductor, singer, pianist and actor with roots in Chicago. He has even performed with the Chicago Symphony chorus as a singer.

Jeff Duke is another asset for RMRT. He has been the associate artistic director for 13 seasons and has directed and choreographed over 20 shows for RMRT. He has also had success as a performer and has performed in over 20 musical theater productions in Chicago. Like Michael, Jeff has also performed for the Chicago Symphony Chorus and has even been featured as a soloist for the Chicago symphony!

Querio and Duke have surrounded themselves and our small regional theater with high quality performers and staff. This season brings Annie, The Full Monty, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Pump Boys and Dinettes to the stage in Grand Lake. Auditions started in Denver on January 25th and will end in Grand Lake on March 4.

Querio estimates they will see around 1200 auditions to find the perfect cast for the summer’s productions as they travel to Denver, Memphis, Chicago, New York, ending with auditions in Grand Lake. It’s not a surprise that in 2014, Grand County’s local theater company was recognized as Outstanding Regional Theatre by the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards. With such an exhaustive search, they are bound to find more great talent and earn more awards in the coming years.

Not only does RMRT bring great entertainment, but they’ve given back to the community in a unique way by offering a high-quality children’s theater program every summer for ages 7 to 18. It’s an opportunity for youth to work with experienced performers from Chicago and New York, for example. They get to live the excitement and learn what it’s like to perform at RMRT.

The youth program started in 1998 and is such a popular program that families from Denver travel up to Grand Lake for a month of their summer to give their children the opportunity to attend. Grandparents in Grand County play host to their grandchildren for a month so they can be a part of RMRT’s youth theater program.

Registration for youth theater opens on February 23, so mark your calendars. Families line up outside to get their children into the program and the phone lines are jammed. Parents have reported using redial for over 30 minutes just to get the opportunity to register their children. In addition to their work with summer youth theater, the Rocky Mountain Repertory also awards two $1000 Judith and Skelly Warren Scholarships to Grand County graduating seniors.

If you are looking for a fun night out or want to impress guests, you won’t be disappointed by any of the performances offered by the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater in Grand Lake this summer. Find out more at www.rockymountainrep.com.

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