Photo series: My night at the Catamounts’ ‘Jon’



By John Moore
March 5, 2013

Opening No. 35: The Catamounts’ “Jon” is a Vonnegut-like, possibly futuristic (possibly not) allegory based on a New Yorker short story written by a one-time engineering student from the Colorado School of Mines named George Saunders. In it, trendy youth are raised from birth to serve as perpetual pop-culture taste-setters for all-powerful advertising companies. But while the story is a ruthless chaffing of American consumerism, the outside world ain’t exactly the promised land, either. Pushing the boundaries of video and live theater, this surreal and strangely moving coming-of-age story explores the consequences when you interject real human emotions into an otherwise completely controlled living environment. We visited the final preview performance – and first in front of an audience – on Friday, March 1. Plays through March 16 at the Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder. 303-444-7328 or purchase tickets here. Directed by Amanda Berg Wilson. Adapted for the stage by Seth Bockley. Featuring Joe Von Bokern, Ryan Wuestewald, Tyler Compton, Sonia Justl, Jason Maxwell, Michelle Hurtubise, Miriam Tobin, Verl Hite and RJ Wagner. Thanks to Corey Crowley, Sara McPherson Horle, cast and crew.

Read the New Yorker story upon which the stage adaptation of “Jon” is based.

To see the our full photo series, “It’s Opening Night in Colorado Theatre,” featuring one intimate, iconic snapshot from 36 Colorado opening nights (and counting), click here.

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Ryan Wuestewald and Sonia Justl play Carolyn and Jon, two teenagers who experience the first throes of pubescent lust while living in a controlled corporate universe where TV commercials replace real-life experiences.


Director Amanda Berg Wilson has notes for her cast from a final run-through before the awaiting first audience is let in.


Director Amanda Berg Wilson talks to the crew in the light booth behind her (above) and to the full cast in front of her (below).





The (unstaged!) photo above captures actors, from left, Joe Von Bokern, Ryan Wuestewald, Tyler Compton and Sonia Justl all at once gluing into place the neck ports that will allow their characters to “plug in” to a mind-soothing drug called AurabonĀ®. One of the I.V.-like ports, as they appear on-stage, is pictured below.





Michelle Hurtubise, emerging from her “privacy tarp,” plays a teen named Kimberly in a world where sexual curiosity is zipped up like Velcro. Make that by Velcro.


(Please click below to go to the next page of photos from our night with “Jon.”)

By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at