Photos: My night at LIDA Project’s ‘Watershed’

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By John Moore
July 9, 2013

Opening No. 92: LIDA Project’s “Watershed (Part 1): The Sea is Not Full”: The 18-year-old LIDA Project has never looked bigger — or more at home — than they do this weekend only at the Rawls Theatre on the Auraria campus. In partnership with Metro State, Denver’s venerable experimental ensemble is exploring global warming and the essential role of water in our lives, in two theatrical parts. This first deals with too much; the second (opening Aug. 23) will addresses the more imminently threatening sustainability problem of not enough. Our narrator/gods/lifeguards are Terry Burnsed and Jaime Lujan, who take us through three disparate tales, primarily that of Adamina (the name is the male form of “Adam,” meaning, not coincidentally, “the Earth.”) She is an outcast goddess who is dying of thirst in both real and metaphorical ways. We also are given a pseudo-comic demonstration of a drowning in a public pool and, the plight of a Dust Bowl farmer intermixed with statistics that make plain just how screwed really we are as a planet. This “modern performance fantasy” looks at water as both a finite resource and an essential element throughout our lives, from fetuses awash in amniotic fluid until our deathbed ointment. Despite the harsh reality it takes on,”Watershed” is one of the LIDA Project’s loveliest theatrical efforts to date — always viscerally and visually engaging if not always easily comprehensible. As a playgoing experience, it’s like water running over a rocky creek bed: The water creates soothing sounds and eases your passage, but there’s a violent undertow just under the surface. “Thousands have lived without love … not one without water.” we’re told. That’s from W.H. Auden, whose wisdom is “tapped” in this original piece along with that of Lewis Carroll, the Bible, ee cummings, Barbara Kingsolver, Shakespeare, Jean Giraudoux, Disney, Shakespeare, Celia Hinojosa … and Wikipedia. Starring Terry Burnsed, Jaime Lujan and Rhea Amos; and featuring Allyx Townend, Miriam BC Tobin, Matthew Schultz, Michelle Hurtubise, Ryan Wuestawald, Tate Freeland and three Torbensons: Dane, Clio and Tian. Showtimes: 8 p.m. today (Friday, July 12), also at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday (July 13) at the King Center, Metro State University on the Auraria campus, 720-221-3821, or lida’s home page, or the king center’s ticketing page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Kristen Littlepage, Erik Larsen, cast and crew.


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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