Photos: My night at The Catamounts’ “Feed: Short and Sweet”

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By John Moore
Dec. 14, 2013

Welcome to my ongoing, 2013 labor-of-love photo series bringing you iconic snapshots from behind the scenes on opening nights in Colorado theater. All photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. To see the official “Opening Nights” photo series to date (these ones are specifically the “Feed” outtakes), click here.

OPENING 147Young Catamounts cast member Quinn Hirschland jumps for joy – and casts a long shadow – during a pre-show rehearsal for Feed.”

Opening No. 147: The Catamounts’ “Feed: Short and Sweet”: Boulder’s The Catamounts performance collective reference food in their slogan: “Theatre for the Adventurous Palate.” So it’s feeding, I mean fitting, that Amanda Berg Wilson’s young team has turned its unique “Feed” series into its signature offering. “Feed” offers audiences professional storytelling paired with specialty beer and locally sourced food. In this case: A roster of Sanitas beers paired with hand-crafted desserts from Kim and Jake’s Cakes; Sweet Cow Ice Cream; and pastry chefs Dorian O’Connell and Kathy Moore.) They perform while you nosh in the back brewing room at Sanita’s Brewing Company. The food and the theater fare serve as equal partners in creating a cohesive narrative here. The common ingredient for this round of stories: Each evokes sweet moments that arise from The depths of the coldest and hardest times of year, when the days are shortest and challenges the biggest. The Catamounts’ aforementioned Amanda Berg Wilson, Joan Bruemmer-Holden, McPherson Horle and Jeremy Make are joined by guest storytellers Heather Grimes (from Boulder’s “Truth Be Told” story slam) and a boy named Quinn Hirschland to perform a mix of monologues, adapted short stories and real stories from Boulder’s recent floods. There’s some A.A. Milne (“A House is built at Pooh Corner for Eeyore”) in there, with a taste of former Colorado Mines engineering student turned celebrated fiction writer George Saunders (“Tenth of December.”) A second “Feed” has been scheduled to accommodate demand at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. at Sanitas, 3550 Frontier Ave. (off Foothills Parkway and Pearl Street). Tickets are $30. Call 720-468-0487 or go to The Catamounts’ home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Mare Trevathan, Lauren Shepard, Aaron Boisvert, cast and crew. To see the entire Opening Nights photo series to date, click here.

 

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

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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.

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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).

 

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OPENING 35
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.

 

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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.”)