'Meaningful theater' kicks off CMC's Sopris Theatre Company season
"Natural Shocks" will also tour the state
By Mike McKibbin
Colorado Mountain College
Oct. 10, 2023 - A play described as a one-woman tour-de-force by Lauren Gunderson - America's most-produced playwright - will kick off the Sopris Theatre Company's season on Oct. 13 on Colorado Mountain College's Spring Valley campus outside Glenwood Springs.
"I've always thought good theater gets people to think," explained Brad Moore, the company's operations manager. "It's meaningful theater."
Moore said he chose "Natural Shocks" after the positive experiences and reactions to previous Gunderson plays.
"She loves to point her plays toward causes she believes in," Moore added, "and I've always wanted to present plays that focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and those types of social causes."
"Natural Shocks" is described on Gunderson's website as "a 60-minute, one-woman tour-de-force play that bursts to life when we meet a woman waiting out an imminent tornado in her basement. Angela … overflows with quirks, stories and a final secret that puts the reality of guns in America in your very lap."
Moore said "Natural Shocks" has a definite statement about domestic violence and gun-related violence, so it fits well with his goals for the company. The intense, single-act play is meant for mature audiences.
Performances of "Natural Shocks" will also tour the state, including the 2024 Colorado Theatre Festival, Moore added. He noted previous Sopris Theatre Company presentations were also taken on the road.
The schedule of this year's tour was still being finalized, but Moore said plans called for "Natural Shocks" performances in Cedaredge, Rifle and at the theatre festival. Other possibilities included Grand Junction and on the Front Range.
The Sopris Theatre Company will present "Natural Shocks" on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-14, at 7 p.m.
USBank is the presenting sponsor of Sopris Theatre's 2023-24 season.
"I think we will have a fun, challenging season with a wonderful collection of plays," Moore said. "The writers of these plays are all strong playwrights."
The rest of this season's schedule includes:
• "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," based on the novel by Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stephens, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, and a week later on Dec.1-2 at 7 p.m.
Afternoon performances will be held Sunday, Nov. 26, and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. The company will also perform the play in Aspen's Wheeler Opera House on Friday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m.
• "Native Gardens," by Karen Zacharías, will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2-3, Sunday, Feb. 10, Thursday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Afternoon performances will be on Sunday, Feb. 4, Sunday, Feb. 11, and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m.
• "The Book of Will," another Gunderson play, will wrap up the season on Fridays and Saturdays, April 5- 6, 12-13, and 19-20 at 7 p.m. and Sundays, April 7, 14 and 21, at 2 p.m.