January 31, 2023
Queer VOICES Theater Venture builds group
From left to proper: Hattie Rensberry (she/her) – ensemble
Kat Dressman (they/them) – ensemble
Travis Dean Wilson (he/him) – ensemble
Micha Schoepe (he/him) – ensemble
Dani Rivera (she/her) – ensemble
Renee Prince (she/her) – Government Inventive Director, VOICES
Bryan Alvarez-Terrazas (they/he) – ensemble
Cassidy Willey (she/her) – co-director
Artwork Williams (they/he) – co-director/ensemble member
Jeanette Adams (she/her) – bassist/ensemble

Susannah McLeod, McLeod9 Artistic

This weekend, VOICES and TACAW current a three-day, multi-disciplinary theater undertaking known as A Inexperienced Fowl On Orange Timber, created by seven native queer artists. The manufacturing is directed by Cassidy Willey and Artwork Williams.

Willey is the lead instructing artist at VOICES, a Carbondale-based, nonprofit arts group geared toward amplifying unheard or underrepresented voices by means of the humanities. She was born and raised in Glenwood Springs and has been energetic in theater so long as she will bear in mind.

“I did numerous theater with my household rising up, and my first play was after I was 11 months outdated. Yeah, I performed ‘child with a mustache,’” she mentioned.

Her co-director, Williams, a Dallas native, is a multi-disciplinary artist who identifies as queer. He got here to the valley in 2018 as a part of the ArtistYear Americorps program to show choir and theater to center college college students in Glenwood Springs. He did a brief stint in New York however finally returned, at which period he reconnected with Willey, who talked about that “centering queer tales had been on her thoughts,” he mentioned.

Artwork Williams (they/he) – co-director/ensemble

He was excited concerning the prospect, though it’s no secret that the Roaring Fork Valley isn’t probably the most various place. However, after talking with the VOICES board and taking the temperature of some attainable group companions like TACAW, they felt the time was proper to proceed.

“Whereas we’ve had queer individuals because the starting of VOICES, that is the primary time that we’ve centered queer voices in certainly one of our theater initiatives,” mentioned Willey.

For lots of younger queer and LGBTQ+ folks within the valley, it’s arduous to determine the place to attach with their friends. Not like extra metropolitan areas, there are usually not a ton of bars, golf equipment or occasions which might be clearly welcoming areas. So, how does the group come collectively collectively to fight this situation?

“, there’s totally different sorts of loneliness, clearly, wherever you go,” Williams mentioned. “However, I actually hope that individuals begin to notice that we don’t want loads to have group. We don’t want a bar. We don’t want a bodily institution. We have now one another, and we may be inventive with how we construct our areas. And, there are different individuals who wish to join.”

Kat Dressman (they/them) – ensemble and Hattie Rensberry (she/her) – ensemble
Susannah McLeod, McLeod9 Artistic

Each he and Willey hope A Inexperienced Fowl on Orange Timber will simply be the start. They describe the present as a multi-sensory expertise for the viewers, encapsulated in private vignettes. These vignettes can embody spoken phrase, music or motion. It doesn’t comply with the standard narrative of a three-act play, however there are interwoven themes that come collectively by means of the intimate nature of the storytelling.

Travis Dean Wilson (he/him) – ensemble
Susannah McLeod, McLeod9 Artistic

“The folks popping out on stage are actually laying their hearts on the road,” Willey mentioned. “And, the tales are inspiring, they’re humorous, they’re whimsical, they’re imaginative, they’re heartbreaking.”

Micha Schoepe (he/him) – ensemble and Kat Dressman (they/them) – ensemble
Susannah McLeod, McLeod9 Artistic

One other distinctive method they’re taking is that every of the three nights will host a distinct occasion. Friday will function a Q&A with forged and crew, moderated by Halle Zander, host of All Issues Thought of on Aspen Public Radio. Saturday, there will probably be a dance occasion with a DJ set by “The Visitor,” aka Simon Klein, hosted by AspenOut, and Sunday Gay4Good & AspenOUT will host a particular exercise earlier than the efficiency.

Each Willey and Williams encourage anybody to come back and help the present whether or not you establish as queer or not. Willey particularly stresses the significance of allies attending the occasion to help the group.

“This isn’t a manufacturing that’s made just for individuals who establish as queer or LGBTQ+,” Willey mentioned. “It is a manufacturing for anybody who identifies as human. You will notice your self mirrored within the tales on stage.”

Williams agrees.

“I hope that individuals take away, you realize, that we’re all not as totally different as we expect we’re, and that we’ve a lot to study from individuals who look otherwise and specific themselves otherwise,” he mentioned.

Dani Rivera (she/her)-ensemble and Bryan Alvarez-Terrazas (they/he) – ensemble
Susannah McLeod, McLeod9 Artistic

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