THIS to Close Boulder Ensemble Theatre's 8th Season, 5/1-18

THIS to Close Boulder Ensemble Theatre's 8th Season, 5/1-18

After a season of through-the-roof ticket sales and critical acclaim, the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) now presents the final play of Season Eight. In true BETC style, "This" by Melissa James Gibson is a thought-provoking, heartrending, and laugh-filled examination of some of the most difficult years of our lives.

"This" was a hit off Broadway in 2009 with Julianne Nichols (August: Osage County) in the starring role of Jane and Louis Cancelmi (Law & Order) in the role of Jean-Pierre. NY Times critic Charles Isherwood wrote that Gibson "graduates into the theatrical big leagues with this beautifully conceived, confidently executed and wholly accessible work."

At the helm of "This" is acclaimed local director Christy Montour-Larson. "Melissa James Gibson has an appreciation for the unexplained minor absurdities of life," says Larson. "She is not afraid of experimentation, she is able to mine mythic and allusive substructures within colloquial speech-all while allowing the humor and humanity of her characters to shine through."

Though this is her first play with BETC, Larson is one of the region's most prolific directors. She is Producer- in-residence at Curious Theatre, and a frequent guest artist at many theatres including the Denver Center and Creede Rep. BETC Producing Ensemble Director, Stephen Weitz, says of Larson, "I'm so delighted to have someone of Christy's caliber working for BETC. I've admired her work for years and am thrilled we were finally able to get her on board."

Larson says. "'This' is the story of a group of friends in their late 30's who struggle with infidelity, grieving, parenting and the meaning of life. It is about that time in our lives when we are lost at sea and disoriented, unmoored, vulnerable and susceptible. Everyone has a 'This.' It is the scary thing that demands attention but doesn't necessarily receive it."

The production stars Jessica Robblee (Curious Theatre's "After the Revolution") as Jane, and features BETC ensemble member Josh Hartwell ("Shipwrecked"), returning guest artist Ghandia Johnson ("Doubt"), and BETC newcomers Michael Morgan and David R. Russell.

"This" is a wonderful story for the midlife crisis in all of us," Larson says. "Anyone going through a change in life will be able to relate to 'This.'"

"This" by Melissa James Gibson, directed by Christy Montour-Larson will run May 2-18. Preview May 1 ($15 tickets for preview and select performances) Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 4 p.m. All performances play the Dairy Center for the Arts, 26th and Walnut Street, Boulder. Tickets: (303) 444-7328 or betc.org.

Announcing Season Nine:

"Ambition Facing West", a regional premiere by Anthony Clarvoe
October 9th - November 2nd, 2014 · betc.org/ambition
Don't look back. Three generations of one family move ever westward, restless, seeking. As they migrate from Croatia, through Wyoming, and onward to Japan, the land of opportunity keeps moving, and the past keeps catching up. This unforgettable family provides "an exquisitely rendered commentary on the human condition" (DC Theatre Scene). After the pain of saying goodbye, what wonders lie ahead?

"The SantaLand Diaries," returning to the Denver Center, by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello
November 28th - December 24th, 2014 · betc.org/SantaLand-Diaries-2014
Crumpet the Elf returns in this acclaimed holiday production. BETC and Off-Center @ The Jones partner for more hilarious holiday hijinks. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? "The SantaLand Diaries" is the sure cure for the common Christmas show.

"The Aliens," by Annie Baker
January 29th - February 22nd, 2015 · betc.org/aliens
Out back of a tiny Vermont coffee shop, long-time dropouts KJ and Jasper consider the finer points of Bukowski (and brownies), while high-schooler Evan Shelmerdine navigates the awkwardness of teenage turmoil. These unlikely mentors and the boy they befriend are the subject of Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Annie Baker's simple, compassionate observations of life between the lines and greatness found in the most unlikely of places.

"Stupid F##king Bird," a regional premiere, sort of adapted from Chekhov's "The Seagull," by Aaron Posner
March 12th 2015 - April 5th, 2015 · betc.org/bird
You've never seen Chekhov like this. Aaron Posner's irreverent update of "The Seagull" lets us into a country house where unrequited desire is drowned in equal parts alcohol and sarcasm. In true Chekhovian fashion, actresses, playwrights, doctors, and novelists bare their souls as they search desperately for the truth of love and art. This guilty pleasure of a comedy even dares to ask our audience: "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Hysteria," a regional premiere by Terry Johnson
April 23rd - May 17th, 2015 · betc.org/hysteria
Sigmund Freud is dying. But before he does, there are visitors to be met, and reckonings to be made. A life-long friend insists upon a rewrite. A mysterious girl turns up in his study, demanding time on his couch. And once Salvador Dali himself arrives, the stage is set for a splendidly silly exploration of the subconscious that makes for "audacious and dazzlingly clever farce" (Financial Times, London).

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