Community theater returns to Meeker | Rio Blanco Herald Hours

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Something rotten! features minstrels, musicals and the ‘provocative egg parade’

BEST | The Meeker Arts and Culture Council (MACC) is officially celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and the organization is celebrating the return of community theater in style. The organization, founded by Laurie and Gary Zellers and other interested citizens in early 2011, has produced a number of plays over the years, often in concert with the Meeker School District Drama Programs and with the support of other entities such as the ERBM Recreation and Park District. It has been some time, however, since the adult citizens of Meeker have had the opportunity to ‘break a leg’.

This year, the MACC Board of Directors secured funding through various mechanisms, including a Fairfield Grant, to put together “Something Rotten! A brand new musical.

According to mtishows.com, the play is described as “an outrageous and audience-pleasing musical farce” and “the funniest musical in at least 400 years.” The play is set in the Renaissance era and features brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, who are desperate to write a hit but must emerge from the shadows cast by a rock star version of Shakespeare, also known as of “The Bard”. Nick turns to a diviner, who predicts the future of theater and musicals. The brothers work together to create a hit, with several hilarious stumbles along the way, as they learn that “reaching the top means being true to yourself and all that jazz.”

Spearheads the effort to tell this award-winning story are two familiar faces of Meeker – Shana Holliday and Janelle Borchard. Both have been performing since childhood and are heavily involved in Meeker’s theatrical scene, but Something Rotten! will be their first performance for several years.

For Holliday, his father’s career as a teacher and theatrical musical director at a college in Minnesota was his introduction to the world of theater. “My dad was also my rock star. I followed him like a puppy and wanted to do what he was doing. I have seen it affect people in such a positive way.

Holliday graduated in theater with a minor in music from St. Benedict’s College, but after school she didn’t do much with theater until she returned to Meeker for the second time. in 2009, with her husband Matt and daughters Mason and Ruby (the family also lived in Meeker from 2001 to 2006.) After working in the hospitality industry for a while, she graduated with a Masters in Education and was a teacher kindergarten in Meeker before taking her current job – Meeker Elementary School music and art teacher – in 2013.

When Holliday enrolled his daughters to represent Annie, Jr. of ERBM’s Center Stage Youth Theatrical Group in 2010, “they were bitten by the [theater] hard bug. Since then, the family has worked together on various productions. In something rotten! Mason (a 2021 Meeker High School alumnus) stars as a Puritan named Portia, and Ruby (who will be a junior this fall at Meeker High School) will play various characters. You’ve probably heard Shana and Matt sing at various venues around town, but they’ll both sing and perform in Something Rotten! like Bea and Nick Bottom. Shana also runs the production.

Borchard also returns to the stage after a long hiatus. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, Borchard has been acting since childhood, starting with productions in elementary school. “I love playing since I knew there was an audience,” she told HT. When Borchard was in fourth grade, his mother responded to a newspaper ad for open auditions for the PBS television show “The Huggabug Club”. Out of 200 children, Borchard was one of five selected to travel to Southeast Florida and do shows. She also starred in several commercials during this time. In high school, she mainly focused on dancing, but was also very active in the drama department.

She “married Meeker,” she says, when she married Kristofer Borchard in 2012. They lived in Grand Junction for a few years, then moved to the Denver area, where Borchard graduated as a nurse. After starting a family (which now includes three children – Fell, 7, Skadi, 5, and Sol, 3), they decided they didn’t want to raise their children in the city and returned to Meeker in 2016. Janelle worked for Pioneers Medical Center as Chronic Care Coordinator and recently took a position with Western Healthcare Alliance as Regional Care Coordinator. Borchard will play a rock star version of Shakespeare in Something Rotten!

Holliday approached Borchard in 2018 to help him with the productions of “Mary Poppins” and “Pippin”.

“I was like, who are you?” And what do you want from me? “Said Borchard, laughing, but she agreed to help him. A” strong and permanent “friendship grew out of their mutual involvement in the theater.

Holliday and Borchard both tout the many benefits of participating in the arts, which is made possible by the strong support of the Meeker School District Board, Meeker Education Foundation, MACC, Recreation District and others. entities and members of the community.

These benefits include a boost in confidence, a chance to step out of your comfort zone and take risks, and skill building that helps in other areas of life.

“We had a student who was terrified of giving a class speech, and off we went,” Holliday said. “She’s absolutely one of our strongest people and has grown to be someone who isn’t afraid to share her opinions, and that really anchored her.”

The theater also provides a positive and safe environment where children can be themselves, and even bridges between students who had nothing in common before taking the stage. This is perhaps the most magical “side effect” of all, as Holliday and Borchard have seen relationships flourish that might not have been possible otherwise.

“You portray real-life emotions and events in this piece, and it brings you together on more than a surface level,” Borchard said. “Every cast becomes a family,” added Holliday.

Of course, the theater is not limited to comedy. Kids (and adults) who don’t necessarily want to be on stage can help with lighting, technical design, costumes, props, and more.

Holliday and Borchard know many of the same benefits they’ve seen with drama kids. Being involved in theater “has given me back my identity in so many ways,” Holliday told the HT. “I’m not just ‘Mason and Ruby’s mother.’ I’m a person of my own. It’s a sentiment that most moms, including Borchard, fully agree with. “It’s not for my kids, it’s not for my marriage, it’s not It’s not for my job. It’s for me, “said Borchard.” It’s magic what’s going on here. It fills your cup.

The only downside Holliday and Borchard can think of is the disappointment that comes with seeing empty seats. “The kids work so hard… they put everything on the line. So we could have a better audience. I would love to see people come and support these kids in this business, like they do in other things, ”Holliday said, continuing,“ It’s just as much work, it’s just a different type of show. And it’s so entertaining.

As for directing an adult production: “We’ve talked about the fact that this has to happen and people have been contacting us for years, so we’re super happy,” they agreed. Something rotten! features a cast of over 20 community members, including a mix of old and new comers to town, all with a wide range of skill levels and performance experience. “The theater is open to everyone,” Borchard said.

Of course, if all this is not enough to convince you of the benefits of community theater, the productions are always “highly entertaining”.

“People always say there’s nothing to do here .. well, go ahead,” Holliday said with a laugh.

Watch Holliday, Borchard and the rest of the cast in Something Rotten! A Very New Musical at Meeker High School Auditorium, 550 School Street, Thursday July 29 at 6.30 p.m., Friday July 30 at 6.30 p.m. and Saturday July 31 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $ 7 and you can get them at the door or order them online in advance; scan the QR code below or visit:
The Herald Times will broadcast Friday’s performance live for those who cannot attend in person. Scan the QR code below or visit:


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