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Thingamajig Theatre announces seven-show series

The Thingamajig Theatre Company proudly announces their 2011 Season of Theatre. Located in the new Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, “Thing Theatre” presents a full year of professionally produced entertainment for all audiences. Tickets are available at 731-SHOW or online at pagosacenter.org.

Be a part of the Grand Opening be purchasing your tickets to the Opening Night Gala priced at $75 per person. Ticket prices include live music, dinner and cocktails hosted by the Alley House, performance of “Fully Committed” by Colorado actor Christopher Willard and a meet and greet with Willard while you enjoy dessert. Reservations are required. Celebrate Pagosa’s newest addition to the arts community and enjoy your first of many evenings at the theatre.

 “Fully Committed,” by Becky Mode.

 Dates: April 15, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23,

 This devastatingly funny one act follows a day in the life of Sam Peliczowski, an out-of-work actor who mans the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s number-one restaurant. Coercion, threats, bribes, histrionics—a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing in their zeal to land a prime reservation, or the right table. Amid the barrage, Sam’s got his own needs to contend with — his recently widowed dad wants him home for Christmas, and he’s up for a choice part at Lincoln Center. While juggling scheming socialites, name-dropping wannabes, fickle celebrities and egomaniacal bosses, can he manage to look out for himself? A wonderful acting challenge, “Fully Committed” has 40 wildly diverse characters designed to be played by a single versatile performer.

“Brilliant Traces,” by Cindy Lou Johnson.

Dates: May 12, 13, 14, 15 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29.

The place is a remote cabin in the wilds of Alaska. As a blizzard rages outside, a lonely figure, Henry Harry, lies sleeping under a heap of blankets. Suddenly, he is awakened by the insistent knocking of an unexpected visitor — who turns out to be Rosannah DeLuce, a distraught young woman who has fled all the way from Arizona to escape her impending marriage, and who bursts into the cabin dressed in full bridal regalia. Exhausted, she throws herself on Henry’s mercy, but after sleeping for two days straight, her vigor — and combativeness — return.

Both characters, it develops, have been wounded and embittered by life, and both are refugees from so-called civilization. Thrown together in the confines of the snowbound cabin, they alternately repel and attract each other as, in theatrically vivid exchanges, they explore the pain of the past and, in time, consider the possibilities of the present. In the end their very isolation proves to be the catalyst that allows them to break through the web of old griefs and bitter feelings that beset them both and to reach out for the solace and sanctuary that only hard-won understanding, self-awareness and compassion for the plight of others can bestow.

“Sylvia,” by A.R. Gurney.

Dates: June 16, 17, 18, 19 23, 24, 25, 26 and 30; July 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Greg and Kate have moved to Manhattan after twenty-two years of child-raising in the suburbs. Greg’s career as a financial trader is winding down, while Kate’s career, as a public-school English teacher, is beginning to offer her more opportunities. Greg brings home a dog he found in the park — or that has found him—bearing only the name “Sylvia” on her name tag. A street-smart mixture of Lab and Poodle, Sylvia becomes a major bone of contention between husband and wife. She offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. To Kate, Sylvia becomes a rival for affection. And Sylvia thinks Kate just doesn’t understand the relationship between man and dog. The marriage is put in serious jeopardy until, after a series of hilarious and touching complications, Greg and Kate learn to compromise, and Sylvia becomes a valued part of their lives.

“A Year with Frog and Toad.” Book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale. Based on the books by Arnold Lobel.

  Dates: July 28, 29, 30 and 31; Aug. 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28.

 Arnold Lobel’s well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale’s musical “A Year With Frog And Toad.” Conceived by Mr. Lobel’s daughter, Adrianne Lobel, “A Year With Frog And Toad” remains true to the spirit of the original stories as it follows two great friends, the cheerful and popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, they proceed to plant gardens, swim, rake leaves and go sledding, learning life lessons along the way, including a most important one about friendship and rejoicing in the attributes that make each of us different and special.

“The Turn of the Screw,” by Jeffrey Hatcher, from the story by Henry James.

  Dates: October 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31.

 Based on the provocative tale of suspense, horror and repressed sexuality, this adaptation gives the famous story yet another turn of its own. A young governess journeys to a lonely English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children. But she is not their first governess. Her predecessor, Miss Jessel, drowned herself when she became pregnant by the sadistic valet, Peter Quint, who was himself found dead soon after under mysterious circumstances. Now the new governess has begun to see the specters of Quint and Jessel haunting the children, and she must find a way to stop the fiends before it is too late. But one frightening question tortures the would-be heroine: Are the ghosts real, or are they the product of her own fevered imagination?

“The Lion in Winter,” by James Goldman.

Dates: Nov. 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27; Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

 King Henry II of England has three sons by Eleanor of Aquitaine: Richard, Geoffrey, and John. He wants the kingdom to stay united after his death, but all three sons want to rule and it is likely to be torn apart by revolution. Henry favors the youngest John, while Eleanor favors the eldest, Richard. Middle son Geoffrey hopes to play both ends against each other and come out on top. Henry would like to have another heir by his mistress Alais, but that would only add to the confusion. Uneasy is the head on which the crown lies, and uneasy the truce between a matchless king and queen. Often revived, this play was the basis of the Oscar-winning film which starred Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn.

“The Santaland Diaries,” by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello.

 Dates: Dec. 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 and 31; Jan. 1.

Contains adult content.

“The Santaland Diaries” is a brilliant evocation of what a slacker’s Christmas must feel like. Out of work, our slacker decides to become a Macy’s elf during the holiday crunch. At first the job is simply humiliating, but once the thousands of visitors start pouring through Santa’s workshop, he becomes battle weary and bitter. Taking consolation in the fact that some of the other elves were television extras on One Life to Live, he grins and bears it, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the children and parents alike. The piece ends with yet another Santa being ushered into the workshop, but this one is different from the lecherous or drunken ones with whom he has had to work. This Santa actually seems to care about and love the children who come to see him, startling our hero into an uncharacteristic moment of goodwill just before his employment runs out.

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