By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company
Twenty of the most popular actors and directors to perform in Thingamajig Theatre Company’s productions over the past decade are returning to the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts on July 31 and Aug. 5 to sing and dance at the theater’s two fundraising galas and be auctioned off for unique follow-up private events.
Theater co-founders Tim Moore, artistic director, and his wife, Laura Moore, executive director, kept secret the identities of the performers until fans opened their summer season programs the first time they came to the theater to see “Sylvia,” the canine comedy which opened on June 25.
“We thought surprises would be a fun way to celebrate the theater’s 10th anniversary while also raising funds to help ensure the success of our next 10 years,” Tim Moore said.
Actors auctioned off
Only about half of the costs of Thingamajig’s productions are covered by ticket sales. The remainder of the theater’s funding comes from private donors, business sponsors, program advertising, grants and proceeds from the gala fundraisers — the most important events of the year to keep the theater up and running.
Over the years, the annual galas have become must-attend affairs on our community’s festive summer social calendar because of the exciting live performances on stage and the audience members’ exuberant bidding on the actors for private gatherings following the big events.
Among the most popular auction items are the campfire sing-along, the progressive dinner and the trip to New York City next January with the Moores as they audition actors for the 2022 season. Many more auction opportunities are now being finalized as the actors get creative in matching their talents to events that would be entertaining and fun for patrons.
The theme of the first gala on, July 31, is “The last 10 years,” when the audience will be treated to the best numbers from previous Thingamajig musicals. The theme of the second, on Aug. 5, is “The next 10 years,” which will feature musical performances from some great Broadway shows the Moores hope to produce in the future — “sort of our wish list or our bucket list,” as Tim Moore put it.
Both evenings will be cabaret-style shows. Melissa Firlit will choreograph and Boni McIntyre will be the music director. Both Firlit and McIntyre have been very popular directors and performers with Thingamajig audiences over the years.
Doors open for the galas at 6 p.m. with the shows starting at 7 p.m. Season sponsors will donate preshow light appetizers on July 31 and dessert on Aug. 5.
Past season-ticket holders were given the first opportunity to purchase gala tickets and only a very limited number still are available as part of the season ticket package. To purchase that package, which also includes a ticket to “Sylvia” and other benefits, please phone (970) 731-SHOW (7469). They are not available on the theater website.
‘Sylvia’ plays through Aug. 29
The crown jewel of the theater’s summer season is the return of “Sylvia,” the touching canine comedy about a dog and her new owner, a middle-aged man who brings her home to live in his apartment in New York City, much to his wife’s distress.
Back by popular demand, “Sylvia” was the highlight of Thingamajig’s first season back in 2011 when Laura Moore played the part of “Sylvia” to huge acclaim. Now she is receiving rave reviews and standing ovations as she reprises the role through Aug. 29 in honor of the theater’s 10th anniversary. Tim Moore directs the production.
In addition to Laura Moore, three actors make up the “Sylvia” cast. Carl Morrow, who plays the man who brings Sylvia home, is known to Thingamajig audiences for his roles in “A Few Good Men,” “West Side Story,” “Legally Blonde” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” Polly Seale, a new resident of Pagosa Springs with an impressive acting resume, plays his wife. And Rodney Holmes, who performed in Thingamajig’s productions of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Tarzan,” “The Secret Garden” and “Damn Yankees,” plays three parts in the production.
You can find the dates and times of “Sylvia” and order tickets for the show on the theater’s website at pagosacenter.org or by phoning (970) 731-SHOW (7469). Tickets are $35.
Thingamajig is celebrating its 10th anniversary with this summer season.
“We can’t imagine a better way to commemorate this milestone than being able to reopen the theater with ‘Sylvia’ and the two fun gala events after the long COVID closure,” said Tim Moore.
Restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic required Thingamajig — like theaters around the world — to go dark on March 15, 2020. That resulted in a 15-month closure of Pagosa’s esteemed local professional theater.
All of the summer events will take place in the theater’s Black Box under whatever COVID health guidelines are in effect at the time. The Moores will remain flexible and nimble regarding various seating configurations and other requirements, given the ever-changing COVID environment. The actors will not be wearing masks, but they all will be vaccinated.
Thingamajig is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round — COVID permitting, of course.