#78: Buntport Theater
Brian Colonna, Hannah Duggan, Erik Edborg, Erin Rollman, Samantha Schmitz and (sometimes) Evan Weissman are Buntport Theater, and it's not too far off the mark to think of this sextet of personalities as a single entity -- that's just how they work, slinging ideas back and forth toward a common goal. As a group, they were part of Westword's first class of MasterMinds back in 2005, and they've only gotten better with time, always challenging the boundaries of the stage with a wink and a pragmatic sense of making spaces out of nothing in original works that twist classic themes into something altogether new and witty. And Buntport is generous within the cultural community: After all, collaboration -- and appreciation of the creative work going on all around them -- is what makes this group so special.
And what keeps the fire alive under Buntport after thirteen years of making theatrical magic in Denver? Get a clue from their 100CC questionnaire, which follows.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Buntport Theater: Because our current project is the only one we're capable of thinking about at the moment: Emily K. Harrison of square product theatre. Once that is checked off the list, we will attempt to answer this question in the broader spirit in which it was being asked. Unfortunately, this will have already gone to print, so our profound and witty choices will remain unknown.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Peggy Jo Tallas. Because she robbed banks dressed as a man. Because she started robbing banks when she was forty and stopped when she was sixty. Because she was involved in a slow-speed chase with the cops in her Winnebago. Because our current show is about her, and we seriously are a little one-track-minded. In a couple of weeks, we'll be back in the real world and will collectively rediscover tons of interesting people, from the ones we interact with briefly to the ones we admire from afar.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
If we have to narrow it down to one: using the color yellow.
What's your day job?
Annoying each other.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Panic. Then set a little aside for special projects and building expansion. The rest will go to other people -- the ones who will do crazy, cool, smart things with it.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Make stuff. Make it easy for people to see the stuff you made. Go look at other people's stuff. If you have money and are inclined, give some to the people who make stuff you like.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Ack! Way too many. This is an honest attempt at a partial list from all five of us. We know we have failed and forgotten some. Also it should be noted that there are people/organizations included on this list that some members of Buntport think are pretty worthless, but since someone else likes them, they are making it on...now you will be left to wonder which of the following that is true for: Screw Tooth, square product, the LIDA project, Phamaly (actually: the theater community in general -- that's broad, but it is so lovely and supportive), Hoarded Stuff, the Grawlix, the Narrators, the Fine Gentlemen's Club, Arguments & Grievances (actually: the entire Denver comedy scene -- again, broad, but it's a great scene), Professor Phelyx, Warm Cookies of the Revolution, Mitch Dickman, Lockerpartners, the Indestructible North (though we hear a name/persona change is in the works), Kagen Sound, Cory Gilstrap, Spells, OhHeckYeah, Andrew Novick, Bill Starr, Boba Fett and the Americans, Landlines, Youth on Record, Samuel Schimek, Marc Hughes, Erin Preston, the Sie FilmCenter, Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra, Ravi Zupa, the Cages, Melody Duggan, come on: all hard-working arts educators, Housefish, Nathan Hall, Stories on Stage, Jaime Kopke, Super Ordinary, Studio Yoshida, Ovo Films, the Halliday Brothers, Theresa Mercado, IndyInk, Counterpath, RedLine, Leon, Lindsey Housel, Nothing To See Here, Laird Hunt, Bin Ramke, Open Media Foundation, Kantorei, Rick Griffith, These Things Matter, Gary Isaacs, the Colorado Symphony, the Buntport Education Team, the Denver Museum of Miniatures Dolls & Toys, You Soy Sauce, Landon Meier, Wonderbound, Bad Luck City, Devotchka, Gypsy Ames, Jan Avramova, Christian Medovich, Holly Parker, Gio Toninelo.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
We will be entering our fourteenth season in Denver. More new work, more odd programming, more collaborations with great people and organizations. But mostly more days where we annoy each other.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local theater/performance community in 2014?
If we were good at predicting any trends in popularity, we would have made a lot of money in the underground betting scene for the arts.
Peggy Jo and the Desolate Nothing, a collaboration between Buntport and square product theatre, opens Friday, May 30 at Buntport Theater and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June 21. Tickets are $13 to $20; visit the website for reservations and more information.
Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.
To keep up with the Froyd's eye view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.
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