#51: Winnie Wenglewick
Winnie Wenglewick of Denver's Dangerous Theatre is a theatrical Jill-of-all-trades who came by her profession through the back door: ten years of volunteering with a Florida fringe festival. With no formal training, she's turned Dangerous into a working, if struggling, entity. A lady who does as she pleases, Wenglewick might not be winning any awards for all her hard work -- but not for lack of trying.
In the last year, Wenglewick lowered all Dangerous ticket prices to an easy $10, and continues to pay her cast half the house -- yet somehow Dangerous is still afloat, and celebrating with a sixth-anniversary bash on Saturday night at the theater that includes sneak-peek performances from the season to come. Tickets? $10, of course.
On the brink of that new season, we asked Wenglewick to answer our 100CC questionnaire. Read on for her brave, new answers.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Winnie Wenglewick: Jim Henson, because he was the ultimate creative genius. When I was a kid, I loved watching The Muppet Show with my dad. Then, later, when I was supposed to be in bed, I'd sneak downstairs to watch Benny Hill. This might explain a lot about me and my sense of humor.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I am obsessed with Craig Ferguson. His accent is sexy. I think he is one of the more intelligent folks on TV. Although I never watch TV. I have to watch him on YouTube. Which is so much better because I watch only the parts l like, such as his opening monologues. Did I mention I think his accent is sexy?!
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
"Any Damn Thing: THE MUSICAL" I am so sick of all the shows that are musicals. Not that I don't like musicals, I just can't produce them because I know squat all nothing about music.
What's your day job?
Home schooling my eight-year-old son.
Continue reading for more from Winnie Wenglewick. A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
First, I'd pay my mother back every penny she has ever given me over the years to help me provide for my kids. Then, I would buy a townhouse to live in. Next, I'd buy the building my theater is in and make just a few upgrades. Then I would continue to do just what I am doing now, only I would pay my staff and actors 100 percent of the ticket sales instead of the 50 percent I currently pay them. I'd also finally get the Denver Fringe Theatre Festival off the ground.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Denver's Dangerous Theatre is NOT a non-profit. As such, I do not get any SCFD funding. It would be nice if we creative people who are actually figuring out how to do what we do without grants could get a little attention. Usually all you hear about are those who have funding.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Mythica von Griffyn -- she has absolute mad skills when it comes to body painting and chalk art. Plus, she is the neatest person.
What's on your agenda for the rest of 2013 and beyond?
This summer has really sucked. I spent a lot of time considering what I will do next and if I need to start producing more "marketable" shows. I did some math and realized that in the past six years I have produced 34 productions of 24 different shows. I've directed 29 of them. I've acted in nine of them. I've written four of them. So now, looking only for marketable shows felt like selling out. So I decided to continue to focus on producing unpublished works with minimal sets and small casts. I'll continue to produce plays that interest me. I like shows where the characters are not easy to like and portray the underbelly of human nature.
In October/November, I am opening two shows. Bridges to Nowhere is three one-acts that show the darker side of family relationships. Between the Sheets is two one-acts that look at how complicated love can be. Both are written by Jonathan Vick. I also like shows that are comedies on the surface, but ultimately give the audience something to think about after they leave. So I will bring back last year's holiday play, The Perfect Gift, for a limited run in December. Even though it is the most difficult play I have ever performed in, it is the one show to date where I got the most personal responses from audience members about how much it moved them.
That does not mean I won't do shows that are just fun. In December, I will pair The Perfect Gift with an irreverent comedy called #FirstWorldSanta, because everyone needs a comedy to get through the holiday season. I love sex and think sex is very funny. So I have formed the Sick, Twisted & Wrong Comedy Troupe, and in September we will stage another Kinky Comedy show. I will also launch a new monthly show every third Thursday called "I Want to be Craig Ferguson." Why? Read the answer to the above question. In 2014, it will be more if the same, although next summer, I am hoping to bring a couple shows to some Canadian fringe festivals. Who do you think will get noticed in Denver's theater world this year? All the same people who usually get noticed, will get noticed. Visit the website for more about Denver's Dangerous Theatre.
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.
Do you have a suggestion for a future profile? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.
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