Fly Away Home

There’s something especially poignant about the annual National Theatre Conservatory Repertory performances when they come around each spring: Signifying both the end of a long, hard road and the launching of a new flight into the mystic, the productions show off the newly honed skills of conservatory seniors.

“It’s the final fruition of three years of training,” explains NTC director of education Daniel Renner. “They spend all of their third year working with the Denver Center Theatre Company shows, and then, when they come back, they get to combine those experiences and fully produce the Rep. Everything they’ve learned comes together, and they finally get to be the stars. It’s their chance to shine before heading off to New York and Los Angeles to audition for producers and directors.”

This year’s Rep will kick graduating students out of the nest with alternating performances of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! “I always try to find a common theme in the plays we do, and these two are both about identity search: You have two young people, in different times in different worlds, who have to leave their families,” Renner explains. “We get to have two of the greatest playwrights in history tell the same story, side by side.” And it won’t be an easy task: Due to the small class size, it’s typical for each student to take on several roles in both plays.

The NTC Rep kicks off tonight with a preview performance of As You Like It at 6:30 p.m. in the Tramway Building’s Conservatory Theatre, 1101 13th Street; Ah, Wilderness! opens with a preview tomorrow at the same time. Performances continue at selected dates and times through April 23; for tickets, $18, go to www.denvercenter.org or call 303-893-4100.
April 6-26, 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd