Troupe Troops

Jim Walsh of the Romero Troupe — whose latest production, 9/12, hits the stage tonight — didn't set out to become a theatrical impresario. A history teacher at the University of Colorado at Denver, Walsh came up with the idea of helping his students learn about past events by having them create short plays, and "the response was tremendous," he recalls. Inspired, Walsh and like-minded cohorts wrote a play about Oscar Romero, a Salvadoran archbishop who was assassinated in 1980. Today, the Romero Troupe continues to create socially conscious works using a format Walsh describes as "organic theater. There's no hierarchy. Everything we do is collective."

This approach distinguishes 9/12, whose title, he explains, is "symbolic of what's next for our country after 9/11." The narrative involves a member of the National Guard who returns from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder. But Walsh notes that "there are also a lot of abstract elements that depict mainstream America's reaction to the attacks, and the fear that's followed."

The show takes place at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue; live music begins at 6:30 p.m., and the play starts at 7:15. Tickets are $10, or $8 for students, with proceeds benefiting the American Friends Service Committee and Vets 4 Vets. For details, visit www.romerotroupe.org or call 303-709-5110.
Wed., Jan. 24, 7:15 p.m.; Thu., Jan. 25, 7:15 p.m.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts