Thespiana 2018

Thespiana returned for it's trifecta to the Cottonwood Center for the Arts with all-new and original rehearsed readings for 2018. Playwrights included Lauren and Mark Arnest, Sue Bachman, Chuck Cabell, Warren Epstein, Phil Ginsburg, Judith McKay, and Jeff Schmoyer.

Saturday, June 30, 2018, 7PM and Sunday, July 1, 2018, 2:30PM
Cottonwood Center for the Arts Theater
427 E Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs CO 80903

The Plays (click the titles to see the video):

Thespiana Introduction by Chuck Cabell

Storytime - written by Chuck Cabell and directed by Sue Bachman

And the Winner Is... - written and directed by Jeff Schmoyer

Muscial excerpts from Iron and Gold, Part 1 - written and directed by Lauren and Mark Arnest

Borscht-Belted - written and directed by Warren Epstein

Elevated - written and directed by Sue Bachman

Temptations of a Playwright - written by Judith McKay and directed by Robert Tiffany

Muscial excerpts from Iron and Gold, Part 2 - written and directed by Lauren and Mark Arnest

10 Minutes - written and directed by Phil Ginsburg

Thespiana 2018 review by Theater Colorado's Bill Wheeler


Charlie Ammen  (And the Winner Is..., Elevated)  has lived in Colorado Springs since 1960. He has done stage, film and numerous TV commercials.  His short plays Daddy and Then and Now were produced by Craft Production Resource in 2013 and 2014 respectively. He played the role of Carl in Hoarder for Craft Production Resource in September 2016. He played Francis Nurse in the MAT Production of The Crucible in March 2017. He played Theo in Ultimate Downsizing and General Mack McGraw in Comedians from Outer Space in the October 2017 production of Craft Resources Our Shorts are Showing. He is honored and excited to be in this production of Thespiana 2018 showcasing fresh, new work.

Lauren Arnest (writer Iron and Gold) has been writing librettos and lyrics with composer husband Mark since 1997. Works include All About Love (1997, with Murray Ross), Pike’s Dream (2006), and Iron & Gold (first act, 2011).  The Notorious Nugget (2015) is a musical melodrama featuring a gold chunk shaped like a horse’s patootie. Lauren studied law before boredom drove her to the theater.

Mark Arnest (writer Iron and Gold) is music director at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church and also teaches music theory, music history, composition, and piano at the CS Conservatory. His compositions have been performed by the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and his Ludlow: Four Scenes for Orchestra was a finalist for the 2016 American Prize in Composition. He has created music for numerous local theatre productions, most recently Theatreworks' 2016 production of Girl of the Golden West.

Sue Bachman (writer/director Elevated, director Storytime) is participating in Thespiana for the 2nd time–the first time as a reader and this time as both writer and director.  Sue has been a character actress in Colorado Springs for many years performing with nearly all the area theatre companies. She received Pikes Peak Arts Council’s Best Actress award her portrayal of Linda Loman in Theatreworks’ Death of a Salesman.  As a playwright, she has had works read aloud at the CS Fine Arts Center in the Roughwriters playwriting festival, at Springs Ensemble Theatre in their New Works festival, and in the Coalcreek Theatre Company’s Front Range Playwrights Showcase in Louisville, Colo. Craft Production Resources has produced one of her original works for each of the past seven seasons. She thanks her husband of 37 years, Sy, for indulging her passion for theatre.

Erik Brevik (Iron and Gold) acquired his degree in Visual and Performing Arts–specializing in theatre and music–from UCCS in 2016, and has been performing as a professional actor and musician for around 8 years. He has worked with numerous stage and film companies throughout Colorado, including the Opera Theatre of the Rockies. Erik is thrilled at the opportunity to help bring great new music to life. He hopes you enjoy the show.

Chuck Cabell (producer Thespiana, writer Storytime) spent 30 years in the USAF, 9 years as a consultant, and many years active in music (CS Chorale, singer and board president; founder/director Amateur Pianists International; docent for the Philharmonic; Chamber Orchestra of the Springs board member). Now he has turned to writing, publishing (Impavide Publications) and the theater. This is his third production of Thespiana.

Anthony Cramer (Elevated) is currently studying at Pikes Peak Community College with a major in theatre. He seeks a degree that will help him succeed in playwriting. He has worked behind the scenes with Springs Ensemble Theatre's productions of The Elephant Man, Opus, Totalitarians and The North Plan. He has also worked as part of a clown ensemble with Theatre d’Art's Theatregasm 10, as well as three of Pikes Peak Community College's theatre productions. Anthony would like to thank his three kids for being his motivation, Sarah for showing him how great theatre can be and his family and friends for their moral support.

Warren Epstein (M/C, narrator, writer/director/performer Borscht-Belted) is becoming a regular at Thespiana as a writer and director. He’s been directing and acting in Colorado Springs for over 15 years. He’s worked with the Millibo Art Theater, Craft Theater, Springs Ensemble Players, Red Herring and Star Bar Players, among others.

Phil Ginsburg (writer/director 10 Minutes) is a playwright/spoken word performer. His play Flush was given a stage reading at the 2017 Thespiana gathering and in May 2018 Flush was performed on stage at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in NYC.

Jacob Hacker (Elevated, Storytime) has been involved with Colorado Springs theatre for the past 3 years and has performed for Theatreworks and Our Shorts are Showing for Craft Production Resource this past season. Jacob is from Garnett, Kan., and has a B.S. in Communications from Pittsburg State University, Kansas.

Jessi Hampton (stage manager) graduated with a Bachelor’s degree this year from UCCS and she is thrilled to be working as the stage manager for Thespiana 2018. She studied theatre, dance, and musical theatre at UCCS, and enjoys working all sides of the curtain as a technician and dancer. This year she was stage manager for Millibo Art Theatre's Cabaret Voltaire 2.0. She has managed UCCSTC’s dance shows To Love and Be Loved and Un Désire Plus Sauvage, as well as the main stage show, Peer Gynt, this year.  Jessi designed lighting for 1001 and the 2018 ACDA show On the Brink. Her dancing performances include Earthwork. Many thanks to her wonderful family, friends, and partner Andrew! Enjoy the show!

Bryce Haverkorn (Storytime) is a third grader at ICA and an avid reader and musician. He has done voice work for Rabbit Hole and performed in The Outsiders, both at Mitchell High School. Bryce is grateful for the opportunity to perform in this piece and wants to thank all our military who serve and protect our country.

Winter Haverkorn (Storytime) just graduated from kindergarten and is looking forward to the big world of first grade. She has performed in The Wizard of Oz and The Outsiders at Mitchell High School as well as The Nutcracker at the Pikes Peak Center. She loves performing and appreciates the opportunity to do this project.

Chris Lewis (video) Chris Lewis is a local independent film maker, and film nut, who was president of the UCCS Film Club. Furthermore he won best drama at the Student Short Film Fest in 2014. Chris also ran the Student Short Film Fest the following year to great success.

Judith McKay (writer Temptations of a Playwright) has been having fun playing on the stage, writing a play, and being assistant stage manager. She currently produces and hosts a radio interview talk show and podcast, Voices and Views, on KCMJ 93.9FM. A huge THANK YOU, Chuck, for allowing me to present this play. I’m Honored and Grateful.

Ken McKay (And the Winner Is...) is very pleased to be working with Jeff Schmoyer (Playwright & Director) and Chuck Cabell (Producer) in this production of And the Winner Is... for Thespiana 2018. Ken has previously appeared at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, as “Elmer Strunk, Esq” (a.k.a. the low-down, good-for-nothing, son-of-a-see-cook, lying, cheating, stealing, dirty rotten lawyer) in the 2009 production of A Bag Full of Miracles, and as Slocum (a good-humored man who used to sell neckties) in the 2010 production of My Old Friends. Most recently (2014) he was in the Theatre ‘d Art production of Eugène Ionesco‘s Rhinoceros at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts, where he played The Old Gentleman and Botard. He has been told on many occasions that he “has a voice” for radio but no one mentions his face--hmmmm.

Mike Miller (And the Winner Is..., Elevated) has worked both behind the scenes and on stage in the Colorado Springs area since 2009.  He is an L.A. transplant where he majored in screwing around and minored in actually working in the film industry. He has no aspirations at this point in his life other than to outlive IMPOTUS. Thanks to Jeff, Chuck, et al for the opportunity to work with Thespiana again and a special thanks to Keri for her love and caring as I head into my dotage.

Jonathan (J.D.) Morgan (sound) has worked as an Audio Engineer for 3 years. He is currently attending college at UCCS pursuing a Bachelors in Performing Arts.

Kathy Paradise (10 Minutes) has performed in over 50 stage productions, films, industrials and commercials; produced and directed Vintage Radio Theatre, voiced characters for children’s audio theatre and worked with Disabled Vets at the VA hospital in Denver. She is a founding member of Craft Production Resource and served as its Producer/Artistic Director for 5 years. When working with other theatre companies, she served as an Assistant Director, Stage Manager, costume designer, props mistress and procurer. While in New York City, she was cast in a 4 month national tour of Cabaret as Frauline Schneider and studied acting at the Herbert Bergdorf Studio. When she moved to Los Angeles, she continued her acting studies at the Carter/Thor and Larry Moss Studios, gaining experience making independent films. She is a member in good standing with the Screen Actors Guild and a retired member of Actors Equity. Kathy was last seen on stage as Juno in The Tempest for Theatreworks and as Mother Superior in Agnes of God at the FAC. Kathy’s passion is coaching serious actors at her StudioK facility.

Tom Paradise (10 Minutes) received his MFA in Acting from Rutgers University. Tom currently teaches in the Theatre department of UCCS and has worked in TV, movies, commercials, voice-overs, radio and over 75 plays.  Some of his favorite roles are: Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra, Claudius in Hamlet, Edgar in The Mystery of Irma Vep, Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire, Biff in Death of a Salesman, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Paroles in All’s Well the Ends Well, Pa in Grapes of Wrath, Juror #10 in 12 Angry Men, Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Dr. Caius in Merry Wives of Windsor, A Cowboy Christmas Carol (with Waddy Mitchell), and Don Adriano in Loves Labours Lost.  His voice can be heard on the children’s CD of Aesop Goes Modern produced by The Virtual Theatre Project. Tom is in the Trivia Bowl Hall of Fame in Boulder and his team won the World Championship in 1985. When not acting, Tom enjoys spending time with Kathy, collecting old records, vintage toys and comic books and playing guitar.

Megahn Prymus (Iron and Gold) studied voice at the University of Colorado. Since 2008, she has been performing all over the Front Range with Peaks and Pasties burlesque troupe. You can catch her singing, dancing, emceeing, and producing at the Champagne Cabaret most weekends at the Gold Room in downtown Colorado Springs.

Neika Rosenberger (Iron and Gold) is thrilled to be performing such incredible music with and written by such talented musicians! She can often be found performing around Colorado Springs with Opera Theatre of the Rockies and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Favorite roles: Lily in The Secret Garden, Rose in Gypsy, and Marmee in Little Women. When not performing Neika enjoys sharing her love of music with young people including her own son, Jude.

Jeff Schmoyer (writer/director And the Winner Is...) tech entrepreneur and sometimes playwright, hopes you won’t change the channel during his third Thespiana offering. Stay tuned for his next work, McBeth, about a wife who pushes her husband, Ronald McDonald, to off Mayer McCheese. He wishes to thank all of the actors and the Thespiana crew for their support. Find him at Jmars Ink.

Mary Sprunger-Froese (And the Winner Is..., Elevated, Temptations of a Playwright) is eager to be Elevated under Sue’s muse again, having played in 3 of Sue’s plays for CPR. And she’s delighted for her And the Winner Is... debut. Last fall, Mary created and performed Going to the Dogs-a Love Story. She’s currently mary-nating a gospel blues from Mary Magdalene’s perspective. Mary has worked with many local theater groups, and most often shticks with First Strike Theatre. A regular at Drama Lab, she cheers local writers and Thespiana. Grateful to be working with as artist-in-residence, Mary acts in a supporting role in forging guns into garden tools, hoe, hoe, hoe.

Sam Suksiri (And the Winner Is..., Elevated) is thrilled to again perform in Thespiana and support Colorado Springs artists. Sam is a voice actor most known as a member of Traffic Therapy, an audio sketch comedy show written, performed, and produced by local Colorado Springs talent. Hear full episodes and subscribe at and follow on twitter @Traffic_Therapy. And come visit our booth at Colorado Springs Comic Con August 24th-26th!

Todd Teske (tenor Iron and Gold) His recent highlights include Monte-verdi Dixit Dominus and Beatus Vir , Bach St. Matthew Passion and Mass in B Minor with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and the Colorado Bach Ensemble. Todd made his European debut in Germany performing the title roles in Milhaud’s Le Pauvre Matelot and Francaix’s Le Diable Boiteux. Solo performances for 2018/2019 include Bach cantata BWV 70 with Colorado Bach Ensemble and the world premiere of the opera Locust by Anne M Guzzo.

Robert Tiffany (director/actor Temptations of a Playwright) is enjoying being retired as an electrical engineer at Honeywell, as he gets to spend (most of) his time with his son, Mike. While Robert doesn't "tread the boards" much anymore, he enjoys doing these Thespiana readings, as they allow him to at least exercise his acting chops.

Peter Tuff (baritone Iron and Gold) is a veteran of concert, opera, and musical theater stages in the U.S. and abroad. The baritone is known in the area for his performances with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, the Colorado Springs Chorale, the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and others.

Joan Valentine (And the Winner Is..., Elevated, Storytime) moved to Colorado Springs 11 years ago from Los Angeles where she worked in film and TV as a member of Aftra-Sag.  She was a regular on Startrek TNG and Voyager.  She is a member of Pilla Readers’ Theatre.  Recently she participated in the Intergeneration Playwriting Group, a youth outreach program of UCCS.  She is delighted to be a part of this year’s Thespiana.

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