Summer theater for UCCS: Shakespeare in the summer

7 May 2019

Sarah McMillan

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The visual and performing arts (VAPA)  professional  programs such as UCCS Presents, The Artists Series, Theatreworks, The Galleries of Contemporary Arts (GOCA), and the music as well as the theatre and dance programs that are housed in the Ent Center all make up the art and entertainment community on campus.

As a continuously growing partner with UCCS, Theatreworks offers opportunities for students, such as volunteer work, internships, work studies and part-time jobs. There are plenty of ways that an individual can become involved with Theatreworks throughout the year, even during the summer months.

Over the summer, Theatreworks has an event calendar filled with Shakespeare productions.

Caitlin Lowans, the artistic director of Theatreworks, described the Shakespeare-based activities that will occur and stated that the different plays are on two completely opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. Students, as well as the general public, can “receive two very different experiences.”

Lowans said that the event titled “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” will take place inside of a tent on the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. The production will provide the audience with a humorous combination of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays. On Theatreworks’ website, the overview of the play describes it as “a perfect night of fun.”

On the other hand, the play “Measure for Measure” raises complicated questions to the audience concerning justice and power.

Additionally, the production of “Little Shop of Horrors” will continue into the summer.

Lowans stated that as a producing theater rather than a presenting theater, the company emphasizes the importance of diversity in the community and supporting local artists.

She said, “lots of voices are represented” through the productions that take place and anyone who desires to can easily become involved.

According to  Lowans, Theatreworks works closely with students in the Ent Center and even employs multiple alumni. Regarding the academic programs within UCCS Presents and the Ent Center, students have access to the five main categories including theater, dance, music, film studies, art history and visual arts.

Kevin Landis is the director of the theater program and explained the university’s relationship with Theatreworks.

“Although the two programs are different, we work together,” said Landis. “It is a unique copacetic relationship and even though we are different entities, we have similar devotions to the art.”

For students, all productions are completely free, and Lowans described that the best way for students to become involved with the Ent Center is to first see a show or visit the building.

Required general credits necessary for graduation are  also offered through the department, which allows for students to get a taste of UCCS Presents even if they are not considering a major in VAPA.

Landis said that the Ent Center is a great place for exploration and that there is “so much going on centered for students.” In the community of both Theatreworks and UCCS Presents as a whole, students have the opportunity to utilize this form of art and entertainment.

A student can stay connected with UCCS Presents and Theatreworks by following the organization on social media, visiting their website or adding themselves to the email list.

If you are looking to explore the variety of different types of arts, stopping by the Ent Center over summer could be your first step into joining a new UCCS community.