According to Creede Repertory Theatre, one third of the shows the southern Colorado theatre has produced over the last 15 years have been world premieres. New plays are so important to CRT because they are the lifeblood of the American theatre. They share with the diverse, yet universal, stories of the human experience. In addition to producing a number of World Premieres every year as part of Creede Rep’s season, we host our Headwaters New Play Festival.

Now in its 8th Season, this festival is a week-long workshop where selected plays are developed with a team of professional theatre artists and receive public readings. This year, we received over two hundred and fifty submissions for just two slots. The selections for these slots are:

North Star by Georgette Kelly

Summer in the north woods of Minnesota. The days are long. The stars are bright. But when it gets dark, it gets really dark. North Star is a new play that centers around an all-female group of campers and counselors coping with violence that leaves them utterly vulnerable. At the crux of this play is the question: what happens when social contracts are broken, when gun violence breaks through places that should feel safe, and when young people lose trust in the adults in their lives? Their stories are entwined with the French-Canadian myth of La Chasse-Galerie, in which a group of voyageurs made a deal with the devil to journey home in a flying canoe in order to see their lost loved ones. This play takes a hard look at wilderness, both historical and contemporary: from the isolation of the woods in the 19th century to the wild rash of gun violence currently sweeping our nation. The characters in North Star are all explorers, trying to find a path through their own frontiers.

Into Place by Skye Robinson Hillis

In a small town in Indiana, Frank Wheelan has lived every day the same since he can remember. Work, beer, bingo, Amazing Race night. When a former childhood crush returns to town with her ailing son, he begins to see things in a new way and his small life begins to grow and soon fills him to the brim with emotions and motivations he doesn’t understand. As she grapples with potentially losing her son, Frank and his friends learn to open themselves up to new possibilities and prepare for what may await them outside county lines.

This year’s World Premiere is Hazardous Materials, by Beth Kander, selected from 2018’s festival, running August 16th to September 13th in the Ruth Humphreys Brown Theatre.

Additionally, as part of the Headwaters New Play Festival, we premiere our Young Audience Outreach Tour (YAOT) show. YAOT’s mission is to bring high quality musical theatre to rural and underserved communities. Last year, YAOT reached over 36,000 students.

Best Foot Forward

Book and Lyrics by Lojo Simon

Music by Brandon Scott Grayson

Directed by Melissa Firlit

Sawyer McNally really wants to win the “Dance Starz” crown, but the competition is fierce, and “Lil G” Gonzalez has all the right moves. When a storm forces the two dancers from different walks of life to get to know one another, Sawyer learns that there are more important things in life than winning. An original, bilingual musical, Best Foot Forward exposes students to a variety of music and dance styles, promotes appreciation of differences and reinforces positive behavioral patterns.