THE FREE READING SERIES
AMERICAN IN HIDING
TRACY shaffer witherspoon
AUGUST 12, 2019
THE BLACK BUZZARD, 1624 Market Street, Denver
Tickets FREE -The Black Buzzard has a full bar and menu-we ask that you support them as they give us use of their space for free.
This timely tale explores what happens to our decency when overpowered by darkness and how the decisions of today affect generations to come. The question remains, can the tide be turned?
Directed by Christy Montour-Larson*
Kevin Hart, Augustus Truhn, Julie Rada, Jennifer Lynn Jorgensen, Annie Barbour, and Neil Truglio
TRACY SHAFFER witherspoon
Tracy Shaffer Witherspoon is an award-winning actress, director and playwright. Her work has been seen and heard around the country, including (but not limited to) the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles Actors Theatre,The Kennedy Center and as “Shelby” in the National Tour of STEEL MAGNOLIAS before there was a “Julia Roberts”. Seen and heard in Denver: Plays- SAINTS & HYSTERICS, (W)HOLE were incubated by Curious Theatre, the National New Play Network, Telluride Playwrights Festival, Missoula Writer’s Colony, and the Denver Center Theatre Company’s Playwrights Unit, hatched at Paragon Theatre Company, and flown to both coasts for various readings. Roles- For a decade as a member of the Denver Center Theatre Acting Company, Tracy was often seen crossing from stage left to stage right in OTHER DESERT CITIES, BENEDICTION, CYRANO, PICNIC, SKIN OF OUR TEETH and numerous stints in leading roles as “Understudy to the Stars”. Ms. Shaffer Witherspoon is a graduate of the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in NYC, works in the Denver Center Theatre’s Acting Company, and is a long-standing member of Actor’s Equity Association.
“I began writing American in Hiding over a decade ago as an allegory of decline. Audience and colleague feedback was good overall with notes of ‘You have such an unsympathetic protagonist’ and ‘That would never happen’. I’ll admit, it has been confusing trying to capture what led us from what looked like the last gasps of white patriarchy under Bush/Cheney to the death rattle of today. This evening’s version is a far less hypothetical take, perhaps a softened version of our current reality. Thank you for seeing and hearing.
CHRISTY MONTOUR-LARSON *
Christy Montour-Larson is a multiple Denver Post Ovation and Colorado Theatre Guild Henry award-winning director, named Top Director by Westword Magazine, 5280 Magazine and CBS4 Denver. Christy's recent work has been seen at the Denver Center (TWO DEGREES), Arvada Center (DIARY OF ANNE FRANK), Creede Repertory (AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY), Theatre Aspen (SEX WITH STRANGERS), Phamaly (INTO THE WOODS), Local Theater Company (THE RAPE OF THE SABINE WOMEN...), and 13 seasons at Curious Theatre Company (CONSTELLATIONS). She has also directed at Pioneer Theatre (THE WAY NORTH), Tent Theatre (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN), New American Theatre (OLIVER!), Town Hall Arts Center (CRIMES OF THE HEART), Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (THIS), Rochester Civic Theatre, the Duluth Playhouse, Dark Horse Theatre and for Seven Devils Playwright Conference, where she sits on the Board of Directors. A passionate supporter of new work, she has directed over 30 staged readings including MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL by Lee Blessing, THE ROBERTASSY by Kathleen Cahill, SUICIDE, INCORPORATED by Andrew Hinderacker and NO MORE SAD THINGS by Hansol Jung. She has also directed the world premieres of GENERAL STORE by Brian Watkins and I AM ALIVE by Denise Gentilini. MFA in Directing from Rutgers University. Proud member of Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. www.christymontourlarson.com
Kevin Hart (Thom)
Kevin is a 2018 True West Award recipient who last appeared as Erik in THE HUMANS at the Curious Theater. Recent roles include Saunders in LEND ME A TENOR at Backstage Theatre, Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN and Tobias in A DELICATE BALANCE at the Edge Theater. Other favorites include Lockhart in THE SEAFARER, Gallimard in M. BUTTERFLY at Aurora Fox, Vanya in VANYA AND SONYA AND MASHA AND SPIKE at Backstage Theatre, Mike in GOOD PEOPLE at the Pagosa Springs Performing Arts Center, Pozzo in WAITING FOR GODOT at the Bug Theatre, and Father Juan in CONVICTION, a Victory Gardens production at 59e59 Theatre in New York. Kevin also wrote and produced a no-budget film called MR. MENTAL, which won Best Feature at the 2019 Colorado Film & Video Association (CFVA) awards and is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Augie Truhn was most recently in a performance of WAKEY WAKEY by Will Eno at Benchmark Theatre. Over the years he has performed at several theaters in Denver including Curious Theatre, Miners Alley, Germinal Stage, Aurora Fox, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival and The Edge. Acting pursuits also took him to Los Angeles, Maine, and New York City where he performed new works, classics, and Shakespeare. Augie is a 2006 graduate of The William Esper Studio in NYC.
Julie Rada (CaIRn)
Julie Rada is a theatre director, performer, creator, and educator. She has done theatre for about 30 years and has worked on over 80 performance projects, with a focus on original work and new plays. As a performer and researcher, she has toured nationally and internationally. Her work has been reviewed in Backstage, The Denver Post, The Arizona Republic, The Rocky Mountain News, Westword, The New Times, and others. Julie has worked in the prison system for over six years, facilitating new works of theatre with incarcerated artists at 7+ facilities and was selected as an artist-in-residence by the National Endowment for the Arts at the Phoenix Federal Corrections Institution. Additionally she has created theatre with refugees, people with disabilities, youth experiencing homelessness, professional actors, and people dying in hospice. Julie has worked on faculty at the University of Utah, Community College of Aurora, and Naropa University. She holds an MFA from Arizona State University. She recently founded a multimedia performance collective exploring community-embedded art and performance called Grapefruit Lab. www.julierada.com
annie barbour (Rose)
Annie Barbour is a Colorado native and excited to be joining And Toto too Theatre Company for the first time. You may have seen her most recently in MEASURE FOR MEASURE (Isabella) at THEATREWORKS or at The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Margot Frank) and THE MOORS (Marjory). Annie is also a teaching artist for the DCPA and her alma mater the Denver School of the Arts. Prior to her return to Colorado in 2018, Annie spent her time along the mighty Mississippi earning her BFA in Acting from Webster University, helping to produce theatre with The Larks in St. Louis, and working as an acting apprentice at the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Offstage, you can often catch her up a mountain trail or buried in her Yeats.
Jennifer lynnE JorgensOn (Marja)
Jen is a Colorado native, with a passion for acting and the performing arts. Growing up on the stage, Jen has been blessed to explore all types of performance through the arts, including acting, dancing, and music through vocal performance. She has traveled the US and the UK in various National tours, and is now planting her roots back at home in Denver. You can see Jen on a number of commercials and TV shows, as well as behind the scenes producing several projects for various TV shows and movies. Her latest producing credits include Top Chef 15, several FoodNetwork pilots, and her own passion projects. Recent acting credits include national spots for Coors, Travelocity and 1st Bank. All my love to my incredible husband, Jared. Follow Jen on IG and Facebook for project updates and funny photos! @jenniferlynnejorgenson I’m gonna be big. 2cor4:6
Neil Truglio (Stage Directions)
Neil Truglio is a professional theatre-maker, filmmaker, artist and educator in the Denver community. His directorial work has been seen on stages such as the Bellco Theatre, University of Colorado Denver, University of Denver, Benchmark Theatre and in film festivals around the world; including Dallas International Film Festival, Denver Film Festival and the American Film Festival in Poland. Neil serves as the Education Director for both SeriesFest and the Denver Film Festival, as well as a teaching artist with the DCPA, Curious Theatre and the Colorado Film School. Recent theatrical performances include Pete in SIN STREET SOCIAL CLUB (Arvada Center), Julian in UNCANNY VALLEY (Benchmark), Poseidon in THE TROJAN WAR (Modest Arts) and reading for SeriesFest’s Storytellers Initiative. Neil is a founding member of both Modest Arts and the Cinematic Shakespeare Company.