‘Parallel Lives’ continues to win acclaim

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By Sara Miller

2011 has been a banner year for the Evergreen Players, who are garnering national recognition for the play “Parallel Lives.” In March, the Players won the regional American Association of Community Theatres festival. Three months later, the cast and crew took the show to the national competition in Rochester, N.Y. While attending the national festival, the show sparked international interest, and the Players were invited to perform “Parallel Lives” at the One Act Play Festival in Heidelberg, Germany, on Oct. 9.

“Parallel Lives” received nothing but positive feedback at the national AACT festival in June. Perhaps the most positive feedback of all was given by Jim Sohre, a distinguished fellow the American Assocation of Community Theatres. Sohre is also the U.S. Army’s entertainment director for Installation Management Command in Europe. IMCOM is an organization dedicated to providing soldiers, civilians and their families with a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service. This includes theatrical and musical entertainment, as well as theater production training and performance opportunities.
Sohre attended the national AACT competition and used the festival to scout for shows for the European Festival of One Acts, which takes place annually at the Roadside Theatre. The Roadside Theatre was founded in 1957 as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. For more than 60 years, the theater has served service members, their families, civilians and invited guests in Germany.
“Jim saw ‘Parallel Lives’ and invited us to be the showcase event. The fun part is that we’re not competing. We get watch all of the other juried shows throughout the weekend, and then we’re the final show of the festival,” says Lisa DeCaro, a “Parallel Lives” cast member.  
DeCaro and fellow cast member Gail Montgomery, both of the Evergreen Players, were the first ever to split the Best Actress award at the regional AACT festival in March. The show also took home top honors in: Best Production, Best Director, Best Tech Team, Outstanding Set Design and Outstanding Ensemble.
DeCaro is quick to point out that the show has been a true group effort since its first Evergreen Players performance in 2009. However, the two actresses, who take on a variety of roles in this one-act show, are the frontwomen being honored for their exceptional work.  
On Oct. 18, DeCaro and Montgomery will accept the Center for the Arts Evergreen Arts Person of the Year Award. The award will be given at the An Evening for the Arts Banquet at Christies of Genesee.  
“Our board looks for people who have distinguished themselves in the arts as fine artists, craftspeople, musicians or actors,” says Steve Sumner, executive director of the Center for the Arts Evergreen. “We also look for individuals who have worked diligently to promote the arts in Evergreen. Lisa and Gail have done both of these things in 2011. In the last year, they have brought wonderful recognition to the arts in Evergreen on an international level.”
Although most of us won’t get a ticket to the “Parallel Lives” performance in Germany next week, we can purchase a ticket to An Evening for the Arts. Not only will the show (and its actresses) be honored once again for exceptional theatrical work, but attendees will be treated to performances of several scenes from the show. For more information or to order tickets to the event, visit www
.evergreenarts.org or call 303-674-0056.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.