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StageDoor Theatre opens season with ‘Young Frankenstein’

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By Sara Miller

Since its inception almost 25 years ago, StageDoor Theatre has established itself as a unique place for the performing arts in the 285 Corridor.

StageDoor began as a place for actors to participate in locally produced community theater productions. Then 10 years ago, StageDoor added the educational division and began providing musical theater classes to school-aged children throughout the mountain area. Each year, StageDoor has built upon its success while still honoring its mission of providing quality theatrical experiences for the residents of our mountain community.  
In the 2013-14 season, StageDoor’s board of directors welcomes a new cast of directors and choreographers, and is excited to announce some collaborations that transcend age group and experience level in the theater.
The season kicks off with “Young Frankenstein” opening on Sept. 6. Frankenstein will be presented by StageDoor’s adult company. The director is Pam Clifton with music direction by Trent Hines and choreography by Wendy Westwood. Clifton ran StageDoor’s 2013 summer camps and has developed educational programs for both children and adults at The Arvada Center, Boulder Dinner Theatre and South Suburban Parks and Recreation, and has taught acting classes for adults at the University of Denver and Arapahoe Community College.
In October, the high school company will present “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The show, which opens Oct. 11, will be directed by Kelly McAllister. McAllister is new to StageDoor and was selected from a large group of theater professionals who responded to a call for directors.  McAllister has worked locally at the Denver JCC/Wolf Theatre Academy, the Off Broadway School of Fine Arts, and Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids. He has written both plays and musicals, winning several awards. McAllister will also direct the StageDoor’s high school production of “The Wedding Singer” in April 2014.
StageDoor will celebrate the holiday season with a high school production of the classic novel, “Little Women.” This musical version of the classic Louisa May Alcott story will be directed by Jay Louden. Louden directed productions of “Almost Maine,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” at StageDoor. Louden taught acting and theatre at Metropolitan State University of Denver and is excited to work with the high school company.
2014 opens with a bang. Justin Johnson will direct the adult company’s production of the comedy-thriller, “Deathtrap.” Johnson has acted and directed at StageDoor.  He appeared as Selznick in “Moonlight & Magnolias” and as Vinnie in “Lucky Stiff.” His most recent StageDoor ventures have been as the director of “Barefoot in the Park” and “The Full Monty.”
In March, the middle school company hits the stage with a production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr” directed by Kyrie Biddle. Biddle is working this year as the director of the middle school and elementary school production. She is the mother of four children, all of whom are StageDoor alumni.
Biddle, who is a singer in her own right, also will direct the elementary school production of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” in May. “The Jungle Book” will also feature the pre-kindergarten through first-grade cast of thespians. This group will be directed by Pat Andres. Andres is a fifth-grade teacher at West Jefferson Elementary and most recently worked with the young Willy Wonka Candy (W)rappers in StageDoor’s 2013 production of “Willy Wonka Kids.”
In addition to these directors, StageDoor welcomes a new crop of music directors, choreographers and production managers.  
“We have some great collaborative energy right now at StageDoor.  All of our new staff are working together to share resources and have so many new ideas. They are even talking about an exciting one-night collaborative event, which will include members from all of our companies performing together,” says StageDoor board member Heather Kassman.
The StageDoor talent will also be working together in other ways. The middle school company will have several high school students working as student directors. Likewise, the elementary school company will utilize middle school actors as mentors and student directors.
Registration is open for all age groups at StageDoor. Rehearsals are underway for the adult production of “Young Frankenstein,” and classes begin in August and September for school-aged students.  For more information on StageDoor staff and productions, or to register for educational programs, visit www.stagedoortheatre.org or call 303-886-2819.

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