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Those Who Attend Your Funeral | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

I’ve loved being able to capture Naropa’s student theater productions. I’ve gotten the chance to see some of these students perform throughout their years in graduate school and it is amazing to watch how they’ve grown. Not just in terms of their skills but in the way they think as well. Their productions and performances deeper and more impactful each year. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements.

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The program for Those Who Attend Your Funeral is designed like a funeral program. on the back are the lyrics to Amazing Grace, which is sung during the performance. The starts with a funeral for a young woman and follows the lives of her father, sister, and boyfriend as they try to live after her death. The show is dark but full of sweet, beautiful moments.

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Cast and Crew:

Mark Gibson — Young Man

Dennis Kerr — Pastor

Mike Mayes — Dad

Fiona Small — Younger Sister

Ben Harrison — Stranger

Shiloh Shahan — Stranger

Victoria Gonzalez — Young Woman

Stage Manager — Cameron MacAlpine

Lighting Design — Isaac Eide, Cameron MacAlpine, and Malachi Tharp

Light Board Operator — Isaac Eide

Sound Board Operator — Jake Cacciatore

Assistant Stage Manager — Brandon Thomas

MFA Theatre Faculty:

Jeffrey Sichel — Chair

Erika Berland — Faculty

Ethelyn Friend — Faculty

School of the Arts & Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Staff:

Sue Hammond West — Dean

Liz Acosta — Senior School Administrator

Amy C. Buckler Rusterholz — Academic Administrator

Carline Swanson (“Swanee’) — Administrative Coordinator

Charmain Schuh — Gallery and Events Manager

Hayes Moore — Graduate Academic Advisor

Malachi Tharp — Production Coordinator

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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The Trashydy of Medea | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

This was probably my favorite piece from last year’s MFA Thesis show at Naropa University. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements. Chie Saito’s one woman show, The Trashdy of Medea, was only about 15 minutes long and was the “pre-show” to Those Who Attend Your Funeral and The Sister’s DeCantate.

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Despite it’s short run time, it was very impactful. The show starts with three men carrying a heavy trash can onto the stage. Once they leave, the can starts to move. Eventually, Chie emerges and pops up, using the can almost as a dress. For the rest of the show, she interacts with the trash can, using it as a megaphone, kicking it away, kissing it, crawling inside to hide from the world.

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When I posted a photo from the show on Facebook, someone asked if the show was about the wastefulness of fast fashion trends. It is so interesting to hear what people think a piece of art means. Art is always up for interpretation and I feel that most of the time, that interpretation can change from viewer to viewer. Everyone brings their own ideas and perspectives to the table when viewing art and that is what makes art so meaningful and magical. So I want to hear what you think. From seeing the archival photos of the piece, what do you think is the meaning behind The Trashedy of Medea?

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Starring: Chie Saito and Malachi Tharp, Jake Cacciatore, & Lorenzo Gonzalez as ‘hazmat suits.’

Composed by: Lorenzo Gonzalez & Chie Saito from texts by Euripides & Christa Wolf

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Ancient Creatures | Boulder Performing Arts Photography

In the Boulder performing arts photography world, you run into a lot of tricky lighting situations. This show, part of Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival, had all of them in one. At points during the show, the only light source was a candle or flashlights or a strobe light. There was even a scene lit only by Christmas lights hung inside an umbrella. I loved all of the creative uses of light. The creators of the show did an excellent job using light to convey strong emotions. Plus, I’m always up for a fun lighting challenge!

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This show was centered around the ideas behind the zodiac. The main question posed by the performance is “Where are we going, and what will we be when we get there?” It explored the ways in which people can change through life experiences and the role that greater forces may factor into their lives. It was a stunning, moving, and surprisingly fun play!

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Director’s Note: “When I started working with the source material of the zodiac, I was more than a skeptic. The frame was perfect, but the source material lacked a certain scientific approach with which I felt comfortable. After my work with texts of Greek mythology, star charts, dice, anatomy, and my fellow creators, I am proud to say that we have built something out of this uncertainty, belief, and curiosity. This piece is the product of work, hope, and chance. The text and movement were created using chance systems, much like the creation of the universe.”

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Cast and Crew

Directed by: Michael Sater

Devised, written, and performed by: Michael Sater Rebecca Buckley Ashley Rice

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Naropa’s MFA Thesis Festival | Colorado Theater Photography

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth is Not the Only Thing That’s Sonic was the first play I photographed for Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival. One of the things I love most about Colorado theater photography and photographing for Naropa is getting the chance to see these performing artists grow and develop over their years in school. I hope to see them out in the theater world too, now that they’ve graduated! Congrats to the graduates of the Naropa School of the Arts Theater Program!

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About The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth is Not the Only Thing That’s Sonic: “Give a performer time & space to express their authentic presence. This play does that, if nothing else, and there’s a lot else. It lulls us into a semi-sleep state, then surprisingly wakes us up to repeatedly question & challenge our realities. There’s something elegant about the way each character deals with their existential crises. The vehicles that carry us through our presence and language. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a vessel for what spirit & soul express through me. It never has been, nor ever will be about me. That’s something I often forget, then re-learn again & again the way humans do. The acting process is closely related to the cycle of life & death. We create an imaginary self and give it bodily form. Then that form dissolves once the show is over. If we’re aware, we learn something about what it means to be human in the process.”

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Creative Credits:

Written by Toshiki Okada
Translated by Aya Ogawa
Directed by Michael Mayes
Actor 1: Michael Mayes
Actor 2: Mark Gibson
Actor 3: Dennis Kerr
Actress 1: Victoria González
Actress 2: Karena Lyn

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

A Horseman’s Magic 2 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program grow. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast B of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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Cast B – Performed on 2/15/17 and 2/17/17

Zhuoma: Chie Saito
Jinma: Madelyn Rose Robinson
Horseman: Joshua Lorris
Landlord: China Young
King: Drew Piatek
Guards: Rebecca Buckley and Gabriela Petrov
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

Slice 1.0 | Boulder Performing Art Photography

Naropa School of the Arts’s Slice 1.0 is many things. Installation. Performance. Demonstration. The show’s poster reads “Caution: Could be political, spiritual, beautiful, ordinary, thoughtful, challenging, heartfelt.” The piece is in response to Trump’s election and the apparent rise in prejudice and discrimination.

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When you walk into the theater, all you see are chairs strewn about, seemingly at random. They all face different directions, there are no two chairs next to each other. There is a stage but not all the chairs face it. There’s a screen with projections on it but only some of the seats face that too. So you pick a seat, alone, and wait for the show to start. The actors perform throughout the space, sometimes on stage, sometimes on the floor with the audience. Sometimes, they interact with audience members. Each person has a different view of the show, a different perspective. No two people will see it the same way.

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This is a pretty bare bones play. The actors are dressed in all black. There is no set, very few props. The lighting is simple. But the ideas and emotions are what is powerful about this show. There are no distractions to get in the way.

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Slice 1.0 is made up of vignettes. Prayers, philosopher’s quotes, images, Hamilton songs, and political monologues are all incorporated into this play. The screen shows images from social media, like the “Fearless Girl” sculpture, by Kristen Visbal, facing the Charging Bull, by Arturo Di Modica, on Wall St. in New York City. The show ended with a rage induced dance party on the stage.

Be sure to check out Naropa’s last performance, A Horseman’s Magic, as well.

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Directed by Wendel Beavers

Cast/Creators

Rebecca Buckley
Landin Melendez
Gabriela Petrov
Ashley Rice
Madelyn Rose Robinson
Chie Saito
Kristin Marie Stelter
Annabel Turrado
Katie Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

A Horseman’s Magic 1 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program growing. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast A of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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Cast A – Performed on 2/14/17 and 2/15/17

Zhuoma: Kristin Marie Stelter
Jinma: Ashley Rice
Horseman: Mark Gibson
Landlord: Michael Sater
King: K. Woodzick
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Samantha Vakiener (King’s costume, Cast A)
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.