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

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Summer Moving Project | Denver Dance Photography

I love being able to capture talented artists of all ages. Denver dance photography is my way of interpreting the creativity of local performing artists and create everlasting memories out of their art. These photos can be used by the company to promote their show and their school, as well as by the performers for their portfolio. They also serve as a wonderful memento for the dancers and their parents. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph a student production in Broomfield, Colorado and I was blown away by the performance.

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Summer Moving Project is Colorado Conservatory of Dance‘s annual summer showcase. Colorado Conservatory of Dance has dance classes for students from ages one to adulthood. Their studios are in Broomfield, just down the street from where I used to live! They have two main performances each year, their Nutcracker performance and the Summer Moving Project. This is the students’ chance to show off what they’ve been learning throughout the school year. The middle and high school students performed in a beautiful multi-piece show at the Broomfield Auditorium, in July.

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I was so impressed by the skill and creativity of these young dancers. They bring so much passion to their performances. Everything, from the costumes to the music and lighting was professional and well thought out. The pieces were fun, emotional, silly, and upbeat. There were various pieces performed by the different age groups and the show ended with a final piece involving all the students in the show. Overall, it was an exceptional show!

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The image above is one of my favorites from the show. I love the layering of the three dancers and the strong emotion they each evoke in their movement. The lighting adds an additional level of drama to this dance photo.

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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

Elixer of Love |Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Each year, Opera Colorado‘s Young Artists take two operas on the road. Cherity Koepke the Director of the Young Artist Program and Brett Sprague the Assistant Director adapt and restage the shows to work with an audience of school children. They’ve been introducing new shows into the mix, and last year’s new production was Elixer of Love. It’s a funny story about con-artists, love triangles, and root beer saloons. As a Colorado performing arts photographer, I was called in to photograph the show for marketing materials.

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Each season, the Young Artists go on a tour around Colorado. They pack up the set, props, costumes, and themselves in a van and drive all over the state. They performing operas at middle schools and high schools in rural areas and mountain towns. So many of these kids have never seen an opera before. These photos were used to market the show to schools who wanted the opera to perform for their students. They’re also used to attract audience members to the annual Family Day event and to encourage donors to sponsor a Young Artist.

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Since this show is a touring production, that goes to school auditoriums across the state, we didn’t have a formal performance space to photograph in. Instead, we used their rehearsal space, the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. There is some natural light in the space but no stage lights. With performing arts photography, you have to be adaptable. So I brought my own equipment to give the photos a more production feel to them. I have a very portable light set up that works perfectly for events and small performances like this!

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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

Local Lab 2017 | Boulder Theater Photography

Local Theater Company, in Boulder, puts on an incredible new-works festival each year called Local Lab. On Saturday of this year’s festival, they had a mainstage reading of Shostakovich, or Silence by Jason Grote and directed by Pesha Rudnick at the Dairy Arts Center. After the reading, the writer and director had a talk back with the audience, followed by an after party with food and an awesome DJ. The talk back was really constructive and Jason and Pesha revealed how the show all came together at the last minute.

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The party was a lot of fun, with great food and amazing music by DJ Savior Breath. Everyone was in chatting and laughing and discussing the reading. The party spilled out into the lobby and gallery of the Dairy Arts Center. Right as I was leaving, the lights went low and everyone started dancing!

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I loved that Local Lab had me come in for the talk back and after party. Since there was no rehearsal for the reading, I would have had to photograph it live, with the audience, which could have been disruptive. This way, I still got photos of the production team speaking on stage and of the ambiance in the room. Plus since the lights were on in the audience, I was able to get photos of the patron engaged and happy.

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It’s always good to have a photographer at events like after parties too. These photos are great for drawing crowds to future events, sharing with attendees, and posting on social media sites like facebook. They can also be used in future marketing materials to show happy patrons, crowds, and ambiance.

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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

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STX by Close Act Theater | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

What I love most about the Colorado Performing Arts scene is that there is so much variety. You can find anything you’re looking for, from family-friendly to risque, traditional to very unusual, local to international. And the best art can be found all over the state, not just in Denver or Boulder. Breckenridge has an incredible art scene year round, so if you think it’s just a ski town, think again.

Close Act Theater is a performing arts company in the Netherlands. They came to Breckenridge for the Breckenridge International Art Festival and performed two shows, STX and Saurus. They did two shows a day, for a week! I can’t imagine how tired they must have been at the end. This show was so much fun, I saw it three times! Each show was different from the one before it. They interacted with the audience and the space so well. This was definitely a family friendly event, and the kids in the audience had a blast. All the adults did too. Everyone was following them around, taking pictures, in awe of everything,

It can actually be really helpful to see a show before photographing it. That way I can plan out where I need to be when, what moments are the most important, and how to photograph each piece. I tend to run around a lot when I photograph dress rehearsals, in order to always get the most dynamic angle. This show was no different, since it was so immersive. The performers and audience members were moving around the whole time, all throughout Breckenridge’s main square.

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