Warm summer nights and twinkling constellations will serve as the backdrop for the city's newest stage.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College will present "City as a Venue," a new program that will bring theater, dance, music and more to the new FAC outdoor stage, as well as other outdoor locations around the Springs, including Acacia Park, Concrete Coyote, Deerfield Hills Community Center, Hillside Community Center and Meadows Park Community Center.
"People will be looking for the opportunity to safely gather outdoors and it's an opportunity for us to return to theater's roots and origins as outdoors and public," says FAC Director Idris Goodwin. "We want a robust, consistent regular series of events from June to the top of October."
The outdoor stage, approximately 32 feet wide and 20 feet deep stage in the sculptural garden outside the museum on the corner of Dale Street and Cascade Avenue, will be up throughout the summer and into the fall, before theater returns to the indoor FAC stage in the fall. Patrons will either sit in the grass or in spaced-out seats, depending on the event.
Performances and activities include Saturdays in the Park at the Acacia Park bandshell; FAC Theatre School summer camp on the outdoor stage; "She Loves Me," a musical by the FAC Youth Repertory Ensemble, July 29-Aug. 1 on the outdoor stage; "Working," a musical based on Studs Terkel's book of interviews with American workers, Aug. 24-Sept. 5 on the outdoor stage; and "Art & Acting in the Forest," Bemis School of Art camps for kids at La Foret Conference and Retreat Center in Black Forest.
The schedule is evolving and can be found online at fac.coloradocollege.edu. Events at the FAC outdoor stage are ticketed, while events at Acacia Park and community centers are free. Registration is required for FAC camps and classes.
While a certain level of control is lost with an outdoor venue, Goodwin sees many more advantages to bringing performance outside. It becomes more inclusive when the walls come down, he says, and also might be less intimidating to somebody who isn't comfortable going into a theater. Goodwin predicts the FAC will always offer some outdoor programming going forward.
"Maybe not as robust as we’re doing this year, but there's never a reason to not do it, to not bring arts out to people and outside," he says. "Our building is certainly our headquarters, but our mission is to engage and make sure the community is reinvigorated and inspired by the arts. We can’t just passively hope they’ll come into our building. We want 365 days of engagement."