The Wheeler Opera House’s 2017-18 Winter Season might be over but that doesn’t mean things have slowed down at the historic opera house. With community rental events like Aspen Film’s Shortsfest to community school plays, the Wheeler is buzzing. Out of the 300 days a year that the Wheeler hosts groups or performers in the space, over 200 of those days are allocated to community use. This April and May, groups scheduled to use the Wheeler are: Theatre Aspen School (April 19-21), Aspen Country Day School (April 27 & 28), and Aspen Community School (May 3 & 4).
The first school play coming to the Wheeler this month is Theatre Aspen School’s presentation of Starmites April 19-21 . There will be four performances of the play including a 2:00 p.m. Saturday matinee as well as the 6:30 p.m. evening shows Thursday – Saturday. Tickets are $20 adults, $12 students and $10 for educators.
“Homina homina hey!” Starmites is a musical that ignites the imagination. This Tony-nominated musical follows Eleanor as she dreams her way into a comic book adventure and teams up with Spacepunk and the Starmites to battle the Queen of Interspace and the evil Shak Graa. With show stoppers like “Hard to be a Diva” and “Reach Right Down,” earthlings of every age will want to join the ranks of Starmites! Starmites, is a playful and heartwarming adventure about the struggles of discovering who you are.
Following the Theatre Aspen School, Aspen Country Day School will take the stage April 27 at 5:00 p.m. and April 28 at 6:00 p.m. with their all-school play Lost in Time. Tickets are $25.
About Lost in Time:
When Aspen Country Day students spend all their time and energy to make the greatest science project ever, they ‘forget’ to study for their history exam. But why study when you can use one of those science projects to experience history for yourself — by time-traveling back to Western frontier days, the early days of aviation, or the decade of the 1970s? What could possibly go wrong? Time-travel with us in Lost in Time.
Moving into May, the Aspen Community School will perform their spring musical Just A Little Grimm May 3 and 4 at 7:00 p.m. This will be the school’s 38th year performing a spring musical which is the longest-running tradition for the school. These performances provide every single student an opportunity to perform on a professional stage as the production is famed for offering at least one speaking line to every student at the K-8 school. Tickets are $18 adults, $12 kids 12 and under.
About Just A Little Grimm:
The play process begins with an original written script. From there, students create their character, interact with other players in movement, song, dance and dialogue, memorize and practice their parts, and put forth their best effort in front of their peers. Ultimately, it is a process of repetition, practice and precision in order to feel confident presenting themselves in front of live audience on a professional stage. Aspen Community School invites residents of and visitors to the Roaring Fork Valley to attend a colorful, humorous, and highly entertaining re-imagination of Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
“The wonderful thing about hosting these school performances at the Wheeler is that the kids get to be in the space for a week leading up to their performance,” commented Wheeler Executive Director Gena Buhler. “The time allowed in the theater is a great learning experience on producing a show in a professional setting.”
After the Aspen Community School wraps up, the Wheeler will be closed May 7-30 to replace the orchestra level seating, make improvements to the ADA seating layout, and do general maintenance and repairs on the space in preparation for a busy summer. During this May venue closure, the AspenShowTix box office operations, who support over 25 area organizations, will continue to be open Monday – Friday Noon to 5:00 p.m.