Murray joined UCCS in 1975 and is considered the founder of Theatreworks, the professional theater based at the university, as well as the academic theater program at the university. He produced classic and contemporary plays in classrooms, buses, warehouses, basements and the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater. Among his credits are directing, adapting and creating more than 100 works for the stage including the original scripts "Monkey Business," "The Last Night of Don Juan," "The Lady of Camellias," "Dar-al-Harb" and "I Am Nikola Tesla." He also wrote stage adaptations of classics such as "Huckleberry Finn" and "A Christmas Carol." His most recent adaption of "A Christmas Carol" was successfully staged this December. His first love and greatest passion was always Shakespeare, and his 1984 production of “The Comedy of Errors” in a circus tent started a tradition of outdoor summer productions that continues to anchor the Theatreworks season today. In 1988, noted scholar Stephen Booth wrote in Shakespeare Quarterly that Murray’s summer production was “The Best Othello I Ever Saw.”
Theatreworks received a Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1994, a Henary Award for Oustanding Regional Theatre in 2013 as well as numerous local accolades. The program celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015, the same year UCCS marked the 50th anniversary of its founding. Murray directed four plays in 2016, and during his recent days in the hospital Murray was making active preparations for his next production.
In addition to his work with Theatreworks, Murray was a respected teacher and scholar. He taught theater as well as English literature. Murray and his wife, Betty, were fixtures of the Colorado Springs arts community. They were ardent supporters of the arts and the development of the under construction $70 million UCCS Ent Center for the Arts which contains a space named in their honor.
Murray worked with thousands of students, artists, actors and staff and left an impression on each. He was funny, smart, a bit of an anarchist and a great lover of life. Adventures, storytelling and spirited debate filled his life.
Murray earned a bachelor's degree from Williams College, a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and also pursued doctoral studies at UC Berkeley, where he began directing. He served in the National Guard from 1963-1969, and taught and directed at the University of Rochester before joining UCCS.
Survivors include his wife, Betty, his sisters Susanna, Christina and Kit, and his sons Felix, James, Orion and Matthew.
Please join me in offering condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Murray Ross. Notes may be sent to the family in care of the Office of the Chancellor, 401 Main Hall. At the request of the family, donations can be made to the Murray Ross Artists Endowment Fund with the CU Foundation.
1. We can go up to three times to an auction. We can buy at any time, but we must buy on the third if we have not already.
2. We can spend up to $500 on a storage unit.
3. We will brainstorm the plot and design of the show based on what we find in the unit.
4. We have to use at least 75% of what is in the unit on the stage during the show. [NOTE: we are allowed to throw out anything that does not seem safe (i.e. covered in mold) before narrowing down to 75%]
5. We can alter the contents in any creative way that we choose.
6. We can supplement and alter with anything that we already own. Supplementation cannot exceed the amount of stuff we get from the unit.
7. We can spend an additional $200 on building materials or any necessary prop, set, or costume piece. We can also spend any money made off of selling items from the unit that we will not be using.
A Dog’s Life at the Black Box Theatre is something we don’t often see: a non-profit organization (Black Box) doing a fund raiser for another non-profit (Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region). It is truly a credit to Black Box; those with few resources are donating their time and money to others in need. We should all be as charitable; this is theater that makes a difference. For that reason, among others, A Dog’s Life is a valuable theater experience.Click here for the rest of the review, which points out the highs and lows of the show.
Funky cast Evan Slavens as The Little Prince, and it’s hard to imagine they could have found a more suitable actor anywhere. Slavens is only a 7th grader at Eagleview Middle School, but he has some heavy duty acting experience, including Ludlow, 1914 at Theatreworks and The Wizard of Oz at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.The Little Prince closes July 3. Find tickets here, and read the rest of the review here.
... He is onstage nearly the entire 90 minutes of this show, and he has more lines than any other actor on this stage. He never missed a mark, never missed a cue, and never dropped a line. He was, in fact, formidable, holding his own among the “grownups” sharing the stage with him.
It’s not often I get the chance to say this, but if you have children, take them to see Evan Slavens in The Little Prince. Not only will they benefit from seeing Saint Exupery’s story play out in real time, but they may also be inspired by what one of their peers can do on the Funky stage.
In our last exciting installment of "Cutter Bill, Range Gallery Dog," the landlord had darkened the doorstep of the gallery demanding an increase in rent which left Kathleen to ponder aloud, "Should we pay the higher amount, or just move?"As of today, McFadden is still searching for a location, but in the meantime, she's redesigned her website and started a blog. She writes:
She looked over at Cutter Bill, the smartest, friendliest, best gallery dog in the whole world and asked, "Cutter, you're a thinking dog, what do you think?"
She noticed he had rolled up his astroturf mat, pushed all his toys to the door and was looking up at her with an eager smile and a carefree wag of the tail.
Kathleen exclaimed, "You're right again! Wait for me, I'll pack and we'll move to greener pastures!"
Stay tuned to find out where the greener pastures lie in the next episode of, "Cutter Bill, Range Gallery Dog!"
When I closed my gallery in Old Colorado City, I thought I'd have another building within, oh, say 20 minutes. My "20 minutes" has turned into 3 months now. I've taken a serious look at 5 different locations, each with their own attributes and downsides.
I've decided to be Goldilocks about this, I want the location to be Juuuuust Right. So, I have a list of requirements: must be attractive, solid, big, well-built, visible and memorable. Sounds like I'm writing a personals ad for the perfect man, but the perfect building is what I'm in the market for right now.
In the meantime, I'm being creative. I've completely redesigned my website, added new images, retired some. And I'm a lean, mean developing machine, processing dozens of old black and white rolls of film. It's like Christmas.
Which means, when I do find a location for my gallery that's Goldilocks perfect, I will have all kinds of new work to show and new stories to write. Oh boy!
To the Editor:Today, Cottonwood executive director Jon Khoury took to Facebook to clear the air:
After six months preparation and rehearsals, the Colorado Springs Readers’ Theater Players were excited that our sixth play, Tribal Tales, was about to be presented to the community on Friday, May 1 at the David Lord Theater in the Cottonwood Center for the Arts. Our contract with Cottonwood gave us Friday night, the 1st and Sunday afternoon, the 3rd for two presentations of the play and to split the proceeds. Seven hours before curtain time, an employee of Cottonwood sent us an email stating that they had summarily cancelled our opportunity to present our play, which had been thoroughly publicized for weeks and for which we knew that people were even coming from out of state to attend. People showed up at the Center unawares and were simply told the play was cancelled with no explanation. There was no legal or moral reason for this precipitous and deeply harmful action on the part of Cottonwood management. When the director was asked why by a member of our cast, he replied that he was “under no obligation to explain his actions.” We are shocked and saddened by these events. Not only did our players put their hearts and souls into their parts during many rehearsals, people in the community were eagerly anticipating the production. The Cottonwood Center for the Arts holds itself out to be a community resource and a reputable business and should be accountable for their executive actions to their board and to this community. It seems, in this case, we cannot expect that to happen.
Bill and Genie Durland, Author and Editor of all six of the Readers’ Theater productions enjoyed by this community over the past six years.
We were given a contract … which ... has no specifics whatsoever about Cottonwood’s protocols and behaviors expected of us. Nothing about their obligations or our obligations. If Jon had concerns “weeks ago” as he said, he should have shared them. We were kept in the dark.Except for an unpaid fee to a graphic designer, there’s no money at issue, as Readers' Theater and Cottonwood planned to split ticket sales 50-50 following the show.
... We were told by Jon that we were rude and hurt staff’s feelings but nobody ever told us that so how could we correct the problem? We told Jon in a letter we wrote him, trying to make clear our position that we felt it was his responsibility as director to convey to us complaints from his staff as they happened. We would have been more than willing and able to make whatever adjustments were necessary. Adequate communication was nonexistent.
Director Felicia Spirio makes the most of her resources here, guiding the cast through the multiple personalities and plot twists that make Veronica’s Room a challenging script. Spirio’s touch is delicate but disturbing as [main character] The Girl/Susan realizes how much danger she faces.
Veronica’s Room is an entertaining but disturbing script. Funky Little Theater’s production is spot on and well worth the price of admission.Veronica's Room runs through May 16, and per FLTC's website, an ASL interpreter has been confirmed for the May 16 final performance.
Star Bar takes on Killer Joe with a bold enthusiasm. The challenges for a small company are considerable; this is a script that will appeal to a limited audience. The set and props are substantial, the special effects, including spilling blood onstage are critical to a successful performance. Star Bar blows right by these challenges, bringing Letts’ script to life with a brash, raw, nonstop energy.Find the rest of the review here, and keep an eye out for more reviews (Wheeler just posted his critique of A Man of No Importance playing at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities today) on his site.
Care to learn more? Visit our group on Facebook through this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NACMTPT/
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