Abandoned Way Out West
Out of respect for the minors involved, please contact Elly for her full portfolio to see photos of this show
Abandoned Way Out West was Creede Repertory Theatre’s 2018 KID show, a program that brings theatre education to local and often underprivileged children 9-18 in rural Colorado. 16 children, some actors, some technicians, in the program did a three week workshop of the show alongside professional mentors, designers, and directors. Our Writer/Director Diana Burbano sought to fit the season’s theme of “strong female leads” with the story of a 12 year old Vaquera, Aquilina, leading a band of rag-tag orphans in the wild west against the greedy back star gang and their plot to steal the town from the children. As a design team, we strove to create a world believably created by children, and brought in lots of the kids to help with different projects, like distressing their costumes. Many of the costumes featured whimsical, child-like details like leather patches on bows or outward facing suspender buttons, and re purposed materials such as bandannas made into bows or aprons made from old chaps and serapes. As Creede is an extremely rural and secluded town with only three roads, sourcing materials was a unique challenge, but created a wonderful opportunity to research and respect the backgrounds of the children participating. We strove as a design team to reflect and honor both the history of the area, and the cultural backgrounds of the children coming to us for the show. This included pulling inspiration from child miners, railroad working families, pioneers, prospectors, vaqueros and the Colorado school for the deaf. We saw these characters as a group of lost boys in the wild west, without need of grown ups to successfully work together to run a town. It was also important to us to instill collaborative values in the kids, so some of the participants had the opportunity to make choices with me about what their costumes would look like and how their character would dress(i.e. are the dog/cat characters actual animals, or children playing pretend-they went with playing pretend!).
Scenic Design- Dustin Belich
Lighting Design- Harry Foster
Show Photographs- John Gary Brown