1776 b Who Were the Players Really?

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by t...

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The men and women who portrayed the debates surrounding the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence in Aspen Community Theaterbs (ACT) recent production of 1776, represent a true cross-section of our community.B There were lawyers, retailers, County Commissioners, City Councilmen, school teachers, contractors, professional actors and singers, lodging owners, waiters, historians, church Deacons, realtors, and even born-and-raised Aspenites.B Even second generation Aspenites!

These people have worked, lived, paid taxes, supported retail, restaurants, The Arts, and contributed their professional and personal talents and passions to our community over an average of 10 -35 years by ACT estimates.

Back stage, there are uncounted, unsung members of the community who bmoonlightb by day and indulge the arts by night.B Members of the orchestra represented school kids and both full and part-time professionals.

Letbs not forget the audiences.B Over 3,000 people saw the production of 1776!B Thatbs actually fewer than the 4,000+ who usually attend the ACT shows.

Ibve heard it said around town, even by members of the Aspen City Council, that the governmentB shouldn’tB necessarily bsupportb theater arts per se, as there are only a small group of people who might benefit.B Acknowledged, these comments were made in reference to building or remodeling a space to provide a performance space smaller and more flexible than the 500 seat Wheeler (owned by the City) or the slightly larger District Theater (owned and operated by the school district).B But letbs not kid ourselves that participation in the theater arts is a mainstay in our community.B Those who perform and those who watch are surely members of our community from Rifle to Aspen.B Therebs no denying that ACT shows, and other theater arts, are a key part of this communitybs life and culture, serving both residents and visitors.

Cathy Markle

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