In Denver, ground zero for attention about teen and school violence in the country, the Curious Theatre Company wraps up its world premiere of Praying for Rain, about a troubled young man and a teacher, May 6.
In the wake of the Columbine, CO, school massacre in suburban Denver, Praying For Rain, which began March 24 at the Acoma Center in Denver, likely resonates more deeply with local audiences: Playwright Robert Lewis Vaughan set his play in a small town near the Garden of the Gods (a red rock geological formation near Colorado Springs), telling the story of a confused youth who is given a second chance by an exceptional high school teacher who dedicates herself to trying reach him.
"The show has had a healthy run and we are very pleased at the amount of 'young' -- teen-early 20s -- people we have had in our audiences; it is so rare to see," spokesperson Britta Erickson told Playbill On-Line. "Their response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic."
In the final weekend, understudy Jesus Marquez will perform the role of Chris due to actor Todd Webster's other commitments.
* Vaughan is a New York City writer who grew up in Colorado Springs, where he attended Mitchell High School. He is director of professional rights for Dramatists Play Service, Inc. He is a consultant to Duke University on innovation and entrepreneurship as it relates to non-profit professional theatre and new play development.
Curious Theatre Company's artistic director, Chip Walton, directs. The cast includes Kathryn Gray and Gene Gillette.
Original score is by sound designer Matthew E. Morgan. Designers are William Temple Davis (lights), Janice Benning (costumes) and David Russell and Scott Thompson (set).
Praying For Rain is produced by special arrangement with Writers and Artists Agency in New York City.
Praying for Rain received a staged reading at the Signature Theatre Company in New York in the fall of 1998. Curious Theatre Company is a professional theatre company that signs Equity contracts on a show-to show basis.
Praying for Rain premiered at Acoma Center March 25 after a March 24 preview.
Tickets are $18. Acoma Center is at 1080 Acoma St. in Denver. Call (303) 623-0524 for information.
-- By Kenneth Jones