PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "How Do They Do It?" A Busy Week at Tuacahn's Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Starlight Express

By Matthew Blank
27 Aug 2013

Michael McGurk is spending a hectic summer at Tuacahn, an outdoor amphitheater ensconced in the red sandstone cliffs of Utah's Padre Canyon, where a hardworking cast and crew are presenting an ambitious triple-bill of Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Starlight Express. McGurk shares exclusive photos from a week at the scenic desert theatre.



"My time so far at Tuacahn has been among the most uniquely rewarding experiences I've had in the theatre," says McGurk. "Performing outdoors in the desert of Southern Utah is not for the weak! It is common for temperatures to rise to 100 and then some. Thankfully, it tends to cool off some by showtime."

"Your audience is likely to include visits by a few bugs, bats, as well as some friendly desert tarantulas, and yet Tuacahn Center For The Arts is still able to create magic in the desert. This season, three huge shows are being done in rep - one of which is on roller skates. The results are simply spectacular. And it's all set against the backdrop of majestic red rock cliffs. "

"The following pictures were taken over the course of a week at Tuacahn. During this time, The Regional premieres of Disney's Mary Poppins and Starlight Express were already open and being done in rep. The final show, Thoroughly Modern Millie, was completing tech and opening that same week. In Mary Poppins I play the servant Robertson Ay and I am also the Russian Engine Turnov in Starlight Express. Heidi Anderson, who plays fellow servant Mrs. Brill, contributed to this blog as well. We had a great time putting this all together, and I hope you get a taste of what it's like to do theatre in the desert!"



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Before every performance of Starlight Express, we have "all skate" which is a chance for us to warm up our skating and check out the track before our show. You can see the crew finishing up the "bowl" in the background.
Photo by Michael McGurk



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