Gig&Tell: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

  • Run away...Fast!    
    07/18/2013  8:18pm

    I'm currently working as an actor here and it is the worst summer I've had in a long time!

    While the actors have a lot of talent, the theater is poorly run. Bad direction (well… NO direction!) creates sloppy and poor productions. It's community theatre at its worst. The creative staff are very stand offish and don't try to get to know any of the cast on a personal level. The piano-conductor has no idea what he's doing (its his first time). Choreography and music are sloppy. The musical director and choreographer constantly fight in front of us. As a cast, we're treated like a bunch of children. Its very summer camp circa the 90s.

    I will say that the sets are fantastic looking (although way too heavy and awkward to deal with). Before all of the shows open, the actors are required to participate in set change. This consists of moving 500 lb flats after a show. It typically takes 2 hours and is extremely unsafe. Picture a bunch of unqualified actors and musicians trying to move heavy machinery. It's dangerous. And when you speak of these concerns, you're looked upon as not a team player.

    I would never recommend this company to anyone and I will most certainly not be back for a second summer. Unprofessional, not friendly, and just plain bad shows.

    I also worked for RMRT this past summer (hi, friend!), and I have to say I am disappointed with how unbalanced your review of the season was. I agree with you, there are definitely issues with communication at times, but I disagree with your pronouncement of the entire creative staff being standoffish and the shows being sloppy and poor. I think the process for each show was very different depending on the parties in charge and the demands of the script. I also imagine part of your feelings of 'sloppiness' are due to the nature of summer stock in repertory.

    However, my real issue with your review is the omission of any of the fantastic things about working for this company. For a non-equity theatre, the pay does not get much better. And after the first five weeks of getting all the shows on their feet, company members have most of their days free for the rest of the season to enjoy one of the most beautiful towns in Colorado. Compared to many other summer stocks, the kind of summer we had was luxurious. But what I find most special about RMRT are the people in the town who support it. The board members and patrons have such a love for the theatre and all involved. They invited us in their homes, brought meals to our cabins, and made us feel so cherished and welcomed, bending over backward to make sure we had everything we needed. I have not felt that kind of overwhelming support anywhere else I have worked.

    Friend, I am so sorry you did not have a good summer. I really thought we all had a lovely time. However, I hope your unpleasant experience does not deter our fellow actors from spending a season in one of the most magical places I have ever been! I would recommend RMRT to anyone!

    08/29/2013  12:48am

    I also worked at RMRT this summer (hi friends) and I have to agree that you were pretty rough on what I feel is one of the greatest non-eq summer stock experiences.
    Let's look at the facts:
    The pay is great. Competitive, includes wonderful housing, you're payed EVERY WEEK and not to mention the perks (sooo many donated home-cooked meals, access to gym and hot tub, access to kayaks and canoes!!!!) There's a reason it's one of the most sought after non-eq jobs in Chicago.
    Let's look at the community. The people who support the theatre are wonderful. It's like they tell you when you arrive, "they loved you before you came, and they love you after you leave". Nowhere in the world is there a more supportive community, board, and town. From treating you like a celebrity while you're walking through town, to buying you treats like ice cream after shows. These people make you remember the important place that theatre should have in a community.
    The theatre: 3 years ago they opened a brand new facility which is incredible!!! (Especially compared to the old building. Yikes!) They are a growing company, with things to learn, but the creative staff is guiding them in the right direction. With the acquisition of new property for a larger build space and storage facility, those set changes (which were not as brutal as referenced in the previous post) a lot easier and smoother. Also, their tech staff is made up of NY and Chicago professionals. It's great contacts, but more importantly, they're good people. Also a comment was made about the direction....it's not the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, but it certainly is nothing to snide at. The directors are working professionals and are vested in the shows. They care about the success and continuation of the theatre's reputation, not just the individual show they are directing. And for such long hours, they never made it seem like work, and always looked out for our well being with the strain of running rehearsal all day, then alternating shows at night.

    The part I wish to stress the most is the quality of show. Summerstock in itself is a patchy art. The goal of putting up a show in two weeks is feasible. But the reality of putting up a show, in two weeks, that has enough artistic integrity to rival regional theatres around the US is a worthy adversary. I believe RMRT succeeds in this. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but this company is all about taking the steps to constantly continue improving. NEVER has there been a summer stock creative staff that was as dedicated to the production that they would take HOURS out of their day (on top of the heavy workload scheduled) to work and bond with their cast. Between the added time spent at the bar, the dance room, or walking around town, we felt like we were an investment in the theatre and were always encouraged to achieve our best.

    I'm sorry if you didn't have a good time there. Know that even so, you are loved by everyone you shared the stage with. Cause that is maybe the greatest thing no one talks about at RMRT......You're trapped in the middle of the Rocky Mountains together!!! It's impossible not to become a family, and the staff and board at Rocky Mountain Repertory might be the best summer family you could ask for.

    So in summary, I highly recommend it. I may or may not go back next year, but I'd cherish the opportunity to grow and perform in such a supportive, wonderful environment.

    09/14/2013  7:44pm

    I also worked at RMRT this summer (hi friends) and I have to agree that you were pretty rough on what I feel is one of the greatest non-eq summer stock experiences.
    Let's look at the facts:
    The pay is great. Competitive, includes wonderful housing, you're payed EVERY WEEK and not to mention the perks (sooo many donated home-cooked meals, access to gym and hot tub, access to kayaks and canoes!!!!) There's a reason it's one of the most sought after non-eq jobs in Chicago.
    Let's look at the community. The people who support the theatre are wonderful. It's like they tell you when you arrive, "they loved you before you came, and they love you after you leave". Nowhere in the world is there a more supportive community, board, and town. From treating you like a celebrity while you're walking through town, to buying you treats like ice cream after shows. These people make you remember the important place that theatre should have in a community.
    The theatre: 3 years ago they opened a brand new facility which is incredible!!! (Especially compared to the old building. Yikes!) They are a growing company, with things to learn, but the creative staff is guiding them in the right direction. With the acquisition of new property for a larger build space and storage facility, those set changes (which were not as brutal as referenced in the previous post) a lot easier and smoother. Also, their tech staff is made up of NY and Chicago professionals. It's great contacts, but more importantly, they're good people. Also a comment was made about the direction....it's not the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, but it certainly is nothing to snide at. The directors are working professionals and are vested in the shows. They care about the success and continuation of the theatre's reputation, not just the individual show they are directing. And for such long hours, they never made it seem like work, and always looked out for our well being with the strain of running rehearsal all day, then alternating shows at night.

    The part I wish to stress the most is the quality of show. Summerstock in itself is a patchy art. The goal of putting up a show in two weeks is feasible. But the reality of putting up a show, in two weeks, that has enough artistic integrity to rival regional theatres around the US is a worthy adversary. I believe RMRT succeeds in this. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but this company is all about taking the steps to constantly continue improving. NEVER has there been a summer stock creative staff that was as dedicated to the production that they would take HOURS out of their day (on top of the heavy workload scheduled) to work and bond with their cast. Between the added time spent at the bar, the dance room, or walking around town, we felt like we were an investment in the theatre and were always encouraged to achieve our best.

    I'm sorry if you didn't have a good time there. Know that even so, you are loved by everyone you shared the stage with. Cause that is maybe the greatest thing no one talks about at RMRT......You're trapped in the middle of the Rocky Mountains together!!! It's impossible not to become a family, and the staff and board at Rocky Mountain Repertory might be the best summer family you could ask for.

    So in summary, I highly recommend it. I may or may not go back next year, but I'd cherish the opportunity to grow and perform in such a supportive, wonderful environment.

    09/14/2013  7:48pm
  • Best summer of my life    
    05/26/2012  5:40pm

    I have never been happier than the four months I spent at ROcky Mountain Rep. The pay is the same as just about any other non-eq theatre. It's competitive and will get you through. And the final product is good theatre. They hire smart, educated, young actors who know what they are doing. The shows are well directed, acted, and always well attended by the locals.rnrn That's the best part of this theatre. The location. In the middle of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, you will be the celebrities of the town. Everyone there knows your name, invites you over for dinner, throws parties, brings food during tech, and loves you before you even get there. I went on more hikes, kayaking trips, campong exersions, etc than I've ever been in my life. rnrn Two words of caution however. You will earn your keep for the first month. It's rep theatre, so you rehearse all of the shows in the first month, build all of the sets, and you will work from 10am-10pm with only two-1 hour breaks. I learned more about lights and sets working here than I ever did in college. Don't sign up for set change. The sets are huge, and since it's rep, you change them over every night. Especially after a hard show, the last thing you want to be doing is changing sets for another hour and a half. rnrn This place is heaven on earth for a young actor. A lot to learn, hard work, good people, and a beautiful place to spend the summer. I would go back in a heartbeat.