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Performing Arts Center Would Be A Great Addition To The Community

To The Editor:

On behalf of the National Park Players/Burdick Productions, I am writing this letter to voice my support for SOPA and their efforts to bring a performing arts center to Estes Park.

Having professionally produced live theatre in Estes Park for the last few years, I can attest to the fact that there is a definite need for a fully dedicated facility for the performing arts. There are many, many gifted performers and organizations in the Estes Park area that would benefit greatly from such a facility. The e are several venues in town currently which are being used as performances spaces, however all of these facilities fall well below the standard for quality production. The National Park Payers currently operate out of the Park Village Playhouse, which is basically a large conference room. Given the physical limitations of the space (very limited scenic, lighting & sound capabilities) we tend to focus on small scale shows. In an ideal situation, we would like to be doing larger, full cast productions, however this is a near impossibility given the current situation.

To better illustrate and assess the needs of this community, I would like to draw a parallel to another. In addition to producing theatre in Estes Park, I am also the artistic director of the Butte Opera House for the City of Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek is similar to Estes Park in that both are rural communities with thriving arts programs that are essential to both the tourism industry and to the quality of life that is afforded its residents.

The facility that I manage in Cripple Creek is a 186 seat renovated Victorian theatre. Cripple Creek is a small town (about 1200 residents in and around the City,) and yet we are still able to book the theatre almost on a year-round basis. The programming is varied, and ranges from professional theatre which draws audiences from across the country, to community theatre, local dance concerts, school functions, civic functions, fundraisers and many other various events. If, in such a small community, these needs are present, then surely in a thriving community such as Estes Park, the need is similarly present, if not on a much greater scale.

I hope that you find this letter to be useful in the process of accomplishing our shared vision. A performing arts facility would certainly be a most welcome addition to your community.

Mickey Burdick, Butte Opera House

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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