The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, 2022

" engaging chamber musical infused with intimate, emotionally perceptive, nonstop songs in which the woman tells their story backward in time from the breakup and the guy tells his side from the smitten beginning."

- Linda Winer, Newsday

God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza

The Wright Opera House 4 Performances, June 3-6, 2022

This play was insane. It wasn't nice. Or heartwarming.

But dang, it was funny.

The play looks avidly at the polite veneer of our daily interactions and asks, what’s beneath? And how thin is that veneer, actually?

Reza’s satire is biting and sharply observed, and the play has delighted audiences since its first performances. The play’s London production won the Olivier award for best new comedy, its Broadway production the Tony for best play. In NY, it was the third longest-running play of the 2000’s..

We had fun bringing it to our audiences here in Ouray County, who seem to delight in the humorously darker side of humanity. 

Compleat Works of Willm Shkspr Abridged, by the Reduced Shakespear Company

Sept. 2-6, 2021


An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) weaves its wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter.



Warning! This show is a high-speed roller-coaster type condensation of all of Shakespeare’s plays, and is not recommended for people with heart ailments, bladder problems, inner-ear disorders, outer-ear disorders, degrees in Elizabethan history or literature, and/or people inclined to motion sickness. We also cannot be held responsible for expectant mothers!

Brian Translates Shakespeare

The Amish Project, by Jessica Dickey

A fictional exploration of of the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting, and the path of compassion forged in its wake. This play shines a light on the essential human paradox: that we are as good and loving as we are wounding and cruel. What does it take to cultivate our better natures? Especially now, in this time when the "us v. them" fallacy has had so much sway, this play recalls for us that even in our darkest moments love is ever- present.

Presented November 5-8, 2020 at The Wright Opera House. Starring Lindsey Pierce, Directed by Kate Kissingford

Shakespeare Sucks! by UpstART

Shakespeare: a peerless poet... or a boring bother? Relevant... or relic? Join us for a NO HOLDS BARD romp through a dozen plays, as we play scenes and speeches and songs that give you dozens of reasons to hate and love Shakespeare anew.

SEPTEMBER 9-12 & 25-27, 2020

We so enjoyed getting to play during Covid 19, when most theaters have been shuttered. The advantages of living in rural Colorado are myriad! We have been continually grateful for the low infection rates and variances which allowed us to bring live entertainment at a time when it is so sorely needed.

Jan/Feb 2020 before all got weird

A touching play based on the real-life advice column "Dear Sugar", known for its unusually empathic tone anonymously offered up by Cheryl Strayed. This production featured Heather Hughes, guest actor, who has performed in New York & Denver among other locales. UpstART thoroughly enjoyed this collaboration with Heather, UpstART company members, as well as a few local performers who were new to us!

The Sherbino, Sept 20-22, 2019

Each person in this play passionately loves someone who is busy loving someone else. Conrad loves Nina, who idolizes Trigorin, Emma’s lover. Meanwhile, Con’s friend Dev yearns for Mash, who is hopelessly in love with Con. It’s not a love triangle. It’s a mess.

This is the mess that Chekhov created in his 1895 masterpiece The Seagull, a portrait of the Russian bourgeoisie at a lakeside estate, tragi-comically trapped in their misery together. Our playwright, Aaron Posner, hilariously updates the Chekhov into a wild exploration of love and life and art, a tumult that can only barely be contained by a stage.

The main character in Stupid F**king Bird, Con, is a playwright himself, obsessed with finding new forms of theater, forms that get closer to TRUTH (whatever that is) than the old-fashioned plays his diva mother Emma has made a career acting in. He knows ART can’t save us from heartbreak, though. Maybe it only gets us in deeper. I don’t know. These characters will have to find their way towards their own ways to embrace life as it is, in its sublime pain and its ridiculous beauty.

Audience Feedback:  "I felt like I was back at Steppenwolf in Chicago", "My boyfriend and I talked about the play for 2 hours after the show. More please!", "I continue to be so impressed by the work you produce. Stupid F-ing Bird was fast paced, well acted, well directed and thoroughly entertaining. Every actor/character was spot-on".

Midsummer Night's Dream

The wild comedy of love’s magic performed with the energy, intensity, and delight that Shakespeare intended.

As Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding date approaches, four unhappy young lovers run away into the woods, and a group of simple tradesmen prepare a performance for the celebration. In the fairy world, King Oberon and Queen Titania clash, and we mortals are all transformed. Love triangles and confusion and other hijinks ensue, until finally all of Athens is redeemed with love’s magic. 

Performed July 19-21, 2019

at The Wright Opera House

FABULOSO by John Kolvenbach 

Performed May 2-5, 2019, Fabuloso, by John Kovenbach, is an absurdist comedy that challenges audiences to think outside the box, delights with its quick-paced and witty dialogue, and offers perspective-altering frameworks about human relationships.

“Kate and Teddy are trapped in a soggy, lifeless marriage. Then Teddy’s old friend Arthur arrives, bearing chaos, knives, songs and his fiancée. FABULOSO is a domestic farce about the pleasure in bedlam and a working metaphor for bringing up babies.”

Our Town by Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece Our Town is, according to Edward Albee “possibly the finest play ever written by an American.” Simply, movingly, often hilariously, the play reflects on the ordinary, extraordinary nature of daily life in a small town, holding up a mirror to show us the way we are, “in our growing up and our marrying, and in our living, and in our dying.” An essential evening of theater.

Many audience members reached out to us after the show to express their appreciation for this production, which inspired them to contemplate the stars and our place among them. 

Performed at the Wright Opera House, October 2018

This was the largest cast yet assembled by UpstART. 18 performers, some professional, some new to the stage. All succeeded in telling this essential story. 

August 2-5, 2018

Hailed by many of our regular audience members as their favorite NHB production yet, The Winter's Tale inspired high levels of audience participation and heckling! Whether they were booing King Leontes for his bull-headedness or whooping and cheering for the Satyrs and the Bear, this crowd had a ball! We're grateful to all for their enthusiastic attendance!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Feb 1-4 2018. UpstART performed this show at the Sherbino Theater. Starring Drew Horwitz and Dayna Geiger and Directed by Kate Kissingford, this production was received by large, enthusiastic audiences. Winner of both an Obie and a Tony award, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of a fabulously entertaining, woefully ignored rocker with a legitimate axe to grind. A story of love, betrayal, and a sex change operation gone bad, Rolling Stone Magazine calls Hedwig the first rock musical "that truly rocks".

Hedwig and the Angry Inch brings theater alive with the pouding sounds of Rock 'n' roll and the funny sad voicing of a painful is also an adult, thought-provoking musical about the quest for individuality...the kind of Rocky Horror Picture Show-style event that may inspire a rabid cult following" - The New York Times

"The most exciting rock score written for the theater since, oh, ever!" - Time Magazine 

Performed at the Sherbino, Feb 1-4, 2018

The Tempest

July 2017. 

The actors came from all over the country, converged two days before opening night, and thrilled audiences with a lively, spontaneous & delightful playing of one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays. We appreciate your enthusiastic support!

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Jericho, By Jack Canfora

Performed by UpstART April 6-9, 2017 to robust audiences, Jericho hit home with our community.  Special guest artist Jack Canfora made this event unique by performing a role in his own play.  Our production of Jericho was directed by Steve Gallion and performed by Jack Canfora, Ashley King, John Kissingford, Kate Kissingford, Kevin Lowry and Heather Toth.

Jericho, by Jack Canfora

When Beth accepts her boyfriend’s invitation to Thanksgiving, she has no idea what she is stepping into. His witty, charming, troubled Jericho NY family will serve a nice turkey dinner, along with plenty of revelation, chaos and redemption. Everything is on the table in this funny and moving play about the things that tear us apart… and the things that help put us back together.

See What People Are Saying

"It is a lovely, humorous work with laughs that resolve into a meditation on the pains and satisfactions of living after a tragedy."

-New York Times

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