Paige Ulmer

Colorado Mountain College theater graduate Paige Ulmer rehearses with the camera for Sopris Theatre Company’s virtual production of “Three Viewings.”

Forging ahead with theater in the time of COVID-19, Sopris Theatre Company at Colorado Mountain College is presenting a new virtual production, “Three Viewings.”

Written by Jeffrey Hatcher, the play was conceived as three monologues to be performed on stage for a live audience. But the script, in which three characters appear onstage together only for a curtain call, was also chosen for online rehearsals and digital streaming during a pandemic.

“Three Viewings” explores three darkly comedic monologues set in a Midwestern funeral parlor: “Tell-Tale,” “The Thief of Tears” and “Thirteen Things About Ed Carpolotti.” The show opens Feb. 19, with CMC theater graduate Jesse Monsalve hosting a post-show, moderated discussion — from his apartment in Brooklyn — with the audience each weekend.

Brad Moore, director of “Three Viewings,” theater operations manager of Sopris Theatre Company and CMC adjunct instructor, said the show was chosen because rehearsals and performances could be conducted safely. “Doing this show virtually has had an unexpected up side,” he said. “The time we’ve had to explore the characters and the script, really pulling apart every word, has been a gift.”

In “Tell-Tale,” Mike Monroney portrays Emil, a funeral director with a secret he’s held in plain sight for years. Monroney said the process has been very intimate and focused, despite the actors being miles away from one another.

“We have no distractions, except for our dogs and Alexa,” he joked. “Because we don’t have to project to the back of a theater, we don’t have to force anything. We can play a lot of levels vocally.”

The cast and crew work together almost every day via Zoom, streaming from their offices, living rooms and bedrooms.

In “The Thief of Tears,” CMC theater graduate Paige Ulmer portrays Mac, a young woman with baggage that makes her life hard to bear. “I appreciate being able to take notes from the director one on one, with no background noise,” she said. “In this new environment, I’ve let down some walls, and it’s amazing. It’s just a joy.”

The CMC student crew is advancing their skills too. As cinematographer, Colton Grove will run two cameras to create seamless transitions. President of the CMC Theatre Club, Midge Glidewell, will run the audio. Amanda Bryan is assisting with the costuming, and new student Marie Labrecque is the lighting coordinator.

Performances stream Feb. 19, 20, 26 and 27 and March 5 and 6 promptly at 7 p.m., and Feb. 21 and 28 and March 7 at 2 p.m. sharp. Post-show moderated conversations for all ticket holders will be hosted on Zoom immediately following the shows on Feb. 19 and Feb. 27 at 8:45 p.m. and March 7 at 3:45 p.m.

Season ticket holders must call 970-947-8177 or email svticketsales@coloradomtn.edu to request their tickets. Single tickets are on sale only via ShowTix4U at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/45962.

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