UPDATE OCT. 25: The stage installation is nearly complete in the Space Theatre.
By John Moore
Work is well-underway for the Denver Center’s upcoming family-friendly production of the magical baseball story “Jackie & Me,” written by Colorado native Steven Dietz.
The play, which opens for previews on Nov. 15 with an almost entirely local cast, promises to be the most engaging stage floor any baseball fan could hope for. Designed by Lisa M. Orzolek, the floor will feature hand-painted baseball cards of dozens of baseball legends, including the Colorado Rockies’ recently retired Todd Helton.
John Ashton at the 2013 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.
By John Moore
Most area actors have day jobs. John Ashton’s happens to be as communications officer with FEMA, the federal disaster response team. His first assignment was Hurricane Katrina back in 2006. Since then, he has been sent to fires, floods and tornadoes across the country to help organize the dissemination of critical public information both to victims and the media.
From the moment heavy rain started on Sept. 9, triggering catastrophic flooding from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Ashton knew he would be deployed somewhere in his home state. And while FEMA has had response teams in place “since before the first raindrop fell,” he said, Ashton’s call to action came this morning.
This morning also happens to be three days before Ashton is set to open in one of the biggest roles of his acting career. He’s starring in the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Seminar,” opening Friday at the Dairy Center for the Arts in flood-ravaged Boulder.
Knowing that THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER is all about mischief, we asked the actors in the Denver Center Theatre Company’s upcoming production of the Mark Twain classic to share their most mischievous childhood stories. Let us know who you think was the worst (or some might consider the best). We’d be curious what their parents would say…
Joe Harper and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
We got a new TV that came with a large box. And instead of watching the TV, I played with the box. I closed all the flaps and cut holes for my head, arms, and legs. I had snacks and toys and the TV remote and such inside. I ended up spending a good couple of weeks as “Box-Boy.” So much for the TV…
Aunt Polly and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
When I was 8, we were at a corporate picnic in the south of France where we lived, and there was a bull ring, complete with young bull, for anyone who wanted to try to be a toreador. I asked my parents if I could (I still maintain this, though they don’t!) and they said yes, so I took our umbrella and hooked it on the rail and lowered myself into the bull ring right as the young bull was passing by! Needless to say, I was in trouble!!!!
Also, when I was a teenager and living in Paris, some friends and I got together and dumped 300 liters of concentrated soap into the fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower then came back the next day to watch. Once the fountains were turned on, the bubbles started forming, and there were huge walls of bubbles lifted by the wind and floating all over the place. The tourists were loving it! Lots of giggling and dancing in the bubbles. It was wonderful!
Tom Sawyer and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
One of the worst mischiefs I got into as a child was after I had seen the film HOME ALONE for the first time. I went home, and the next day, set up “traps” around the house to catch any potential burglars. The problem was that I followed the film’s example to a “T”, even propping up a nail on our back entryway steps. My mother came home, stepped on it, and pierced her shoe, almost slicing her foot. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but that was the end of the “trap” setting.
Sid Sawyer and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Well, when we were kids, I once convinced my baby brother that our father was… a werewolf. Our dad had a big bushy beard at the time and looked a little werewolf-ish so it wasn’t too hard. I freaked my brother out pretty bad one night when there a full moon and dad hadn’t come home yet. I told him he was probably out eating children and howling.
I also got into some trouble stealing hubcaps from cars parked in our neighborhood. They found them in our garage and I got a stern talking to from a cop.
Other than that, I was an angel.
Understudy / Joe Harper and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
I’ve got to say I was pretty good for the most part, however I do have a tale or two to tell.
I was always guilty for leaving booby traps for my family…Open the door to find a stuffed spider swinging in your face. Or the good old rubber band around the spray handle at the sink. Or a false top on the salt and pepper shakers that looked like salt but always poured pepper. And many frightful moments jumping out of nowhere to scare a friend or loved one.
I remember a time or two…sneaking into a strawberry patch at night to grab a little nibble to eat.
We used to ride our bikes through the car was until I slipped and bumped my head.
Used to sneak out at night and walk around the neighborhood balancing on top of the 6 foot tall fence.
Muff Potter and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
I was lot like Tom and Huck as a child in that I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and playing by the river near my home. My friends and I always had an epic BB-Gun battle planned, or a massive jump built on our sledding run. Needless to say, there were many bumps and bruises, along with a few more substantial injuries along the way!
Becky Thatcher and others in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
I have always loved to bake. At the age of 7 I was making homemade chocolate fudgy brownies. As a delightful April Fool’s joke I decided to put my baking skills together and create a masterpiece. I made a marvelous looking brownie complete with chocolate chunks and raspberries on the top. But, I frosted it with honeysuckle lotion (it had a nice creamy thickness). Then I served the brownies garnished with the raspberries to some friends. They tried to pretend it was good for a few seconds and then rushed to the sink to gag. It was very satisfying joke.