Missy Moore

“The beautiful thing about theatre is that it is an art form that flows and continues to change.” 

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Colorado Native Missy Moore speaks with such love and respect for the unending possibilities of theatre. The multitalented actress and director has certainly made her mark not only within the Denver Theatre Community but in Colorado Theatre as a whole. Through her twenty years of experience she has created such an encaging and warm presence that to not know of Missy Moore would be considered blasphemy to many in Colorado Theatre circles.

Earning a True West Award for her work in the Toto Too Company’s production of The Pink Unicorn, Missy has once again proven what talent rests within the women of Denver Theatre. 

This year, we are taking time to speak with creative minds like Missy, who have dedicated their time and talent to the theatre here in Colorado. As they continue to promote and nurture the creative vision of those in the Rockies. 

What is your favorite musical? 

I would have to say, ah it’s a tie. 

Top three how’s that?

Sucker for Les Mis, love that musical. I’ve seen it four times, and every time it gets me. I’m like here comes…andddd water works now, Yeah Les Mis definitely. Then I had a chance to see Wicked within the last week with Ida Mendez in New York. And that… was… It was jut one of those …awesome. Musical theatre is not my genre at all as an actor. One musical that is truly nostalgic for me and I grew up with was Pippin. I love the story, I love the music, Corner of the Sky, get out. I saw it when it came to the Denver Center, there was so much magic to do. 

What is your favorite movie? 

Ohhh, can it be a saga? 

Oh yeah

Star Wars, all the way, but specifically The Empire Strikes Back, then follow it up with Rogue One. I have to say though, I love the deeper seeded meaning that the Force represents and the way of the Jedi; as well as the Yin and Yang, and flow like that. I love Star Wars. Let’s be honest Yoda’s a badass, and so is Obi-Wan. 

 Favorite pre-show snack? If you have one

Red Bull. 

To be honest with you. Especially if I am doing a comedy, or something that takes a little more of the physical stamina. All the last couple of show I’ve done, especially The Pink Unicorn which I just finished. Is so dialogue heavy, that you know, I believe that Red Bull gives you wings. I’m also a sucker for Harbo gummy bears. But I don’t really like to eat before a show because of the vocal cords. So I save that for after the show. 

And Beer?
  Wine. I love Wine

Being a Colorado Native what has it been like to grow up with this theatre community that appears to keep gaining momentum as time goes on? 

Well I mean my roots started with community theatre, and that’s what really kinda of spread my wings. Then in high school I realized that being an actor is what I wanted to do. So why not go and get a degree in it. I just think there is a lovely supportive nature within this community. That stems from designers, to actors, to directors and I think we continue to challenge one another as artists. I think it’s important that we are nurturing our local playwrights too and we are seeing more and more of their work  being fully produced and completely realized. 

The beautiful thing about theatre is that it is an art form that flows and continues to change. So the flow might be skyrocketing now, and you don’t know if it’s gonna drop after five. You know I will say that last year there has been a rather seismic shift of people either moving to Denver to start their careers or people leaving Denver and theater companies closing. 

One thing I do think is really exciting to see is the work of the Black Box at the Arvada Center. That’s huge and also I  think that, Curious Theatre has really found their voice along with Benchmark. I love that Miner’s Alley Playhouse is really challenging the audience base. Especially Len Mateo and Linda (who unfortunately is no long with us). I mean by continuing to support true classics but bringing the new work to the forefront I think is one of the beautiful things of the Denver Theatre Community. 

Like to see productions like, The Catamounts, Men on Boats, and the Arvada Center’s, The Drowning Girls.  It’s incredible to see the combination of both oldies but also the new work coming in. 

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Oh I wanted to see Drowning Girls and never got the chance . 

It was a beautiful show, and I mean another example is Toto Too Theater company producing  The Pink Unicorn. It sparked such a conversation and that I think is important and I love seeing it. 

Given the different roles you have taken on over the years, which role has spoken to you and taught you the most? 

Hm, can I break this down into a three part?

Absolutely!

Because I think doing dramas is very different from doing comedies and is very different from doing children’s theatre. So….Drama wise, it’s an even tie between … I think because I’m just coming off of it, The Pink Unicorn. I’ve never done a one woman show and proving to myself that I could. And to have the true art form of theatre really resinate with my audiences instead of people going well that was nice. You know like I moved them to tears. I made them laugh, I was able to use my art form to the best of my abilities and create catharsis for a lot of individuals 

So that was neat. 

But I think Ugly Lies The Bone at the Lake Dillion Theatre Company. Where I played an Afghanistan war veteran, who after her third tour was hit with an IED, and half her body was covered in third degree burns. So to be able to tell that story, being a person who isn’t a vet or burn victim and to tell it in a meaningful way. And that play..is beautiful, just the way it’s written it’s very human. 

I would say those are my top two when it comes to drama. 

Comedy, I loved playing Hawkins in Men on Boats. I loved it. I just loved it, I loved the experience, I loved the people. To be in that room with that many amazing ladies, and where we all are surprised that we get to do this together was the most rewarding aspect of it. Plus, Hawkins was a f*** pervert. A Pervert, you know and women don’t get to play that very often.

I don’t know if you guys saw, Jess Austgen post on social media. But she posted on social media after Men on Boats that women don’t normally get to do that in plays. We don’t get to go on adventures. We are usually confined to the love interests and the corsets. But to purely just go and navigate a river,  The Grand Canyon, woman don’t do that. We as women normally stay home while the men go off to war.

But Men on Boats for sure, when it comes to the roles I’ve played.  For Children’s Theatre, Lily’s Little Purple Plastic Purse

With Directing a play like Resolutions at The Edge Theatre and performing in shows like Lend Me A Tenor at Miner’s Alley, which perspective do you prefer. Acting or Directing? 

They’re different. They fulfill very different artistic needs. Directing makes me more nervous and I think its because I have been an actor most of my life you know and directing you’re kinda like, “Oh my god this is my vision, my voice on this piece,” and “oh did I do it right?” With Resolutions, it’s the same thing cause this was Josh Hartwell’s play and he’s a dear friend and for a long time I was like, “Don’t F** it up Missy.” You know and you hope that you hit the beats within the play, that the story jives and has an arch. Of course the playwrights do most of that work for you, but as a director, you have to have the skill set to bring that out and that the actors trust you. 

Resolutions was fun though. 

That particular piece was important to me, I told the actors on day one you have to remember that this is a comedy. And that it’s a dark comedy. So we can’t shy away from the humor and there are going to moments where the audience may be like, “Why am I laughing at this violence.” You know and to me that was the biggest hurtle of where do I find that tone. Can I communicate that to an amazing dynamic, smart group of actors? I mean the fact that I landed that cast. Like…What!?

Every actor has them, what is your biggest mishap on stage? 

All right. I’m gonna tell you two. 

 I have broken both of my fourth toes, they are the only bones that I have ever broken in my body. And they were in two separate productions of Lend Me A Tenor. At the same moment, when I am hoping on Titto, kissing him, and my dad knocks on the door and I go into the closet door to hide. In both production I did not have shoes on at that point and I go to open that closet door and I broke my toe. Yep and then had to put the shoes back on and do the fast forward curtain call at the end of the show. Let’s just say this last time I did, Lend Me A Tenor, I did not take my shoes off. Through the whole show. 

  The biggest mishap that I have ever had on stage. 

  Actually involves our mutual friend BLF, I have found it in my heart to forgive him. It has take many years. But.. on the evening that I performed Getting Out at The Edge Theatre Company, our archival footage was being shot by BLF. So in my actors brain I kinda…I gotta be on point right? This is going to be viewed, I am being reviewed by The Denver Post, and I actually like to know as an actor when reviewers are in the audience. A lot of actors don’t. Depends but um…I go to do my props check. Once I’m on stage in Act one I don’t leave the stage and there is no way for me to get off the stage unless I walk out the front door. Which doesn’t make sense. So there’s this scene where the mom comes in and is bringing a hamper of towels and sheets for her apartment. At some point I am to go into the bathroom and come back out with only wearing a towel. And I’m okay to run around in my panties on stage, but I am not comfortable with nudity on stage. So within this hamper of towels, there is one body towel that I am suppose to wrap my body with and then there were smaller hand towels. So imagine my surprise when I am about twenty minutes into the show and I am going through the hamper looking, trying to engage with my screen partner wondering, “Where in the F** is my towel?” 

So I end up dealing with the smaller towel, and I have to do a good eight pages with my hand holding a towel in front of my crotch, and trying to hold the seam of it so my boobs don’t fall out. While my screen partner is trying to throw me on a bed, while I am only a stone throw away from the audience. So the whole time, I come off stage at intermission going, “Where is the towel? It was there for props check?” I am ver diligent about props check. 

I go through the rest of the show, and the entire time its driving me crazy. Like I know there are theatre ghosts but theatre ghosts are not that mean. Well it just so happens that after I did my props check BLF came in to set up his camera, walked back stage, saw there was a nice little hamper ON A PROPS TABLE mind you. And put it under his bum so he has a soft seat on his stool while he was recording. 

But..Yeah, so that was my biggest mishap. 

Obviously I am still a little upset about that. But yeah that was the biggest mishap where I was like, I am very aware that I am on stage right now and I am acting and there are things happening right now where my crotch and boobs might fall out. 

Well, it seems like it didn’t carry over because congratulations on your True West Award for the Pink Unicorn. 

  Yes! It was a lovely surprise! It was nice to wake up for that. All my hard work that I put into it and it resinated with the audience. Which is wonderful

What was the first playbill you ever received? 

  You know what I don’t know, but I can tell you…. No, it was for a production of Blood Brothers the musical. When I was in fourth grade maybe? I don’t know but I can tell you that they are in memory trunk at home. I save every program I get. 

What actor or actress inspires you both in Hollywood and Denver’s Theatre community as well. 

  Oooo Meryl Streep! Defiantly that woman is a chameleon and… Jeff Bridges. I am big Jeff Bridges fan. Just across the board, everything he touches is gold. 

Hmmm Now let’s see, in this community, that’s hard. 

Well…an actor? Director?  It can be anyone in this community. 

Oh I’m a fan of Jess Robblee, man…  She is so good. She’s so nuance, honest, kind. She’s just one of those people and I forget it’s her. 

I would have to say male wise, I am a big fan of Augie Trum. He’s just one of those guys that gets it along with Bill Han. 

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Director wise… That’s tough, that might be one of my harder questions. Because each director that I have worked with, they bring their own strengths and so as an actor you kinda find that foil around it. They all brought their own stuff. But I love working with Josh Hartwell’s in Bad Jews, but that also works because we have done so much work together where I have directed him and he has directed me. Warren Sheryl is smart. 

I don’t think I can pick one. 

Playwrights, there are so many that I love. Bill Downs who is a professor at the University of Wyoming, our artistic experience goes way back. I don’t think I can chose a favorite playwright. There are so many that I love. But that is the beautiful thing, local playwrights are being commissioned! Benchmark does their, Fever Dreams, where they bring new plays, and it’s a whole weekend. Um… Another example is with The Edge commission Josh Hartwell, to create Resolutions. They literally asked him, “We want you to write a play about the holidays, but it can’t be able Christmas and has to be funny. I tell this to my students all the time, the best thing they can do is nurture new work. As an actor if we don’t have new plays, how is our career gonna survive. 

If you do any play in the Denver Theatre Community right now what would you do?
  Ah the one that got away, because I think I’m little too old for it now was Other Deserts Cities. I auditioned three times for and never got. Also I will tell you that in some point in my career I will play Vi  in August Osage County. I played Karen a few years ago in a beautiful production.  I also would have loved to play Saint Joan in George Bernard Shaw’s Joan of Arc. 

Where would you like to travel? 

  I’d love to go back to Italy, love to. I also would love to go to ALL of Greece.  Wishful thinking I’d love to go to Bora Bora. 

Given your sister Mandy Moore, and the experience she has done with winning her Emmy for her choreography on So You Think You Can Dance, have you ever wanted to collaborate with her on anything? 

Funny you bring that up because I am moving to Los Angeles in July. The interesting aspect of that is, I am not moving out to Los Angeles to be an actor. I am gonna go out to my sister and learn the beginning skill sets of television production cause let’s be honest we are a TV nation right now. It’s just kinda like the time is now, one of my biggest reasons of going is one of my promises to myself was, by the time I reached forty I would no longer be in the service industry. And it’s a promise that I wanna keep to myself. I kinda like in the last year I have had such wonderful artistic experience here in Denver that I wanna go out on a high. Does that mean I will never act again no; once my feet are wet once I’m out there I may start taking classes with film; cause I am a strict theater actor, you know you use your voice, you use your body, trying to reach the back of the theatre. So just a new experiences, I also am doing Life Sucks at the Aurora Fox after the first of the year, then I am directing at the Mizel again, so yeah gotta lot going on! 

Clearly Missy has a bit of a busy schedule during the New Year, and for those lucky enough to see her upcoming works are in for a real treat as she graces the Denver Theatre Community with her bright personality and amazing talent. 

Sunday in the Park with George's

Emily Van Fleet

Emily Van Fleet, Photo by  Riley Reels, LLC

Emily Van Fleet, Photo by Riley Reels, LLC

 
Emily Van Fleet, Photo by  Riley Reels, LLC

Emily Van Fleet, Photo by Riley Reels, LLC

Dot  is Emily Van Fleet

The Denver Metro area has an array of actors that have put their mark on the community, with they're empowering performances and enduring creative passion.  One that stands amount these amazing artists is one Emily Van Fleet. Now staring in the Arvada Center’s production of Sunday in the Park with George, the actress sat down with us earlier this week to talk about the Denver theatre community and how through it she became who is she today. 

What drew you to theatre?

    My family are theatre people, Which I think its kinda rare, well I don’t know if its rare or not. Most people I know stumble into it through a teacher or something at school but my family on my mom and dads side are involved in theatre and so when I was a kid, I would follow my dad around to rehearsals. On occasion I was allowed back stage if I was really good and I just got to experience the magic of it. I was completely entranced by the the whole thing and I love al of his theatre friends and all of them were so lovely and welcoming. I got the bug very early because of that. I just never really shook it, I got involved as early as I could in like community production, educational theatre and then did it in high school as well as doing college productions and professional productions of course I majored in musical theatre. As long as I can remember it has been apart of my life that I wanted to pursue. 

    The funny thing is I actually was really shy as a kid. Extremely shy. When I was a kid I used to hide behind my mom and you know I had trouble being  around other people. Acting gave me that confidence that I didn’t have. It made me feel like you know I could do anything. 

Favorite pre-show snack? 

     I don’t have a pre show snack that I like.  That’s a great question! 

     I don’t like to eat too close before the show. But I have a tea, like a tea concoction that I make. It’s hot water with half a lemon squeezed in with a little bit of apple cider vinegar and honey. It like balances out the ph in your chords, then the honey or course coats it. And if its local honey supposedly it helps your allergies. I don’t do a show without it. 

What is the one show tune that always finds its way into your head? 

    Right now it’s Everybody loves Louis, or Finishing the Hat. While I’m currently running a show, I don’t normally don’t have songs that I sing running though my head. But this one is unique because I just have to repeat the lyrics over and over to make sure I don’t bodge it. So that one is purposefully. I often though after I’m done with a show I kinda put it away. So I don’t recall those songs for a long amount of time its usual shows I never done that run through my head. 

     This is totally random because, I don’t- I think its Garth Brooke’s,  and I used to l listen to Garth Brooke’s as a kid but I haven’t in a long time butI think it’s called The River.  I have no idea where it came from, it just popped into my head three days ago and I still can’t shake it. 

    But yeah when it comes to music, I like to be surprised. I often will just put on a radio station, like I will pick a mood. I’m really into French bistro right now, or like pop hits of the 90s. I like being taken by surprise seeing what it inspires. I don’t like knowing what’s coming when I listen to music. My husbands the exact opposite.

First playbill you ever received? 

    Oh my gosh, I love that because I have a whole draw of playbills. A really significant moment in my life, and it might be the first playbill. I ever received. When I saw the San Francisco sit down production of the Secret Garden, for my tenth birthday my dad took me. I had read the book and I was obsessed with it. And I actually,-It was around the time I think there was also a movie that has also came out, and I really wanted to see the movie. I didn’t know the difference between the movie and the play at the time and my dad surprised me with the play and I was rally confused because i thought it was going to be the movie. But I fell in love with that show, and I got the souvenir program and memorized everything, I wanted to play every single role, Mary and Martha and then Louie, and Ive done one of them now. But it is to this day one of my favorite musicals. 

Being a Colorado Native what has it been like to grow up with this theatre community that appears to keep gaining momentum as time goes on? 

    So, it was cool because I had some family in the theatre community on my mom’s side, my great aunt Bev Newcomb has been a director here for years and years. So I grew up watching her shows. And sorta being inspired by her presence in the community and her leadership. In fact my first audition at the Arvada Center was for a production of The Secret Garden when I was eleven, that she directed and I didn’t get called back or anything; she said I really needed to work on my singing. So I was like okay got it! 

    But so I was very inspired by that,  in high school  I worked at Boulders Dinner Theatre and waited tables or bussing tables and working back stage. That was I believe when Annaleigh Ashford  was leaving, like she did a couple of shows there. I don’t really know her but like I was- you know I knew she was going to Manhattan and doing all of this  stuff and I was inspired by that and then I went away to college at UNC in Greeley and did my own thing. 

    After that I moved to New York, and while I was in New York, Denver theatre bloomed even more like it was just growing and then I moved to Las Vegas and I would come back here and there to do some shows. But I always felt like I knew the theatre community but it was changing so much that I had a hard time keeping up and meeting gall the people. Since I have now moved back for good since March of 2015 I have been so blessed to work with so many incredible talented and multifaceted humans. You know I am so surprised but how many people perform, choreograph, writes plays or direct, while also producing stuff. I feel like there is a new theatre popping up every month and its just really really wonderful just to see this community that I feel in love with when I was a kid just grow and thrive and become …You know Denver theatre has such a presence you know in the national theatre market. So that’s really cool and I’m very proud to be apart of that. 

Given the different roles you have taken on over the years, which role has spoken to you and taught you the most?     

    I learned something from every single role I play and It depends on you know, this role I have learned a lot but its less about myself. I mean I learned stuff about myself for sure, it’s just the fact I’m doing Sondheim before but not this much. So I just learned a lot about that especially the music. I just recently did a production of The Wild Party with Off Center, and that, you know Queenie feels so far removed from Emily. And I feel like I learn the most from the roles that I feel like are nothing like me. Because I learn the parts of me that are similar.  Which I find interesting like the outgoing parts of her personality, because I believe or not I am an introvert and I need to be alone to recharge. But she is so not that person and because it was an immersive production it was all about connecting with people. So I, Emily, had to learn to like put aside the self conscious thing or the shy side of me, and just go up to a stranger and not care what they think of me. That you know was ….I learned a lot and I think grew a lot as a human being through her.   That was a very valuable experience. 

Every actor has them, what is your funniest mishap on stage? 

    Okay… I played Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun which was an amazing experience. One of my favorites! I had these really awesome like high waisted but they were very wide legged. But occasionally I would get my boot caught in it or whatever and I was like someday I am just going to fall during a show and its just going to be awkward. So it was the day, I had a performance on my birthday and  the whole cast sung happy birthday to me and then the audience joined in and it was amazing experience.  But the following night I went out for my final bows and we had a stage that was on a grade, and there is specific Annie Oakley music that plays, the orchestra  swells and everyone gestures for me to come out. I ran out, my boot get caught in those pants and I took a nose dive, fell face first on the rack and probably slide a foot or two. Fortunately I caught myself so I didn’t hit my face, but my hands were all scrapped up, I busted not my pants but my tights underneath for some reason. But the entire cast, and audience just gasped, like this huge gasp, and I got up and went, “I’m okay!” and afterwards I ran into some of the audience members after the show, and they thought it was planned. It was too funny to care that much about it to be upset. 

    But that’s just me I am just a little bit clumsy. So some day I am hoping i don’t eat it in that dress that opens in Sunday in the Park with George. 

 What actor or actress inspires you? 

    Meryl Streep. What a talent, I mean she just no matter what she does. She always makes the most unique choice, they are always so grounded and honest,  even if its out there and ridiculous. I admire a lot of actors. I didn’t really latch onto ….there is a lot of stage actors that I grew up around because my family is in theatre that I really admired. Rebecca Dime, she lives in the bay area, and Caroline Howard; none of these people you know but there is just so many stage actors that aren’t big name but do such incredible work and have inspired me. I feel like absorbing their process while sitting in rehearsals that my acting is influenced by that. 

    I found there is so much you can learn from actors  by a finished produce. What interests me is their process, because everyone has so many different ways of doing it. Watching people work is where I learn the most from it.

What experience from previous roles did you draw from when approaching your current role as Dot in Sunday in the Park with George? 

    Previous Roles…..I tried to approach each role with a clean. But sometimes previous roles creep in. Dot’s very interesting because…she is a very well rounded fully fleshed to human. She’s just written that way she has very real emotions and thoughts she also very funny, as well as being angry and mean and very dramatic. You know sometimes you play role that sometimes just funny and sometimes it's a very heavy role but she has everything which is a gift. I sometimes I think of other roles that creep in, here and there  I actually though have a lot of personal experience that I draw from for her. 

    Particularly with the relationship to George and I think a lot of people can relate there just those relationship that are just those relationships that are just so intense and passionate and amazing. It seems like it should work but for some reason it just doesn’t work. Also the idea of being with an artist, or being with someone who is …you know where their focus is drawn in some way  and trying to connect with that person and after attempt after attempt it fails and you just can’t make that connection. It’s extremely painful, and I’ve been there. In fact Cole and I were talking about that too during the rehearsal process that he has been there too, we both have been Dot in that relationship. And how hard it is to go there because I think both of us had a hard time of going there at first, because it is a hard memory you kind of want to put that stuff away but that’s part of the job, so it’s …you know in some ways it’s therapeutic, it’s like, “Oh yeah it s a reminder of these things that I went through and how I much I have learned since then.” 

    That’s one thing I really did like about your performance in the show, you were very very personal. You could just see the reflection written all over your face at the end of act 2. I cried so hard. 

    Aw, it’s just so heartbreaking at no matter how hard she tires, and she tries hard. It just doesn’t work and  she just..she has to move on. She’s also jus written so well, and it’s just a blessing to get to do a role that has just been written so well. 

What is your favorite musical? 

    Well, right now Sunday in the Park with George, but Into the Woods. I learned to love it at a very young age in high school so I could probably sing the entire show right now! 

What is your favorite movie? 

    Oh god… You know it’s hard. Favorites are hard for me cause I don’t have favorites of anything. My most recent favorite movie is Lady Bird,  

Okay, how about this since Sunday in the Park with George is a musical, what is your favorite movie-musical? 

     I grew up watching the Sound of Music and I would dance around my grandmother’s living room, like the hills are alive spinning for my life. And I was obsessed with libels dress and I made my grandmother buy me one like that. It’s such …it’s so well done, the performances are incredible and I grew up with it. 

Where do you love to travel?

    I love Europe, I have been to France. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon, his friend was gracious enough to allow us to stay in his flat in Antibes, in Southern France, and so I studied French in high school and I love the food, the culture, I love the language. That might be my favorite place. 

    Emily’s upcoming projects include, her directorial debut in Creed’s Repertory theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz running June 8th - August along with staring as Doralee in Creed’s production of 9 to 5. She can be reached at her website, emilyvanfleet.com

Sunday in the Park with George's

Cole Burden

Courtesy of  https://coleburden.weebly.com/

Courtesy of https://coleburden.weebly.com/

 

George is Cole Burden

Theatre can open many doors throughout ones career, and lead one to many places in order to perform. Cole Burden, an actor that has built his resume to amazing heights  has now found his way back to The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities for his second production with the company in Sunday in the Park with George. We caught up with him to see how he was enjoying Colorado in his third adventure out west and what brought him to begin a career in the arts. 

What drew you to theatre?
     Honestly Music, I started singing in choir, when I was in the third grade. I was in a boys choir in my home town in Georgia  I loved singing, being from the South my mother and grandmother always sung to me and music was always in my life. 

    And while I was in choir I started being introduced to plays, and being on stage. I wouldn’t say for me it was musicals per say, than performing in general.  I really enjoyed singing, and I really enjoyed acting. When I realized that you could combined this within musical theatre

 Favorite pre-show snack? 

     This show I have a hard time,  because I hit the ranks so much, going up and down so much. Honestly this is one of the first shows where I can’t eat a lot. I do have Ricola  all the time. I also have at my station some Trader Joe's dried mangos slices. 

What is the one show tune that always finds its way into your head? 

    Apart from the show I am currently in, you know, I’m going to be honest, I love wicked. I love singing the Wizard and I all the time. A lot of my girlfriends have gotten to play Elphaba, and so I feel like a total nerd saying that but I love Wicked.  

First playbill you ever received? 

    I am from Georgia like I said, so I didn’t go to New York for a long time. I always went to the Fox theatre in Atlanta, so I thought that was Broadway, and it was. I wanna say the first one I ever collected was the revival of Carousel, with Patrick Wilson as Billy Bigelow. 

    That was really cool and I got to know him later in life while I was living in New York, and he asked what got me into musicals. And I said, "There was this production of Carousel I saw in 96', and he was just beaming when I realized, "OH! It's you!" He really loved that and it was really funny because I also wanted to go to school at Carnegie Mellon University and he was wearing a Carnegie Mellon hat. But yeah Carousel was the first playbill I ever collected. 

With this being your third time performing in Colorado what do you feel is different from your first experience? 

    Well George takes a lot of time and work I haven’t gotten to relax as much as I want to. But I do love it here. The cool thing is I work all over in regional land like, Chicago, New York, L. A.  Denver, and I love creating mini families all over the country. I really enjoy being back in Arvada cause I remember it was such a lovely experience with  the cast, and the people I was working with. I just love the people. Again this company specifically, the cast has been very supportive and really prepared. 

    Now that I am back, it is always nice to do theatre that isn’t in New York but that is  still familiar. Like I have been to the Stanley Hotel a couple of times, I know Olde Town Arvada, and now I have gotten to do things I wasn't able to do during my first or second experience out here. I have been enjoying Idaho Springs for the first time. I have never gone there and I love the Indian hot springs! I also love Boulder, and that Arvada is specifically between Denver and Boulder. The whole area is really fantastic!

Who was your biggest inspiration in theatre? 

    There has been so many. Patrick Wilson was certainly in that production of inspiration and getting to know  him was very inspirational. He always told me that I had humility and to hang on to that, cause it would get me very far. I also have gotten to know Stephen Schwartz pretty well, I just exchanged emails with him the other day. He just turned 70 not that long ago and they had a big birthday celebration for him and it’s kinda wild to know that you know, I’m friends with Stephan Schwartz. That’s kinda inspiring sometimes, but I have to say my biggest inspiration is Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown. They are kinda neck and neck. 

There are many pieces that come together within a cast to create a great performance. What do you think is one of the most important pieces to this?  

    For me, Rod Lansberry the director has just been incredibility supportive of me. Giving me full permission to create. He obviously came to the table with ideas, and knowing the things he had to have with the show. But he certainly let me find this George and find all these multiple layers that are in this piece. He was just very supportive in a short amount of time. 

    We put this show together in two and a half weeks. By the end of the first week we were already running the show. I came in pretty prepared and ready to push through, and he allowed me to push through. We got the show on its feet and he was very malleable as a director and collaborative. It made the experience very joyful, and I have a lot of pride for this specific production because I feel it was a true collaboration. Everyone in this show, the designers specifically made me feel as comfortable as I possibly could within a short amount of time while putting the show together. 

    I love this company, I love Rod, and Emily Van Fleet, who is a local Denver actress. It is scary a little bit when you are coming from New York and you don’t have a co star that is also from New York and you come in like, “Okay who am I about to jump into bed with,” and I just adore her. She has been really wonderful to play with and incredibly collaborative. I don’t think we realize how much we love each other. I know, but we have had to work so quickly within a certain amount of time but, it certainly hasn’t been taken for granted with how easy it is to work with her and this entire cast. So..I have to say the collaboration is the most important. 

Every actor has them, what is your funniest mishap while performing? 

    I remember when I was in Les Mis, I played one of the soldiers on the barricade and theres a moment  Enjolras turns to, I played Courfeyrac, and he says, “Courfeyrac, you take the watch!” and it’s very dramatic you know, Jeremy Hayes played Enjorlas, said, “Take the watch,” and all of a sudden Courfeyrac has this big responsibility to watch the barricade, and I took his gun all dramatic and I tried to totally sell it but I managed to slip while on the barricade. 

What do you feel it is about Colorado theatre that draws people from out of town? 

    You know I think you have some great theatre going on here. But for me personally if I can get anywhere closer to the West coast I am happy. You have beautiful weather out here too, I love the mountains and it really makes all the difference. I love the core group of local talent as well. I think because they spend so much in the sun they are happier, but also people here are just really kind. I have not run into any ego thus far here in Denver. 

What is your favorite musical? 

I will always say Sunday in the Park with George, I do also like Lights in the Piazza. 

What is your favorite movie? 

Gone with the Wind

 Where do you love to travel?

    California, there is many option there. There’s Lake Tahoe, L. A. and the mountains, it's a beautiful part of the country and so different from what I grew up with on the east coast. Anytime I can go out there I am very happy. 

    Cole is currently performing in the Arvada Center production of Sunday in the Park with George through May 6th, if you wish to get to know more about Cole and his amazing talent he can be reached at https://coleburden.weebly.com/