Local Theater Company discovers and develops new American plays.
Proudly based in Boulder, Colorado, we are a non-for-profit theater company specializing in original works of exceptional quality. We engage audiences through innovative performances that spark camaraderie, learning, and contemplation, and provide a resourceful environment for theater artists to take creative risks, and develop their work.
In 2011, Boulder resident Pesha Rudnick was walking with her toddler-aged son at Chautauqua Park, struck up a conversation with a couple of lunching Colorado Chautauqua Association staff members, and learned that theater had been dormant at Chautauqua for over 40 years. Pesha had been traveling the country working in some of America’s most esteemed theaters, but was intrigued by the prospect of building an exceptional theater in Boulder, a place where she lived, where she was raising her family, where she was growing to know and love a community of talented theater artists.
A place that had become home.
Rudnick recruited long-time collaborator Megan Mathews and launched Local Theater Company in Boulder, CO with a sold-out production at Chautauqua Auditorium of Stories by Heart featuring John Lithgow, which went on to play a critically-run on Broadway in 2018.
Shortly thereafter, Rachel Fowler, Sylvia Gregory and Mare Trevathan joined the team, launching the Local Lab New Play Festival in 2012. Now an annual cornerstone of our company, Local Lab presents professionally staged-readings of three new and un-produced plays, chosen through a competitive submission process. (we've read some amazing plays in our day... and feel grateful to have been able to produce them too!). Audiences are encouraged to participate in a robust post-show discussion with the author following each performance to help grow the play.
Local Lab serves as the first step in our development pipeline, with someplays culminating in a full production, as with the 2012 world premiere of Elijah: An Adventure by Michael Mitnick, screenwriter for the film adaptation of The Giver. The world premiere of Faith, a 2014 Lab audience favorite by James McLindon, opened at The Dairy Center in the fall of 2015. And a collaborative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere by Meridith Friedman, The Firestorm, will premiere in the fall of 2016. In 2017, Local Theater Company produced the regional premiere of Michael Yates Crowley's The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias to critical and audience acclaim.
But that's not all we've done since our start.
In 2013, Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) and Miss Prissy (featured in the krump documentary film “Rize”) joined Local at eTown Hall to present Body of Work. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 we hosted “Dance, Baby, Dance”—free family dance parties in observance of One Billion Rising at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place. Miss Prissy returned to Local in 2014 to present (in alliance with Colorado University-Boulder) a free, packed-to-the-rafters public class in krump dancing. In 2015, Local teamed with Alliance Française and Théâtre du Rêve to produce a bi-lingual theater event at the Grant-Humphreys Mansion. In summer of 2015, Local partnered with Colorado Music Festival to perform Peter and the Wolf at Chautauqua Auditorium.
Throughout our history, Local has been deeply involved in using theater in the schools to promote literacy, empathy, and collaborative skills. Partners include Think360 Arts, Boulder Public Library and Casey Middle School, among others. In both 2013 and 2014, Local and Casey took 30 students and teachers to New York City (oh my gosh what a trip!) to present their original play at the American Museum of Natural History. Our new Living Language Literacy Program adapts young adult novels for the stage and is produced in partnership with the Boulder Public Library.
As audiences and donors continue to affirm Local as a unique offering to the Colorado arts scene, we continue to grow the frequency and reach of our programming and collaborations.