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Chief Players serve up bite-sized productions

If you go:

What: A Weekend of One Acts presented by the Chief Players

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets: $20 at chief theater.com or at All That, 601 Lincoln Ave.





Sarah Laping and Christin Nieves perform an act during dress rehearsal for "A Weekend of One Acts" presented by the "Chief Players."
Matt Stensland

— It's like ordering tapas at a restaurant, said Chief Player Kristin Cronin, of "A Weekend of One Acts." Cronin directs two of the eight one-act performances premiering at the Chief Theater Friday and Saturday.

James Hix, left, and Sean Rook Stool perform an act during dress rehearsal for "A Weekend of One Acts" presented by the "Chief Players."Matt Stensland

The Chief Players' "welcomed winter tradition," said Cronin, is a chance for the audience to "try a little bit of each. With a one-act play, you are drawn into the story immediately and are able to experience the conflict and resolution without the lull of building a scene."

"A Weekend of One Acts" will be the Chief Players' 10th production.

Each about 10 to 15 minutes long, the plays are comedies and comedic dramas, with some adult language and content. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. both nights, and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Laughter will be abundant, promised stage manager and director Chris Wadopian.

And there's something for everyone, Cronin said, "with an eclectic collection of short one acts created by different playwrights."

The Chief Players were formed in 2013 and are described by Chief Executive Director Scott Parker as an "incredibly talented and dedicated group of local actors, directors and theater lovers, who volunteer their time to make sure that the performing arts are alive, well and available to all who want to participate."

The troupe putting on “A Weekend of One Acts” consists of about 20 performing artists and stagehands, hailing from all parts of the country, and ranging in age from students to retirees. Some have lived in the Yampa Valley for 30 years, while others just moved to town.

They are bankers, yoga instructors, truck drivers, schoolteachers, property managers, bike mechanics and special needs counselors, among other "day jobs."

Wadopian, a Chief Player since last March, said he got involved out of a "desire to revisit my passion for acting and stage work that I enjoyed so much in high school." Since then, he's "run with whatever opportunities the Chief Theater and the Chief Players have made available to me."

Since 2014, the group has hosted youth workshops during the school year, giving kids a taste of the theater, from stage direction and projection to improv and tech. Their next youth workshops will begin in March.

They have also hosted several youth productions, including their most recent "Scrooge's Christmas."

The one acts, said Chief Player and director Kirk Aigner, are a chance for "fans of live theatre to come back and see a good number of the same actors and actresses they are familiar with seeing in completely different roles."

Chief Player and writer/director Robin David described the uniqueness in collaboration when putting on eight short plays.

"Each one act has a cast of two to four actors so there is a close relationship that forms with the cast and directors," David said. "This format makes the creative process seem tenfold compared to a larger cast because everyone has a voice in how the performance will go. As a result, it is more cohesive and comes across to the audience as truly a group effort.”

For the audience, David said, the format moves quickly and engages.

"One acts are full spontaneity that allows the audience to get drawn in to the characters at a fast pace," she said. "The mood of the evening covers a range of relatable topics and fun surprises."

Also on tap for the Chief Players are four "Evenings of Improv," hosted each Thursday evening in February.  

Tickets for "A Weekend of One Acts" are $20 and available online at chieftheater.com or at All That, 601 Lincoln Ave.