GASP! 'Theater on the edge'

High school student directs uncensored controversial theater

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Steamboat Springs High School student Alex Stegmaier wanted to perform "Cell Block Tango" from the musical "Chicago," but school officials told her she would have to censor it.

Instead, Stegmaier will perform the piece during "GASP! An Evening of Classic Controversy" at the Steamboat Mountain Theater on Saturday. Stegmaier is directing the production as part of her Senior Project. "GASP!" will feature five controversial pieces from musicals, nontraditional plays and stand-up comedy routines.

What: "GASP! An Evening of Classic Controversy"

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steamboat Mountain Theater in Ski Time Square

Cost: $5

"I've always thought that high school students are not allowed to experience theater on the edge, or theater that is not happy, and especially anything dealing with sex," Stegmaier said. "It is very important for actors to experience different roles that are not very conservative."

Stegmaier wants to emphasize the importance of theater because it can help a community develop and can help connect people, she said.

"Nothing ever got changed in politics or social society without being controversial first," she said.

"GASP!" will include songs and monologues from "Chicago," "Robin Williams on Broadway," "The Sound of Music," "The Vagina Monologues" and "Cabaret." Some of the pieces will have twists.

Two girls will sing "Sixteen Going on Seventeen."

"It's going to be the same love story but with the idea that same-sex love is just as happy and wonderful and sacred," Stegmaier said. "The goal is not to change people's minds but allow them to look at these pieces with open minds."

Stegmaier choose the piece "My Angry Vagina" from "The Vagina Monologues" as a feminist piece.

"It's a piece about accepting yourself and not being afraid to talk about things in a public setting," she said. "It can make people uncomfortable, but it is important."

"Don't Tell Mama" from "Cabaret" was chosen to show the things teens do that their parents don't know about.

"It's something every parent has to deal with but doesn't want to," Stegmaier said.

There will be some profanity in the show, and the topics will be controversial.

"I don't believe in an age limits, but you should be mature enough to handle the content," Stegmaier said.

Stegmaier has been dancing since she was five, singing since she was 10 and acting since she was 12. This will be her first time directing a show.

"I've always been an actor, thinking of the way I would want to direct the show," she said. "Now that I have, I can use that knowledge to help my acting."

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