Steamboat Springs Emily Tarquin and Lynda Davis each understand the elegance, the serenity and the special place that is the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.
For Tarquin, this summer will be her 12th in Steamboat but her first as director of theater. Davis, who attended Perry-Mansfield between her junior and senior years of college, will serve her first turn as director of dance.
“To be able to be in that environment where you have a professional artist studio and then the walls opened up into Colorado mountains — it was a dream,” Davis said. “That was more than inspiring. It taught me that it was possible to live in both of these worlds.”
The two join the summer faculty at Perry-Mansfield each with glowing credentials.
Tarquin spent the past 11 summers as the producer for the New Works Festival. She’ll remain in that role but will expand to oversee the theater department.
She is the artistic associate of the Denver Center Theatre Company and contributes to the casting and new play coordination. Tarquin also oversees the Colorado New Play Summit and has done casting with various academies and schools across the state.
In her job, Tarquin generally works with professional actors and actresses. She said when the opportunity came up at Perry-Mansfield, she couldn’t turn down the chance to bridge the gap between amateur and professional theater.
“Working with students is not something I get to do often at the Denver Center,” Tarquin said. “I think it really complements to each other. I have looked at the program knowing what a professional actor needs today.”
Davis has a long history in dance, performing and teaching around the world. She also spent 35 years on the faculty of the Florida State University School of Dance.
She said her time at Perry-Mansfield was a big part of her success today.
“It made a huge impression,” she said. “It gave me the ability to think that my dreams were possible and not just imaginations I had behind a closed door.”
Tarquin and Davis each said they hope to open up the creativity in all art forms, not limiting the theater, dance and equestrian students, but instead incorporating all forms to strengthen each individual student.
“They get what Perry-Mansfield is, can be and will be in the future,” said Joan Lazarus, Perry-Mansfield’s executive director. “Neither are here to just teach a class and land for two months. They understand the big picture. They buy into it.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham