In the beginning: a thumbnail sketch about how the Telluride Repertory Theatre got its start

In the beginning: a thumbnail sketch about how the Telluride Repertory Theatre got its start

Once upon a long time ago, her former husband, Bunzy Bunworth,
tried to convince his brand new bride to leave the East coast and head West to a ski town in the mountains. Reading up on her prospective new home, Suzan Beraza was pleased to discover that Telluride had a theatre. Being an ambitious and hardworking young actress, she decided to jumpstart her new life by sending along an 8×10 head shot and a resume.

The silence that followed did not trouble Beraza a whit: she understood how hectic things get in the whirligig world of the stage.
Imagine her surprise when she arrived in town and saw that The Nugget featured movies, not plays.

What a bummer: acting was what Beraza was trained to do. She bided her time waitressing and working at the airport.
Meanwhile, while tending bar, Bunzy befriended a charming redhead, who also loved theatre.

Long- short, Suzan and Angela Cavins (now Watkins) become fast friends with a shared passion.

Their first winter in town, the snow forgot to fall. Bunworth, Beraza and Cavins decided to blow this pop stand, and return East to suck “cultcha.” (There were perks to Beraza’s airport gig.)

After crashing on the floor of the Hoboken apartment of several bona fide prop mistresses, the trio would dress up to go out on the town, seeing shows and riding subways at all hours of the night. Theatre bars became their watering holes of choice.

One night after seeing “Sweeney Todd,” they headed for McHale’s. The conversation turned to theatre in Telluride: at the very least, they were committed to putting on plays. They sealed their promise to themselves with Statue of Liberty shots, a drink that involves dipping fingers into Sambuca, then lighting the fingers and holding them up into the air, while knocking back shots. Ouch.

After much ado, including lots of legal mumbo jumbo, in Spring 1990, the sodden vow became reality: The Telluride Repertory Theatre was born.

(Coming soon to your local blog, more on The Rep.)

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