DAILY CAMERA: CU theater and dance season in Boulder an artful balance
Any artistic director with even the least bit of experience is likely to have some horror stories about the challenges of programming an entire season.
Putting together a slate of performances for a dance or theater troupe is never an easy feat, no matter the size or orientation of the company. Artistic goals must be measured against the commercial draw of a show; creative vision has to go hand-in-hand with potential ticket sales. It’s a delicate balancing act, one that is equal parts science and alchemy.
Bud Coleman and Erika Randall know the quandary all too well. Coleman, the chair of the theater department at the University of Colorado, and Randall, the university’s director of dance, work every year to put together a program of performances that’s liable to draw audiences, even as it touts artistic integrity.
But the duo also faces an even more critical test, one that doesn’t figure into the calculations of most commercial troupes. First and foremost, Randall and Coleman are educators, and any season of shows has to be about the student dancers, actors and designers looking to hone their craft.
“We try to find balance, but the first priority is the education of our students,” Coleman said. “Every year it’s a huge challenge, balancing out the needs of our student performers and designers and finding titles that will sell.”