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Theatre by CSU's Young Producers Organization

August 12, 2009
By Melinda Swenson

CSU students and alumni of the CSU Theatre and Dance Department perform Summer-Winter, a play written and produced by a CSU theatre major based on two plays by playwright Charles Mee.

Summer-Winter theatre production
Aug. 21 and Aug. 22, 8-10 p.m.
2nd floor Acting Lab
University Center for the Arts 

Judd Farner has just arrived home from what he calls a "nice, two-day papier-mâ·ché party," constructing the set of the play, Summer-Winter.

(At right: Farner, in front, in his role as producer)

A member of CSU's Young Producers Organization, Farner wrote and is producer of Summer-Winter, an adaptation of two plays, Summertime and Wintertime, written by American playwright Charles Mee. Mee has referred to the plays as "companion pieces."

Summer-Winter, like Summertime and Wintertime, is a sweet, dreamy romantic comedy drawn from the worlds of As You Like It, Midsummer Night's Dream, A Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, and Moliere and Magritte. 

Admission is free and the event is open to the campus and the public.

Mee granted Farner permission to do adaptation

Walt Jones, CSU professor and director of the Theatre Divison, contacted Mee directly to talk about and ask permission to work with the plays. Mee gave him the go ahead. 

"My first inclination was to do both plays back-to-back on two consecutive nights," says Farner, "But that would mean staging two full plays each with a cast of 13...possible, but not healthy."

Farner decided to create an amalgamation of the two plays. The result is a modern piece of art, both theatrical and visual. "My focus was on the growth of a relationship, from the heart-pounding 'first meet cute' - to the honeymoon phase - to the comfort of each other in old age," says Farner.

The production features students and alumni of the CSU Theatre & Dance Department and opens on Ram Welcome weekend.

Working in the Young Producers Organization

Farner is the co-founder and artistic director of YPO.

Referring to his work, Farner said, "I could not ask to be doing anything else right now. It's my belief that the best place to succeed is one where you're not afraid to fail. YPO provides this and has developed a series of programs that cater to the idea of trying and failing."

(At right: Allison Stafford, a member of YPO, painting a set. The YPO is entirely student-run.)

"Our most developed program is Zing! Theatre, a series of completely student-run shows in our Large Acting Lab. Students apply to produce a Zing! and if they are selected, they are awarded a $50 budget (provided graciously through the support of the campus and Fort Collins' communities through fundraising and donations). 
Through these programs, we've created a very strong relationship with the faculty and staff of the Theatre Department which allows for growth when we are gone.

"I am planning a future in theatre," says Farner, "And what better way to get started than by jumping in, no holds barred, both feet, guns drawn, ready... set... go!"

Upcoming Zing! Theatre

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603