Devon Kasper, star of the one-woman show, Bad Dates started coaching the drama team 10 years ago at Salida High School. During the winter of 2021, Kasper had the unique opportunity to have one of her first theater students, Michael Ricci, direct the show. “Michael Ricci was on that team and since then he’s not only graduated high school but a theater program at Alamosa State. He’s about to enter the Army.”
Kasper explained “Last winter he approached me, you know we were all kind of sitting around twiddling our thumbs, especially creatively and he wanted to do a one-woman show. I showed him this script by Theresa Rebeck, she’s a New England playwright. I grew up in New England and I grew up back East and he said ‘this is great.’ It is a very funny, witty script.”
“I plunged headfirst into the deep end after having been away from the stage for four years. We started on this journey together. To have a student direct me and do it so extremely well was a real thrill. I thought it was a really cool thing to have to circle back in my life. I was very grateful for the opportunity,” said Kasper.
“As it turned out we were not able to do the show live at the SteamPlant in February as we had planned.” Instead, they had a some invitation-only showings to give Kasper energy to work off. Then, the team went to work taping and recording the show and shared it virtually via Zoom.
“A lot of people tuned in. This is why we’re here now because the response was so overwhelming from having done that show in February virtually, we decided it was really important to bring it back. We all worked too hard not to have a live theatre experience. We’re really pleased to tell the community we’re bringing Bad Dates back,” said Kasper.
Originally the team thought that Ricci would already be off to the Army, but he will be at the performance acting as the stage manager; running lights and sound for the show. Allen Lane will be acting as director.
“Allen is going to be giving us some new insight on the play. We’re going to have fun tweaking it and playing around which is exciting. We’re grateful for Allen. We’ll also have a Salida High School student help us backstage.”
“I’ve never remounted a show after this long of a hiatus, so it’s a little strange but I’m excited.”
Speaking to the experience of putting on the virtual show during the pandemic, Kasper explained, “I can look back and go ‘what did I do during the pandemic’ and I’m going to be able to say I tried to create some theater for my community, and it was a privilege to do so.”
Tickets can be purchased here or at the door for $15. The show runs for three days: starting at 7:00 p.m. August 6 and 7, with a third performance at 4:00 p.m. August 8. The seating is at full capacity.