Readings and Special Events

Readings and Special Events

General registration covers admission to all readings and special events. Non-registered members of the public can purchase individual tickets to readings for $10 / $5 students, and to Saturday's play, Multitudes, for $15 / $10 students. To learn more about the New Opera Workshop, go here.

Wednesday, July 18

3:30 - 5:00 PM: GPCW Alumni RoundtableAll alumni at the conference (including this year's graduates) are invited to come learn about the GPCW Alumni Association and join a conversation about the program.  Meeting will be led by Steve Visel, MFA '16 (Genre Fiction), GPCW Alumni Association Coordinator. (Taylor Hall 229)

9:30 - 10:30 PM: Readings: The GPCW Alumni Extravaganza Reading. (The Overlook)

Thursday, July 19

6:45 – 8:00 PM: Readings: Russell DavisKaren HausdoerfferKase Johnstun, Patrick Pexton, Robert B. Shaw(University Center Theater)

9:45 – 11:00 PM: Open Mic (The Overlook)

Friday, July 20

5:00 -- 6:15 PM: 4th Annual New Opera Workshop World Premiere: Lottie Silks, by Jay Parrotta, with libretto by Enid Holden (MA ’17).  Ben MakinoMusic Director. Andrew Sellon​, Stage Director(John and Georgie Kincaid Concert Hall, Quigley Hall)

Note: All general conference registrations include admission for one person to the New Opera Workshop performance; individual tickets will also be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations) to the general public for $20/person, $10/student. Go here for more information on the workshop.

8:00 -- 9:30 PM: Special Presentation in collaboration with the Gunnison Arts Center: Comedy Is Hard, by Mike Reiss. Directed by William Spicer(Gunnison Arts Center)

Reiss, Comedy Is Hard
When Kay, a retired actress, meets Lou, a retired comedian, she invites him to move in with her at Sunset Terrace, a home for elderly entertainers. As their relationship blossoms, they argue over which is harder, stand-up comedy or serious drama.  Mike Reiss, Emmy and Peabody Award winning writer for The Simpsons, has crafted a delightful comedy that explores themes of relationships, the performer's hunger for recognition, and the challenges of growing old, with a script that is both intensely funny and deeply touching.

You can see a clip about the original production, starring Mickey Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt (pictured at left) at the Ivorytown Playhouse in Connecticut in 2014 here, and read some reviews of that production here.

Note​: Tickets for Comedy Is Hard are $15 and are NOT included in general Writing the Rockies conference registration. More information TBA.

Saturday, July 21

7:30 – 9:00 PM: Multitudes: An Evening with Walt Whitman. Written by Kim Nuzzo and Valerie Haugen Nuzzo. Performed by Kim Nuzzo. (Taylor Hall Studio Theater)

Kim Nuzzo

Zephyr Stage presents Multitudes, a one-act, one-man show about the great gay Father of American Poetry, Walt Whitman, written by Valerie Haugen Nuzzo and Kim Nuzzo. In the play, Uncle Walt appears in all his glory, fresh from a whirlwind tour of Scotland and a rambunctious circuit through the state of Colorado. The play addresses death, sexuality, slavery, the Civil War and Whitman’s poetic vision of democratic ideals.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892) is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass, he celebrated democracy, nature, love and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and reassurance even in death. Along with Emily Dickinson, Whitman is regarded as one of America’s most significant nineteenth century poets. Whitman’s self-published Leaves of Grass underwent eight subsequent editions during his lifetime as Whitman expanded and revised the poetry and added more to the original collection of twelve poems. While his poetry failed to garner popular attention from his American readership during his lifetime, over 1,000 people attended his funeral. As the first writer of a truly American poetry, Whitman’s legacy endures. Whitman’s “ambition, expansiveness, and embrace of all the high and low features of American life influenced many poets of the twentieth century, including D. H. Lawrence, William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, and Allen Ginsberg.” – Poetry Foundation

Kim Nuzzo (Walt Whitman/Playwright) is a resident actor with Zephyr Stage, and is also a visual artist and published poet. He’s performed many roles for Aspen’s Hudson Reed Ensemble including Scrooge and Julius Caesar. He performed the part of King Hamlet for Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale, Colorado. Valerie Haugen Nuzzo (Executive Artistic Director/Playwright) has written several plays, co-writing Passionate Collaborators: George Burns & Gracie Allen and Tempest of the Mind with Lon Winston. She recently performed in the American premiere of The Principle of Uncertainty by Andrea Brunello. She has performed in more than 50 productions with Thunder River Theatre Company, including playing all the big Greek girls -- Lysistrata, Medea and Antigone.  

After the performance, Kim and Valerie will lead a discussion about the play with the audience.

9:30 – 11:00 PM: GPCW current student reading(The Overlook)

Sunday, July 22

8:30 - 10:00 AM The GPCW Alumni Panel: "Life After Western." Steve Visel (MFA ’16, Genre Fiction), GPCW Alumni Relations Coordinator and Moderator; with Chris Barili (MFA '16, Genre Fiction), Kaye Lynne Booth (MFA '17, Genre Fiction and Screenwriting), Cara Guerrieri (MFA '12, Genre Fiction) and Susan Spear (MFA '12, Poetry). (Taylor Hall 205)

7:30 – 9:00 PM Readings: Kevin J. Anderson, Ned Balbo, Heather Sappenfield, Jane Satterfield, Rick Wilber(The Overlook)

9:00 PM – Whenever AM... Closing Bash. (The Overlook)