Taking Theater to New Heights

See incredible performances at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center and Cultural Complex.

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Courtesy the Town of Dillon

Under the timeless shadow of the Gore Range and alongside the Blue River, visitors will enjoy a brand new experience this summer at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center and Cultural Complex. The center is a decidedly modern take on mountain-town culture, elevating the arts in an area well known for its outdoor opportunities. It has two main theaters and public performance areas, along with classroom and art-exhibit spaces. Stop by the Grand Opening on June 24 for fun family-friendly activities.

“Whether it’s getting tickets to a show or attending a community gathering, [the center] will be a regional attraction,” says Joanne Cook, Silverthorne’s recreation and culture director, noting the performing arts center evolved from a shared vision between the Town of Silverthorne and Lake Dillon Theatre Co.

After 20 years in Dillon, the Lake Dillon Theatre Co. embarked on a public/private partnership to elevate the arts in the community with the Town of Silverthorne. The new center in Silverthorne will do just that. With its glass walls and clean lines, the center is leaps and bounds beyond the historic building the Lake Dillon Theatre Co. used from 1995 to 2016. The former theater building has stood since 1899 and once served as the Dillon Town Hall, only to be relocated in the early 1960s because it stood in the path of what would become Lake Dillon. While beloved as a small, unique performance venue, the building limited the company in terms of offerings and space, forcing classrooms, set design and costumes off site.

Amid these constraints, the Lake Dillon Theatre Co. has thrived. In its 23rd season, the professional theater company has nine full-time paid staff and a rotating cast of actors that varies depending on the season and show. The company holds auditions locally and in New York City every year. Its high-quality performances, combined with how close to the stage the audience sits, has set it apart from other Colorado theater companies.

“I’ve seen many performances in a traditional theater, and they have been great,” says Cook. “You can be moved, but when you see something in a black box theater, it’s a heightened experience. It’s like someone doing a play in your living room.”

That intimacy was something the theater company staff wanted to take with them to the new performing arts center. And they did. The new theaters are black-box format.

This means the chairs and sets can be moved, depending on the show. The Studio Theatre will fit 65 to 70 people and is the closest in size to the theater’s former space in Dillon. The Flex Theatre, on the other hand, will accommodate 150 audience members.

“We made the space work for 20 years, and people loved it because it offered a unique experience,” says Megan Stake, Lake Dillon Theatre Co.’s marketing and sales manager. “We are hoping to offer the same unique experience with our expanded facilities.”

With additional theater space this summer, the company will offer two musicals—Sister Act and Ghost—instead of one as it’s done in the past. This means lucky visitors vacationing for a week can catch two shows. Theater buffs also can get tickets for the new LAB Solo Series, featuring one-person shows in the center’s most intimate space: the 35-person LAB Theatre. And for those simply looking for creative inspiration, head to the center to view its rotating art exhibits featuring local and regional artists. lakedillontheatre.org