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‘Panic! Pánico!’ at Basalt High School

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By Will Grandbois
Sopris Sun Staff Writer

It’s not exactly a play, or a dance recital or even a variety show.

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“It’s one of a kind,” Renee Prince, artistic director for budding nonprofit VOICES, said of Basalt High School’s “Panic!” performance.

Technically, it probably falls under the umbrella of “devised theatre” – a mix of formats with some “connective tissue” on common themes. In this case, it’s about fear and it’s impact on us, told without a script, just once at 7:30 p.m. March 16 at Basalt High School. Tickets are available at the door for a suggested donation of $10, with children and students welcome at no charge.

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Attendees will be treated to everything from monologues to puppetry

“It’s a diverse set of interests and talents,” Prince explained. “I think truly there are so many moments of surprise and astonishment and unexpected things on stage. We all got into a room together and made it up. It’s an empowering process for the kids. They can be masters of their destiny.”

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You won’t see everyone involved in the brainstorm on stage, but you will hear a blend of Spanish (call it Pánico!) and English. You might also notice some hip-hop elements from Myrlin Hepworth, who helped organize the project in addition to his recent contributions to the school poetry scene through Aspen Words, as well as the influences of the visual arts advisory team of Shere Coleman and Ryan Prince.

For Renee Prince, the show is an opportunity to reconnect with her stage background.

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“I just started missing theatre more and more,” she noted. “That’s where all my training and experience is.”

It’s also a perfect fit for a new nonprofit trying to find its place. Founded by local poet Barbara Reese, VOICES endeavors to “ … amplify voices in the community through the arts” – with an emphasis on the plural.

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“It felt like we were meeting a need at the school,” Prince said. “We’re intentionally sort of starting small and then see what has legs that we can expand.”

Published in The Sopris Sun on March 16, 2017.