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From Millibo to Black Box - theater still thriving at Pecan Street site

Rehearsing recently for a condensed version of "Hamlet" on the Black Box Theatre stage are students from the Little School on Vermijo. The swordfighters are Zoe Manz-Jackson (Laertes) and Xavier Hanna (Hamlet). Looking on (from left) are Ahna Dwyer (Osric), Adrian Stark (King Claudius), Julia Wiley (Ophelia), Keegan Barlow (Polonius), Kayden Vandepas (Queen Gertrude) and Logan Hassell (Horatio). Little School was founded in 2010 by Sue Spengler, who teaches out of her home. "I am so impressed with the hard work they have put into this show," she said just before their May 1 Black Box shows. "We have been rehearsing all day for four days. It is a physically and emotionally exhausting play, if you are doing it right. And they are."
Westside Pioneer photo
       When the Millibo Arts Theatre (MAT) relocated from 1367 Pecan St. in June 2013, it wasn't empty long.
       Black Box Theatre, owned by Nancy Holaday, has been offering a variety of live productions, programs and concerts there ever since, and also rents it out for other productions.
       Affiliated with the University School of Colorado Springs, a Westside-based K-12 private Christian school, Black Box had actually existed for several years before finding its current home.
       However, Holaday, who teaches theater at the University School, pointed out that she is the sole owner of the 1,850-square-foot Pecan Street operation.
       As such, Holaday offers “something major on the stage every month,” she said. One of the most popular acts is the monthly Improv Colorado. “They're family-friendly, which is a little hard to find,” she said. She's also proud of her Camp Shakespeare summer workshops.
       Holaday is from California, where she went to college, studying drama. A mother of four, she's lived in Colorado Springs for more than 20 years.
       MAT producers/actors Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree originally framed in the Pecan location's 90-seat theater, backstage, entrance lobby, front deck and other related spaces in 2008. MAT now is in the Ivywild School commercial/arts center.
       The Black Box Theatre is open year-round. For more information about shows or rental possibilities, call 330-1798, e-mail nancy@blackboxdrama.com or go to blackboxdrama.com.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 5/1/15; Business: New)

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