For 18 years, Denver’s And Toto too Theatre Company has been dedicated to showcasing the work of women playwrights. Now their marquee event has a new location: Olde Town Arvada.
And Toto too Theatre hosts a unique annual program as the main fundraising event called The Play Crawl. Colorado women playwrights write two- to three-minute, site specific plays that are performed environmentally — in shops and restaurants. The evening begins with a mix and mingle and a silent auction. Then the audience is divided into groups of 10 to 15 and guided by a crawl leader. The company’s producing artistic director, Susan Lyles, says many of the crawl leaders are supportive local male playwrights.
“So once everyone's broken up, they are taken by their crawl leaders in their groups from venue to venue to venue,” Lyles said. “The actors stay where they are and it's the audience that moves around between the plays.”
Each play is done up to 10 times in one night.
Lyles said Olde Town is actually pretty perfect to host the event, with independent shop owners and the area being so pedestrian friendly.
Maru Garcia directs one of the plays for this year’s Crawl. She said the performances create community.
“Not only with the theater people, but also to expand it into regular people, and it's a nice collaboration between artists and businesses and, and I love it,” Garcia said. “The quality of the plays is amazing every year.”
She says the key to success for this event is to trust the process.
“I have to empower the actors to trust what they are doing, to take it easy to just, create and be flexible and adaptable,” Garcia said.
Both Lyles and Garcia offer the same advice for attendees: “Wear really comfortable shoes.”
And Toto too Theatre’s Play Crawl is July 12.
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