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Jefferson County Attractions: Theaters

Conifer’s StageDoor Theatre

Aspen Park Village Center • 303-838-9734

Fran Arniotes"StageDoor Theatre is truly a community theatre. If someone wants to participate, we’ll find a way for that to happen," said Director Francesca Arniotes, (shown at right) a founder of this thriving threatre in Conifer. "If you have a passion, and we combine the technical skills that we can teach, it’s magical," she added.

The magic started in 1990 when Arniotes, her husband Dean (both JeffCo school teachers), Tom and Joyce Becker, and Michael and Johanna Rowan decided to expand on an existing artists’ co-op. "We realized how many artists there are here and asked ourselves: What if we did a play?"

Fran and Dean
Fran and Dean

Eighty people came to the first show and many sell-outs followed. Although StageDoor receives SCFD, Denver Foundation, and Gay & Lesbian Foundation funding, the goal for a bigger space attracted local land owner, Benji Pitsker, to give the theater a 99-year lease on a historic landmark in King’s Valley. The site includes the Clifton House (a bed and breakfast), a barn and garage that were stopping points for travelers in 1918. One-third of the $1.5 million needed to build a 10,000 sq. ft. facility has been raised.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Scene from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Volunteers give StageDoor vitality. Arniotes credits her husband, Dean, with much of its success. "His set design talent is one of our strengths." She is accustomed to people who register surprise at the theatre group’s talent. "The response from people who find out about us continues to grow."

Conifer StageDoor Theatre is located in the Aspen Park Village Center next to Healthy Pet Supply.

 

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