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A Cinderella story

Dreams of lavish sets come true for new FAC artistic director

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Over the river and Into the Woods goes Little Red Riding - Hood and her many friends at the FAC this month.
  • Over the river and Into the Woods goes Little Red Riding Hood and her many friends at the FAC this month.

Opening night, May 11, is coming up fast for Into the Woods, the last play of the season by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company (formerly The REP). And two weeks before the show, only about an eighth of the scenery is done.

But newly appointed artistic director Alan Osburn wears an easy smile with his gray suit. This, after all, is theater.

"Oftentimes, paint is still drying in the first act," he says coolly.

And, deadlines aside, he's got good reason to grin he's living something of a Cinderella story. He's come to the FAC from the Denver Center Theatre Company, where he acted and directed. He also, though, lived the life of a peripatetic thespian, moving between projects in Denver and Colorado Springs.

When offered the chance to reclaim the relatively stable life of an artistic director, the slipper fit. And by coming to the revamped SaGaJi Theatre stage, he's gotten the chance to pull off the caliber of show that he's desired for many a season.

Into the Woods, a musical that juxtaposes several fairytales including Cinderella, Jack in the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, has a complicated set design, with more twists and turns than a fistful of licorice. Without recent upgrades, it would've been impossible to put it on at the SaGaJi.

The old fly system, for instance, contained faulty materials that limited what the theater's ceiling could safely hold. A new pulley system allows for effects like rotating platforms, which enable fleet-footed actors to sing and spring from scene to scene.

With such upgrades, and previous experience racing against deadlines, Osburn appears to have had no trouble harnessing his chi.

"We have," he says, "up until eight o' clock on May 11."

Into the Woods

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center SaGaJi Theatre, 30 W. Dale St.

Runs May 11 through June 3; Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m.

Family matinees, May 19 and June 2 at 3 p.m.

Tickets: $26-$30; call 634-5583 or visit csfineartscenter.org for more information.

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