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Feature Articles for 2015

By Susan Brandt / Photos courtesy of Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s most remarkable backdrop will never hang on its stage. No one had to build it or paint it. In its official capacity, it has embraced the Town of Grand Lake for 100 years. Its close friends call it “Rocky”, but its formal name is Rocky Mountain National Park. Happy Birthday Rocky from Rocky Mountain Rep!

Michael Querio from Rocky Mountain Rep Theatre in Grand Lake, CO
Michael Querio, Artistic Director at RMRT

Michael Querio this year celebrates 20 years with Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, the last ten as the theatre’s artistic director; Managing Director, Carol Wolff, is chalking up ten years with RMRT, and the RMRT community is noting its fifth year in its state-of-the-art venue.

Michael and Carol shared an eclectic array of memories, some whimsical, some poignant, some worthy of note – MILESTONES.

Michael recalls singing “Rocky Mountain High” as he drove into Grand Lake in 1995 and taking liberties with the lyrics – ‘He was born in the summer of his 29th year’… (You do the math: sounds like a milestone birthday is coming up too). The first show was Nunsense , the rehearsal accompanied by a huge chainsaw as it cut a “door hole” in the Community House lobby to access the control booth thus creating a sawdust storm that left those nuns voiceless.

In those 20 years, Michael has been an unwitting understudy three times, once when the lead actor in Big –The Musical was assailed by laryngitis. So Michael sang the role off-stage while the star performer lip-synced. And at a moment’s notice Michael became the bass in The Music Man’s barbershop quartet and assumed a role in 2004’s Forever Plaid when an actor fell ill. The show really must go on!

Michael remembered the early seating as not exactly plush, “The first chairs were fold-up metal things with no padding. Then a few rows had padding. Then some risers appeared toward the back. Then came our first fundraiser that produced real live chairs and a collective sigh from our long-suffering patrons!”

“This year marks our fifth in the new theatre and it has been a creative and non-stop whirlwind from day one. The product we’re giving to our audiences now is leaps and bounds ahead of anything I ever envisioned,” said Michael. “My dream is for an unceasing and increasing excellence of reputation for RMRT and all the possibilities entailed in that.”
Carol Wolff from Rocky Mountain Rep Theatre in Grand Lake, CO
Carol Wolff, Managing Director at RMRT

Managing Director Carol Wolff, overseer of all things administrative, has a legendary passion for RMRT that dates back to 1997 when her daughters were guest artists.

Her self-described duties are “If it needs to be done, get it done,” and over the last 10 years Carol has done just that, claiming, among other things, to be on a first name basis with every square inch of every housing unit as well as its furnace, water heater and problematic toilet.

“And I’ve done some rescue work too,” she said with a laugh. “I liberated a gentleman who was locked in a restroom stall and once saved a frightened Florida actor who had no fear of alligators but was immobilized by a chipmunk invasion.”

“But at the top of my memory list”, said Carol, “ are the people – patrons, volunteers, company members, RMRT Trustees, and staff members who invest their hearts and souls and time and cash in making RMRT better and better. We cannot thank them enough for these last ten years. It has been a true renaissance for RMRT and we’ve only just begun!”


MILESTONES create historical equilibrium. Marked by remembrances of occurrences between what was then, and what is now, they beckon us to reflect on the past, to assess how far we’ve come, and to daydream of possibilities that lie ahead.

• In the late 1990’s, property prices soared, and housing for the theatre company became a critical issue. Board President, Betty Dick, led a campaign to purchase a cabin complex now known as the Betty Dick-Off Broadway Cabins – and signed the note. What foresight!

• In 1998, RMRT and the Grand Lake Recreation District partnered to establish the Youth Theatre Workshop which this year will serve 150 Grand County Youth with professional theatre training.

• In 2003, came the ENCORE! Capital Campaign resulting in a 2007 burning of the Off-Broadway mortgage by former board presidents Marilou Randall and Betty Dick.

• In 2005, Board President Merlin Dennis orchestrated the hiring of Michael Querio and Carol Wolff. The meshing of Michael’s artistic talent and his ability to attract only the best, coupled with Carol’s public relations prowess, administrative skills and innate resolve to do “whatever it takes”, was the catalyst for an era of consistent sellouts and the realization that a larger venue was essential.

• In 2006, an anonymous donation allowed the purchase of property at Grand Avenue and Vine Street, site of today’s Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre.

• In July of 2007, RMRT’s Trustees announced a capital campaign, chaired by President Judy Jensen, and in less than three years raised $5.2 million dollars.

• On April 11, 2010, RMRT broke ground for its new 297 seat, state-of-the-art theatre.

• On June 10, 2011, RMRT celebrated the theatre’s Grand Opening and since then, sell-outs are the norm.

• In 2012 Board President Dick Lacouture and the Executive Committee began a reassessment of RMRT’s administration resulting in improvements and additional personnel.

• The state-of-the-art theatre presented a need for additional personnel and housing. Generous monetary donations as well as gifts of property have enabled the assurance of housing for RMRT employees.

• With growth came a further need for behind-the-scenes facilities. In 2014, yet another donation funded the construction of a Design Studio and Set Storage Facility now being utilized.

RMRT invites you to mark your milestones and make memories with us this summer!


Check out Rocky Mountain Reprertory Theatre on YouTube for previews from the current shows as well as highlights from previous seasons.

• 2014 Articles








Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Grand Lake, CO 80447

July 13, 2015 @ 6 pm
Kids! Cousins! Moms and Dads! Grammas and Grampas! Aunts and Uncles! Don't miss this 42nd Street at Rocky Mountain Rep! Kids fifteen and under receive a free Summer Season Poster!
• Homemade Cookies at Intermission
• Meet the Cast at Post-Performance Autograph and Photo Opportunity!

Tickets at or call the RMRT Box Office at 970-627-3421

42nd Street Video
Click here to see a video clip of 42nd Street at Rocky Mountain Rep!







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