From its Rocky Mountain roots, Creede Repertory Theatre serves as an artistic home to our rural community and beyond, through the creation of repertory seasons, dynamic educational programs, and compelling new works.
Our thanks go to all those who contribute time, talent, and resources to Creede Repertory Theatre's mission of bringing arts access and education to the rural Southwest!
If you're a Colorado state taxpayer, consider making a donation of $100 or more toward our capital improvements projects. These donations are eligible for a 25% state tax credit through the Enterprise Zone. The joy of giving is always improved with a little tax incentive!
Creede Repertory Theatre began as a pipe-dream to improve the economic sustainability of Creede and Mineral County, but it has grown to become one of the best regional theatres in Colorado. Our programs are nationally recognized, and we have been called one of "10 great places to see lights way off Broadway" (USA Today, 2005).
With the decline of the mines, The City of Creede needed a new source of income and quickly, too. The Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) met with pastor Jim Livingston and brainstormed about how to secure an attraction for summer visitors with the hope of stimulating business activity. Pastor Livingston loved the theatre and, out of that love, a vision for Creede was born. They agreed to bring performances to the old opera/movie house. But to have performances, they needed performers, which were hard to find in the mining community. Still determined, the Jaycees drafted a letter and mailed it to various universities, hoping that some excited students would answer the call to help build a summer theatre. One of those letters was posted on a bulletin board at the University of Kansas. Steve Grossman, a theatre student, saw the letter, took it down and answered it. It was the only response the Jaycees received.
Under the direction of Steve Grossman (age 19), twelve students drove from KU to Creede. The Jaycees joined them and mounted the first season with only $32 in the bank. Program ads were sold, the hardware store established an open line of credit, and the twelve tireless students rehearsed. When they weren't rehearsing, the KU students built the scenery, sewed the costumes, found or made props, lit the stage and sold tickets for $1.00. The opening show, Mr. Roberts, electrified the Creede audience and received an enthusiastic standing ovation. Most people in that audience had never seen live theatre. The KU students went on to mount four more plays: The Bat, Our Town, The Rainmaker, and Born Yesterday (a new play every week!) and run them all in repertory.
This founding company of twelve established three important keystones of CRT: a repertory schedule, a meaningful variety of plays, and the creation of an ensemble. This still holds firm over 50 years later. The rotating repertory schedule constitutes one of the most exciting and challenging ways to present a season of plays. It allows a visitor to Creede to see five or six different plays in a week. Such programming is difficult to do, however, and only a handful of theatres in the United States currently attempt this rigorous schedule.
"Creede is the triumph of the Friday night footlights." - Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, 2021
"Pure magic inhabits summertime in this place, and that is in no small part due to the existence and involvement of Creede Rep." - Monica Sallaway, 2019 Company Manager
"I feel very lucky to have found a place that felt like home right out of school. This is my eighth season at CRT. I've done shows here that changed my life, shows that taught me who I am and how I should choose to live. There have even been one or two shows that made me cringe every time they called places. I'm grateful for every moment of it." - Graham Ward, 2019 Company Member
"If you are within 100 miles of Creede, CO, the Creede Repertory Theatre is a MUST SEE! Thanks to some far-sighted citizens and Kansas University, this theatre had its beginnings over 50 years ago. This is a truly professional company and true repertory- many actors are performing in more than one play. There are two venues, the "Main Stage" and "The Ruth", both on Creede's Main Street. It doesn't matter what's playing, you will experience some of the best live theater you will see off Broadway." - Morton from Champaign, IL, Trip Advisor review July 2019
"We were blown away! The caliber of acting was as good as any off broadway production (we recently saw Hamilton in NY). The venue is small and intimate which was a huge bonus. You will come away shaking your head in unbelief that this little town has something so good to offer in live theater. I don't care how far away you live, this is well worth the drive." - Bruce from Denver, CO, Yelp review July 2019
"Most of our students will never have an opportunity to attend a theatre performance. I am thrilled we are giving them the experience!" - Shayla, Teacher at a school receiving a YAOT tour performance
"CRT's Headwaters New Play Festival is the source of new plays in the West, and fosters the development of new plays for CRT's stages and beyond." - Broadway World News, 2017
"It's a chance for Denverites to see what is easily among the state's five best theater companies, which produces seven wildly varying productions each summer in the mountains 250 miles southwest of Denver…And it's just plain fun." - John Moore, The Denver Post, encouraging readers to see a CRT touring production in Denver.
"Creede is like this smorgasbord buffet table of theater, and so if you can't do everything all at once, they simply can't employ you. We're doing Moliere, musicals, deep dark dramas, light farces and romantic comedies - all at once. So when I get the chance to drop into a town like Denver, I have so many more options available to me because I have been doing all these things consistently for so many years at Creede."
-Michael Bouchard in a 2011 Denver Post article
"Creede Rep's $1.7 million Ruth Humphreys Brown Theatre before moving 250 miles northeast to the Arvada Center, is most recommendable for the opportunity it provides audiences to see Christy Brandt, the best Colorado actor you may never have seen act before. Brandt has been summering on Creede stages for 37 years, and Miss Helen [in The Road to Mecca] may be her coup de grace."
-John Moore, Denver Post, 2011
"The question each summer for metro theater aficionados is whether the 250-mile drive to the remote San Juan Mountains to see the work of the Creede Repertory Theatre will really be worth it.
"And for the 44th year, the answer is yes. Really.
"It's worth it for the variety of fare…and it's certainly worth it for the breathtaking scenery, notably the noble peak that juts out from the end of Main Street a thousand feet higher than the town's 9K elevation. Theater is big business in Creede, population "586 nice folks - and 17 soreheads," a sign reads. Good thing, too: The theater is the biggest employer in Mineral County, whose last silver mine closed in 1985. The nearest movie theater is an hour away.
"How fortunate, then, there exists here this highly professional theater company offering a different show each night on two stages, drawing 20,000 patrons a year."
-John Moore, The Denver Post, 2009
"the highest professional standards"
-John Moore, The Denver Post, 2006
"A great season." -Tony Fair, Pagosa Daily Post, 2006
"A terrific line-up of performances…"
-April Owens, Pagosa Daily Post, 2006
"A talented professional repertory theatre…"
-Tony Fair, Pagosa Daily Post, 2006
"One of the state's top companies."
-John Moore, The Denver Post, 2006
"What makes it great: The talent."
-John Moore, Denver Post, 2006
"Broadway of the West."
-Bob Nosbisch, Panorama: NMSU Alumni Magazine, 2006
"Performance, direction and design are all at big city, big-theater levels."
-Lisa Bornstein, Rocky Mountain News
"[CRT] offers therapeutic laughs in one play and transformational ideas in another or sometimes both."
-Virginia Simmons, Valley Courier