The mission of the SCRT is to bring diverse entertainment and cultural enrichment to the area, provide a link between the educational and artistic elements of the city, provide education and performance opportunities for local citizens of all ages, bolster the local economy by bringing tourism to the city, serve as an anchor to downtown renovation, reinvigorate local pride, and serve as a launch pad for young artists.
SCRT was created in collaboration with Trinidad State Junior College in the fall of 2001 as a summer program with three goals in mind: increase enrollment at the college, strengthen relationships between the college and the community, and stimulate the local economy by serving as a tourist draw. SCRT created a professional company, ran a college theatre academy, and started a youth academy. In the first three years, SCRT hired 39 professional actors and technicians, provided training and performance opportunities for 120 youth, produced 9 professional shows and 8 student productions, helped implement a theatre and a music majors curriculum at the college, and was governed primarily by a college-based Board of Directors, with financing from the college foundation, corporate sponsors, individual donors, student tuition, and ticket sales.
After three years, the college shifted focus, and the Trinidad business community stepped in to partner with and strengthen the SCRT. A new Board of Directors, consisting of local and corporate business representatives, the City Planner, the hospital CFO, and a former Trinidad mayor, provided the experience and connections to build the organization. SCRT moved into office, storage, construction, and classroom space downtown while continuing to use the college theatre and music facilities for performances. Theatre attendance doubled, and Youth Program enrollment doubled, providing separate training and performance opportunities for ages 5 - 12 and 13 - 18. A financial impact study was commissioned showing that the SCRT generated $1 million in ripple effect spending each summer.
In late 2011, SCRT moved to year-round operation by renting a three-story historic department store in the middle of downtown and converting it to a 125-seat theater with thrust stage and two additional floors for rehearsals, classes, receptions, and storage, with a scene shop and storage facility across the street. To provide revenue to support the downtown facilities and expand training and performance opportunities for youth, SCRT created the Resident and Youth Theatre Companies, wrote and produced the Trinidad - Our Stories series, and now provides something to do in Trinidad almost every weekend.
In its 16th year of operation, SCRT is a valuable component of Trinidad's Creative District, and a strong partner in the Space to Create Colorado initiative. SCRT's office is open Monday - Saturday, acting as an unofficial downtown Welcome Center where trained staff is available to visitors seeking information about Trinidad and perusing the lobby which is a memorial to SCRT and Trinidad's history. Graduates of SCRT Programs can be found working across the nation, running theater companies of their own, performing off-Broadway, touring as technicians for theatre and music companies, or utilizing their organizational and public speaking skills in education and many other professional fields.
September 11, 2017
My wife and I have been coming down to Trinidad since 1995, when we bought some land in Fisher's Peak Ranch. At that time, and for several years thereafter, we would make the 185 mile trip down, stay at the Super 8, find a place to eat (probably Arturo's - where Rino's is now located, for below average food), go back to the hotel, and watch tv. The next day after a fairly good breakfast at the C&H, we walked our land (or what we believed to be our land), thought about what our vacation home would look like, and then drive back to Denver. However we soon realized that there needed to be more...and there just wasn't. While we certainly enjoyed the outdoors, we at least equally wanted a more complete experience. After selling the land in '03, we continued visiting Trinidad. One night we saw a flyer for the SCRT. We went, and we were hooked. Thoroughly professional, it now gives us a real reason to make that drive 3x's a year, and usually more. There's actually something to do at night. No...it's not Cherry Creek. No...it's not Lodo - but that's exactly why we like driving 3 hours (one way) - to be in the middle of nowhere, be surrounded by friendly people who are honestly glad you're there, clean air, easy parking, no lines, and be able to get a decent meal (+ entertainment) at Rino's, a very good performance at the SCRT, and then stay at an upscale room at a welcoming La Quinta. We've been to several shows that actually have 50 to 75 people in the audience. How electric would it be, for the actors, for the audience, but really for Trinidad, to have this be commonplace. No...it'll never have the same "pull" as the opera season in Santa Fe. But given the right marketing, it could be so much more than it is. The SCRT, … has been nothing but inclusive. In and of itself, from what I understand, that's somewhat rare in this type of theatre. Trinidad is lucky to have the talent, the warmth, the experience, and, the sheer drive of [the SCRT organization]. Please don't let it go fallow.
"I've been a part of SCRT since I was 7. After the first day at youth camp I was hooked. Finally, there was a place where literally everyone was accepted. I was able to "cut loose" as you'd say and be me. Because of that experience I was able to break free from the shy turtle shell that I lived in. I went back again and again, year after year until I became a part of the Resident Company.... SCRT is one of the best things I've done.
It has given me confidence and the skills to talk to people. I can make good split-second decisions, my time management skills are wonderful, and SCRT allows me to be me. Yes, I'd say SCRT is more than a performing arts center."
-[Middle School youth name], SCRT Intern, 2015
2/13/2018, personal email
To Fred Vaugeois, SCRT retired Artistic Director
I never thought I'd say this, but I sort of miss Trinidad. If I think about it though, I don't really miss the town; I miss the people in the town and the slow, easy-going speed of life there. College life has me going a thousand miles an hour with barely a second to catch my breath, but I'm enjoying every second of it. I added a Spanish minor to my degree so that means I'm even more busy, but it's worth it. If I want to go back to Spain one day I want to know how to speak the language. Also, I wanted to fill you in a little bit about how life is going on in theatre up here. I was the only freshman to get hired this semester in the carpentry shop, working in the carp shop is the best part of my week; and the things I'm learning are so cool! Currently, we're building a massive, all metal set for "Jesus Christ Superstar." And because of my experience with Drew [SCRT Technical Director] over the summer, they were all shocked that I knew how to weld some, and with this set I've been able to really solidify my welding skills. I'm actually one of the few people who's been put on solo projects for the set because of my skills. I'm in a drafting class this semester and a stage management class. I'm really having to push my patience in drafting and having to work hard. We're doing hand drafting right now and later we'll go onto CAD. If I can get better at it maybe being a TD is in my future? There's so many things that are going on up here and I find myself getting carried away sometimes with all the possibilities life has to offer. When that happens I always have to ground myself and think back on where I came from. That always leads back to SCRT. I guess the real meaning of this email was to say thank you. Without you, … and the countless others I met through SCRT I wouldn't be here today. Thank you for allowing so many doors to open up for me. I really appreciate and admire you.
All the best,
[above intern now in college]
Corazon de Trinidad Creative District
135 North Animas Street
Trinidad, Colorado 81082
January 29, 2015
To Whom It May Concern,
As a certified Colorado Creative District, Trinidad, Colorado celebrates and encourages its many businesses, organizations, boards and individuals exhibiting strong creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and dedication that have helped move the state into the national forefront in economic growth. Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre (SCRT) is a vital part of Trinidad's success and during its existence of more than a decade continues to lead the community in realizing the arts and cultural importance in creating a sustainable economy, which is rapidly taking the place of generations-old natural resource extraction and its boom and bust nature. This is the big picture of SCRT's importance in Trinidad. On a more personal side, SCRT provides a high quality theatre experience for all area youth, offering summer camps and academies, mentoring and internship programs, opportunities to learn set, lighting
and sound design, plus giving participants a strong background in leadership skills and self-confidence. Youth are consistently put in situations where they learn first-hand how to communicate effectively, work well with peers as well as those in varied age groups, and practice critical thinking in a safe environment. Youth involved with SCRT programming are clearly well-prepared for any endeavor they might choose to pursue as they move from high school into the real world. There is nothing similar offered in the area and programs draw from communities up to 60 miles away. I have personally witnessed the amazing growth of a number of young people as a direct result of SCRT. Two young men in particular exemplify the value of SCRT in their lives. Both were quiet, shy and selfconscious at perhaps eight to ten years of age. They have participated in numerous SCRT programs and both, now in their teens, have acted in local troupe and professional productions, shown a striking change in personal growth, are comfortable in any situation, and are able to communicate on an adult level with everyone they meet. My own four grandchildren have participated in SCRT summer academies during vacations in Colorado and loved every minute. Two grandchildren who live in Philadelphia have actually scheduled visits based on dates for the SCRT academies so they might take part. One grandson, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, finds it very difficult to be in social situations and communicate well with strangers. He left after an SCRT experience last summer saying he wanted to be on stage because that's the only place he feels like a normal person. Prior to SCRT, art was his only outlet, but now he practices different voices and accents and through stage training is much more vocal and expressive than ever before SCRT has strong support within the community and has been successful in acquiring funds through various local efforts, foundation grants, corporate sponsorship and individual gifts and donations from all over the country. The broad support shown this professional, stable, well-staffed and important organization is proof that they are vital to our community, our southeast Colorado/northeast New Mexico region, and our state. Trinidad is proud that SCRT calls the community home.
Chair, Corazon de Trinidad Creative District