Settling in with Mo: LaMee ready to make impact as head of theatre, arts department
LaMee ready to make impact as head of theatre, arts department
When Mo LaMee’s family traveled from Florida to Colorado in the 1960s, they were greeted by horses stampeding through Evergreen.
It was a chaotic scene. A horse jumped over the car next to theirs and confirmed LaMee’s father’s decision to move the family west.
LaMee has been a Coloradan ever since and even has moved farther west as the new head of the theatre arts department at Colorado Mesa University.
“I’m really ready to settle in,” said LaMee, who comes to CMU from his position as director of Aspen Words, which provides programs and resources for writers in the Aspen area and is part of the Aspen Institute.
LaMee also spent the last several years teaching acting and directing classes two days a week at CMU — he directed “The Glass Menagerie” in 2012.
His “split focus” during those years was “stimulating, but also intense,” he said.
So he is looking forward to turning his focus completely on CMU’s theatre arts department and its students.
It is the quality of CMU’s program, its faculty and students that drew his attention in the first place.
CMU has a solid program for training acting students, as well strong coordinating departments such as dance and music, he said.
LaMee said he wants to grow CMU’s reputation for that quality and connect students with the region’s performing arts institutions.
Many of those connections are ones he forged during his time in Aspen and as the executive and artistic director at the Creede Repertory Theatre from 2000 to 2012.
LaMee also is contemplating how he can make a connection between theater and some red rocks.
He has worked and lived in Colorado’s high country a long time and it’s beautiful, but “I love this desert landscape,” he said.
While it is kind of a random idea, that desert landscape has him thinking about the possibilities of natural amphitheaters and Greek plays.
The acoustics of those red rock amphitheaters carved by nature are “extraordinary,” he said.
Then there’s the natural light or torch light, and “it suddenly becomes mythic in a way,” LaMee said.
“But we’ll see,” he said.
And while CMU’s 2016–17 theatre arts performance season doesn’t include natural amphitheaters, it is “very fun and includes titles that most people have heard about,” LeMee said.
The Main Stage Season begins with “James and the Giant Peach” in September and continues with “A Christmas Carol,” “My Fair Lady,” which LaMee will direct, and “Boeing-Boeing.”
The season is one that will help theater-goers “feel better walking out of the theater,” and with all that is going on in the world, “that feels good right now,” LaMee said.
In the meantime, “I feel like I have a lot to learn,” LaMee said of his new position.
But CMU has a great faculty and facilities, and “I’m really excited about it,” he said.