Summer theater returns to CMU

Matt (Ethan Knowles) and Luisa (Shannon Foley), seated, and El Gallo (Ben Carlson) are part of the cast of “The Fantasticks,” a Mesa Repertory Theatre production on stage at Colorado Mesa University on Friday and Saturday, June 8–9 and June 12, 14 and 16. Jeremy Franklin will direct the romantic musical.

All Tim Pinnow has heard since taking over as head of Colorado Mesa University’s theater department is, “when are you bringing back the summer theater program?”

Well, he has listened to administration, fellow faculty members and everyone else who kept putting the message in his ear, and after a 13-year hiatus, summer theater will return as the Mesa Repertory Theatre with two productions in June.

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” and “The Fantasticks” will be performed in the Moss Performing Arts Center’s Mesa Experimental Theatre, or MET.

The more intimate theater is a nod to the smaller cast size for the shows.

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” features three recent CMU graduates. The trio will act out 37 works by the famed British author in about 90 minutes.

Pinnow will direct the play, which he has never done but has wanted to as a fan of Shakespeare. The first show will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7.

Colleague Jeremy Franklin, who has appeared on numerous local stages and teaches at CMU, will direct “The Fantastiks,” which begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 8.

The romantic musical features eight actors, including CMU alumni and graduates.

Both Franklin and Pinnow are excited to direct Mesa Repertory Theatre shows because of the creative freedom it gives them.

“We’re not teaching. We’re directing,” Pinnow said. “It’s a different approach.”

Tickets to all 10 shows are $15 for adults and seniors and $6 for students and children. They can be purchased through the CMU box office at 248-1604 or at


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