A marriage of the arts and government took the stage Aug. 4 as Weed premiered at the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colo. The Colorado Rural Development Council commissioned the play last year, hoping to present a nonbiased - and entertaining - view of land-use issues.
During playwright Micki Panttaja's
research for Weed, she toured parts of the West for four weeks,
talking to ranchers, environmentalists, agencies, county
commissioners and journalists.
Weed, a farmer finds a weed on his property that
turns out to be much more than just a weed. The species was
previously thought to be extinct, and the discovery brings
scientists, government officials and others onto his
A minimal set and six actors carry the
story; the Creede production uses video to intercut the scenes on
stage. A moderated 30-minute discussion period follows the
Panttaja incorporated lots of humor into
the script, and used quotes taken directly from research
interviews. "I tried to skewer everybody equally," she says. "I
found absurdities and ironies on all sides."
Audience members from Kansas, Arizona, New
Mexico and Colorado said the play rang true to the ongoing land-use
controversies in their home
Weed will be on the
road in western Colorado, southern Utah, northern Arizona, New
Mexico and Sun Valley, Idaho, from September through Thanksgiving.
For performance and ticket information, call the Creede Repertory
Theatre at 719/658-2540.