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For Immediate Release

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


‘This Beautiful City’ based on interviews with Colorado Springs residents

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Nov. 12, 2009 – “This Beautiful City,” a provocative musical about the growth of the evangelical movement in Colorado Springs, will be returning to the city that helped create it. The production, conceived by the New York-based investigative theater company The Civilians, will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus. The event is free, but tickets are required and available at the Worner Campus Center Information Desk, 902 N. Cascade Ave.

Performed off-Broadway in New York City and elsewhere across the country, “This Beautiful City” is the culmination of The Civilians’ 10-week stay in Colorado Springs in 2006. The performance company, which creates original work derived from investigations into the world beyond the theater, conducted hundreds of interviews with Colorado Springs evangelicals, politicians, pastors, gays and lesbians, teens in church youth groups, liberals and conservatives.

While conducting these interviews with residents involved with or affected by the mega-church movement and the battle raging over gay marriage, scandal broke around Ted Haggard, pastor of the New Life Church. The events shook the city of Colorado Springs, offering the play’s creators an unprecedented opportunity to capture an important event as it was taking place. The timing also allowed the people of Colorado Springs to express their opinions and concerns as those events unfolded.

The Civilians had nine Colorado College drama students join them as part of a “Topics in Theater” class. The students helped identify people to be interviewed, conducted interviews and brought the words of the interviewees back to the classroom. The students then worked with The Civilians to take the most illustrative interviews and shape them into a theater piece.

As a result of this grassroots research, “This Beautiful City” is a fascinating and timely look at faith and how it affects the American landscape. It examines Colorado Springs as a microcosm of issues that confronts the country as a whole—the shifting line between church and state, changing ideas about the nature of Christianity and how different beliefs can either coexist or cause conflict within a community.

The initial presentation took place at Colorado College in February 2007, with the title “Save This City.” The company premiered the play in 2008 at the Humana Festival for New American Plays and “This Beautiful City” has since been performed in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in New York.

Steve Cosson, artistic director for The Civilians, says the idea behind the show was to use real people and their real words to cut through rhetoric and preconceived notions. Where there is division, often the best solution is to “get to know your neighbors,” Cosson says. “This is a way we can do that through artistic means, and put some of that on stage. It creates an opportunity for all different types of audiences to listen and contemplate. The whole point is to not have to agree with each other, but to understand each other because of truth, not stereotypes.”

The production is sponsored by the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund, KRCC-Radio Colorado College, The Gazette, Emmanuel Baptist Church and the Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Community Center.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>