Besides being a nice place to play a round of golf, Amanda Berg Wilson figures Westminster’s Legacy Ridge Golf Course is a great place to enjoy an experimental, socially distanced play. “People …
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Besides being a nice place to play a round of golf, Amanda Berg Wilson figures Westminster’s Legacy Ridge Golf Course is a great place to enjoy an experimental, socially distanced play.
“People move here because they love the outdoors,” Wilson said. “We have incredible public assets which are outdoors and we ourselves are outdoor people. And we have found that there are people who will come to our performances who will not come to sit in a theater.”
Wilson and her Boulder-based troupe The Catamounts will turn nine holes of the golf course into an experimental stage, the setting for an adventure during the last few weeks of August and a week in September. They’ll host their specially written play “The Rough” there Aug. 8 through 30, with performances Sept. 2 through 6 pending.
“It’s definitely an extension of what we hope will become a larger body of work, engaging the wonderful portfolio of public spaces that Westminster has, and bringing them to life with story telling,” Wilson said.
The play tells a tale about golf itself, following a Scotsman who’s gotten a glimpse of the elusive Goddess of Stick and Ball.
“We’re calling her ‘Paganica’, which is want they called the original version of golf,” Wilson said. “We made that into a goddess and they have a past and he has not seen her for a millennium. He is chasing her through the course.”
The audience of 16, participants paired up in eight identical golf carts, will follow him around the course as his tale unwinds. Each member of the audience will wear special bone-induction headphones — the kind that leaves the ear open for hearing, while letting audience keep up with the dialog.
“You’ll travel around the nine holes and there are different vignettes that take place at different places around the course,” Wilson said. “They all revolve around the idea of wildness versus tameness, or privilege versus access. One thing we are really celebrating is the idea of a public course. There is a history of golf courses which relies on exclusivity and one thing we want to celebrate is that this is a public course, open to all.”
Rich Neumann, the marketing and outreach supervisor for the city’s Parks, Recreation and Libraries department, said that city was already looking for creative ways to use Westminster’s outdoor spaces.
“You know the saying, that necessity is the mother of invention. That is certainly the case here,” Neumann said. “The pandemic has dramatically highlighted how important arts and culture is to everybody’s well-being, even from the earliest days when we were all housebound. We looked to art and culture, but online offerings can only get you so far. How many times can you watch the Netflix catalog?”
Westminster’s Open Space department has a history of creative events outdoors, from the Adult Easter egg hunt in the spring to the annual Zombie Golf Tournament in the fall and the hidden, glass blown eggs hidden along the city’s trails for walkers to find.
“So we wanted to increase social interaction safely, and we came up with the idea to use the golf course,” he said. “We combined live theater with that concept of golfing.”
This is the second outdoor play The Catamounts have brought to Westminster. The city commissioned them to write and perform “The Last Apple Tree” last summer at Westminster’s Semper Farm Open Space. That play told the story of Westminster, from it’s founding to the current day, on one particular homestead.
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