APRIL 25, 2014

We had a happy reading party
with friends old and new
to test-drive the new P&P script
using the following questions:

More Reading Party!

Ready, Set... resized

Reading Party!

What did you find interesting?
What did you find boring?
What did you find confusing?

JULY, 2013

Sense and Sensibility
A Musical
...is here!


This high-quality, professional recording is yours to enjoy via


NOVEMBER 16, 2012
Sense and Sensibility, A Musical!
Thank you for your support!

NOVEMBER 15, 2012
Sunday is SOLD OUT for
Sense and Sensibility, A Musical!

OCTOBER 15, 2012

155 tickets sold during the pre-sale event
and the show CAN go on!
Lucy Steele is VERY pleased ...

OCTOBER 11, 2012
Sense and Sensibility, A Musical!

Help us raise the funds needed to stage the show for you that
played at the Jane Austen Festival
in Bath, England!

AUGUST 12, 2012
COME JOIN US for this fundraiser for TRP
to help us take
Sense and Sensibility, A Musical
to England!
Suggested donation: $5 per person at the door.
Call 719.460.4588 to RSVP

AUGUST 8, 2012
FALL semester classes are announced for
Monument Creative Arts Program!
Art Explosion! / Portfolio Development & Anne of Green Gables: acting & intro to production

JULY 31, 2012
Coming soon ... An Absolutely Lovely Jane Austen Day at the Glen!

JULY 19, 2012
A full cast is in place, and we are on our way to the
Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England!

JUNE 18, 2012

for a
traveling cast
to perform
Sense and Sensibility in Bath, England!

APRIL 26, 2012
CS Indy Staff Pick Here for ROMEO & juliet

APRIL 11, 2012


Read the
ROMEO & juliet press release here!

JANUARY 26, 2012

MCAP classes announced!
February 17 - May 11, 2012

JANUARY 20, 2012

TRP announces
March 3, 10, 17


March 3: Art Exhibition: drawing is seeing

March 10: Acting for the Camera Workshop

March 17: Behind-the-Camera Workshop
Registration deadline: Wednesday March 14

December 2012
What the Press is saying about Sense and Sensibility ~

The Tribune

Fresh Ink


The Essence of Austen:
A Review of
Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility, a Musical
Rebecca Posusta, M.A.

We Janeites are a fickle bunch. We love, love, love everything Jane Austen related, but can also be just as critical as we are appreciative. We drool at the prospect of a new film or other adaptation of her work, but then pick it apart piece by piece, celebrating what we consider faithful and condemning what is too removed from the original. It was, however, with a certain amount of excitement and just a sprinkling of trepidation that I ventured out on a crisp December afternoon to enjoy a musical version of Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first published novel, produced in its two hundredth anniversary year. Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility: A Musical, both written and directed by Karen Burnett Hamer, with lyrics and music by Jessamine Hamer and arranged by Abigail Carcich was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Those of us who had enjoyed Ms. Hamer’s 2009 musical version of Pride and Prejudice, Austen’s most popular and best selling novel, could not help but anticipate the same magical experience in her newest production. Indeed, Ms. Hamer’s Pride and Prejudice: A Musical delivered some moments of real inspiration. The part of the speechless Miss Anne de Bourgh being adeptly played by an armless, legless mannequin was much discussed and applauded. The faithfulness of the adaptation as well as the playfulness of it were equally appreciated. Pride and Prejudice: A Musical was a fun romp and very enjoyable in many ways, very much the “light, bright and sparkling” that Austen called her work in a letter to her sister of February 4, 1813. Of course, the excessively critical Janeite in me was tempted to pick out flaws and end with a lament that perhaps it was close, but was not, alas a perfect imitation of Jane Austen’s genius.
With this in mind, I am happy to report that Ms. Hamer’s
Sense & Sensibility is, in many ways, inspired. It captures the essence of Jane Austen without trying to imitate the genius of the original. Other Janeites might lament that it is not a perfectly faithful production, but my conversations with Ms. Hamer about her work have reminded me that sometimes faithfulness is not all it is cracked up to be. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, an artist must find her own way to interpret, her own point of view. Sense & Sensibility: A Musical is a wonderfully entertaining, often inspiring demonstration of this idea.
Ms. Hamer uses Jane Austen’s novel as back drop to the bigger story of artistic inspiration and endeavor. Miss Austen’s life, indeed, serves as a frame within which the novel develops and comes to life. Jane Austen, herself, sits for much of the play to the side of the stage, writing and watching her story unfold, and at times, discussing her narrative decisions with her characters. Adding to the surprising but happy effect of this unique structure is Miss Jessamine Hamer’s music and Ms. Carcich’s arrangements. I particularly enjoyed a rousing little number delivered with a sauciness undervalued on the page by Miss Lucy Steele.
What a treat this production is. Even the most fickle of Jane Austen’s ardent fans will find little to criticize. It truly captures the essence of Austen’s novel while staying true to the soul of the author’s creative process.

Sense And Sensibility: A Musical
Review by Melissa Lindell

I can honestly say that I have never seen such a moving piece of work on the stage as Sense And Sensibility: A Musical, from Tin Roof Productions, which ran in December 2011. From the very first scene, I was drawn into a life thriving with Jane Austen's treasured realities of journeys taken and fates met. My soul was carried up onto the stage into a fascinating exploration of complex relationships and circumstances, my physical body in my seat forgotten, as I journeyed with Austen's characters and Karen Hamer's original highlights in a world alight with wit, depths of emotion and authenticity.
My main passion in life is for people; thus with this filter, I saw
Sense And Sensibility: A Musical as an interwoven story about relationships. All kinds of people, all types of bonds and all of them  complex. Of course these tales have always existed in Austen's novel, but add the author herself into the mix - and suddenly this play wasn't simply a book transferred to the stage.
Having Jane Austen actually in the play herself was a surprising twist that made the story even more engaging for its audience. We were allowed into that secret place of an author wrestling with her characters, with their choices and fighting for good to ultimately triumph. I feel it was this piece that fully pulled together the original brilliance and success of Hamer's play. Jane struggled deeply with her characters, capturing their emotions and delivering the harsh blows when needed, even "leaving them" at times to allow them to take on a life of their own. Because we were let in to this secret place, we saw that Austen did not flippantly create stories for entertainment and fun, but that she had important lessons in creating a story to be conveyed. The good cannot be good without experiencing the bad first. The light cannot be light without also feeling the darkness. Her characters, especially Elinor, struggled with this greatly - but in the end, the joy was greater because of the difficulties.
To all of this, add some heartfelt, intelligent music to fit the sentiments behind the narrative, and suddenly one finds themself in a story that feels very much like reality. When done well, music awakes the soul - and indeed, this play's music was top notch. Few things in art are as satisfying as the right melodies and lyrics  being perfectly matched to emotions long felt but without an outlet of expression.
Perhaps this is why the musical moved me so much - it reached down deep and affected a place in my heart that rarely gets touched. A place of longing, of dreams, romantic notions, desires. Austen's novel has always been a touching story, but this play came to life on the stage with the music. Many lesser plot lines overlooked suddenly had center stage to express themselves. Each song served to highlight the different web of relationships in Austen's classic.
Just to highlight a few: Mrs. Dashwood's singing "Soothe Me" brought to light her grief, made even worse by the reduced circumstances she was thrown into. Even now, weeks later, the melody continues to haunt me as she poured out the grief of her heart.  "Edge of the Knife" as sung by Willoughby and Marianne perfectly captured the excitement and thrill of desire, yet of the dangerous temptation of passion without wisdom. Proof that sometimes in our greatest passions also lie our greatest temptations. "Every Day" was a critical look at the social expectations and metaphorical masks that society was fraught with in Austen's time - and that still plagues the human race at large today.
The fabulous talent that Karen managed to cast made me forget I was watching a play. Made me forget that some of the people on stage were actually actors and actresses with real lives awaiting them at home. Instead, I was thrown into a whirlpool of Austen world, where I admit I happily surrendered myself to the fictional reality for the length of the show.
"There is a cost to telling the truth about oneself. There is also a cost to not telling the truth. You must weigh the costs and decide which one you'd rather pay." - Jane Austen, in Karen Hamer's
Sense And Sensibility: A Musical.

Press Release

New Musical
Sense and Sensibility Premieres in Colorado Springs
Tin Roof Productions celebrates the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s first novel with a fresh new work by playwright/director Karen Hamer.

Colorado Springs, CO – When Karen Burnett Hamer, Founder and Artistic Director of Tin Roof Productions, decided to write an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, she wanted to create a work that would invite people to step right into the world of Jane Austen. As well as exploring the relationship of a writer to her work, Hamer also examines the growth of the novelʼs heroine, Elinor Dashwood. “Many women tell me, ʻI am Elinor,ʼ” Hamer says, “and so I have tried to address the emotional weight behind this statement which says to me that people seek something in their lives beyond the burden of unacknowledged duty and social pretense.”

Building on the popularity of Hamerʼs first Austen adaptation in 2009,
Pride & Prejudice, this musical marks Tin Roof's first collaboration between mother and daughter. Hamerʼs daughter, singer-songwriter Jessamine Hamer, composed all the music for the upcoming production, working in response to Hamerʼs vision of an ‘Irish lullaby.’ “I wanted something simple, evocative and soothing,” says Hamer, “and Jessamine brings a contemporary musical expression to the timeless themes of this story. Whether in Elinorʼs haunting ʻRevelation,ʼ Edwardʼs compelling ʻThousand Secrets,ʼ or Mrs. Dashwoodʼs heartrending ʻSoothe Me,ʼ we hear and feel the longing of the characters for real intimacy and to be known and received for who they truly are.”

Costume designer Heather Clark, who worked on Tin Roofʼs most recent show,
The Crucible, has returned for Sense and Sensibility. “Heatherʼs generous use of color and texture brings the characters to life,” observes Hamer, “and provides a rich visual counterpoint to the fast-paced script which has the tongue-in-cheek feel of Austenʼs earliest work. I’m also excited to work with local painter Chris Alvarez because of his insight into Elinor Dashwood, who is also an artist. Chris’s paintings are stunning and invite us into Elinor’s story at a deep, visceral level.”

In addition to the well-known characters, Hamer says she has enjoyed developing some of the lesser known elements of the novel for the stage, and that she believes the show will be “an intriguing treasure hunt for Janeites and theatergoers alike.”

Sense and Sensibility is produced by Jana Bussanich and runs December 2–18 at the First United Methodist Theater, 420 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs. Tickets are $12–$15 and may be purchased online at www.tinroof-productions.com.

What the Press is saying ~

The Tribune

CS Independent

Press Release

Tin Roof Productions Unveils Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”.
An unusual blend of time periods creates a fresh, new look for Tony Award-winning classic.

Colorado Springs, CO, July 1, 2011
When Tin Roof Productions’ Founder and Artistic Director, Karen Hamer, decided to direct the Tony Award-winning drama, “The Crucible,” she wanted to do it in a way that would invite people to view the story with fresh eyes.  “Miller did a masterful job of writing an allegory of the suspicion, accusation, and fear of the McCarthy era by setting the play in the 1690s during the New England witch trials,” states Hamer. “And he juxtaposed it brilliantly with a profound love story and a personal journey into truth and redemption. It’s been a powerful combination for almost sixty years, since ‘The Crucible’ first opened on Broadway, and I was looking for a new way to present this remarkable play.”

And so was born her unusual vision of Arthur Miller’s celebrated drama, still set in the 17th century Salem witch trial era, but with a definite nod to the Fifties. “The Crucible” will be presented by Tin Roof Productions August 18-28, 2011 at the First United Methodist Theater, 420 N. Nevada Ave., in Colorado Springs.

“The Crucible” tells the story of John Proctor, a well-respected farmer and citizen in the small, Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. When Abigail Williams, a 17 year old servant girl with whom Proctor has ended an affair before the play opens, sets out to destroy first Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, and then Proctor himself, he is caught in the aftermath of the enormous, unintended consequences of his actions. As Proctor wrestles with his unwillingness to reveal Abigail’s intentions – and thus reveal himself – the well-ordered and stable Puritan community of Salem begins to unravel amidst allegations of witchcraft by Abigail and her accomplices. Both examining and hastening this disintegration, Deputy-Governor Danforth – played by veteran Colorado Springs actor, Buck Buchanan – darkly observes, “We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment.”

On a macro level, “The Crucible” is about politics and history and the ways history repeats itself, which makes it contemporary and timely. On a personal level, it is the profound love story of a husband and wife who face each other falteringly, through the lens of betrayal and brokenness, in and discover the courage to forgive. “I want people to hold their breath as John Proctor’s family falls apart and the community around him descends into chaos under the juggernaut of his mistakes and inaction,” said Hamer. “And I want them to hold their breath even longer as he claws his way inch by inch towards redemption, against the odds, and in the face of unmitigated evil.”

Ultimately, “The Crucible” is the universal story of a flawed, culpable Everyman seeking the limits of his social and moral conscience in order to truly know himself. The central design goal for Hamer, therefore, was to create a look as timeless as the play’s themes, that pays tribute to both the 1690s and the 1950s. To that end, Colorado Springs designer and costumer, Heather Clark, decided to blend fashion design elements from both periods, and she chose fabric textures and colors to clarify the play’s themes. “Heather is a fabulous designer,” said Hamer, “and Tin Roof Productions is excited to collaborate with a strong creative team of designers and actors from along the Front Range to bring a dynamic, arresting and memorable performance of “The Crucible” to Colorado Springs.”

For additional information, contact:
Jana Bussanich
Email: jana.l.bussanich@gmail.com

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