About

Thin Air Theatre Company

TATC...A Brief History

In 2007 the founders of Thin Air Theatre Company (TATC) were approach by Cripple Creek Mayor Ed Libby to carry on the 60 year tradition of producing theatre, especially the genre of Melodrama, in a facility owned & managed by The City of Cripple Creek, Colorado. Prior to TATC, three generations of the Mackin family had produced a summer melodrama in Cripple Creek...first, beginning in 1947 in the Gold Bar Room Theater at The Imperial Hotel and then at the refurbished Butte Opera House owned & managed by The City of Cripple Creek. 

 

Thin Air Theatre Company eagerly accepted Mayor Libby & The City of Cripple Creek's offer to be the resident professional company at the Butte Opera House with one condition...that they be allowed to produce a full season of shows from June through December.  TATC wanted to produce a season that comprised not only classic Victorian Melodrama but that would also include Musicals, contemporary comedies & mysteries as well as original works.  Over their 11 year tenure as the resident company for The City of Cripple Creek at the Butte Theater, TATC has produced 55 professional productions (averaging 156 performances annually).  While the Mackin Family may hold the longevity record of 50+ years of producing theatre in Cripple Creek it is TATC who now holds the record for producing the most productions in Cripple Creek's 125 year history. 

Over the years as the resident professional production company for The City of Cripple Creek, TATC has seen a steady growth in patronage with many shows seeing an average of as much as an 85% capacity sellout ratio and has produced a wide range of shows from melodrama to musicals to revues.  In addition to our primary operations in Cripple Creek, CO...TATC has recently branched out into other regions of the country as well.

And NOW...we look forward to the next chapter once again working with familiar faces, our friends at The City of Cripple Creek and seeing you, the loyal patrons of The Butte Theatre & Thin Air Theatre Company.

 

 

Our Team

JAMES MABLIN (Music Supervisor/Casting Director/Music Director) is a music director, composer, orchestrator and arranger originally from London, England. He has musically directed over ninety shows, from large national tours in the UK to shows from London to New York City to Alaska. As an educator, James ran the musical theatre program at a college in London, was a professor & musical theatre specialist at The Yale School of Drama and is the head of the music at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center, named one of the top summer theatre programs in the world. James has written the vocal arrangements & musically directed opening and closing numbers for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He is thrilled to be Casting Director and Music Supervisor for Thin Air Theatre Company, as well as creating Cripple Creek Ragtime Revue with his friend Chris Sorensen.   In 2017, James Musically Directed Toxic Avenger and Angel of the Christmas Mine.

JT RIDER (Asst Technical Director) is excited to be back with Thin Air Theatre Company for his fourth season in 2017!  You may remember him as Owen Musser in The Foreigner  from TATC's 2016 season, as well as many other colorful characters.  2017 saw him on stage in various roles as usual, and in the shop working as the Assistant Technical Director for TATC.  He hopes you are all as excited to have him back as he is to be back ("and we were" ~TATC).  He would like to thank his family in South Carolina, as well as his theatre family for welcoming him back to his second home. 

Our Team

The producers of TATC have always considered ourselves blessed to have worked with some amazingly talented and wonderfully down to earth and plain ole nice people over the years.  We take great pride in producing top quality theatre with exceptionally high production values...and the way we do that is to surround ourselves with the best actors, writers, directors, choreographers, designers, stage managers, technicians & staff the industry has to offer.  Our staff shown here is no exception to that philosophy!

CHRIS ARMBRISTER (Artistic Director & Producer) hails from Virginia & his career has taken him from coast to coast working as an actor, director, writer, fight choreographer & producer.  In 2007 Chris co-founded Thin Air Theatre Company (TATC) along with Mickey Burdick, Mel Moser and a lot of help from writer & friend of 25+ years Chris Sorensen.  As producer, Chris is excited as TATC returns to The Butte in this new venture working with The City of Cripple Creek in the way that grew the professional program to it's best & most memorable seasons ever.  When not producing for TATC, Chris freelance directs and is the Director of Theatrical Programming for the internationally acclaimed Stagedoor Manor (www.StagedoorManor.com…where he oversees the selection & casting of 42 full productions each summer as well as a staff of over 150.  Chris holds an MFA from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and is a member of East Tennessee State University’s Alumni Hall of Fame for his “Contributions to the Development of Theatre in America”.  Chris’ #1 blessing in life is his amazing wife, and TATC Co-Producer, Glenda…like The Good Witch.  www.ChrisArmbrister.com 

JAMES MABLIN (Co-Producer/Music Supervisor/Casting Director) is a music director, composer, orchestrator and arranger originally from London, England. He has musically directed over ninety shows, from large national tours in the UK to shows from London to New York City to Alaska. As an educator, James ran the musical theatre program at a college in London, was a professor & musical theatre specialist at The Yale School of Drama and is the head of the music at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center, named one of the top summer theatre programs in the world. James has written the vocal arrangements & musically directed opening and closing numbers for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He is thrilled to be Co-Producing and overseeing the Casting as well as the Music Supervisor for Thin Air Theatre Company.   In 2017, James Musically Directed Toxic Avenger and Angel of the Christmas Mine...as well as co-created Cripple Creek Ragtime Revue with his long time friend Chris Sorensen.

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GLENDA ARMBRISTER (Co-Producer is a native of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.  Her background and forte had always been in sales and management until meeting and marrying Chris Armbrister who then introduced her to the  onderful world of theatre.  She has worked in all aspects of theatre now, from costumes, props and box office. Most important to her is making sure all of the cast and crew feel welcome and have a great place to call home while they are away from their families. She is so excited to be back in Cripple Creek and can’t wait to see familiar faces and hear the cheers and boos echoing in the Butte Theater.   Upon seeing her placement on this page we realize she is a rose between 2 thorns.

CHRIS SORENSEN (Resident Playwright)

Chris Sorensen is an award-winning author, playwright and audiobook narrator. Thin Air Theatre Company has produced seventeen of his full-length plays for a total of 600+ performance seen by more than 70,000 people... including Dr. Jekyll’s Medicine Show, Angel of the Christmas Mine, Haunting at the Old Homestead and Sherlock Holmes and the Cripple Creek Ripper. He has numerous screenplays in development and Intrinsic Value Films recently tapped him to write a horror film. His book, The Nightmare Room, was the winner of the 2018 Best Debut Novel, Indie Horror Book Awards as well as being named one of Inquisitr's Best Horror Books of 2018. He is also the author of The Hungry Ones and The Mad Scientists of New Jersey. As an audiobook narrator, he has recorded over 200 titles. Chris welcomes the opportunity to bring his writing back to the Butte Theater.

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TIMOTHY DICKEY (Production Manager & Scenic Designer)  

Timothy is excited to be joining Thin Air Theatre Company to head up their production team for the first time this summer.  Currently, he spends his winters as the Technical Director for American Heritage School in Plantation, FL (ranked as one of the top performing arts high schools in America).  Previously, Timothy spent 6 summers as Production Manager for the internationally recognized Stagedoor Manor in NY. He has many scenic design credits including, Jungle Book Kids, Peter Pan Jr, Lion King Jr., Robin Hood, Into the Woods, and Willy Wonka just to name a few. Timothy has worked with Birmingham Children’s Theater, The Wick, and PPTOPA. 

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JESSIE HIGGINS (Stage Manager, Haunting at the Old Homestead & A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol) Jessie is thrilled to be working with Thin Air Theatre Company for the first time and to be back performing in person! As a freelance Stage Manager based in Cleveland, she has worked primarily throughout the eastern US and is excited to finally make it out west. During the summers, Jessie serves as one of two Production Stage Managers at Stagedoor Manor in New York. Favorite past productions include Hay Fever, Hi, Are You Single?, Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Cleveland Play House), Heathers: High School Edition, Beauty and the Beast, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Stagedoor Manor), Groundhog Day, Legally Blonde (Slow Burn Theatre Company). Touring credits include Liars (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival WillPower Tour).

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ROBERT LEWIS (Music Director, Haunting at the Old Homestead & A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol)  Robert Lewis is a professional music director, church organist, and teacher in New York City. Originally from Houston, Texas, he worked as a music director and high school teacher before earning a master's degree in at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He's also a church organist and freelance accompanist, playing for musicians of all ages in competition and performance. Robert has worked with groups such as Christian Youth Theatre (Houston, TX), The Players Theatre Company (Conroe, TX), The Grove Theatre (Purcellvile, VA), and Stagedoor Manor (Loch Sheldrake, NY). His favorite shows he's directed are The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, and Into the Woods.

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MADELINE SHAFFER (Choreographer, Haunting at the Old Homestead & A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol) Madeline Shaffer is a Denver based Director/ Choreographer. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Jacksonville University and then began working in NYC. While there, she choreographed an Off Broadway production of By Jupiter, worked for 2 years with the cult classic production of 420: The Musical, performed in a national tour, choreographed and directed a new musical, performed in front of the UN, and worked with several high schools and children’s programs choreographing shows and teaching classes. These high school programs include Stagedoor Manor where she has spent her summers choreographing for the past 7 years. While there she was able to help develop the World Premiere of Evil Dead The Musical: High School Edition. Her original musical “Late” was recently performed in Denver and can be seen at CenterStage Theatre Company next summer. She is currently the Director of Dance and resident choreographer at Performing Arts Academy in Highlands Ranch. 

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LAWRENCE LESHER (Director ~ Haunting at the Old Homestead) Lawrence Lesher is an Army brat who has lived, acted in, toured, and/or directed in all 50 states and about 28 countries. With TATC, he last directed “The Foreigner”. Among his other directing credits are "39 Steps" at Millbrook Playhouse; “Rounding Third" at San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre; "Disaster!" at Stagedoor Manor; “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at Ocala Civic Theatre and "Unnecessary Farce" at Theatre Winter Haven.  After this, Lawrence will be a guest artist at Florida Southern College directing “Tom Jones”. Thanks to Chris and TATC for this opportunity!  www.lawrencelesher.com

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EILEEN ENGEL (Costume Designer, Haunting at the Old Homestead)  is elated to be designing with TATC! She has designed costumes for Stagedoor Manor in New York, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Bluff City Theatre, Stray Dog Theatre, Fly North Theatricals, Max & Louie Productions, Rebel & Misfits Productions, St. Louis University High School, and Clayton High School. She additionally works in St. Louis as an IATSE seamstress and dresser for The Muny, Fabulous Fox, America’s Birthday Parade, Stages St. Louis, and more. She has been nominated for St Louis Theatre Circle awards for her designs for The Who’s Tommy, Ragtime, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and And Then There Were None.

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HALEY BROWN (Lighting Designer, Haunting at the Old Homestead) is delighted to join Thin Air Theater Company in their celebration of the Halloween season. She has worked with various theaters along the East Coast, including the Berkshire Theatre Group, Synchronicity Theater, Stagedoor Manor, Zoellner Arts Center, The Warehouse Theatre, GLOW Lyric Theatre, Center Stage South Carolina, Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre, and the Furman University Playhouse. Haley is currently in her final year of pursuing her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia. You can follow her on Instagram @lighthaley and view her previous work at www.haleybrowndesign.com.

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COREY JONES (Scenic Painter/Carpenter, Haunting at the Old Homestead) Corey Arthur Jones is a Scenic Designer and Scenic Painter originally from Alderson, West Virginia, now based in Columbus, Ohio. His previous design and scenic painting credits include: Urinetown, Oklahoma!, Lucky Stiff, and Into the Woods at Stagedoor Manor, Mamma Mia! and The Little Mermaid Jr. at the Huntington Area Regional Theatre, and The Odyssey at Marshall University. Corey is excited to be joining the Thin Air Theatre Company for his first show, Haunting at the Old Homestead.