In a small, middle-American town called Principal, Jimmy T. Jr. wants to take his best friend Kia B. to prom. But it’s complicated—Jimmy is white and Kia is black, and Principal has been holding racially segregated proms for decades (not that they have a race problem). In this contemporary coming of age story, filled with music and magic, rhymes and beats, Jimmy and Kia work to hold fast to their friendship. With a little help from a musical superstar, they both fight to envision a different future for themselves and their town.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness the world premiere of a new work commissioned by Theatreworks from award-winning playwright, rapper, essayist, and poet Idris Goodwin. Idris is one of most dynamic and innovative playwrights in the country, and his works cover the most pressing issues facing our life and local community today.
Get your tickets today for the world premiere of American Prom!
Sarah Sheppard Shaver is a powerhouse in the Colorado Springs theatre community and we are proud to have her as the costume designer for American Prom. You’ve seen her work before in our productions of Merry Wives of Windsor, The Lost Boys, Blithe Spirit, Church and many more. If you frequent any of the other theaters in Colorado Springs, you have probably seen her work countless times. Sarah is Chair of the Pikes Peak Community College Theatre Department, co-owns Gold Camp Brewing Company with her husband David Shaver, has two kids, and a founding member of Springs Ensemble Theatre. As an actor, director, designer, producer, and board member, Sarah Sheppard Shaver is truly an artist to admire.
Theatreworks is thrilled to welcome her to our team, once again, and bring you a closer look at the artist who adorns the anecdotes you adore.
Sarah: Los Alamos, New Mexico.
TW: Home now?
Sarah: Right here!
TW: Where did you study theatre?
Sarah: I received a BA in English and Theatre from McMurry University, and an MFA in Theatre Arts from Texas Tech University.
TW: What makes a good costume design?
Sarah: I lean a lot into garment psychology and color psychology. Everything you put on your body tells me a story about who you are and who you want to be. Those details can tell me about socio-economic class, culture, period, occupation, values, mental state.... What we want from a costume is to tell a story about the characters the instant they step on stage, even before they say a single word. How can I reinforce the story or the theme with clothes?
TW: This story takes place in the present. Does designing for a modern setting present any specific challenges?
Sarah: Oh sure! The research is a bit different, since we are living in it right now and don't have a History of Costumes, 2010-2020 to refer to. I have an additional challenge in that I've needed to dive into some genres of music that I was not totally familiar with, and the clothing styles that accompany them: lots of brand names that are important to subsets of modern teen styles.
TW: You are the theatre department chair of Pikes Peak Community College. What surprises you about your students?
Sarah: I love my students in that they come from all walks of life and have experiences that are totally different than mine. I could have a concurrent enrollment 16 year old taking a class at the same time as a 70 year old community member who has always wanted to take a theatre course and never had the opportunity. I have a lot of former and current military, spouses, and dependents, which brings a fascinating dynamic to the classroom. We were studying Euripides' Trojan Women last spring. A play about the aftermath of war is much more connected and relevant when you have perspectives from people who have actually had the first-hand experience of war.
TW: You own Gold Camp Brewery, you lead a theatre department, you are a member of Springs Ensemble Theatre (SET), a freelance costume designer, and a mother of two awesome kids… What do you do for fun?
Sarah: Uh....see more theatre? Talk about theatre? Drink while talking about theatre? Brunch? Haha. I don't care to sleep, so that helps. I love going to museums with my kids, cooking New Mexico comfort food for my family and friends, travelling, and reading juicy detective novels.
TW: You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what is it?
Sarah: Time. But not like "I wanna live forever" time. Like I wanna expand these moments upwards and outwards and really get the most out of them. Can I fill each corner of my life with meaningful creations or relationship-building or seeing and hearing and enjoying art? That's what I want to do.