About the Colony

'The Colony' musical returns to the stage — and you can take part

Special to The TribuneApril 8, 2013 

Lon Allan


I saw the first act of the musical “The Colony” in 1994 shortly after it was written by Anet Carlin, founder of the local Brickyard Theatre and co-founder of the Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville and the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts.

The show was co-written by Colleen Goulding Lord, a voice and piano teacher. The next year, a second act was added. Both shows were staged at the Sunken Gardens, using the City Administration Building as a backdrop.

As originally written, the show didn’t have an ending — but it does now.

“The Colony” is going to be staged July 20 and 21 at the Sunken Gardens in front of the Administration Building, which opens again in August.

The second round of auditions will be held Thursday and Friday in the sanctuary of the Community Church of Atascadero, 5850 Rosario Ave. in Atascadero. You should prepare a 30-second monologue and bring sheet music for a song — at least 24 bars — to show off your talents.

The centennial production is being directed by John Lambie, a longtime member of Pioneer Players. John is a veteran singer, actor and director.

Dianne Greenaway, who has overseen the Colony Days’ Tent City since its inception, will serve as producer.

Dianne told me the show will take up only two weeks of your life. There will be a two-week rehearsal from July 8 to 19 and then the two shows on July 20 and 21.

The tunes from this musical are great. Stephen Tosh is handling musical arrangements. There is even going to be a song about Atascadero written in 1915, probably commissioned by E.G. Lewis.

“The Colony” tells the story of the very earliest days of Atascadero, from the laying of the cornerstone of the Administration Building in June 1914 through World War I. A cast of almost 100 local adults and children will dance, sing and act their way through this charming show written just for Atascadero.

Tryouts begin at 7 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday. A show script is available for your review at atascadero.net. If you want to talk to Dianne herself, call her at 712-3947 or email diannegreenaway@hotmail.com.

There are still opportunities for you help fund the show, estimated to cost $12,000, which could ensure you some reserved seating. Heading up the fundraising activity is Jim Patterson, who can be reached at 466-2645. Both Jim and Dianne are part of the Centennial Committee as well.

It is safe to say Atascadero’s Tent City event is a direct spinoff of this musical, which made its debut almost two decades ago.

Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column is published every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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