All Aboard the Emma Dean

Named after Powell's wife

Major John Wesley Powell

Charismatic or narcissistic? Great leader or lucky madman? Will this one-armed wonder lead his crew to greatness, or to their own demise?

Powell is played by Kate Austin-Groen. Kate has been performing for over three decades, and has done many regional theatre productions in Texas, Virginia, Minnesota, California, and several other states. Since moving to Fort Collins in 2010, Kate has performed and directed several productions for OpenStage Theatre. Most recently she directed the opening show for the 2019-2020 season,The Full Monty. She has also performed locally at Bas Bleu Theatre and Midtown Arts Center. When not doing theatre, Kate leads her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop and volunteers frequently at both of her children’s schools.

William H. Dunn

Backed by ambition, burlap sack fishin'. Always hunting in his fur trapper hat- you can't beat that. Give me a mountain named after me and it shall be my immortal legacy

Dunn is played by Shannon Nicole Light. Shannon is thrilled to be appearing in her 8th season with Openstage. In 2013, Shannon made her acting debut as Katherina Cavalieri in Amadeus, she has since acted in a wide variety of productions with OpenStage Theatre and Front Range Community College. Most recently she appeared as Claire in FRCC’s Fall 2019 production of Fuddy Meers. ”Men on Boats has been a blast to work on and to be a part of. A super new and unique piece... an amazingly fun and talented cast and crew... this has been an unforgettably adventurous and wild ride! These daring pieces really stretch me as an actor and I welcome the challenge. Also, I so enjoy exploring my masculinity! Thank you to the Openstage family, my mentors, teachers, and my wonderful family for always supporting me in all my creative ventures!”

John Colton Sumner

Started a new relationship with the Yukon – It's complicated

Sumner is played by Molly Mcguire. Molly first performed with OpenStage Theatre in 2004 in The Women. She began performing with the Company again in 2014, when she appeared as Nerine in Scapin. Since then she has appeared with OpenStage as Beatrice in The Servant of Two Masters, Millicent/Laurie in Stage Kiss, Danielle in Ultimate Beauty Bible, Suzanne in Don't Dress for Dinner, in the Ensemble of Christmas Chaos and Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors.. Her most recent appearance was last summer’s production of Much Ado About Nothing as Conrade. She is excited to be working with the amazing cast of Men On Boats and would like to thank the entire cast, staff and crew for their unwavering support. Also, Molly would like to take this opportunity to give her heartfelt thanks to her OpenStage family. Their support and love has helped her immensely this last year.

Men on Boats

By Jaclyn Backhaus

Directed by Denise Burson Freestone

January 18 – February 15, 2020

“A thrilling, gender-flipped slice of manifest destiny.” -Time Out New York

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition when a one-armed captain and an insane yet loyal crew set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Inspired by John Wesley Powell’s actual travel logs, Backhaus’s nimble and ingenious script is provocative, laugh-out-loud theatre, performed by a diverse cast of non-male actors who infuse America’s historic myths of male conquest with a sly blast of satire. With the speed and force of whitewater rapids, this off-Broadway sensation creates perilous canyons and death-defying cliffs out of sheer imagination, shaping an innovative and innately theatrical experience.

Playing at Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre – 417 West Magnolia Street