Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Theatre Bug—Contagious or Genetic?

Meet Kelly Van Oosbree, Director of Sideshow! for 2012

By day she has a relatively normal job, handling lighting sales for Barbizon Theatrical Lighting Company, but when the sun goes down, she transforms into Director/Choreographer Kelly Van Oosbree! (The second ‘o’ in Oosbree is silent, which results in a pronunciation of ‘OZ-bree’.) Kelly will direct Opera Colorado’s 2012 version of Sideshow!, the catch-all title given to the project initiated last Fall which combines a potpourri menu of staged opera with songs or cabaret music, in a relaxed, cabaret setting.

Kelly jumped at the opportunity to direct this year’s incarnation of Sideshow! mostly because she loves working with young performers, and always strives to leave them with something useful during the rehearsal process that they might be able to call upon throughout their careers on the stage. She especially loves working with opera singers, who may not be particularly comfortable or accustomed to dancing on stage, and enjoys helping them become comfortable with movement.

Kelly was either born with—or perhaps bitten by—The Theatre Bug early on because her mother was, and still is, a theater director in their native Iowa. Taking after her mother, Kelly remembers always wanting to tell stories, or figure out how to tell stories in interesting ways, from the time she was a small child. After receiving her B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa, Kelly relocated to Colorado in 2001. Eventually she realized her day job needed some nocturnal theatrical oomph, and since 2008, she has directed over a dozen local productions—both musicals and legitimate theater—for companies like Performance Now, Vintage Theater, and Afterthought Theatre. Her recent production of ‘Of Mice and Men’ for the Platte Valley Players, received warm reviews at the Armory in Brighton. Recently engaged to fiancĂ© Brian, Kelly also makes her home in Brighton with her two dogs, Cooper and Santa.

She just loves working with actors and other performers, encouraging them to interpret stories and to go places they didn’t think they would go. Before Sideshow! rehearsals begin, Kelly will have another opportunity to put on a musical production when she directs ‘You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown’ for Performance Now at the Lakewood Cultural Arts Center. Performances run October 12th through 21st.

‘The most rewarding thing for me is when the performers amaze even themselves with what they are able to accomplish. As for me, I just love to tell a good story!’

We can’t wait to see how it turns out, Kelly!

By Brad Trexell, Director of Artistic Operations

Note: Sideshow! will be performed at the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on November 1, 2, 3 at 7:30pm. Table seating ($45) and theater seating ($40) are available. Cocktails and snacks will be available for purchase. For tickets, call 303.468.2030 or visit

This year’s program includes Douglas Moore’s hilarious one-act soap-opera parody, Gallantry, cabaret songs by William Bolcom, and show tunes by Cole Porter.

The performers will be Opera Colorado’s Young Artists: Morgan Harmison, Cassidy Smith, Joshua Bouillon, Alex DeSocio and Jared Guest.

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