If Daniel Lewis needs something done, one of two things happens: either he knows the person to do it, or he knows someone who’s willing to step up and give it a go. That support system gets right to the heart of why the local producer and his director wife decided to start the nonprofit Fountain Community Theater.
“If the community doesn’t want it to happen,” Lewis, an Army veteran says, “it doesn’t happen.”
After a few false starts, Fountain Community Theater is riding a wave of success into its 2018 season. Lewis says much of that success is due to a copious amount of community support, everything from committed board members to the woman running the intermission snack bar all by herself.
“We have some great people and connections,” Lewis says. “We always have a plethora of people to pick up the slack when we need it.”
Prior to settling in Fountain, Lewis spent 22 years in the military, including seven stationed at Fort Carson. While stationed in Lawton, Oklahoma, he participated in community theater.
“It seemed like the neatest little thing,” Lewis says of his experience in Lawton. “The community building, the performances. I thought to myself, ‘that’s what they need right here in [Fountain].’”
Lewis had zero experience producing theater when he got to Fountain but still pressed ahead. He did it all: searching for a space to perform, coordinating marketing efforts and trying to convince local businesses to sponsor his endeavor.
615 people saw their last production, A Christmas Chaos, and 425 patrons came to A Night of Dark Intent in October. No play in the history of the company had brought in more than 350 attendees before. Almost every performance draws an attendee from Denver, and visitors have even come from as far as Casper, Wyoming. Season pass sales are triple what they’ve ever been, auditions average between 30 and 40 people, and the theater can now pay for scripts and royalties in advance with the help of sponsorship money.
A friend at the City of Fountain helped Lewis secure the theater’s current space, an old Fountain Middle School building that has morphed into the Dean Fleischauer Activities Center, at 326 W. Alabama Ave.
In return for access, the theater runs the Fountain middle school drama club. The Children’s Theater production, Looking Glass Land, takes place over the summer partially so the theater doesn’t have to pay janitors to stay later. The hope is for the theater to become a permanent part of the activity center once the city officially takes over the building.
Lewis sees the broader role the theater can play in the community by gathering people together to have a good time and drawing visitors to check out the hometown feel in Fountain —his way of giving back to the businesses that took a chance on the theater.
Fountain Community Theater 2018 Season
One Wife Too Many
James Holden, TV star, is a busy man. He has just returned from his honeymoon with his 4th wife, or so he thinks.
Clue (The Musical)
May 31 – June 9
The internationally popular game is now a fun filled musical which brings the world’s best know suspects to life and invites the audience to help solve the mystery: who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room and with what weapon.
Looking Glass Land (Children Theater)
July 26 – August 4
This award-winning stage adaptation by renowned playwright James DeVita takes Lewis Carroll’s original Through the Looking Glass and literally runs with it.
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Drifter Frank Chambers accepts a job from the alcoholic owner of a diner in a town he’s hitchhiking through.
On The Thirteenth Day of Christmas
A wild, action-packed Christmas farce. A young woman suddenly finds herself receiving the gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” apparently from an unknown suitor.
Originally written by Jonathan Toman of the Cultural Office and published in the Colorado Springs Independent Abstractions section on March 5, 2018.