Heart-warming friendship story brightens holiday season

[caption id="attachment_7004" align="alignright" width="300"]photo of actors Kyle Phibbs and Jack Krause Kyle Phibbs, left, and Jack Krause star in A Year with Frog and Toad. (Photo by Jennifer Clary)[/caption]

The theatre program at Colorado State University is bringing high-quality, affordable live theatre to the Front Range again with a presentation of A Year with Frog and Toad by Robert and Willie Reale.

It runs Dec. 4 through 14, Thursdays–Sundays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the University Theatre at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St. in Fort Collins.

Watch a teaser of the show here.

Tickets are $8 for CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $18 for the public. Please note that the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office hours have changed. Tickets are available at the ticket office in the UCA lobby 90 minutes prior to any UCA performance and through intermission or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com. Information about upcoming performances can be found at (970) 491-ARTS (2787). Advance or online purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.

Free Ticket Offers: CSU students get in free on Ticket Thursdays: Dec. 4 and 11. Sponsored by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, members of the public get in free on Ticket Sundays: Dec. 7 and 14. Free ticket offer space is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis online or at the Ticket Office.

Based on the Frog and Toad children’s stories written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, this three-time Tony-nominated Broadway musical by Robert and Willie Reale follows two great friends – the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad – through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way.

Poster for Frog and Toad“It’s simply loveable and fun,” said CSU Director of Theatre Walt Jones. “It’s great for kids and for the young at heart!”

Set to a jazzy, upbeat score, the two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm, A Year with Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

The show itself broke new ground by bringing professional children's theatre to Broadway with its premier run in 2002.

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“Robert and Willie Reale solidly capture the essence and heart of Lobel’s characters and stories. Robert Reale’s music is infectious, colorful, and rich in melody and character, whereas Willie Reale’s lyrics are both witty and funny… provides plenty of fun and creativity for children and plenty of nostalgia and heart for the adults.” – Chicago Theatre Beat

Directed by Walt Jones

Nightly: December 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 7:30 p.m.

Matinees: December 6, 7, 13, 14, 2 p.m.

Take advantage of our Free Ticket Offers:

Ticket Thursdays: FREE/CSU Students: Dec. 4, 11

Ticket Sundays: FREE/Community Members: Dec. 7, 14

About Walt Jones:

Walt Jones, who joined the CSU Theatre program in 2006, is a 1975 graduate of the Yale School of Drama. As a teacher of acting and directing, he has served on the faculty at Yale School of Drama, and University of California, San Diego. He has directed twice on Broadway, six plays off-Broadway, including the American premiere of Howard Barker’s No End of Blame at Manhattan Theatre Club, and more than 60 plays in more than 20 regional theatres from Cambridge to Fairbanks and productions in Soviet Russia and Tokyo. Among the many actors Walt has directed are Meryl Streep, Roc Dutton, John Turturro, Tony Shaloub, Nathan Lane, Liev Schreiber, Angie Bassett, Christopher Walken, Jason Alexander, Michael Gross, Lindsey Crouse, Linda Hunt, Sigourney Weaver, Peter MacNicol, Frances Conroy, Ricardo Antonio Chavira and Lewis Black.

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of art, dance, music, and theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

For more information, visit UCA.colostate.edu.

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Update on community safety concerns

The following communication was sent to all faculty, staff and students on Nov. 21. Campus Colleagues, As most of you are well aware from our previous emails and area news reports, the Fort Collins Police and Larimer County Sheriff are actively investigating a series of attacks that have occurred off campus over the last several months. While none of these attacks have happened at CSU, our community has nonetheless been impacted – and such incidents create real tension and fear over personal safety and security. We are writing today simply to reiterate that this case is receiving the full attention and focus of area law enforcement. Although this is not a CSUPD investigation, our campus force has been closely involved in working with local authorities – and we can attest to the seriousness and deep concern with which local police are pursuing this matter. This is a series of what appear to be random crimes of opportunity impacting our entire Fort Collins community, not just the student population, and solving it is an extremely high priority. At the same time, we know that this reassurance only goes so far and can ring a little hollow. We all want more information than we have, and more than the police are able to share without jeopardizing their investigation. The truth is that what we all really want to know is just that a suspect is in custody. Short of that, there isn’t much that any of us can say that will really address the fears and anxieties we face. But it is worth reiterating at every opportunity that this university places very high priority on the right to work, study, and live without fear of violence and personal attack. This is and should be an expectation of all members of our campus community, and incidents that impede our ability to feel safe, to succeed, and to fully engage in the life of our university cannot be tolerated. We cannot eliminate the reality of crime and criminal behavior from this or any community. But we can take measures, personally and together, to heighten our common safety and reduce risk of harm to any one of us. In that spirit, we want to once again share the following information: * One of our greatest safety assets at CSU is the longstanding SafeWalk program, and more and more people are taking advantage of this option for a safe escort home, across campus, or to a vehicle. It operates daily from dusk to dawn seven days a week at no charge to any of us. Call (970) 491-1155 to arrange a SafeWalk. * Some women who bike to campus have also expressed concern about the risk of riding after dark and having to stop at stop signs and lights. SafeWalk will now also provide safe transit home for bicyclists who don’t want to ride in the dark – just contact SafeWalk and they will work with you on a safe transportation solution. MAX and Transfort can also accommodate bikes. * Speaking of bikes, our campus bicycle enforcement team focuses on bicycle safety and working to prevent collisions among different types of vehicles and pedestrians. With the early sunsets, they often may be working in the dark and stopping bicyclists who, justifiably, may be nervous about being approached. Here are important points to remember about our bike officers: They all wear clearly identifiable uniforms that are easily visible at night, and they will always identify themselves when requesting a stop. One thing we do know about this recent series of attacks is that they have all involved a sole perpetrator and a sole victim. Our bike officers, on the other hand, always work in pairs. In almost all cases, they won’t initiate a bicycle stop in an unlit area, for their own safety and that of the person they’re stopping. * Instead of walking across campus after dark, students and staff are encouraged to use the Around the Horn campus shuttle, which runs around campus every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. * It’s important that we all have an opportunity to talk through fears and concerns in a safe environment. Our Employee Assistance Program and the University Counseling Center are both available around the clock to listen and offer counsel on dealing with the complex emotions that such crimes bring up. The Women and Gender Advocacy Center can also be an exceptional resource. These are resources we all have access to as members of the CSU community, and they can be particularly helpful in times like this. * In addition, please heed the standard safety tips below: o Keep your doors and windows locked when your home or residence hall room is unattended. Keep your curtains drawn for privacy. o Report to police anyone who is behaving suspiciously by calling 911 from campus to reach CSUPD, or 911 off campus to reach Fort Collins Police Services. o In all situations, be aware of your surroundings and the people you are with, and leave a situation if it is making you uncomfortable. o Take care of yourself and others. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be and who you’ll be with. Trust your instincts. When you feel uneasy, get out of the situation immediately and help friends who also may need to get out of a situation. o Consider using the buddy system and travel in groups. It is also a good idea to carry a cell phone, stick to well-traveled areas and carry a flashlight after dark.   This series of attacks notwithstanding, Fort Collins remains a relatively safe environment in which to live and work, and the CSU campus itself is just as safe, if not even more so because of the resources we have available. We will continue to update the campus as more information about these incidents becomes available, and we also encourage people to use the safety.colostate.edu site for information and guidance on available resources. Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday. The CSU Public Safety Team  

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