Week 1:
Journey to the Mountains


Slater Fellow in Acting & Performance

Creede Repertory Theatre | Creede, Colorado

May 17, 2019

A long ride to the airport from Kankakee, Illinois; a jet, a private eight -seater passenger plane, and a hour and forty-minute drive from a tiny, little airport later, I finally arrived in Creede, Colorado. How could I describe such a site?

Dirt roads, a sky so blue, so clean and so clear, holds bright, fluffy, white clouds; when looking up at them, you can definitely catch a glimpse of Heaven. Oh, and the mountains; the mountains are absolutely within reach. They are so beautiful both from afar, and up close. In Creede, together you sit with them 9,000 feet in the air. They paint the sky with their peaks, still covered in bright white snow all throughout the summer. Creede is a tiny town but its character is at least a hundred times it’s size. As soon as I arrived, locals introduced themselves to me right off the bat, and let me know how excited they were that the theatre kids were finally here, and for all of the shows that are to be played this summer.

Doesn’t the sky look like a back drop?!

I’m in Creede, Colorado for the entire summer on a performance-based internship for Creede Repertory Theatre. I will be working as an actress alongside professionals from all over the world performing in musicals such as, Little Shop of Horrors as Chiffon; Peter and The Star Catcher as an ensemble member, and understudy for Molly, Captain Scott, Smee, Greggors, and Teacher; and Ripcord as the understudy for Colleen. Creede Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre that cycles 7-10 shows all summer long, and was named one of the top theatres in the state of Colorado. I’ve never done repertory theatre before; it is certainly a challenge memorizing three entire musicals at once, but is a challenge worth conquering.

I got to the theatre and saw my headshot posted among professionals. Can you imagine my excitement?!

On top of this, I will also be working as a teacher’s aid this coming June, here in Creede, for a couple of musical theatre classes. Also, only within a couple of days of being here, I have earned myself a gig at a restaurant called, “ARPS”, right next to the theatre. My new friend Alex and I will be singing and playing piano there for special events that happen all throughout the summer!

This is the restaurant my friend Alex and I got a gig at!

Speaking of friends, the atmosphere here in Creede and within the CRT (Creede Repertory Theatre) Company, is very family like. I feel very comfortable in my own skin when I am around not only the actors, but the costume designers, the stitchers, the front of house managers, the master electricians, etc. Everyone takes you in as their own, and enjoys spending time together outside of work. We already have a surprise party planned for one of my house mates this weekend. It’s been a refreshing kind natural friendship building that I’ve been in need of- for some time now.

Here are just a couple of friends that I’ve made in the CRT company! The photo on the bottom left is just of me out side of my house/ pod.

In just this first week and a half of being here, I have already gained insight and skills for working professionally as an actress “in the real world”, as well as how to live as an adult with no one looking after me. Time management is key, just like it is being at Cornell. I am in rehearsal for 8 hours a day, morning until evening. By the time rehearsals end, the only grocery store in Creede (K-Bell) is closed, which means if I need groceries, I have to wake up pretty early and go shopping for them. With that being said, I have to make sure I set time out after rehearsals, to run lines and music and make sure that I stay memorized; I have to cook dinner (and lunch for the next day), have social time, and have time for personal care, but also make sure that I get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I’m also currently learning how to grocery shop on a budget, and my roommate has been teaching me how to cook. I’m excited for what the rest of the summer will bring!

I think it’s amazing how I can go touch, climb, and sit on these beautiful, gigantic, mountains. Mountains, mountains everywhere! It’s so beautiful out here.

Kayla Johnson '22

Kayla is a theatre and chemistry major with a minor in creative writing from Kankakee, Illinois.