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The new theater season in Raton’s Shuler Dinner theater and new stage planned for the Isabel Castillo building

by Carol Bridge

RATON — A meeting of the Santa Fe Trail School for the Performing Arts was held on January 12 in the Isabel Castillo Performing Arts Center. Howard Woodworth led the well attended meeting of local thespians and supporters of the performing arts. A parade of last year’s stars came to the meeting to hear about the new year and its plans including Annie (Sydney Elliot) Miss Hannagan (Brenda Ferri) and Daddy Warbucks (Rick Trice). Last year was a theatrical success with box office revenue and generous donations combining to bring the group into the black and eager for a new season.

Exciting changes in the Isabel Castillo building are in progress to create a venue for creating ‘dinner theater’ capabilities with some catering equipment and a new stage. The plan is to create an atmosphere of audience participation and for the audience to become part of the performance. Participatory theater will be an addition to the already full slate of community theater for Raton.

Plans for the new year include adding melodrama/vaudeville productions with flexible casting and dinner theater. The big production will be The Wizard of Oz – the call is going out for good and bad witches, munchkins, a tin man, lion and scarecrow… Anyone over the age of about 9 is invited to try out for the parts. The play will be in June, casting begins in April. Rick Trice will be creating a performance in the ‘Neil Simon’ style – a farce with actors ‘of a certain age’. Sarah Kowalski will be in charge of ‘ Pirates of Penzance’, a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. Sarah is looking for pirates, a major general and ‘girly girls’.

Questions? Call Bill at the Shuler, 575-445-4746 Raton is so fortunate to have this facility and tradition of theater – get involved as a volunteer, actor, part of the production team or as a member of the audience!


Howard Woodworth (center) led the January 12 meeting about plans for this year’s season. Photo by Carol Bridge.