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1000 North Third Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611

Tel. 970 544-7929 • Fax 970-925-4188

For Immediate Release
Contact: Cristal Logan
Vice President, Aspen
The Aspen Institute
[email protected]
Tel. 970-544-7929


Theater Masters and the Aspen Institute present

Playwrights as Voices of our Cultural Moment

Examining the role of theater in a time of political crisis, social change, and revolution

with David Auburn, Abbie Van Nostrand, and Julia Hansen


ASPEN, CO, February 1, 2018 –– The Aspen Institute is pleased to partner with Theater Masters to welcome award-winning playwright, director, and screenwriter David Auburn (Proof, The Girl in the Park, and The Lake House) and Director of Corporate Communications at Samuel French Abbie Van Nostrand in conversation with moderator and Theater Masters Founder Julia Hansen. The program will also feature emerging playwrights from the top MFA programs in the country, and will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 5:00-6:30 pm in the Koch Building on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus. It is free and open to the public.

Clifford Odets’ 1935 play “Waiting for Lefty” made history when the final scene stirred the audience to stand up and yell “STRIKE!” Odets was able to tap into the political fervor of his time. What tactics do playwrights use to inspire people to action? What are the responsibilities of both individual artists, and institutions, in times of national discord? Lastly, how has social media altered the way we engage with the national conversation, and what can theater do to support and/or counteract this type of political participation?

David Auburn is a playwright, director, and screenwriter. His plays include Lost Lake (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Columnist (MTC/Broadway), and Proof (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award). His film work includes The Girl in the Park, starring Sigourney Weaver, which he wrote and directed; the forthcoming Georgetown, directed by and starring Christoph Waltz, with Vanessa Redgrave and Annette Bening; and the screenplay for The Lake House. Recent stage directing credits include Long Day's Journey into Night (Court Theatre, Chicago); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Anna Christie, A Delicate Balance, Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment, and Zayd Dohrn’s Sick (all Berkshire Theatre Group); and the Off-Broadway world premiere of Michael Weller’s Side Effects (MCC). A former Guggenheim Fellow, he lives in New York City.

Abbie Van Nostrand recently celebrated her 33rd Anniversary with Samuel French, the world’s leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals. Abbie is a creative and innovative marketing executive with a highly successful track record in strategic planning and partnerships. As Director of Corporate Communications, she oversees the company’s publicity and client relationships ranging from emerging writers to well-established authors, composers and lyricists. Some of the most widely recognized Estates such as Noel Coward, Agatha Christie, Thornton Wilder and August Wilson are among her clients. Abbie has formed strong alliances with national educational, community and professional theatre organizations and non-profits. She is honored to serve on the Boards of Samuel French, New Dramatists (President), Educational Theatre Foundation (Advisory) and the Darien Arts Center (Vice President). She is a member of the Outer Critics Circle. Proudest achievement are her three sons.


Julia Hansen served as president of the Drama League of New York, where she conceived and administered The Directors Project, a national training program for young directors. Her board services include The Acting Company, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the Lincoln Center Theatre, and the Advisory Board for Dramaworks in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the founder and Executive Director of Theater Masters, a producing and presenting organization dedicated to bringing distinguished theater professionals to the Roaring Fork Valley and to enriching the quality of theater education in the Valley.  On a national scale, Theater Masters is dedicated to nurturing, developing, and producing or causing to be produced the work of the next generation of American playwrights.  Its goal is to enhance audience understanding of, and support for, theater.

For more information on events open to the public, please contact Jillian Scott at (970) 544-7914 or [email protected], call the Aspen Community Programs information hotline at (970) 544-7970, or visit the Institute’s website at www.aspeninstitute.org/aspenevents.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an office in New York City and an international network of partners. 

4th of July Parade Waiver



PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  


  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.


The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort

Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).


                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other

liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.


                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July

parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.

      Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their

officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all

liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the

undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless

such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.


   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this


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