Auditions for Chicago are slated for Dec. 11 and 12. All roles are open. Those aged 16 and up are invited to attend.

Rehearsal:  Feb. 26 – May 2 (9 weeks- this is a 10 week span, but we take off March 15 -24 spring break)

Performances:  MAY 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2024

More info is coming in November 2023 – Watch this space!

Merely Players invites you to

A Masterclass in Auditioning for Musical Theatre

With a focus on Chicago

Instructors: Mona Wood-Patterson and Zachary Chiero


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Merely Underground : 789 Tech Center Drive, Durango

Tuition: $10, payable in cash or with check at the door. No credit cards accepted.

Pre-registration is not necessary

Wear clothing that you can move in and bring something to write with and on.

We hope to see you there!

announces open AUDITIONS for

Small Mouth Sounds

By Bess Wohl

Friday, September 15, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.

Merely Underground, 789 Tech Center Drive

All roles are open to area adults. Please see our website for character descriptions and audition requirements.

We are also looking for fun and capable people to be backstage technicians. We can train you. Please come to the audition dates for a tech interview or email us at  to express your interest.


Mondays – Thursdays from January 2 – February 8, 2024

If you have conflicts, please note them on your audition form. It is possible that we can work around a date or two.


February 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 2024

Directed by Zachary Chiero

Questions? Contact Zachary at

We hope to see you there!

Merely Spellers for the Win!

Yep, Merely Players is the Snowdown Spellebration Champion for 2023.

Let the Trumpets Sound ~


Thanks to Matt Bodo, Stephen Bowers, and Mona Wood-Patterson for their fine spelling acumen and to Paul Laakso, Conor Sheehan , and Jeff Graves for contributing their inimitable acting skills to the event.

Winners Announced For The 2022 Broadway World Denver Awards


Best Solo Performance in a Play – Zach Chiero for Buyer & Cellar

Best Supporting Performance in a Play – Zach Chiero for As You Like It

Best Scenic Design – Charles Ford for As You Like It

Best Lighting Design – Charles Ford for As You Like It

Runners Up in these categories:

Best Direction of a Musical – Mona Wood-Patterson for Matilda the Musical

Best Direction of a Play – Mona Wood-Patterson for As You Like It

Best Costume Design – JoAnn Nevils for Matilda the Musical

Best Supporting Performer in a Musical – Conor Sheehan for Matilda the Musical

Best Choreography – Dallas Padoven for Matilda the Musical

Favorite Local Theatre – Merely Players

29 August 2022


Masking in our audiences is optional at this time.

Recognizing that everyone has their own comfort level with audiences and Covid, which – let’s face it- can vary from day to day, we are offering our audiences the option to let us know if you will be wearing a facemask and prefer to sit next to others who are doing the same.

When you order your season subscriber package or show tickets, simply add a comment that you prefer to be seated near other masked people. Of course, we have no way of knowing how many other people will make this same request, but we can seat anyone who does make the request in the same area.

You can also call Greta at 970.749.8585 to make this request or email her

25 August 2022


We are delighted to receive the news that Merely Players was selected for funding in the first round of Lodger’s Tax: Arts and Culture Funding. The Creative Economy Commission granted the award to help with our expenses for THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE, which is the true tale of two extraordinary women of science.

We are fortunate to live in a community that values the intersection of art and science. Thank you, City of Durango!



Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bluegrass Sensation


Our Annual Spring Musical

Monday and Tuesday, December 5 and 6 from 5:45 – 9:00 p.m.

Merely Players is excited to offer the opportunity for community members aged high school and older to work together once again as we produce this incredible musical. Our cast approximation is 25 -30, and there are wonderful roles of all sizes available. We are delighted that we will be featuring a live bluegrass band.

Rehearsals begin in March 2023, and performances are in May 2023.

There are no particular roles set aside for youth. High School youth will be competing for roles alongside adults.

All Roles are open except that of Alice Murphy.


Billy Cane                              Tenor                         a young soldier returning home from WWII; an aspiring young writer; fresh, open, optimistic, charming, and a little naïve.

Jimmy Ray Dobbs               Tenor                         plays both age 18-20 and 38-40. Charming and intelligent; from a family of wealth and power. Falls in love with Alice.


Margo Crawford                   Soprano                    a young small-town bookstore owner; a childhood friend of Billy’s who now harbors romantic feelings towards him.

Mama Murphy                      Mezzo-Soprano       Alice’s mother. A warm, loving, sensible woman. Hardworking, with great inner strength and compassion.

Lucy Grant                            Soprano                    An ambitious, professional “modern” career woman of the 1940’s. Strong, forthright and provocative with a sharp sense of humor.


Mayor Josiah Dobbs                       Baritone                     Jimmy’s father; a political and financial powerbroker, an imposing and controlling presence; his desire to protect his family name leads him to the point of extreme and irrevocable cruelty.

Daddy Murphy                                  Baritone                     Alice’s father; an authoritative and a stern disciplinarian; devoutly religious, hard-working, a poor but proud farmer.

Daddy Cane                                     Tenor                         Billy’s father. A widower. Spry, kind hearted, lonely.

Darryl Ames                                      Baritone                     Young professional with a dry and officious sense of humor. Insecure, and perhaps a bit socially awkward, but endearing and innately likeable.


Must sing and act well. Many characters with solos and lines are scattered throughout. The Ensemble is a strong force in this production.


Showcased throughout show; can also be Ensemble members


We are also looking for fun and capable backstage technicians. No experience is necessary – we train.  Those interested in tech are welcome to come on either December for a tech interview.



This musical will have a fun and lively 9-week rehearsal period, beginning on February 27, 2023. There is no rehearsal from March 17 – 26 (9R spring break)

Rehearsals will typically be Mondays – Thursdays from 6:00-9:30. Rehearsals will last until 10:00 during the last week.

There will be a rehearsal on Saturday, April 8, from 9:30- 7:00. The entire cast and crew must be present at this rehearsal.

A rehearsal schedule will be provided to let everyone know specific times once the show has been cast.

Show Runs:

MAY 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 7:00 pm

MAY 7, 14, and 21 at 2:00 pm

You must be able to attend all performances.

For youth, this show is a production class. The tuition fee is $300 and includes all rehearsals and shows. For adults, this is a volunteer experience.

Please be sure to write down or discuss any known conflicts with the director – sometimes, it’s possible we can work around a conflict or 2 if we know in advance. You will not be considered if you cannot make it to ALL rehearsals in the last two weeks and all performances.

The show will be directed by Mona Wood-Patterson and Mary-Catherine McAlvany, choreographed by Mary-Catherine McAlvany, musically directed by Paula Millar, designed and tech directed by Charles Ford, and stage managed by Katy Schneider.


Monday and Tuesday, December 5 and 6 from 5:45 – 9:00 p.m. Everyone auditioning can appear at 5:45 on either date.


Callbacks by invitation only are on Thursday, Dec. 8

If you are unable to attend either audition, you may submit your audition via video to no later than Tuesday, December 6, 2023. Naturally, it is to your advantage to appear in person.


MERELY UNDERGROUND – 789 Tech Center Drive



At your audition, you should come prepared with 16- 32 bars of any song from the show. We are reaching for a high level of acting and singing. Choose a selection that shows us what you can do! We will have a live accompanist. You can bring your own sheet music or tell our accompanist what song and section you will be singing.

You may choose your own song or use one of these:

24 September 2022

announces open AUDITIONS for

Adapted by Ken Ludwig


Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, Oct 11, 2022 at 6:00 PM.
Merely Underground, 789 Tech Center Drive


As you remember, we lost The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 to Covid last year during our final dress week. Naturally, that was devastating to the company and to each individual involved. To honor the hard work that they put in on that show, we offered the cast members from MCM first right of refusal for the roles in Murder on the Orient Express. They have not been cast in specific roles yet, but will be placed somewhere in the show.

All of the male roles and three for the female are spoken for, but we are holding open auditions for two more female-identifying adults.

Audition sides are posted below.

Please be familiar with them for a reading at auditions. You may also be asked to do a cold reading from the play.

We are also looking for fun and capable people to be backstage technicians. We can train you. Please come to the audition dates for a tech interview or email us at

to express your interest.


Mondays – Thursdays, January 2 – Feb. 16, 2023 with no rehearsal the week of Feb. 6.

Show Runs: FEBRUARY 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 2023 at 7:00 pm

FEBRUARY 19 and 26 at 2:00 pm

If you have conflicts, please note them on your audition form. It is possible that we can work around a date or two.


FEBRUARY 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 2023

Questions? Contact director Zachary Chiero at


We hope to see you there!



August 12, 2022


We have an exciting artist in residence at Merely Underground. The brilliant dancer Javon Jones is filling the space with vision and movement, as he creates A Slow Crawl Towards Heaven. As a part of our Studio Series, we are delighted to host Taking Root: A Seed Showing, which will showcase his work on the piece thus far.

You can catch it at Merely Underground at 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2022. This will be a work-in-process showing and friend-raiser with the aim of building community, funding, and support around his new evening length dance theater work set to premiere with Merely Players in 2023. If you want to follow the show through its development, this is your first opportunity to do so. No reservations are necessary. Pay what you wish at the door. The showing will be followed by a short Q&A.

BIO: Performance artist Javon “Ja’Moon” Jones discovered his love for movement in his hometown of Detroit, MI. Following his graduation from Cass Technical High School he went on to train, traditionally, at The Juilliard School. During his college tenure “Ja’Moon” has performed works by some of the leading names in the concert dance community; Crystal Pite, Jose Limon, Bill T Jones and more. “Ja’Moon” took a leave from his formal studies to join in the thoughtfulness of A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham. He has had the privilege to dance works that have allowed him to move audiences from stages at The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Peter J. Sharp, and Ralph Freud Playhouse. “Ja’Moon” is developing his own sacred illustrations as an independent performance artist while also continuing to expand through his ventures as a bi-coastal freelance artist.

Pay what you wish at the door. All donations go to Javon, so that he can continue to create.

June 20, 2022


open AUDITIONS for

William Shakespeare’s Delightful Comedy,

As You Like It

on July 11, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

You can also submit a video audition if you are unable to attend. 

Follow the links below for more Information:

May 1, 2022

Merely Players’ Studio Series Presents:


Rehearsal dates: June 27 – July 1, 2022, and July 4 – July 7, 2022

From 12 PM to 4 PM

Performance dates: July 8 and 9 at 7 PM

Rehearsals and performances at Merely Underground

Age range: 8th grade through College in 2022-23


The Merely Players’ Studio Series is an exciting addition to our annual mainstage shows, developed with the intent of fostering local talent and providing theatre artists and community audiences with an array of theatrical experiences and opportunities. The Studio Series is designed to inspire artists who are a part of our artistic company to envision and develop their own theatrical projects, with the encouragement, mentoring, resources, and financial support of Merely Players.


Tell Me About This Show:

DAMSELS is a free opportunity to participate in a musical intensive experience where each actress will get personal coaching on voice and character.  The show uses original music numbers to tell the stories of famous tragedies throughout western literature from a female perspective. It features 4-6 female leads who are able to sing and act. The play is targeted at young adults and appropriate for teenagers, covering serious issues in a sensitive manner. PG-13.


Who’s behind it?

Anya Klumpenhower, a theatre major attending Covenant College, wrote this show by combining stand-alone songs with an abstract musical format. A Merely Players regular, she has previously guided youth theatre at DAC and at Troupe 1096. She brings her experience to direct and produce this show locally.


Who’s in it?

Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Lucy (Dracula)

Bertha (Jane Eyre)

Justine (Frankenstein)

Ophelia (Hamlet)

Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)

Desdemona (Othello)

Cordelia (King Lear)

Pandora (The myth of Pandora)

Eurydice (The myth of Orpheus)

Helen (The Illiad)

Calypso (The Odyssey)


We also welcome techies!



June 27 – July 9, 2022

Rehearsals 12 PM – 4 PM at Merely Underground. A Rehearsal Schedule with specific calls will be distributed before the first rehearsal.

Performances on July 8th and 9th at 7 PM

Directed by Anya Klumpenhower



 Submit auditions by May 15, 2022

Send auditions and any questions to

 For your audition, please submit a video of yourself performing around 32 bars of a song from a modern musical or pop song, preferably something with a more serious tone. Since this show is mostly singing, this video also serves as your acting audition, so make sure to be expressive in your body as well as your voice.

Fill out the following information and submit this page along with your video:


Phone number:

Age/year in school in fall of 2022:

Approximate vocal range:

Voice type (soprano, alto, etc):


List any schedule conflicts during the rehearsal period  (please note that conflicts may prevent you from being cast):

List any recent acting or singing experience, or attach a resume.

February 8, 2022

The Merely Players production of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 has been cancelled for this season. We will be contacting all ticket holders. Thank you for your understanding.

January 11, 2021

We are pleased that Merely Players won several 2021 Broadway World Denver Awards:

Best Direction Of A Play

Mona Wood-Patterson / Liz Gray – MEN ON BOATS

Best Performer In A Streaming Play


Best Sound Design Of A Play Or Musical

Anthony Kingsley – MEN ON BOATS

Best Costume Design Of A Play Or Musical

JoAnn Nevils – MEN ON BOATS

Most Anticipated Upcoming Production Of A Play


We appreciate the kindness of everyone who voted for Merely Players’ shows, and we congratulate the award recipients. Here’s to more exciting theatre in 2022!

January 1, 2022

Christmas Present dilemma solved! Give the gift of live theatre. You can buy theatre tickets for a specific show or a gift certificate for your loved ones to use at the show of their choice. With a rollicking comedy, a searing drama, and a hit musical coming your way within the next few months, Merely Players has something for everyone. We’ll send a gift notification if you would like us too.

Buy tickets online here or hit up Greta by calling or emailing her if you want to make special arrangements at / 970.749.8585

Merry Everything!

October 2021

Click HERE for more information about the John Westley Powell expedition down the Grand Canyon.

September 8, 2021

We are in the final stretch of getting Merely Underground ready!

Unfortunately, the continuing pandemic has impacted our season ticket sales. We were hoping that we’d be able to raise this money through our subscriber drive, but now we come to you to help us with this final push as we move forward with faith and optimism.

and are aiming to finish building our new space in time to open on October 1, 2021.


We are honored that Kate Ishay has set up a GoFundMe page for us at GO FUND ME 
Here’s where that money will go:

– Chairs for our audience
– Platforms and Hardware for audience risers
– Keyboard and bench for rehearsals
– Welding for safety railing
– Final electrical work
– Paint for the audience area
– Hiring a lighting professional to help us configure stage lights
– Purchase of stage lighting Instruments
– Ticket sales booth
– Purchase of electric heater for audience space
– Copying Costs first season (Posters, season brochures, programs)

No donation is too small, and we are grateful for every dime. If you donate $100 or more through this campaign, we will put your name on one of our chairs to live in the theater forever. You can also pool your money and donate as a group (for example Troupe 1096 Class of 2007)

We would be grateful if you would share this fundraiser with others.

We are, as ever, constantly in awe of your support. We literally could not do this without your passion and dedication. We Merely thank you with all of our hearts.

August 15, 2021

Time for a Merely Tour!

It’s been a year of demolition, construction, drywalling, electrical work, plumbing, building shelves and racks, moving equipment, ordering signs, inspections, designing, and painting – and now –  Merely Players is thrilled to invite you to an open house tour of Merely Underground on August 28, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Drop by any time between those hours for your 20-minute tour. The Players will guide tours in small groups, and you’ll have the rare opportunity to see the backstage areas as well as the main performance area.

Merely Underground is located at 789 Tech Center Drive – across the street from and north of the Recycling Center and Transfer Station. It is in the same complex as Village Auto and Best Cleaning. You can park in that parking lot or somewhere on the street.

No need to RSVP – just show up sometime between those hours. Although we will have our great ventilation system circulating fresh air, we are still requiring everyone to mask up for the tours.

We’ve been dreaming of having our own space for years.  Thank you for helping to make this moment come. Your financial support, words of encouragement, and love for theatre has sustained us during this challenging time.

We are excited to share our new performance home with you!

And, don’t forget, season tickets are still on sale on our website! We’re going to make some Underground magic!

Mona, Charles, and all of the Players

August 2, 2021

Registration is now CLOSED for MERELY ACTLETES, our Youth Theatre Club.

Youth who love theatre need to see and discuss plays as well as create them, and our art form has a magnificent legacy that is endlessly exciting and interesting to explore. With that in mind, Merely Players invites students in middle school and high school to join the theatre professionals at Merely Players for a variety of fun experiences. We’ll meet seven times over the course of the 2021-22 season, as we host lively activities and classes:

Saturday, August 28               12:30 – 2:30 PM

Backstage Tour of Merely Underground/Getting to Know One Another

Wednesday, October 6           6:00 – 9:00 PM

Actletes will attend the Final Dress Rehearsal of MEN ON BOATS. You’ll get the inside story on John Wesley Powell’s expedition, then see the show and discuss its unique format with the creative team. Oars Up!


Thursday, Nov. 11                   6:00 – 9:00 PM

Our club will learn a brief history of musicals before seeing the final dress rehearsal of our musical review, All Together Now!  It’s toe-tapping, heartfelt, fun education about the world of the musical.

Thursday, Jan. 13                    6:00 – 9:00 PM

This gathering focuses on the conventions of farce. We’ll learn about why this style makes people laugh; then, Actletes will get to see the final dress rehearsal of the hilarious play, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.

Thursday, Feb. 17                   6:00 – 9:00 PM

The Children is a searing drama about a nuclear disaster. The characters must explore notions of accountability, guilt, and mortality, and Merely Actletes will join in this riveting discussion with the creative team.  We’ll also get to discuss styles of staging and why a director chooses a particular style for a show.

Thursday, March 3                  6:30 – 8:00

Ever wonder what it takes to become a professional theatre maker? Tonight’s class is a discussion with people who are doing just that. They’ll talk about college, real world experiences, and lead you through some fun exercises.

Saturday, April 2                     1:00 – 3:30

Merely Players will be working on Matilda the Musical, and we are inviting the Actletes to help us make some of the props and set pieces. As an added bonus, our Tech Designer will show you how some of the special effects are created.

Actletes will also get a Merely Players T-shirt. Just Because You’re Cool.

Can’t make it to all of the classes? Sign up anyhow, and come to the ones that you can!

Instructors Mona Wood-Patterson, Liz Gray, and Charles Ford all have extensive experience teaching youth theatre. We love sharing our passion, our creativity, and our knowledge!

Tuition: $80.00. Register at by August 25, 2021.

For students in Middle School and High School

You’ll receive more detailed information about each class two weeks before it occurs.

If classes are cancelled because of  — well, anything— we will reschedule them or refund a corresponding portion of your tuition fee.

July 27,2021


Merely Players announces an audition for the role of Frank Goodman in Jaclyn Backhaus’ MEN ON BOATS. Goodman was a British man who was beyond excited to be in the American West as a part of the John Wesley Powell 1869 expedition down the Grand Canyon.

The role will be cast with a woman whose stage appearance is between 25 and 50 yrs. old. A British accent (RP) is required. Accent coaching is available.

Rehearsals are from 6:00 – 9:00 PM on these dates:

Mon. Aug. 23                          Weds. Aug. 25                         Fri. Aug. 27

Weds. Sept. 1                         Thurs. Sept. 2                          Weds. Sept. 8

Mon. Sept. 13                        Thurs. Sept. 16                         Mon. Sept 20

Weds. Sept. 22                       Fri. Sept. 24                             Tues. Sept. 28

Weds. Sept. 29                       Thurs. Sept. 30


There is also a rehearsal from 10:45 – 6:00 on Saturday, Sept.11

Performances are on:

Fri. Oct. 1 night

Sat. Oct. 2 night

Sun. Oct. 3 matinee

Thursday, Oct. 7 night

Friday, Oct. 8   night

Sat., Oct. 9 matinee

This role is a volunteer position and will be in the opening show for our new space, Merely Underground.

Email Director Mona Wood-Patterson at for more information and to receive your audition piece and time.

We look forward to seeing your talent!

JULY 2021

Over the years, Merely Players has accumulated everything that we need to run a theatre except a building. All of our equipment, props, furniture, lumber, and costumes, which have heretofore been scattered across town in various storage units, is now housed under one roof!

We are delighted that we can now rehearse without having to move props and sound equipment and costumes back and forth at every rehearsal – in a space where we don’t have to work around other schedules and restage an entire show in two weeks. We can build our shows onsite; sets don’t have to be modular so that they can be moved and reconstructed; lights can stay hung on a grid; strike means taking things down the hall instead of loading them into a moving truck and unloading them in the dark.

It’s an unexpected pandemic blessing, and we have spent the past year working hard to renovate our new venue, Merely Underground, at 789 Tech Center Drive.

With audience and performer health and safety in mind, we’ve installed state of the art ventilation, a UV anti-bacteria/virus unit, air purifiers, and an ionization unit.

Ultimately, having this space will make our work more sustainable, saving precious time and energy that we can pour into our theatrical creativity. Magic is waiting to happen.

We can’t wait to show it to you. It is Merely Wonderful.

We are Merely Home.

All performances are held at our performance venue:

Merely Underground

789 Tech Center Drive

In Durango, Colorado

We do not receive mail there.

Mailing address:

49 Wedgewood Circle

Durango, CO  81301