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Little mermaid makes a big splash

Audience of One, a community theater group, sponsored a 5K run to benefit an Aurora shooting victim. Young actors (from left) Jordan Rickerd, Taylor Muckel and Alaina Spangenberger cross the finish line at the race.

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett

Community theater with a higher purpose has a strong following in Castle Pines. A dozen young participants from the area recently appeared on stage as part of the cast of Audience of One’s “The Little Mermaid,” a stage adaptation of the Disney movie. And while the cast of the play is interested in working hard and doing their best, they are seeking more than applause.

“Our first goal is creating a safe environment for the kids, to help them feel valued and encouraged,” said Christine Kinsman, the executive director and founder of Audience of One. “The production is secondary.”

A Christian-based group, the name “Audience of One” refers to the group’s goal of pleasing God with their performance, on and off the stage. To that end, the group looks for ways to serve the community. Earlier this year, they sponsored a 5K benefit race for a victim of the Aurora Theater shooting.

“We conducted a summer theater camp at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church. That was the home church of Petra Anderson, who was a shooting victim. We knew we wanted to help,” said Kinsman.

And help they did. In just a few days, teenagers in the group helped to organize the benefit run in Highlands Ranch, raising nearly $5,000 for Anderson.

“Our teenagers do fundraising for community outreach every year. We were glad to be able to get something organized quickly,” said Kinsman.

The group’s Good Works offstage help build community so that the young thespians can do good work onstage.

Eleven-year-old Ashley Zbylsky, a sixth grader at Rocky Heights who played “Flotsam,” a nefarious sea eel, sums the experience up in just a few words. “This was such a fun experience, I made new friends and had an amazing time,” she said. “This is just something I love to do.”

Castle Pines had a strong showing in Audience of One’s “The Little Mermaid,” a stage production based on the popular Disney movie.



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