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Backstage Theater: Unpack with Murphy

Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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BRECKENRIDGE ” Travel a trip of 32 years in the span of 90 minutes through the Backstage Theatre’s latest show, “Crazy Bag.”

Murphy Funkhouser takes us through a cosmic cleansing of sorts, asking the audience to be there with her as she unpacks the baggage she’s accumulated since childhood. The task includes taking a look at her longtime companion, the closet heathen, her beloved Plymouth Acclaim, more poignant moments of birth and death along with the escapades of a rebellious preacher’s daughter.

Funkhouser, the sole performer in the show, was simply looking for a script to perform as an actress when she sat down with the company’s artistic director Chris Willard for lunch about a year ago. Yet as she got started talking about her own life, her own show began to form.



Willard advised Funkhouser that the stories she was telling him were worthy of being told on stage, and so she began to write.

“I started a year ago writing down everything and anything I could remember ” vignettes and moments in my life,” Funkhouser said. With about 400 pages, she then had to cut it down, a process she called “sorting and finding the gems.”



She described putting her life on stage as “horrifying,” but said, “I’m willing to put myself out there because I believe the story can touch other people.”

Although she’s the only one on stage, her many life transitions and alter egos round out this performance, which Funkhouser’s already won awards for. The Backstage debuted an abbreviated version of “Crazy Bag” at the Colorado Community Theatre Festival competition, with Funkhouser winning an all-state actress award, Willard took home a best director award and the show got best set design.

Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or lbrefeld@summitdaily.com.



– “The Hobbit,” Breckenridge Theatre, July 6 at 7 p.m., July 7 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Following dates are at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays: July 8, July 21-22; Aug. 4-5, Aug. 18-19; and Sept. 1-2.

Trolls, goblins, spiders ” and a dragon named Smaug. Join Bilbo Baggins on his greatest adventure in a new adaptation of the beloved Tolkien classic. Directed by Geoffrey Kent. Tickets are $8. (970) 453-0199.

– “Smell of the Kill,” Breckenridge Theatre at 7:30 p.m. July 20-22; August 2-5, 16-19.

Three “desperate” housewives face a life-and-death decision when their bothersome husbands accidentally get locked in a basement meat locker. Should they leave the men out in the cold ” permanently ” or let them thaw? Directed by John Ashton. Tickets are $15. (970) 453-0199.

– “The Sound of Music,” Breckenridge Theatre on Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The immortal Rodgers and Hammerstein musical comes to life on the Riverwalk Stage. Directed by Scott Lubinski. Tickets prices vary from $22-$18 for adults and $11-$9 for children under 12. (970) 453-0199.


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