Investigating the arts in Beaver Creek |

Investigating the arts in Beaver Creek

Sarah Mausolf
Beaver Creek, CO, Colorado
HL CSI 1 KA 10-27-08

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Eight-year-old Kingston Linider found himself strapped to a lie detector on the stage of the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

“Are you responsible for the injury to the magicians’ assistant today?” an investigator demanded.

“No,” replied Linider, who was dressed as a crazy stage hand in a black wig and bandana.

“Are you in love with Miley Cyrus?” the investigator pressed, throwing a curve ball.

“No!” Linider cried.

When the lie detector results flashed “false” on a large TV screen, a crowd of children in the audience burst into laughter.

Linider, a third-grader from Stone Creek Elementary in Avon, was among roughly 1,000 students who watched a pair of “CSI Live!” shows Monday. It was the first performance in this year’s STARS lineup. Short for Support the Arts Reaching Students, the program exposes students to the performing arts.

“We want to get as many kids in the theater as possible to be able to enjoy these programs and experience something they might not be able to be exposed to,” said Heather Florio, house manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

The Vilar has been putting on the STARS program for a decade. This year’s line-up includes eight shows ranging from an opera version of “Cinderella” to a musical based on the children’s book “The Phantom Tollbooth,” by Norton Juster.

For the first time in STARS history, the schedule includes a master class. Children can take lessons from acclaimed pianist Davide Cabassi.

Concert venues often have programs for youth, but STARS is unique because the shows are free for Eagle County students, Florio said. Teachers take their classes to see the shows. Contributions from the Frechette family, First Bank and Alpine Bank cover program costs.

Shows come with study guides teachers can use in the classroom. In one experiment that goes with “CSI: Live!,” students learn a technique forensic scientists use to find blood stains. Students dip swabs in different chemicals to see how they react with a solution.

Eagle Valley Elementary School teacher Amanda Barry, who brought her fourth-grade class to see “CSI: Live!,” said the show makes for a good writing prompt.

“The fact that it’s a performance, it’s a different avenue of presenting material,” she said.

During “CSI Live!” students helped the actors solve a fake crime. As the show unfolded, theatrical special effects like a magic show, videos flashing on two screens, and even an exploding watermelon entertained children.

Montreal-based company Mad Science Productions puts on “CSI Live!” Dave Rosetti, show manager for the company, said the performance teaches children problem-solving skills.

“We want them to learn analytical thinking and to not jump to conclusions, to cover all their bases before they come to any conclusions or decisions,” he said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

“Fables ” Old and New:” Monday at noon. Recommended for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Musical retellings of Aesop’s fables.

Master piano class with Davide Cabassi: Nov. 7 at noon. Recommended for children in grades five through 12. Cabassi won the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in June 2005.

“Amber Brown is not a Crayon:” Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Recommended for children in grades one through four. A musical based on Paula Danziger’s best selling book series.

“The Phantom Tollbooth:” March 20 at noon. (6:30 p.m. public show. Tickets are $11 to $14). Recommended for children in grades four through eight. A musical based on Norton Juster’s beloved children’s book.

“Cinderella:” March 31 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Recommended for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Opera Colorado brings the story of Cinderella to life.

“Junie B. Jones:” April 8 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Recommended for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. A new musical based on Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones book series.

“Darwin:” April 22 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Recommended for children in grades two through six. Electroluminescent creatures tell a tale of dinosaur love.

For more information, contact Heather Florio at or call 970-748-6643

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