WrightOn at the Wright Opera House

WrightOn! Fall 2018

It Takes A Village...

It takes a village would be an understatement for the efforts of our donors, volunteers, staff, and board of directors in moving the Wright Opera House closer to completion of our restoration in service of our mission. Preserving, restoring, and adding 21st-century technology to historic 19th-century buildings does not happen without setbacks. Nor does it happen without the full support of a dedicated community. Thank you for your perseverance and dedication to the Wright. Your generous contributions of dollars, time, materials, labor, and love is making the Wright right again! ~ Nancy Nixon- Board President


A huge thank you to Jim Schmidt and Sally Gould for their generous donation of $50,000 to be used for updating and replacing the electricals at the Wright. Jim and Sally have been regular donors for the past 4 years, and their generosity has helped make possible purchasing and wiring new state-of-the-art lighting! Jim and Sally are summer visitors to Ouray County, hailing from Ocala Fla, where Jim is a distributor for parts for classic cars. They first visited Ouray in 1970 and decided they would eventually like to return and in 1985 they bought their house just outside of Ouray. Jim says the thing that drew him and Sally to the Wright was the effort to restore and maintain a historic building in Ouray. Their commitment to the Wright is most appreciated.

The fundraising efforts for the remodel of the building continue with a grant application to El Pomar Foundation for $70,000. The first week of July, board members from the Telluride Foundation, also funders of our remodel, visited us to see the progress we have made to date.

The Wright has a stellar programming schedule for the next six months including theater, music, art exhibits, dance, lectures, and our Wednesday night movies. To help pay for this programming, local businesses have sponsored the events and paid for pre-movie advertising. Thanks to the following businesses and individuals for making it possible to bring high quality programming to our area.

Better Real Estate, Comfort Inn, John and Suzie Meltzer, Little Bucket of Flowers, Mountain Fever, Ouray Real Estate Corp., Ouray Toys, Outlaw Restaurant, Purple Peacock. BluePear/Bloom, Buckskin Booksellers, China Clipper, Columbine Gifts, Ducketts Market, Elevate Day Spa, High Country Leather, Khristopher’s Culinaire, Matterhorn Motel, Ouray Dog Company, Ouray Hardware, Ouray Main Street Inn, Ouray Mountain Sports, Powder House at Ouray Hotel, Silver Lynx, United Country Realty, KJ Wood Distillery, Telluride Foundation, Ouray County Community Fund and Frank L. Massard Trust.

Progress on Renovating the Wright

Renovating the Wright! From above the rooftop, to below the foundation we’ve been quite busy with construction since the last newsletter. The old swamp cooler was replaced with new rooftop air conditioners. These new units are keeping the theater space much more comfortable, even during warm summer performances.

Digging out the Wright

We dug under the back of the building out to the alley to install all new electric service, fiber-optic internet and new sewers for the new ADA restrooms. New wiring, plumbing and fire suppression systems are currently being installed throughout the entire building. If you attended the Melodrama during July, you probably noticed that beautiful new computer-controlled stage lights and house lights have been installed!

Loading up AC units on the Wright
Brick wall at Wright Opera House
Additional structural repairs to the brick and stone walls, as directed by our engineer, are underway. The lower (alley) level space is being converted into high quality rental units with expansive views to the west. Dedicated handicapped parking and flat wheelchair access to the elevator is being built on this level too. When most of the structural reinforcing and all of the requisite infrastructure work is complete, we will install the finish materials in the huge new street-level party space and in the new street level restrooms. Please stop in any time to tour the amazing renovation progress being made with the help of your generous donations!

The Heart of the Wright: An Update on Programming

Melodrama: A Wright Tradition

Melodrama at the Wright Opera House

This year’s melodrama continued the annual tradition of fun and hilarity in July at the Wright. “Big Trouble at Little Tomboy or It’s a Fool’s Gold if You Have It” told the tale of how Buster Fussbucket gets the girl and the gold. Of course, the villainous Phineus Pendergast plotted to steal both, but was is foiled in the end! We were so glad to add some new faces to our troop of regulars this year. With poetic justice being the standard for a melodrama, there are no surprise endings, but the antics in this year’s production had the audience laughing all the way to the happy ending! Another successful run of the melodrama this year brought three sold out nights and community members signing up for next summer’s auditions.

UpstART: Theater That Moves

After a successful debut last year with Jack Canfora’s Thanksgiving drama Jericho, and its collaboration with the Sherbino to bring Hedwig and the Angry Inch to Ouray County, UpstART Theater returns to the Wright this month with a No Holds Bard production of Shakespeare’s wonderful romance The Winters Tale. Like last year’s The Tempest, this is one of his last plays, and it is as if Shakespeare has decided to ignore every rule of theater, and create something entirely new. UpstArt’s performance of The Winter’s Tale was welcomed by a supportive community and we look forward to continuing this summer tradition.

And then, in October, look out for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Perhaps the most beloved play of the American canon, it reminds us all of the inestimable value of every moment. As always, UpstART will bring actors in from Denver, Chicago, and New York to play with locals and create professional quality theater right here in Ouray’s Wright Opera House.

Upcoming events at the Wright!

Ouray: The Four Seasons

Ouray: The Four Seasons

Ouray: The Four Seasons

A public reception will be held on December 7 from 4-6 pm at the Wright Opera House. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Dec. 7 - Jan. 31

Art Exhibit

Henderson Art Show - Ouray: The Four Seasons

The Wright Opera House and the Ouray County Arts Association will host Ouray: The Four Seasons, a photography exhibit by Ouray resident, Margaret Henderson, from December 7-January 31.

With a life-long desire to live in the mountains, Margaret moved to Ouray 13 years ago to experience the seasons, climate, and lifestyle of a small Colorado mountain town. She began capturing local scenes throughout the seasons, photographing the views as they existed at the time with little enhancements of the images thereafter.

Margaret has authored several books featuring her photography:

  • Ouray 365: What it is Like to Live in Ouray all Year Round.
  • Fall Colors of Ouray, a Coloring Book
  • Alpenglow: Light in the San Juan Mountains
  • The Dove’s Lesson

Margaret is a planning consultant, technical editor, author and photographer.

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The Wright Opera House is a 501c3 nonprofit, operating a historic venue and premier performing arts organization located in the City of Ouray. It is supported by event fees and by generous donations. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to the Wright.

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A gift to the community

A gift to the Wright is a gift to the communities of southwestern Colorado. The San Juan Mountains and the towns of Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, Durango and Telluride are world-class destinations for anyone seeking natural beauty. Let’s work together to make our cultural offerings rival what nature has provided.

Thank you for being a part of the Wright's success!

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We're working hard to make the Wright Opera House an open and welcoming venue to organizations throughout Colorado. We're also trying to restore a facility that is over 126 years old. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us! If you have some praise for what we've done already or some feedback on what we could do better, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Member of the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ouray Chamber Resort Association
472 Main Street (Mailing address: PO Box 17), Ouray, CO 81427 | 970.325.4399 phone
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