The Millibo Art Theatre (originally the Manitou Art Theatre) was founded in 2001 by Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree to provide new and original live performances in an intimate, accessible theatre for audiences of all ages in the Pikes Peak region. Having performed extensively internationally and throughout the U.S., Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree had experienced many successful theatre models in action. They recognized the powerful impact new work can have on a community as it engages audiences in relevant dialogue, challenges and supports artists in the creation of new work and invites audience participation and community participation in entirely fresh and dynamic ways.
Recognized as an arts leader in the community, with numerous award-winning shows and exciting community collaborations, the MAT fills a unique niche in the Pikes Peak region as it explores new avenues for empowering and engaging artists, audiences and the community in the creation and appreciation of new theatre. For the past thirteen years the MAT has presented adventurous theatre productions that impact the imagination, widen the world view and reveal our common humanity.
The MAT offers the community a unique opportunity to experience the best new theatre from around the nation; provides Colorado artists with a home where they are encouraged and challenged to create new work; welcomes children and adults into the creative process through dynamic workshops with professional performing artists and brings the work outside the theatre’s walls through extensive touring and arts residencies.
- Best Performing Arts Center – Colorado Springs Independent – ‘Best Of The Springs’ 2015
- Best Theatre Company – Gazette ‘Best Of The Springs’ – Silver Medal 2012 & 13, Bronze 2015
- Bee An Arts Champion Award – Bee Vradenburg Foundation – 2010
- Courage, Vision & Achievement In The Arts Award – Pikes Peak Arts Council – 2006
- Community/Professional Theatre Award – Alliance For Colorado Theatre – 2005
- Best Actress – Gazette ‘Best Of The Springs’ – Voters Choice – Gold Medal 2013, 2014, 2015
- Best Actor – Gazette ‘Best Of The Springs’ – Voters Choice – Gold Medal 2013
- Best Original Production – Pikes Peak Arts Council – (Signature) – 2008
- Best Local Actor & Actress – Gazette ‘Best Of The Springs’ – Gold Medal 2008
- Best New Play – Gazette ‘Best Of The Springs’ (Hut) – Gold Medal 2007
Birgitta De Pree –
Birgitta De Pree received her MFA in performance from the National Theater Conservatory and has spent the last two decades working throughout Colorado as a performer, director and educator. Fourteen years after founding the MAT, Birgitta still believes that theatre is one of those magical places where we “wake-up and remember why we’re here”. Birgitta enjoys performing both at the MAT and throughout the community. She was recently seen at the Fine Art Center in “Love Loss & What I Wore”, “Noises Off” and “Other Desert Cities.” In 2008, she and husband Jim Jackson won the PPAC award for Best Original Production (“Signature”) and she received the People’s Choice for ‘Best Actress” from the Gazette’s “Best of the Springs” in 2012 and “Best Actress” in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She is thrilled to be sharing this adventure with her very funny, smart and loving family!
Jim Jackson –
Jim Jackson has been adventuring in circus and theatre since 1976. Along the way he has had a great deal of fun directing, creating and performing in over thirty original productions for children and adults. He is an acclaimed clown who has toured extensively with his award-winning solo shows Mimic Sole, Impossible Balance and Art Guffaw. Jim has performed at New York’s Lincoln Center, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, London’s Royal Festival Hall , the Edinburgh Fringe, a food court in Singapore and at thirty five International Children’s Festivals throughout the world. His writing credits include “Gods, Guns and Pancakes”, The Canon City Trilogy (“Stick Guns”, “Royal Buckskin” and “HUT”), Rubes and Luddites and The Hats of Mr. Zenobe. Known for his collaborative work as a director and writer, Jim has created national touring shows with Tomas Kubinek, Robert Astle and Rebecca Buric. He wishes to thank Birgitta De Pree and his three daughters for his best comic material.
Board of Trustees
Sara Barad (Board Trustee) Sara’s work in program management and foundation administration was locally recognized when she was named a 2014 Rising Star by the Colorado Springs Business Journal, and nationally recognized when Sara was invited to present at the 2014 MicroEdge Solutions Conference in Miami. Outside of work, Sara serves on the boards of the Millibo Art Theatre and ForSight, performs with the RiP Improvisational Comedy Troupe, and plays a mean ukulele.
Bill Bowers (Board Trustee) is an award-winning actor, and has performed in all 50 United States and Puerto Rico appearing on the stages of Broadway, The Kennedy Center, The White House, Steppenwolf, LaMaMa, Theatre for a New Audience, St. Anne’s Warehouse, Urban Stages, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Radio City Music Hall, HERE, and the New York International Fringe Festival. His Broadway credits include Zazu in The Lion King and Leggett in The Scarlet Pimpernel. He has also portrayed the great silent clowns: Charlie Chaplin in the world premiere of Little Tramp, Pierrot in the world premiere of Beethoven N Pierrot, and Petruchka with The Colorado Symphony. A passionate student and educator, Bowers studied with the legendary Marcel Marceau and currently serves on the faculties of New York University, Neighborhood Playhouse, Stella Adler Conservatory, and William Esper Studios. He holds an MFA from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, and an Honorary PhD from Rocky Mountain College.
LeAnne Carrouth (Board Trustee) has a long history with the Millibo Art Theater through the 6 Women Playwrights’ Festival and is inspired by the original work that the MAT brings to our community. In previous years LeAnne studied theater at Mary Washington University and the Circle in the Square, served as the Managing Director of the Smokebrush Theater and taught theater in the public schools and through community organizations. She now writes and directs at Bourbon Street Productions which she co-owns with her husband John Bourbonais. She finds the MAT’s insistence on taking creative risks and it devotion to serving the community to be the most compelling reasons to champion its mission.
Sol Chavez (Board President) has been a resident of Colorado Springs since 1970. He is the CEO of Chavez Tiffany & Ayers Engineering Corporation (formerly Sol Chavez and Associates, Inc.), which he started in 1979. Sol has served as a member of the City of Colorado Springs Planning Commission and presided over three local engineering organizations. He served as president of The Colorado State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, and the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department Board of Review and Advisory Board. He also served on the boards of the Star Bar Players and the Pikes Peak Flyfishers and was board president of the Colorado Springs Civic Theater. Sol is married to artist, director, actress, Eve Tilley. He is honored to have been appointed to the MAT Board of Directors.
“Eve and I are ardent supporters of The MAT because we believe professional performing arts are fundamental to the cultural growth and health of the community. The most important component and dear to our hearts is the educational programming they offer to the community.”
Scott Dorff (Board Trustee) and his family have been enthusiastic supporters of the MAT for many years. He is 21 year veteran of the United States Air Force, having served in a diverse set of posts at home and overseas. For the past 12 years, Scott has worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, consulting on a variety of defense related matters. He actively supports a number of other organizations including TESSA and the Yellowstone Foundation. Other interests include hiking/backpacking, cycling, golf and skiing.”
“Our family has benefited immeasurably from our relationship with the MAT. We got our start with the fun, creativity and exuberance of the children’s programs. Those programs had a profound impact on our son, developing within him a passion for the theater and a desire to explore other MAT-offered opportunities such as classes and workshops. Our support of the MAT soon expanded to the programming offered for adults. We’re thrilled with the productions that can now be staged at the new venue in Ivywild such as “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “K2” and other original theater that you won’t find elsewhere. Our lives are enriched each day by our experience at the MAT and we look forward to many new events in the future.”
Joye Levy (Board Secretary) loves the MAT and stalked Birgitta and Jim her first summer here three years ago until they adopted her into the fold. Since then she has often directed, sometimes acted, and is always reading plays to help curate the 6 Women Playwriting Festival. Joye teaches at UCCS in the Visual and Performing Arts Dept and often can be seen acting or directing at the FAC. Before moving to Colorado, Joye was the Education Director for a non-profit theatre in northern Maine (Penobscot Theatre Company) where she also curated an annual new play festival. Joye spent 10 years in the classroom as both a high school and middle school drama and english teacher. She also worked off-broadway as the Education Department Associate Director for The American Place Theatre. She is so thrilled that all her previous years in non-profit combat are paying off now on the board! She loves that the MAT has become a family home for her own little clowns: Ellie and Gabriel.
“The MAT is a place I come to see really really fresh work. It’s a place where artists are free to really take chances without a high financial burden becoming the mission of their work. New material, new themes, new artists. I can depend on the MAT for a Friday night I will get no where else – drink in hand and a punch of laughter about the unexpected. But it means so much to me that I can also depend on the MAT for a Saturday afternoon that is really hard to beat. One kid on my lap and one right next to me, popcorn guzzled down and more and more of the best kind of laughter- from my children’s faces.
My daughter recently shared about Jim Jackson….”Do you want a magician that just does magic? Or do you want a magician that shares laughing magic?” That’s it for me…..the MAT is “magic laughter.”
Stacy Poore (Board Trustee) is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. She came to Colorado Springs as a teacher at Wasson High School. After completing her MBA at UCCS, she worked for Current, Inc. in operations and customerservice. She has worked for the global headquarters of Junior Achievement and served as the executive director for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She currently serves as the chief development officer at Care and Share Food Bank where she is part of the team responsible for raising food, funds, and friends to feed people in Southern Colorado. Stacy’s greatest joy has been raising her two sons, Christopher and Parker, who are now grown and shining their light in the world. She volunteers for Junior Achievement, Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute, and is graduate of Leadership Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs Leadership Institute. Her life has been influenced greatly by her mother, Pat, who taught her the value of hard work and giving.