Lisa DeCaro and Len Matheo are a delightful, married couple who have been associated with the acting and directing scene in Evergreen for almost 10 years. Lisa is playful, energetic and passionate while Len is sincere, dynamic and determined.
They were previously professional actors living and working in Santa Fe. En route home from a seminar in Colorado and in need of something to eat, they simply took the very next exit and ended up in Evergreen at a fast food spot. Kismet! They were enthralled with the beauty of our mountain community. Several years later, when they decided they wanted to move somewhere new, one of them said to the other, “Hey, how about that cute little town we visited in Colorado?” And the rest, as they say, is history.
Lisa and Len quickly immersed themselves in the theater activities of their new community and became stalwart supporters of performance art in Evergreen. In 2004 they both earned roles in the Players’ production Sylvia. They have each served on the Board of Directors of the Evergreen Players, and Lisa has been president of that board. Nine years later, they both have also been involved in numerous theatrical offers as actors, and Len has also been honing his skill as a director.
Len has directed Brilliant Traces, the critically acclaimed Sixteen Wounded (also performed at Vintage Theater in Aurora), and the enormously successful, Parallel Lives (more about that later.) In 2012 he directed the regional premiere of Remaining in Orbit by local playwright Scott Gibson. He is scheduled to direct the Evergreen Players' fall 2013 offering, All My Sons, by famed playwright Arthur Miller. This play will tell the story of an American family caught up in a struggle between personal responsibility and duty to country.
Lisa has acted in many local plays but is best known for her hilarious performance in Parallel Lives which was directed by her husband Len and co-starred the equally talented actress and Evergreen resident Gail Montgomery.
When asked what is her favorite acting experience with the Players, Lisa quickly chose this play, and with good reason. First, she loves acting in plays that Len is directing. Second, this play was a huge success in Evergreen and was later taken to the American Association of Community Theaters (AACT) regional contest. The outcome was tremendous and helped catapult the Evergreen Players into the next level of performance and recognition in community theater.
The play won so many awards at that prestigious event that it is hard to keep track of them all! Lisa and Gail (for the first time ever for this event) were given dual awards for Best Actress, while Len won for Best Director. There was also an award for Best Ensemble and Technical Design. Len and Lisa were particularly excited about the Best Ensemble Award because it demonstrated the ability of their whole acting troupe to work effectively together as a team. Things got even more exciting when an international scout saw the performance and invited the troupe to be brought to Europe and showcased at the famous One Act Play Festival in Heidelberg, Germany in 2011.
Lisa reports that she has cut back some on the demanding schedule of constant rehearsals and performances that are a part of community theater, because she has fallen love with another role that is even more gratifying to her – being mommy to their 5-year-old daughter, Ella, who attends kindergarten at King-Murphy.
However, there is one Evergreen Player event which she doubts she will ever give up which is EPIC, The Evergreen Players Improvisational Comedy show which is offered twice a year, once in February and again in August. She states that she loves the opportunity to think on her feet, but she also has a naturally funny personality that surely contributes to the creativity of the format.
Meawhile, Len has lots of new challenges in the immediate future. Beginnning in January, 2013, he is now the Co-Executive Director of the Miner's Alley Playhouse in Golden along with Brenda Billings (also associated with the Evergreen Players). Miner's Alley is described as a well-respected organization that stages a variety of performances including farces, American Classic, and dry English comedies along with a particular niche of powerful Jewish tales. Len and Brenda are hoping to develop collaborations between Miners Alley and Evergreen Players.
If this all wasn’t enough to keep this dynamic duo of Len and Lisa on their toes, the also have a business called Courtroom Performances, Incorporated, which was begun in 1997 and is still going strong. They specialize in helping attorneys prepare for courtroom hearings and other litigation processes. Over the years, they have guided hundreds of attorneys from all over the United States to more successfully represent their clients through developing effective presentation methods.
Always the community activist and champion of the Players, Lisa closed the interview for this article by saying there is one message she really wants to get across to the Evergreen community. That is, “You do not have to go down to Denver to experience high-quality acting and directing. There are an unusual number of highly skilled actors and actresses right here in our mountain community. Support the local efforts to bring excellence in performance to our own community.”