BolderLife Theater: With “Heart and Soul”

30 Nov

BolderLife is excited to bring another year of fantastic plays to this year’s multi-media festival!

We have two separate performance days scheduled.

Today we want to introduce the director, the writer and the cast of the play “Heart and Soul”.


Logline: When HE loses his heart and soul, SHE tells him that it happens to everyone.  Can SHE drag him down the path of material distraction?
Playwright:  George J. Bryjak
Director:  Boyd McCollum
Cast: Joe LaFollette and Laura Lee


BolderLife Festival: How did you find the idea for this play? What is your message?George J. Bryjak Headshot

George: All my plays are the result of a question, a situation (real or imaginary), or an observation. The questions that inspired Heart and Soul were: Why are so many people indifferent to the ubiquitous suffering and pain in this world? How do they convince themselves that happiness is only achieved via self-indulgence, and that they have no moral responsibility for the well-being of others?


BolderLife Festival: What are you doing when you are not writing/acting/directing for BolderLife?

George: Living in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York state my wife and I spend a great deal of time outdoors. We are avid hikers and cyclists. With snow on the ground five months a year we also ski and snowshoe. I do volunteer work in our town and have been delivering Meals on Wheels and participating in a community lunch program for 10 years.

Boyd McCollum HeadshotBoyd: When I’m not directing for the festival, I’m kept under cryogenic suspension in a hermetically sealed vault deep under the Pacific Ocean.

Laura: I am doing stand-up comedy at any open mic I can find in town or figuring out new ways to put twerking in my set.

Joe: I’m part of a team at the Bovine Theater Metropolis called GleeProv.  We do half-hour improvised musicals set in a high school. I also write poetry and read at Open Mics around town.

BolderLife Festival: Why do you want to be a part of BolderLife? Have you been involved the years before?

George: This organization is very much in line with my view of life. I really identify with Heart and Soul. The play explores the tension between wanting to make a difference in the world, while at the same time feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of problems we face. It sets up a beautiful dialect in a fun way with a touch of absurdity the I find insightful and believe will appeal to the audience.

Boyd: This my second year with the festival. I wanted to be involved because of the all the people who are working to make the festival an exciting venue for film and theatre. From Erin Kelly, to Dawn Bower (who I’m working with on the theatrical program of BLF), to all the other artists and staff, everyone exemplifies in person, and by their commitment and passion, what the festival means.

Laura: This is my first year with BolderLife.  It’s a great gathering of creative and curious minds.  I lucked out getting to work with Boyd and Joe.  We are a fearsome threesome.

Joe: It’s important for me as an actor to be involved in all kinds of local projects.  From improv, to full productions, to new works like this one.  They keep me in touch with Denver’s Theatre community and keep me growing as an actor.


BolderLife Festival: What do you think about BolderLife’s heart and soulvision/mission statement? 

George: I wholeheartedly agree with this organization’s vision statement, especially the following: “We believe in the power of standing and facing the truth with integrity, no matter how that truth manifests itself in tenderness, love, rage, or despair.”

Boyd: I like it :) Nothing more really needs to be said, but I can imagine Erin rolling her eyes! So for Erin, I’d say the vision of the festival is universally timely. We often hear in the news how we need to have a conversation on some topic. It could be what to do with education, or immigration, or any number of things. But how does a society, especially one of 300 million people, have a conversation? It’s through the arts. Whether it’s film, theater, music, dance, or painting, it is art that is the conduit for that conversation. Art articulates the issues involved in human terms. It expresses the reality of the choices we have and the consequences of choices we’ve made. The BolderLife Festivals understands this and meets it head on. I have tremendous respect for what BLF and Erin are doing. It’s hard work, but important work.

Laura: It provokes wonder and insight.  It presents a comfortable place to hang your hat but still go full throttle, raging extrovert on your dreams.

Joe: It’s important to be a part of bourgeoning festivals/organizations like this one that are expanding the range of Theatre/Film in the community.  This is my first year with BolderLife.


BolderLife Festival: What would you say to the world: Why should people come to the festival?

George:heart and soul2 To experience how BolderLife’s vision is presented via the arts, to ask themselves (and answer) questions raised by the performances, to meet like-minded people, and to have a good time.

Boyd: They’ll be entertained and have fun. The icing on the cake is that they will be able to engage in a meaningful dialog in an intimate way. But the cake is the experience itself. The programs being put on are amazing and people will have a great time!

Laura: Cause you can grab a drink, see some great plays, some awesome dance and say you were part of the magic.  Maybe learn, maybe laugh, maybe get a new perspective on the world.

Joe: It’s important to take big risks in art.  I think that BolderLife is an important step towards bringing the Theatre/Film community out of it’s comfort zone.


BolderLife Festival: Do you live a BolderLife? What do you personally think how to live a bolder life?

George: To a certain extent I live a bolder life. As much as I should, could? No. But I like to believe I’m moving in that direction. Living a bolder life means thinking about the myriad social, economic, and political problems in this world, then acting, even in a small way, to alleviate these problems. Acting on these issues is the key, without concerted action nothing will change, at least not for the better.

Boyd: Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. It’s hard when the day-to-day commitments of life keep popping up with endless tasks that can never be finished. It feels like there’s an overseer standing behind me yelling “How many widgets did you make today?? Make more. More!” And more is never enough. But there are times when I break through that. Do some writing. Put on a screening of a documentary film to raise awareness for a deadly disease. Help a friend with a dream project. Or direct for BolderLife … like I am now (laughs).
The thing is, a bolder life doesn’t need to be grand and spectacular. It’s about living meaningfully in the moment. It’s about imagining. An example would be going to the moon. At the human level it wasn’t that extraordinary. It took thousands and thousands of people working step by very small step for years to bring it about. If you took a snapshot of any moment of the process, nothing looked spectacular. Even astronauts flying to the moon were just 3 guys in economy class sitting looking at dials. When they spoke to mission control it wasn’t “Wow! We’re doing something great!” – it was really mundane — “Fuel is at 15. Pressures nominal.” Stuff like that.
But in reality we were going to the fracking moon! How amazing is that? What was amazing was the imagining of the journey in the first place, and the connected purpose behind each of those tiny steps by thousands of people. That is a bolder life. We don’t have to go to the moon, we just need to imagine something outside of ourselves that can make our world a better place, even a local park that needs sprucing up or an elderly neighbor that needs help fixing a broken door. It doesn’t take much. It’s not a burden to do. But if a 100 people did it, if a hundred thousand or a hundred million people started doing it, the world would change.
That would be a bolder world!

 Laura: I continuously catapult myself into big experiences that scare or challenge me.    I thrive on feeding my three headed beast:  writing, comedy, acting.  Art, emotion and fun.  And I welcome any wildly unrestrained foot race.

Joe: We need art to entertain us in order to release some of the stress and anxiety of everyday life.  But we also need it to present us with something totally unexpected, to enrich our lives by giving us new thoughts and experiences.


Performance Location

Location:  Denver Crossroads Theater – 2590 Washington St, Denver, CO 80205.

The BolderLife plays will each be performed during both of the following dates and times:

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