In 2010, Mandy Stapleford and Jeremy Jones got married and built a stage in their front yard in Des Montes for the celebration. The atmosphere evoked memories of outdoor Shakespeare in Mandy’s hometown in Delaware—suddenly Teatro Serpiente was born. The “Serpiente” comes from the 80-foot snake sculpted and painted on the retaining wall of this former gravel pit. The property is a showplace for Mandy and Jeremy’s medieval-inspired sculptures. The sloping, forested land with the studio, the house, and the connecting courtyard form a natural amphitheater.
Merry Wives of Windsor was Teatro Serpiente’s inaugural production, in 2011. When we first dreamed up Teatro Serpiente, we had no idea how great the response was going to be. Actors and wanna-be actors came out of the woodwork and suddenly twenty-two characters (plus 10 additional children) were cast. More than a play, it was a medieval event: period-inspired local food and drink, special prizes, tee shirts and sculpted mugs. In four shows, over 400 people were in attendance. Best of all, Teatro Serpiente raised over $2,000 for the Neighborhood Art Project and the Taos Community Foundation during that first production.
Although we have moved on from our early home in Des Montes to put up productions in venues all over the region, we remain connected to our original roots and commitment to presenting true community theatre. We have gone on to produce over a dozen other shows and projects, including the episodic live Taos sitcom Gorilla Romance and the original youth musical theatre project Keep it Spinning!
Comments from the audience: