Day 18 Podcastic tulips true west award

Component GradientStart is not available in React's context. It is defined in agility, however. Please check React Dev tools for props.

'Like life, gardening is all about trial and error. It's about learning, experimenting and rolling with the punches. And it’s about celebrating your failures.'

Christy Montour-Larson, 'Upside Down Tulips'

By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist

Edith Weiss doesn’t like to hyperbolize. So when her friend Christy Montour-Larson suggested they start a gardening podcast as a way of keeping their creative roots hydrated during the pandemic, Weiss doesn’t want to say that it saved her life, exactly.

“But it did save my days,” the award-winning Denver director, playwright and comic said. “Now my days were filled with work, with writing, with research, with purpose. And when we did it in concurrence with our actual gardens growing, that just added another wonderful layer to it. Suddenly, I wasn’t just growing food for me and my neighbors. I was growing a way of connecting with other gardeners or would-be gardeners around the globe.”

What’s funny about that sweet sentiment is that when Montour-Larson first approached her pal with the idea for "Upside Down Tulips" last June, Weiss had no intention of following through with it.

“I said yes, but I didn’t really mean it,” she said with a laugh. “But the next thing I knew, Christy and her husband had bought all this podcasting equipment. That’s when I said, ‘Oh, no, now we’re completely committed.’ I’d have to be a total (bleep) not to do it.”

The concept was simple: Montour-Larson and Weiss, two of the biggest of the big-time theatremakers in the Colorado theatre community, are also recreational gardeners. “Upside Down Tulips” would be chance for the pair to share their epic garden failures and offer troubleshooting advice based on what they learned  – like when Montour-Larson planted her tulip bulbs, yes, upside down.

Side note: These two are much better gardeners than they let on. And they do their homework. So they do impart legit gardening tips. More important, these old friends share an undeniably warm chemistry that makes just about anyone listening want to throw on the gardening kneepads and sidle up next to them in the backyard dirt. Each episode is imbued with great conversation, surprisingly good gardening jokes, totally made-up comic commercials – and big bursts of laughter.

Like when Weiss asked her co-host: “What do priests and Christmas trees have in common?”

(Answer: Their balls are ornamental!)

Since launching on July 15, there have been 22 episodes of "Upside Down Tulips," with an average of 250 listeners a week. The podcast pulls listeners from 47 states and the District of Columbia. And in 28 countries on five continents, including Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland and Germany.

(The missing U.S. states: Alaska, North Dakota and Maine. Montour-Larson's theory: "We don't have any relatives there.")

Read more: Pivoting with Edith Weiss and Christy Montour-Larson

House of Pod True West awardsFor their efforts and impact, “Upside Down Tulips” was named “Best New Podcast of 2020” last week by the Colorado Podcast Awards – otherwise known as “The Hoppys.”

While many creative industries have taken a hit in 2020, podcast consumption is on the rise. According to Edison Research, more than 100 million Americans have listened to a podcast in 2020 – that’s 37 percent of the population over age 12, and up 5 percent over 2019.

“Colorado’s podcast community has grown by leaps and bounds,” said Becca Mendoza Nunziato, producer of House of Pod, which administers the Hoppy Awards. “In the past two years, we have counted more than 350 podcasts produced out of Colorado, and that number grows every day.”

Weiss takes particular pride in the award because, for the most part, podcasting is a young person’s game. “I think we were the only ones over 35 at the (virtual) awards,” she said. “It makes me so proud to be at this stage of my life and starting something new that people are appreciating.”

It was shocking for Montour-Larson to see essentially the entire performing-arts industry stop when the COVID shutdown came in March. Like thousands of other artists, all of her jobs (and income) dried up with it. But she found both creative and human renewal in her garden.

“COVID has taken so much control out of our lives,” she said. “But this podcast has afforded Edith and me the chance to use all of our theatre skills at once: Acting, directing, producing, writing and marketing.”

They also have spread the opportunity by writing a series of silly skits and fake gardening-themed “commercials” that have featured some of the biggest names in the Colorado theatre community, including Benjamin Bonenfant, Paul Borrillo, LuAnn Buckstein, Abner Genece, Drew Horwitz, Brian Kusic, Billie McBride, Emma Messenger, Michael Morgan, Leslie O’Carroll, Jessica Robblee, Jamie Ann Romero, Michael Shalhoub, Matt Schneck and Karen Slack.

Listen to KGNU's 'Inside Arts' with Veronica Straight-Lingo

In an otherwise awful year, Weiss and Montour-Larson have found something special in podcasting’s ability to connect people in isolation.

"You say these things into a mic and off it goes into the void,” Montour-Larson said. “And every once in a while, you find out how it is affecting people."

One lockdown gardener wrote to thank the hosts and tell them, "You two make me laugh, learn and find joy in this crazy time of weeds.” And that's everything to Montour-Larson.

"We started the podcast as a way to stay creative, encourage gardening and spread some positive energy in the world," she said. "It is so humbling that people are listening. We feel so blessed in such challenging times."

(P.S: And by all means, plant your tulips butt-side down.)

Note: The original theme music for 'Upside Down Tulips' is by Denise Gentillini; Mark Montour-Larson is the Audio Engineer, Editor and Sound Designer)


Christy Montour-Larson

About Christy Montour-Larson:

Raised in Minnesota, trained in New Jersey and now based out of Denver, Christy Montour-Larson has directed more than 75 productions from Shakespeare to Pinter to musicals to new plays. She is a multiple winner of Denver Post Ovation Awards, Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards and Westword's Best of Denver Awards. She has been a member of the artistic company at Curious Theatre for more than 17 years, most recently having directed "The Secretary." Other credits include "Two Degrees" (Denver Center Theatre Company), "The Diary of Anne Frank" (the Arvada Center) and productions at Creede Repertory Theatre, Town Hall Arts Center, Phamaly, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Colorado Springs Theatreworks, Local Theater, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and more. Nationally, she sits on the Board of Directors for the Seven Devils Playwright Conference in Idaho. Christy is also a Teaching Artist and Guest Lecturer. She earned her BFA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota Duluth and her MFA in Directing from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Visit her web site

Edith WeissAbout Edith Weiss:

Edith Weiss is an actor, director and stand-up comic, all of which informs her playwriting. As a comic, Weiss has toured the country and done three overseas tours for NATO and the U.S. military. As a playwright, her plays have been produced on every continent except Antarctica. She is the author of more than 20 youth and family theatre plays that have been published by Anchorage Press, Brooklyn Publishers, Eldridge Publishing, Pioneer Drama Service and Smith & Kraus. Her adult plays have been produced in Denver, Boston, Kansas City, Chicago, Albuquerque and more. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and a master's degree in educational theatre from New York University, which included one semester of study in Bretton Hall College in England. Visit her web site


DANCE DADS PODCAST• “DanceDad Podcast”: Five funny dads from the Colorado theatre community –  Chris Starkey, Paul Dwyer, Klint Rudolph, Brian Smith and Randy St. Pierre – offer up advice to fellow fathers on how to navigate pressing issues regarding (in their own words): “Your kids and the wives who stop us every step of the way.”

TWICE IS LESS MARRIAGE PODCAST• "Twice as Less Not Perfect: A Messy Marriage Podcast”: Married couple Emily Van Fleet and Nathan Jones take an honest look at marriages of all kinds. "Marriage isn’t either perfect or terrible. It’s this constant middle ground," said Van Fleet. "We began to wonder if it would be helpful to use the hard lessons we’ve learned in our relationship to model vulnerability and just let people know that they’re not alone."

REQUIRED READCAST PODCAST 100• “Required Readcast”: Denver improv comics, actors and fellow book nerds Jessica Austgen and Lauren Bahlman dive into their old schooldays required-reading list to see which books are still awesome … and which ones scarred them for life. (Spoiler: “The Outsiders” is great and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” can suck it.)

THE ACTOR'S MIND PODCAST• “The Actor's Mind”: Kateri McRae and Anne Penner from the University of Denver explore acting from a psychological perspective and discuss popular acting tools that are commonly used in actor training, rehearsals and performances. They then identify the parallel psychological processes that are likely in play when actors use these techniques. Guests include actors, directors, teachers and psychological scientists.

GHOSTLIGHTS PODCAST 100• "Ghost Lights”: Actor Sam Gilstrap hosts this interview-based podcast centered on members of the Colorado theatre community, most recently married Summit County legends Bob and Wendy Moore.

Onstage PODCAST 100• “OnStage Colorado Podcast”: Local theatre news and interviews with actors, directors and others from around the Colorado theatre community. Hosted by journalist Alex Miller, former editor of the Summit Daily News in Frisco,.

SUSTAINING CREATIVITY PODCAST• “Sustaining Creativity”: “Creativity is something we all use every day, whether we realize it or not,” says Mari Reisberg, who puts her degrees in acting and somatic psychology to work in producing this interview-based podcast exploring different perspectives on the creative experience. Edited by Max Peterson.

Note: Please report any missing Colorado theatre-related podcasts to culturewestjohn@gmail.com

Radio play: A married couple's Christmas in 'Wales'
Home,Reignite the Arts,Donate Now,Donate Now,Corporate Giving,Art Circle,2024-2025 Theatre Season,Renew,Visit Us,View All Events,Roland Bernier: In Other Words,Word Play,Lola Montejo: After Another After,Floyd D. Tunson: Ascent,Anthony Garcia Sr: Pigment,Pamela Webb: Hand + Hammer,Lauri Lynnxe Murphy: Seeing the Trees For the Forest,Pink Progression: Collaborations,Imprint: Print Educators of Colorado,528.0: Regional Juried Printmaking Exhibition,Wood.Works,Carley Warren: Three Pieces,Viral Influence: Art in the Time of Coronavirus,Brady Smith: (Don’t be embarrassed by) Your Trouble with Living,Melody Epperson: 100 Years + 1,Blurring The Line,Narkita Gold: Black In Denver,Art of the State 2022,One Sheet,Colorado Abstract +10: A Survey,Gary Staab: Second Nature,Flora: Scientific Botanical Illustrations of Colorado Plants,Art + Science,Jeffco Schools Foundation High School Art Exhibition,Wendy Kowynia: Following the Thread,Bueno: Mark Bueno,Denver Gay Men's Chorus: Divas, Icons and Justice Warriors,The Denver Brass: In Pursuit of Leisure,A Night at the Movies with the Colorado Symphony,Toad the Wet Sprocket and Cracker,Ramón Bonilla: The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me.,Keb' Mo',Boz Scaggs,Lucero,The Ladies of Soul,Ben Folds,Drawn: From The Source,Day of African Culture,Cleo Parker Robinson Dance presents Living the Lush Life,Face Vocal Band,George Thorogood and the Destroyers,Indigo Girls,Big Draw Colorado,Collective Soul,Rockley Instrument Sale,Allyship & Advocacy in Action: Supporting the LGBTQAI+ Community,Beautiful - The Carole King Musical,Fine Art Market,Holiday Pottery Sale,Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812,A Year With Frog and Toad,Spin Doctors with Cracker,Lyle the Crocodile,Mozart Under Moonlight,Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken Tour,Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder,Tower of Power,Corinne Bailey Rae,Preservation Hall Jazz Band,The High Kings and Gaelic Storm,Big Richard,Kaleidoscope,Denver Brass presents: Brass, Camera, Action,Denver Gay Men's Chorus: Shout!,Swing, Swing, Swing: Benny and Beyond ,Spring Pottery Sale,53rd Annual Jeffco Schools Foundation High School Art Exhibition,Matt Christie: Between Then and Now,Robin Cole: Genesis,3rd Law Dance/Theater,Emilio Lobato: A Mi Manera A 40-Year Survey,Latitude 37° Art of Southern Colorado,Colcha Embroidery of the San Luis Valley,The Laramie Project,The Laramie Project Talkbacks with Judy and Dennis Shepard,Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella,Hazel Miller and the Collective: Christmas with Soul,Noises Off,Exhibition Tour and Artist Talk with Sue Oehme,Latin Sounds From Legendary Artists,Big Band Royalty: Nothin’ But the Blues,Sue Oehme Inclusions,Artist Proof: Print Process at Oehme Graphics,I Regret to Inform You…Rejected Public Art,inFORMed Space: Perspectives in Sculpture,Salon des Refusés: Rejects Pop-Up and Performance Event,So…You Want to be a Public Artist: Navigating Rejection in Art,CJRO Presents: Lady Sings the Groove with Tatiana LadyMay Mayfield,Voices of Honor,A Tribute to Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops,Standing for Humanity in Gaza and Israel ,Orquesta Akokán with Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen,Kingfish,Yola, Community Cultural Celebration and Concert with Baaba Maal,Dining Partners,Amplify,Theatre,Upcoming Shows,2024-2025 Theatre Season,Renew,Performances for Students,Auditions,Galleries,Current Exhibitions,Gallery Events,Upcoming Exhibitions,Art Sales,Art Submissions,Sculpture Field,History Museum,Archive,Education,View All Classes,Summer Camps,Full Day,Summer Camp Performances,FAQ,Spring Break Camps,Classes for Kids,Classes for Adults,Ceramics,Front Range Youth Symphony,Dance Classes,Links and Forms,Arts Day,Arts Day Outreach,Ageless Adults,Scholarships,Yesterado,Yesterado,Field Trips and Outreach,ECE Field Trips,K-5 Field Trips,Middle and High School Field Trips,Outreach Programs,Preschool Partnership Program,Music and Dance,Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra,Summer Concerts,Humanities,Private Event Rentals,Caterers,Vendors,Straight Talk Series ,Straight Talk with Philip Sneed,COVID’s toll on Colorado theatre: 224 productions and counting ,Straight Talk with Lynne Collins,Straight Talk with Rod Lansberry,Straight Talk with Phamaly, Buntport, Colorado Shakes and Rocky Mountain Rep,Straight Talk with Creede Rep, Town Hall, Candlelight and Theatre Company of Lafayette,Straight Talk with Aurora Fox, BDT Stage, Cherry Creek Theatre and Misfits,Straight Talk with Su Teatro, Vintage, Backstage and Counterweight,Straight Talk with Local Theater Company, Theater 29, The Source and Equinox,Straight Talk with the Denver Center, Jesters Dinner Theatre, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue and Germinal Stage-Denver,Actors' union issues safety guidelines for re-opening,Straight Talk with square product, Forge Light, Springs Ensemble Theatre and Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville,Straight Talk with the Fine Arts Center, Miners Alley Playhouse, Dangerous Theatre and Lone Tree Arts Center ,Straight Talk with Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and Northglenn Arts,Straight Talk with The Catamounts, Bas Bleu and Thingamajig,Straight Talk with Curious Theatre Company,Straight Talk with OpenStage, Firehouse and Adams Mystery Playhouse,Straight Talk with Platte Valley Players and Theatreworks,Straight Talk with Parker Arts, Stories on Stage and Thunder River ,Staight Talk 2 with Philip Sneed: This much is uncertain,Arvada Center News,Getting to Know The Big Tuna,Getting to Know: Keith Ewer and his Hammered Dulcimer,Understanding Farce in Theatre,2024 Summer Concert Series Playlist Volume 1,2024 Summer Concert Series artists and who they sound like,Pivoting With,Pivoting with The Black Actors Guild,Pivoting with ... Emily Van Fleet and Nathan Jones,Pivoting With ... Tammy Franklin and the Curtain Playhouse,Pivoting With Nick Sugar and the Town Hall Arts Center,Pivoting With Helen Murray and the Aurora Fox,Pivoting with Edith Weiss and Christy Montour Larson,Pivoting With Scott RC Levy and the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company,Pivoting with Todd Debrecini for Halloween,Pivoting with Ashley Campbell,Pivoting with Meghan Anderson Doyle,Pivoting with Jenna Moll Reyes,Pivoting with Erik Fellenstein,Pivoting with Ray Bailey ,Pivoting with Tara Falk,Community News,Inside the Arvada Center,All About Printmaking Techniques,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Collin Parson ,Christina Noel-Adcock,"Bright Star" cast unveils video as message of hope,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Christine Moore,Humans of the Arvada Center: Steven Cogswell,Humans of the Arvada Center: Ashi K. Smythe,City of Arvada to install new sculpture in Hoskinson Park,Humans of the Arvada Center Jessie Page,Humans of the Arvada Center Cal Meakins,Humans of the Arvada Center: Adam Stolte,Supreme Court workplace ruling hits home for Lisa Leafgreen,'Time for talk is over': Arvada Center launch 'Amplify' series to raise black male voices,Humans of the Arvada Center Jon Olson ,Humans of the Arvada Center: Abygail Rosales,Revealing The Dialogue,Amplify Epiode 3 launches, series expanding to include black women,Photo Blog: Sweeney Todd Rehearsals,Humans of the Arvada Center: Gabriel Morales,Cleo Parker Robinson dances back in the box with Arvada Center,Amplify turns the mic over to local Black women ,Beth Malone bringing 'joy bomb' to Arvada Center oon September 4,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Emily King,Amplify Women Episode 2,Special Book Honors Special Dance Teacher,amplify-series-comes-to-powerful-conclusion,Take a stroll through 'Sculpture in the Field',Lessons from a summer of outdoor theatre in the time of COVID ,Humans of the Arvada Center: John Hamilton,Doreen Montalvo in Denver: Compassion and grit,Betty Hart's presidential promise: Build a bigger tent,Humans of the Arvada Center: Brenna Clendaniel and Sophia Koop,On being Black in Denver and all the colors that it brings,2020 True West Awards: Buntpivot ,2020 True West Awards: Lily Bradford,2020 True West Awards: The Scenesters,2020 True West Awards: Podcastic,2020 True West Awards: Phamaly takes 'Honk' to Japan,2020 True West Awards: Christine Moore,2020 True West Awards: Alive Inside,2020 True West Awards: Michael Ensminger,True West Awards: They Wrote the Book,True West Awards: Rent-A-Pals,True West Awards: Of Spacious Skies,True West Awards: Christopher Page-Sanders,2020 True West Awards: Suffer the little children,2020 True West Awards: Spirit of Giving,2020 True West Awards: Secret Gardeners,2020 True West Awards: Denis Berkfeldt,2020 True West Awards: Amplify,2020 True West Awards: Reclaiming One Star,2020 True West Awards: William Hahn and Jessica Robblee,2020 True West Awards: Lisa Wagner Erickson,20 for 20,Meet the Frasers,Lucy Roucis' final act is a gutpunch,Reunite the Arts Collin Parson,Jodie Steeves and Nancy Terry,Reunite the Arts Lisa Leafgreen,Remembering John Gratkins,Reunite the Arts: From our CEO,Danielle Johnson Q&A,Reunite the Arts Lynne Collins,The Show Must Go On,Diana and Mike Kinsey,Get to Know Kazu Oba,Meet Suzanna Champion,The Gear of Million Dollar Quartet,FRYS and the Symphony,Get to Know Carlou D,Stories From the Studio,Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Lares Feliciano,21 for 21,An interview with Geoffrey Kent: The Liar,An interview with Jada Suzanne Dixon: Stick Fly,An interview with Jessica Robblee: Animal Farm,Fast Facts About Kinky Boots,Costume Department Boots Up,Rod A Lansberry Announces Retirement from Arvada Center,Lynne Collins Named Artistic Director of Arvada Center Theatre,Getting to Know José González,Getting to Know Joan Osborne and Madeleine Peyroux,The Many Sounds of Carlou D,Setting the mood: Into the Woods Set Designer Brian Mallgrave,Into the Woods Directors Note,The River Bride Director's Note,What is Magical Realism?,Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Ana María Hernando,Meet Ceramics Artist Luanne Burke,From student to teacher: Hadley’s story,Tackling the Beast,Things to Know About Our Town,Creating the Look of Our Town: A Q and A with Set Designer Brian Mallgrave,Whatever Lola Wants - A Deep Dive into the Damn Yankees Signature Song,Selling Your Soul - A Pop Culture Favorite,The Book Club Play Reads,Metatheatre Elements in Our Town - When a Play Knows It's a Play,90s Throwback Vibe with Arvada Center 2023 Summer Concert Series,Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra at the Arvada Center,Opening Acts of the Arvada Center 2023 Summer Concert Series,Getting to know Baaba Maal,Big Draw Highlights,The Music of Keb' Mo,Getting to Know Lucero,The People at the Indigo Girls ,Listen to the hits of Carole King with this playlist,Carole King: The Writer Behind The Music,Songs inspired by Matthew Shepard,Summer Internship at The Arvada Center,Arvada Center journeys to Southern Colorado : A Photo Diary,Arvada Center and Colorado Chapter of Free Mom Hugs share the love,Costume Inspiration for Cinderella with Costume Designer Madison Booth,Getting to Know: iZCALLi and ArtistiCO,The Many Faces of Cinderella,Arvada Center awarded Social Impact Theatre Grant from Biller Family Foundation,The music that influenced the music of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,Volunteer,About Us,Ticketing Policies,Authorized Ticketing,Group Tickets,Ticket Discounts,Contact Us,Accessibility,Health and Safety,Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access,Careers,Tours,Adopt An Artwork,Temp,Land Acknowledgement,What To Expect at the Theatre,One Sheet Music,Gift Certificates,Privacy Policy,Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet Seat Map,Gala,Gala Sponsors,Errors,404,Natasha and Pierre Synopsis,Concessions,Summer Preorders