Listen: A new play on a bus is really about healing the descendants of Colorado’s colonizers

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2min 16sec
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Control Group Productions actors David Ortolano (left to right), Bill Tall Bull, Patrick Mueller and Laurie Rugenstein perform a scene from “Breathing Healing Into The Banks Of Sand Creek” around a nearly hidden historic marker at the west end of the 8th Avenue bridge. May 5, 2024.

There's a stone historic marker tucked behind a concrete wall at the west end of the 8th Avenue bridge. You would never notice it if you didn't know where to look.

"Camp Weld. Established September 1861 for Colorado Civil War Volunteers," it reads. "Headquarters against Indians."

You won't get much more from the inscription, but there's deeper history in this odd place.

On September 28th, 1864, Col. John Chivington met here with Chiefs Black Kettle and One Eye, and other Cheyenne and Arapaho leaders, to extract information that the army would use to commit the Sand Creek Massacre.

A new performance by Control Group Productions relives that moment and others surrounding the mass killing in dark, often funny vignettes played out across the city. "Breathing Healing Into The Banks Of Sand Creek" begins by lining up audiences as if they were soldiers; Chivington, played by Control Group founder Patrick Mueller, barks orders at them as he sets the scene. Then, he marches them onto a bus that moves them from historic location to historic location.

Read the full story on Denverite.