FARMINGTON — The numbers are in and it's official: last summer's Sandstone Production offering of "Fiddler on the Roof" is a record-breaker. Fiddler didn't do it on its own, however; the Heather McGaughey Children's Theater's presentation of "Cinderella" also contributed to the record-breaking attendance numbers.

The 21 "Fiddler" and two "Cinderella" shows saw a total of 7,523 visitors, making this the highest attendance season in Sandstone's history.

"We made over $50,000 in ticket sales," said Producer Julie Baird, who credits much of the success to the choice of the well-known and popular "Fiddler," to the quality of the performances and to the artistic direction.

"I think 'Fiddler' was staged and performed so well, many people came back to see it again," said Baird.

Former San Juan College Theater Director Theresa Carson directed "Fiddler." He now manages the Theater Department at the Durango Arts Center.

Carson is encouraged by the record-breaking season, and credits the support of local theater lovers with the success.

"I think it's fantastic that Farmington and the Four Corners community provided so much support to Sandstone," said Carson. "The amphitheater space is such a treat and I'm glad it's being utilized. The high numbers are proof that people value and appreciate Sandstone."

For more than 20 years, Sandstone's program has run throughout the summer at the Lions Wilderness Park outdoor amphitheater, with audiences sitting under the southwestern sky while actors and musicians perform on the natural sandstone stage.


The Heather McGaughey Children's Theater, through two summer sessions, allows children to take the stage during separate performances at the amphitheater.

Sandstone Productions is funded by the city of Farmington and marketed by the Farmington Convention & Visitors Bureau. Due to funding cuts, the production company has needed to supplement city funds through ticket sales and private donors, so a record-breaking season is a welcome development.

"I hope the city leaders will continue to support the local theater productions," said Baird.

Sandstone officials and Carson are meeting Tuesday to discuss next year's season, and have yet to decide on which musical to present.

Co-Producer Shawn Lyle said the search is on for another musical with numerous well-known songs that would fit into the unique venue of the amphitheater, and said some titles that have been suggested are "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Pirates of Penzance," "The Sound of Music," and "Godspell."

"It will be a real challenge to find something to follow 'Fiddler,'" said Lyle. "It literally went through the roof!"