By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4) – UCHealth patients from across Colorado were treated to an evening at the Buell Theatre to see a performance of “Wicked” and meet some of the cast and crew Wednesday night. The events included the chance to see how the main character becomes green in color for the production.

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“I had no idea, just all of it,” said Faith Vigil-Schreder.

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She attended the show with her son and daughter, their family nearly died at the beginning of the year when they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Vigil-Schreder and her daughter were in New York City just days before and saw Wicked on Broadway.

(credit: Vigil-Schreder Family)

“What could have happened didn’t, and we’re really feeling fortunate,” she said.

(credit: Vigil-Schreder Family)

The family was excited to see the show and they were impressed by the “greening” process to prepare one of the actors to become the main character of the show.

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“That was very interesting seeing her get her makeup on,” said Mila Schreder, Faith’s daughter.

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Vigil-Schreder saved the lives of everyone in her family, including her children and husband, by questioning their symptoms when they were all feeling ill months ago. She Googled “carbon monoxide symptoms” and saw they all were showing the signs of poisoning.

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She rushed the family to the emergency department and got the medical attention they needed.

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“It still takes me off guard to think about it,” she said.

Sarah Fernandez is part of the company for the Wicked tour playing in Denver. One of the make-up artists form the production demonstrated in less than an hour how someone becomes the iconic lead role in the show.

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“This has been my dream role since I was 10 years old, I saw ‘Wicked’ on Broadway and I want to be just like the witch,” she told the audience. “The main character isn’t the one who is pretty and popular but fights to do the right thing no matter what.”

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The two demonstrated how makeup is applied in a room inside the theatre before that night’s performance. They explained the water-based makeup makes it so actors do not really notice it while on stage. But Fernandez said she usually needs a shower to properly get it all off after a performance.

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“She looks fear in the eye and dares it to come at her,” Fernandez said of the main character, Elphaba, in the show.

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An inspiring character portrayed by someone with a story worth sharing as well.

“It’s really rare that somebody gets a dream job that they’ve wanted since they were ten,” Mila Schreder said.

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The whole family also found inspiration in Fernandez sharing how she knew this was the career she wanted when she saw Wicked as a child. Not too far in age from Mila and her brother, Will Schreder. Fernandez says it is a special experience sharing this character’s story with those who have also faced similar challenges in real life.

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“They are courageous and beautiful people who continue to do the right thing and continue to persevere no matter what life throws at them,” Fernandez said. “The real heroes are the families I met here today.”

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Vigil-Schreder says Elphaba is her favorite character in the show and loves the message she can pass on to her children. Lessons in life that come from a performance on stage and mirror the actions of people making those same decisions every day.

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“She takes charge, she does the right thing, even when it’s hard,” Vigil-Schreder said of Elphaba.

Shawn Chitnis