• July: Colorado theatre openings

    by John Moore | Jun 30, 2016
    July openings Sex Tips
    'Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man' opens July 6 in the Garner Galleria Theatre. Photo by Jeremy Shaffer.

    NOTE: At the start of each month, the DCPA NewsCenter offers an updated list of all upcoming Colorado theatre openings. Companies are encouraged to submit future listings and production photos at least two weeks in advance to the DCPA NewsCenter at jmoore@dcpa.org.

    If July in Colorado means hiking, hunting, biking ... it also means a whole lot of outdoor theatregoing, from Boulder to the base of the Garden of the Gods.

    July is also when the nationally acclaimed Phamaly Theatre Company, which creates professional performance opportunities for actors with disabilities, presents its annual summer Broadway musical. This year, because of the ongoing renovation of the DCPA's Space Theatre, Phamaly will be presenting Evita at the University of Denver.

    The DCPA will be busy with three new offerings: Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man in the Garner Galleria Theatre, the national touring production of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical in the Buell Theatre, and a one-night-ony Diana Ross concert in The Ellie. Off-Center's immersive hit Sweet & Lucky has been extended through Aug. 7.

    July is a big month for Shakespeare. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival continues the rollout of its its 59th season with Cymbeline, while the Longmont Theatre Company tours its All’s Well That Ends Well, and Colorado Springs TheatreWorks returns with its annual  tented performance at the picturesque Rock Ledge Ranch in Colorado Springs. This year's offering is Antony and Cleopatra.

    Waiting for Obama, written by DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore and featuring a cast including Leslie O'Carroll, Laurence Curry and Chris Kendall, will be presented as free "open rehearsal" run-throughs at the Buntport Theater and Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins on its way to the New York International Fringe Festival in August. 

    There are many special events planned for the month, led by the Colorado Theatre Guild's annual Henry Awards honoring outstanding achievement in local theatre. This years gala, July 18, will be the first at the PACE Center in Parker.

    Also look for the first All-Colorado Theatre Picnic at City Park Jazz. Join your friends from throughout the theatre community for games, sack races, a balloon toss, a bar-be-cue set up and more, culminating with the regularly scheduled concert performance. The party, from 4-8 p.m on July 10, is free, but a collection will be taken for the Denver Actors Fund. For information, email organizer Tracy Shaffer at tracyshaffer1@msn.com.

    While many think of the summer as an primarily outdoor entertainment month in Colorado, there will more than 60 theatregoing options around the Colorado theatre community, including 35 openings. Here they all are:  

    July DCPA Openings. Beautiful

    Beautiful - The Carole King Musical. Photo by Joan Marcus.


    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    June 30-July 17: Little Theatre of the Rockies' Outside Mullingar
    Norton Theatre on the ​University of Northern Colorado campus, Greeley. 970-351-4849 or ticket information

    June 30-July 16: Lucidity Suitcase's The Archivist
    At Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    July 1-Aug. 14: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Cabaret
    At the Outlets at Silverthorne, 246-X Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    July 1-Sept. 4: Creede Repertory Theatre's The History Room
    124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or go to creederep.org

    July 1-Aug. 27: Thin Air Theatre Company's Pippin
    139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    July 2-31: Millibo Art Theatre's Ice Cream Theatre
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, themat.org

    July 2-Aug. 13: Spotlight Theatre's Night Watch
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    July 6-24: DCPA Cabaret's Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man
    At the Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    July 7-Aug. 19: Theatre Aspen's Buyer and Cellar
    In the Hurst Theatre, 470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    July 8-Aug. 27: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s Titanic the Musical

    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    July 8-31: Evergreen Players’ The Addams Family
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    July 8-31: Longmont Theatre Company's All’s Well That Ends Well
    At various locations, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page

    July 8-17: Theatre Company of Lafayette's The Dali Follies (new-play festival)
    At the Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or www.tclstage.org

    July 9-Aug. 6: Central City Opera's The Ballad of Baby Doe
    124 Eureka St., Central City, centralcityopera.org or 303-292-6700

    July 9-Aug. 25: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Cabaret
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    July 14-Aug. 7: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Cymbeline (indoors)

    On the University of Colorado's mainstage theatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    July 14-Aug. 7, 2016: Phamaly Theatre Company's Evita
    At the University of Denver's Newman Center,  2344 E. Iliff Ave., 303-871-7720 or
    phamaly's home page

    July 14-29: StageDoor Theatre's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page

    July 15-31: Inspire Creative's Grease
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303-805-6800 or parkerarts.org

    July 15-Aug. 15: Theatre Aspen's Dear Edwina
    In the Hurst Theatre, 470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    July 15-Aug. 21: Miners Alley Playhouse's Little Shop of Horrors
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or map’s home page

    July 15-31, 2016: Edge Theatre's I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    July 15-Aug. 28: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Always ... Patsy Cline
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    July 16-Aug. 7: Central City Opera's Tosca
    124 Eureka St., Central City, centralcityopera.org or 303-292-6700

    July 19-31: DCPA Broadway's Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Buell Theatre  
    At the Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    ​July 21-Sept 11: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's The Wizard Of Oz
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    July 21-Aug. 7: Springs Ensemble Theatre's Titus Andronicus
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    July 22-Aug. 14: Vintage Theatre and Spotlight Theatre's The Big Bang
    At Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    July 28-Aug. 7: Wild Blindness and Bas Bleu Theatre's Waiting for Obama (open rehearsals)
    At Buntport Theater, 721 Lipan St., 720-231-7547 (Aug. 28-31, Aug. 4-7) INFO
    At Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 720-231-7547 (Aug. 1) INFO

    July 28-Aug. 20: Senior Housing Options’ The Last Romance
    At The Barth Hotel, 1514 17th St., seniorhousingoptions.org

    July 28-Aug. 20: TheatreWorks' Antony and Cleopatra
    At the Rock Ledge Ranch Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org DIRECTIONS

    July 28-31: Little Theatre of the Rockies' The Addams Family

    At the Langworthy Theatre on the ​University of Northern Colorado campus, Greeley. 970-351-4849 or ticket information

    July 29-Oct. 2: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Oklahoma
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    July 29-Sept. 4: Vintage Theatre ‘s Frankie and Johnnie in the Claire de Lune
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com


    Through July 2: Avenue Theater's Bakersfield Mist
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com

    Through July 2: OpenStage's The Taming of the Shrew
    At Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Through July 2: Thunder River's Rashomon
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com

    Through July 3: Edge Theatre's By the Waters of Babylon
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Through July 10: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Into the Woods
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com OUR INTERVIEW WITH DEBBY BOONE

    Through July 16: Equinox Theatre's Evil Dead: The Musical
    At The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or bugtheatre.org

    July openings Collected Stories Little Theatre of the RockiesThrough July 22: Little Theatre of the Rockies' Collected Stories
    Norton Theatre on the ​University of Northern Colorado campus, Greeley. 970-351-4849 or ticket information (Pictured right)

    Through July 24: Little Theatre of the Rockies' I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
    Norton Theatre on the ​University of Northern Colorado campus, Greeley. 970-351-4849 or ticket information

    Through July 24: Germinal Stage-Denver's Hands Around
    73rd Avenue Playhouse, 7287 Lowell Blvd., 303-455-7108 or www.germinalstage.com

    Through July 24: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Chicago
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org  

    Through July 24: Jesters Dinner Theatre's The Music Man
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    Through Aug. 6: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Equivocation
    On the University of Colorado's mainstage theatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    Through Aug. 6: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Troilus and Cressida
    At the ​Mary Rippon Amphitheatre on the  CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    Through Aug. 7: Off-Center's Sweet & Lucky
    4120 Brighton Boulevard, 303-893-4100 or sweetandluckydenver.com READ OUR STORY

    Through Aug. 7: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's The Comedy of Errors
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre on the CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    Through Aug. 13: Creede Repertory Theatre Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or go to creederep.org

    Through Aug. 13: Spotlight Theatre's No Sex Please, We're British!
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    (Performed in repertory with ​Night Watch)

    Through Aug. 14: Creede Repertory Theatre's The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence 
    124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or go to creederep.org

    Through Aug. 18: Creede Repertory Theatre's Kind of Red
    124 Main St., Creede, 81130, 719-658-2540 or go to creederep.org

    Through Aug. 20: Theatre Aspen's Mamma Mia!
    In the Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 25: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s Rock of Ages
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 26: Thingamajig Theatre Company's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
    Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s The Little Mermaid
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 27: Thin Air Theatre Company's Darling of the Donkey Derby
    139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 28: Thingamajig Theatre Company's The Little Mermaid
    Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 28: Midtown Arts Center's Mary Poppins
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Sept. 3: BDT Stage's Footloose
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com


    Ongoing productions
    2406 Federal Blvd., Denver, 303-455-1848 or adamsmysteryplayhouse.co


    July 19: The Great Debate: Arguing dumb topics
    July 20: The Narrators: True stories centered on a monthly theme
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    July 27 and Aug. 3: The Impresario (Central City)
    July 28: The Impresario (Nomad Playhouse (Boulder)
    July 28: Musto’s Later the Same Evening (Pikes Peak Arts Center, Colorado Springs)
    July 30: Musto’s Later the Same Evening (at the Denver Art Museum)
    Aug. 5: Musto’s Later the Same Evening (Central City)
    Information: centralcityopera.org or 303-292-6700

    July 31 only: Henry VI, Part 2
    An "Original Practices" presentation on the University of Colorado's mainstage theatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    July 18: Henry Awards
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303-805-6800 or parkerarts.org

    July 25: Screening of Little Shop of Horrors
    Pre-screening entertainment by cast of Miners Alley Playhouse's Little Shop of Horrors
    Hosted by Seth Caikowski.
    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 7301 S Santa Fe Drive, Littleton. TICKETS

    July 19: Diana Ross in Concert
    At The Ellie, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    Youth theatre schedule:
    July 15-23: Seussical Jr. (performers are ages 13-18)
    July 8-9: Jump ‘N’ Jive Juliet (performers are ages 7-13)
    Aug. 5, 7: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (performers are ages 13-18)
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

  • Colorado's Bobby G Awards reps win scholarships in New York

    by John Moore | Jun 27, 2016

    Colorado's The Bobby G Awards representatives Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo both won $2,500 merit scholarships at tonight's national Jimmy Awards in New York City. And Salinger (just a sophomore!) also has won a place in Carnegie Mellon University's six-week Pre-College Drama program, a prize worth $7,500 in tuition, room and board.  

    Movizzo and Salinger were among six students who won $2,500 special recognition scholarships for their work in the week leading up to the awards program tonight, held at the Broadway's Minskoff Theatre. This is the first time Colorado students have won scholarships at the Jimmy Awards in four years of participation.

    For those with access to Facebook, video of the announcements can be watched here

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Bobby G Award winners' Road to the Jimmy Awards
    Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominee performances
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'

    A Bobby G Awards 340
  • The Kids are Alive with 'The Sound of Music'

    by Adam Lundeen | Jun 23, 2016

    The Kids are Alive with The Sound of Music:
    A few of our favorite things from the Q&A with Director Jack O’Brien

    By Jacob Pacheco | June 22, 2016

    Every theatre kid has the dream of making it big. And while three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien has proven himself in the world of Broadway, he was once just a teenager. Mr. O’Brien’s high school directing debut of Life With Father was a play written by the same men behind the book of his current Broadway production, The Sound of Music. And perhaps those ties to his teenage past are what allowed Mr. O’Brien to connect with middle and high school students enrolled in the education program at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts during today’s Q&A.

    “It is always impactful for theatre students to meet professionals in various careers in the theatre,” said DCPA’s Director of Education Allison Watrous. “Each artist’s journey is so different in this art form and career. The more perspectives students encounter the more it allows them to strengthen their ability to find their pathway to success.”

    This exclusive opportunity for the DCPA's summer education students took place in The Conservatory Theatre and was led by DCPA Broadway’s Executive Director John Ekeberg. Here are a few of the students’ favorite pieces of wisdom from Mr. O’Brien:

    1.) Hang out with those who do what you love.

    “Although you can learn certain things in class, you have to hang out with the people who do it. You have to stand next to them as they make decisions and you see what it takes. It helps you learn how to connect.”

    2.) Learn from your mistakes.

    “Oddly enough, the one thing about success is that it feels good but it doesn’t teach you anything.  When you try and fail, you learn something.”

    3.) Discover what your passion is, what you do best, and find a way to combine them.

    “I’m amazed that I’m doing this at this point in my life because it doesn’t feel like work. I love working with actors and designers and technicians and writers and composers. And fortunately they pay me to do it. It’s not something you have to do, it’s something you love to do.”

    4.) A sense of humor is key with casting.

    “I think there’s a reason we call it a play. When you’re having a good time and you’re pretending and you’re happy, a lot of stuff comes out. But if you’re intimidated and frightened and tense, you don’t expand yourself. You don’t let it out.”

    5.) Casting advice on Technique:

    “I like people whose voices are properly trained, who can sing properly, who stand completely still and are not twisting or looking at the floor and are nervous. I like to know that they are born to perform.”

    6.) It’s okay to say no.

    “If it makes me laugh or it makes me cry then I know it’s my piece. If it touches me, or it’s hilarious or both then I know I can do this. If I can’t get in touch with that as a director to tell the story in a way that would make that happen, then I shouldn’t be doing it. That’s the bottom line: it has to really touch me in someway.”

    7.) Always stay looking for the next thing:

    “When something like HAMILTON happens for instance — who saw that coming? As a result, we’re all wildly excited because we’re telling an American story in an American way that actually happened.”

    A brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by Jack O’Brien is playing The Buell Theatre June 21 –26, 2016. Students interested in education programs at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts are welcome to contact us at 303.446.4892 or visit us online.

  • Photos: 2016 Play Crawl on Tennyson Street

    by John Moore | Jun 21, 2016
    2016 And Toto Too Play Crawl

    The photos above are from And Toto Too Theatre Company's Sixth Annual Play Crawl held June 15, 2016 in northwest Denver,

    Ten new plays of up to 10 minutes in length were presented in galleries and shops along Tennyson Street between 38th and 44th Avenues, starting at the Oriental Theatre.

    All plays were written by local women playwrights, with a specific performance venue in mind. For the Play Crawl, that might mean a book store, art gallery or coffee shop. Dust, for example, was held in the offices of the Always Clean housekeeping company. The Wine Snob was held at Small Batch Liquors. And The Tattoo Whisperer was presented at Mammoth American Tattoo.

    And Toto Too, established by True West Award winner Susan Lyles in 2005, is the only Colorado theatre company dedicated exclusively to staging works by female playwrights. Play Crawlers were assigned to groups of about 10 each and led from venue to venue and play to play. That means the volunteer actors performed each playlet a total of 10 times.

    To see more photos, click the "forward' arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

    2016 Play Crawl

    By Carol Samson
    “My friend Olivia says that dust forces you to remain faithful to the curves and angles and edges.”
    Directed by Lauren Michelle Long
    Featuring Tara Rose Kelso
    Staged at Always Clean

    Lit Crit
    By Nina Alice Miller
    'The Catcher in the Rye' got you through teen angst. Can it get you through parenthood?
    Directed by Kevin Durkin
    Featuring Eli Davidson, Jeff Jesmer and Michael GurshteinStaged at Tenn Street Coffee & Books

    Play Crawl 340Family Heirloom
    By Melissa Lucero McCarl
    Two sisters return to the address of their childhood foster home in hopes of recovering a link to their ancestry in the Philippines.
    Featuring Regina Steffen and Arlene Rapal
    Staged at Green Door Living Real Estate

    The Wine Snob
    By Catherine Wiley
    A play with a snooty bouquet, an aroma of pretension and a ridiculous finish.'
    Directed by Madison Kuebler
    Featuring Mark Collins and Maggy Stacy
    Presented at Small Batch Liquor
    Not Just Anybody
    By Leslie C. Lewis
    Protective of her independence and autonomy, Gail finds her solitary excursion to the bookstore transformed by surprisingly welcome assistance.
    Directed by Libby Arnold
    Featuring Christy Kruzick and Robert Scott
    Staged at The Book Bar

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    By Christie Brenner Winn
    What's in a name? A tale of two letters.
    Directed by Wade P. Wood
    Featuring Rekha Ohal, Veronica Straight-Lingo and Seth Palmer Harris
    Staged at Tea For Ewe

    Star Crossed Lover
    By Linda Berry
    Romeo and Juliet meet 38 years after Shakespeare told his version of their story. They didn't die.
    Directed by Ron Mediatore
    Featuring Stephen R. Kramer and Carol Timblin
    Staged at the Denver Cat Company


    By Lisa Wagner Erickson
    A frustrated teen gets a clear picture of her well-meaning but over-the-top parents. (Pictured above.)
    Directed by Maru Garcia
    Featuring Vicky Serdyuk, Julie K. Wolf and James O'Hagan Murphy
    Staged at Lapis Gallery

    Read to Me
    By Rebecca Gorman O'Neill
    Do you remember how nice it was to have someone read to you? Grace does.
    Directed by Kathi Baerns
    Featuring Adrienne Martin-Fullwood and Nicole Campbell
    Staged at Second Star to the Right

    The Tattoo Whisperer
    By Jennifer Faletto
    A Midwestern couple seek to cement their relationship in a Denver tattoo parlor.
    Directed by Jessica Austgen
    Featuring Lauren Bahlman, Jenna Moll Reyes and John Hauser
    Staged at Mammoth American Tattoo

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.
  • DCPA leads hugely expanded pool of Henry Award nominees

    by John Moore | Jun 20, 2016

    Actors Andrew Pastides, Kate Finch and Tad Cooley are all nominated for Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards for the DCPA Theatre Company's 'Tribes.' Photo by Addams Visual Communications. 

    The guest list for the Colorado Theatre Guild's annual Henry Awards party just got a lot bigger. How much bigger? The list of nominations released this morning includes 175 honorees, up from 116 last year. That's an increase of 51 percent.
    This year there are seven nominees in every category. So while your chances of landing a Henry Award nomination just went way up ... your chances of winning just dropped to about 14 percent.

    For the third straight year, the DCPA Theatre Company leads all companies with 27 Henry Award nominations, including best season. Theatre Aspen follows with 25 - by far its greatest Henry Awards acknowledgement after years of presenting Broadway-quality productions in relative anonymity. The Arvada Center is next with 15, followed by the rising Edge Theatre with 10 and Vintage Theatre with nine. 

    The most-nominated musical of the year is Theatre Aspen's Cabaret, with 11, followed by the DCPA's DeVotchKa-infused take on Sweeney Todd with 10, and Performance Now's Ragtime with seven. Among plays, Theatre Aspen again led the way with eight nominations for Other Desert Cities, followed by Vintage Theatre's Rabbit Hole with seven and the DCPA's Tribes with six.

    Emma Messenger, winner of Outstanding Actress in a play two years running, will go for the Triple Crown after being nominated a third straight year for her True West Award-winning work in The Edge Theatre's world premiere of Exit Strategies.

    Maggy Stacy. Henry Awards
    Maggy Stacy in the Edge Theatre's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Rachel D. Graham Photography.

    Maggy Stacy pulled off the rare feat of being nominated twice in the same acting category, for her daring supporting work in both the Edge Theatre's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Vintage Theatre's Rabbit Hole.

    The DCPA's acting nominations were spread out among several shows, with nods going to Andrew Pastides, Kate Finch and hard-of-hearing actor Tad Cooley for Tribes; Robert Petkoff and Linda Mugleston for Sweeney Todd, Carolyn Holding for As You Like It; and C. David Johnson for All The Way. Directing nods went to Kent Thompson (Sweeney Todd) and Anthony Powell (All the Way), as well as Gregg Coffin for Musical Direction (Sweeney Todd).

    The Colorado Theatre Guild is a statewide advocacy group, and the expansion of nominations is its announced intention to spread more bounty to more companies throughout the state. The strategy appears to have worked. The number of Colorado companies that received at least one nomination grew from 25 to 31, with honored companies ranging from Colorado Springs to Dillon to Aspen to Creede.

    But because the Guild already splits the four design categories into two tiers determined by companies' annual overall operating budgets, the expansion of nominees tends to benefit the state's largest theatre companies most. That's because only seven companies have annual budgets above the $1.2 million threshhold and therefore are considered Tier I: The DCPA, Arvada Center, Creede Repertory Theatre, Curious Theatre, Theatre Aspen, Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Colorado Springs TheatreWorks. The expansion of the tiered pools from four to seven nominees in each category means only those seven companies were eligible for the 28 available nominations in the Tier I technical categories.

    This year's triple nominees are Theatre Aspen's multitalented Paul Black, who was cited for lighting Cabaret and Peter and the Starcatcher, as well as his Starcatcher scenic design. Lighting designer Shannon McKinney pulled off a rare feat, earning lighting nominations for three different companies: The Arvada Center's Death Takes a Holiday, the DCPA's Tribes and Local Theater Company's Faith.

    Double nominees from the DCPA include Scenic Designer Lisa Orzolek (Tribes and The Nest); Costume Designer Kevin Copenhaver (DCPA's Sweeney Todd and Lone Tree's The Explorer's Club); and Sound Designer Craig Breitenbach (DCPA's Tribes and Phamaly Theatre Company's Cabaret). 

    Other double nominees include double-dutying Directors and Choreographers Kelly Van Oosbree (Performance Now's Ragtime, The Musical) and Mark Martino (Theatre Aspen's Cabaret). Also: Director Gavin Mayer for the Arvada Center's musical Irving Berlin's White Christmas and play The Mountaintop; funnyman Dave Shirley's Voddville comedy landed him nominations for New Play and Sound Design; also Colorado Shakespeare Festival Costumer Hugh Hanson (Much Ado About Nothing and Wittenberg); perennial Costume Design honoree Linda Morken (Town Hall Arts Center's Violet and BDT Stage's Peter and the Starcatcher); Scenic Designer Amy Campion (BDT Stage's The Addams Family and Peter and the Starcatcher); and Theatre Aspen Sound Designer David Thomas (Peter and the Starcatcher and Cabaret).

    A fun little nomination battle bubbled up between two productions of Irving Berlin's White Christmas: The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center ultimately edged out the Arvada Center, five nods to four.

    Every year comes with its share of surprises and disappointments, and this year the expansion of nominations clearly did no favors to the Curious Theatre Company, which received only two nominations, both for Sex With Strangers. Denver's premier off-Broadway theatre company fully adopted the radical concept of ongoing serial storytelling last year (meaning trilogies), but only three Curious Theatre offerings have now landed Henry Award nominations over the past three seasons. Another apparent snub was to the rock-solid Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, which has now only received two nominations in the past two years. This past season included the True West Award-winning Outside Mullingar and a critically praised Cyrano, but only Ideation was recognized this year, for Outstanding Play and Direction.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Established in 2006, the Henry Awards honor outstanding achievement in Colorado theatre, and also serve as the Guild's annual fundraising event. The awards are named for longtime local theatre producer Henry Lowenstein.

    To be eligible for Henry Awards consideration, a presenting company must be a dues-paying member of the Colorado Theatre Guild. Shows are adjudicated throughout the year by a team of about 45 statewide theatre reporters, educators and assigned judges who score each show in all categories using a 50-point scale. A show must have been seen by six adjudicators in order to be eligible. (Next year, that number will go down to five.) The total number of shows eligible for 2015-16 Henry Award consideration totaled 196, up from 172 two years ago.

    The 2016 Henry Awards, which will take place on Monday, July 18, are moving this year to the PACE Center, located in Parker, Colorado. Tickets are now onsale.

    Cabaret Theatre Aspen. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
    Theatre Apen is the most-nominated Colorado production of 2015-16 with 11 Henry Award nods. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.


    Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company
    Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Aurora Fox Arts Center
    Buntport Theater
    DCPA Theatre Company
    The Edge Theater Company
    Theatre Aspen
    Vintage Theatre Productions

     Outstanding Production of a Play
    "All the Way," DCPA Theatre Company, Anthony Powell, Director
    "Equus," The Avenue Theater, Warren Sherrill, Director
    "Ideation," Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Stephen Weitz, Director
    “Other Desert Cities,” Theatre Aspen, Sara Lapine, Director
    “Rabbit Hole,” Vintage Theatre Productions,  Bernie Cardell, Director
    "The Rembrandt Room," Buntport Theater, Buntport Theater, Director
    "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," The Edge Theater Company, Rick Yaconis, Director

    Outstanding Production of a Musical
    "The Big Bang," Spotlight Theatre Company, Katie Mangett, Director; Blake Nawa'a, Musical Direction
    "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen, Mark Martino, Director; Eric Alsford, Musical Direction
    "Death Takes a Holiday," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Rod Lansberry, Director; David Nehls, Musical Direction
    "Guys and Dolls," Creede Repertory Theatre, Jessica Jackson, Director; Joe Montelione, Musical Direction
    "Jekyll and Hyde," Aurora Fox Arts Center, El Armstrong, Director; Martha Yordy, Musical Direction
    "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now Theatre Company & Lakewood Cultural Center, Kelly Van Oosbree, Director; Eric Weinstein, Musical Direction
    "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company, Kent Thompson, Director; Gregg Coffin, Musical Direction

    Outstanding Direction of a Play
    Bernie Cardell, "Rabbit Hole," Vintage Theatre Productions
    Buntport Theater, "The Rembrandt Room," Buntport Theater
    Sarna Lapine, "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen
    Gavin Mayer, "The Mountaintop," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Anthony Powell, "All the Way," DCPA Theatre Company
    Stephen Weitz, "Ideation," Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    Rick Yaconis, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The Edge Theater Company

    Outstanding Direction of a Musical
    Bryce Alexander, "Cabaret," Phamaly Theatre Company
    Nathan Halvorson, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
    Rod A. Lansberry, "Death Takes a Holiday," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Mark Martino, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Gavin Mayer, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Kent Thompson, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company
    Kelly Van Oosbree, "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now Theatre Company and Lakewood Cultural Center                                    

    Outstanding Musical Direction
    Eric Alsford, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Gregg Coffin, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company
    Donna Kolpan Debreceni, "Violet," Town Hall Arts Center
    Jay Hahn, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
    Joe Montelione, "Guys and Dolls," Creede Repertory Theatre
    David Nehls, "Death Takes a Holiday," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Eric Weinstein, "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now and Lakewood Cultural Center                           

    Outstanding Choreography
    Piper Lindsay Arpan, "Catch Me If You Can," Aurora Fox Arts Center
    Mary Ripper Baker and Nathan Halvorson, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
    Reace Daniel, "The Wild Party," Ignite Theatre
    Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Mark Martino, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Nick Sugar, "West Side Story," Town Hall Arts Center
    Kelly Van Oosbree, "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now and Lakewood Cultural Center                  

    Outstanding Actor in a Play
    Benjamin Bonenfant, "Henry V," Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Tad Cooley, "Tribes," DCPA Theatre Company
    Jonathan Farwell, "The Outgoing Tide," Bas Bleu Theatre Company
    C. David Johnson, "All The Way," DCPA Theatre Company
    Andrew Pastides, "Tribes," DCPA Theatre Company     
    Ben Schrager, "Dancing Lessons," Lake Dillon Theatre Company
    John Douglas Thompson, "Satchmo at the Waldorf," TheatreWorks

    Outstanding Actress in a Play
    Betty Hart, "The Mountaintop," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Carolyn Holding, "As You Like It," DCPA Theatre Company
    Erin Rollman, "The Rembrandt Room," Buntport Theater
    Billie McBride, "The Velocity of Autumn," Lake Dillon Theatre Company
    Emma Messenger, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The Edge Theater Company
    Missy Moore, "Getting Out," The Edge Theater Company
    Lori Wilner, "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen

    Outstanding Actor in a Musical
    Daniel Langhoff, "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now and Lakewood Cultural Center
    Jon Peterson, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Robert Petkoff, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company
    Sean Thompson, "Guys and Dolls," Creede Repertory Theatre
    ​Danny Vaccaro, "La Cage Aux Folles," Lake Dillon Theatre Company
    Joe Von Bokern, "The Big Bang," Spotlight Theatre Company
    Markus Warren, "South Pacific," Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

    Outstanding Actress in a Musical
    Mehry Eslaminia, "Guys and Dolls," Creede Repertory Theatre
    Lindsey Falduto, "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now and Lakewood Cultural Center
    Ellen Kaye, "Violet," Town Hall Arts Center
    Linda Mugleston, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company
    Marcia Ragonetti, "Sunset Boulevard," Vintage Theatre Productions
    Lauren Shealy, "Jekyll and Hyde," Aurora Fox Arts Center
    Kirsten Wyatt, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
    Spencer Althoff, "Equus," The Avenue Theater
    Emory John Collinson, "Lonesome Hollow," Springs Ensemble Theatre
    Curran Connor, "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen
    Steve Emily, "Lonesome Hollow," Springs Ensemble Theatre
    Rodney Lizcano, "Much Ado About Nothing," Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Marc Stith, "Rabbit Hole," Vintage Theatre Productions
    Jack Wetherall, "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
    Hannah Duggan, "Greetings from Camp Katabasis," Buntport Theater
    Kate Finch, "Tribes," DCPA Theatre Company
    Emma Messenger, "Exit Strategies," The Edge Theater Company
    Deborah Persoff, "Rabbit Hole," Vintage Theatre Productions
    Peggy J. Scott, "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen
    Maggy Stacy, "Rabbit Hole," Vintage Theatre Productions
    Maggy Stacy, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The Edge Theater Company

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
    Scott McLean, "Violet," Town Hall Arts Center
    Paul Page, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Mark Rubald, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
    Steven Sitzman, "The Addams Family," Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre
    Colin Summers, "Ring of Fire," Midtown Arts Center
    Richard Vida, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Graham Ward, "Guys and Dolls," Creede Repertory Theatre

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
    Brittany Brook, "Ring of Fire," Midtown Arts Center
    Suzanne A. Champion, "The Addams Family," Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre
    Michelle Coben, "Peter and the Starcatcher," Theatre Aspen
    Annie Dwyer, "South Pacific," Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
    Sarah Philabaum, "The Addams Family," Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre
    Sharon Kay White, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Lori Wilner, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen

    Outstanding Ensemble Performance
    "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen, Mark Martino, Director; Eric Alsford, Musical Direction                               
    "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen, Sarna Lapine, Director
    "Pump Boys and Dinettes," Miners Alley Playhouse, Brenda Worley Billings, Director; Mitch Samu, Musical Direction                                     
    "Rabbit Hole," Vintage Theatre Productions,  Bernie Cardell, Director
    "Sex with Strangers," Curious Theatre Company, Christy Montour-Larson, Director
    "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company, Kent Thompson, Director; Gregg Coffin, Musical Direction
    "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," The Edge Theater Company, Rick Yaconis, Director

    Outstanding New Play or Musical
    "Fade" by Tanya Saracho, Directed by Jerry Ruiz, DCPA Theatre Company
    "Exit Strategies" by Jeff Neuman, Directed by Kate Marie Folkins, The Edge Theater Company
    "The Nest" by Theresa Rebeck, Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, DCPA Theatre Company
    "The Rembrandt Room," by Buntport Theater, Directed by Buntport Theater
    "Reunion '85" by Susan Draus, David Larsen, and Cody Jamison Strand; Directed by David Larsen, Musical Direction by Chris Sargent; Lone Tree Arts Center
    "Uncle Jed's Barbershop" by Kenneth Grimes and David Wohl; Directed by Susan Einhorn, Musical Direction by Michael Williams; DreaMaker Productions           "Voddville" by Robert Dubac and Dave Shirley; Directed by Dave Shirley; The Avenue Theater                                                                                              

    (The Colorado Theatre Guild creates two categories for its technical awards, based upon production budgets.)

    Outstanding Costume Design Tier 1
    Denitsa Bliznakova, "As You Like It," DCPA Theatre Company
    Kevin Copenhaver, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company
    Hugh Hanson, "Much Ado About Nothing," Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Hugh Hanson, "Wittenberg," Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Clare Henkel, "Death Takes a Holiday," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Lex Liang, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
    Annabel Reader, "Peter and the Starcatcher," Theatre Aspen

    Outstanding Costume Design Tier 2
    Cindy Franke, "Ragtime, The Musical," Performance Now and Lakewood Cultural Center
    Kevin Copenhaver, "The Explorers Club," Lone Tree Arts Center
    Nikki Harrison, "Catch Me If You Can," Aurora Fox Arts Center
    Laura High, "Little Women," Aurora Fox Arts Center
    Laurie Klapperich, "Into the Woods," Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
    Linda Morken, "Violet," Town Hall Arts Center
    Linda Morken, "Peter and the Starcatcher," BDT Stage

    Outstanding Lighting Design Tier 1

    Seth Alison, "The Mountaintop," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Paul Black, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Paul Black, "Peter and the Starcatcher," Theatre Aspen
    Charles MacLeod, "All The Way," DCPA Theatre Company
    Shannon McKinney, "Death Takes a Holiday," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Shannon McKinney, "Tribes," DCPA Theatre Company
    Kenton Yeager, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company          

    Outstanding Lighting Design Tier 2

    Chad Bonaker, "Rock of Ages," Midtown Arts Center
    Shannon Johnson, "South Pacific," Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
    Andrew Killion, "The Outgoing Tide," Bas Bleu Theatre Company
    Vance McKenzie, "The Big Bang," Spotlight Theater Company
    Shannon McKinney, "Faith," Local Theater Company
    Stephen D. Mazzeno, "Cabaret," Phamaly Theatre Company
    Brian Miller, "Outside Mullingar," OpenStage Theatre & Company

    Outstanding Scenic Design Tier 1
    Paul Black, "Peter and the Starcatcher," Theatre Aspen
    Jim Kronzer, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company
    Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, "Other Desert Cities," Theatre Aspen
    Brian Mallgrave, "Death Takes a Holiday," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Robert Mark Morgan, "All The Way," DCPA Theatre Company
    Lisa Orzolek, "Tribes," DCPA Theatre Company
    Lisa Orzolek, "The Nest," DCPA Theatre Company

    Outstanding Scenic Design Tier 2

    Amy Campion, "The Addams Family," BDT Stage
    Amy Campion, "Peter and the Starcatcher," BDT Stage
    Douglas Clarke, "Rabbit Hole," Vintage Theatre Productions
    Michael R. Duran, "The Explorers Club," Lone Tree Arts Center
    Jared Grohs, "The Velocity of Autumn," Lake Dillon Theatre Company
    Lori Rosedahl, "Outside Mullingar," OpenStage Theatre & Company
    Kyle Scoggins, "Pump Boys and Dinettes," Miners Alley Playhouse

    Outstanding Sound Design Tier 1
    Craig Breitenbach, "Tribes," DCPA Theatre Company
    Grant Evenson, "The Mountaintop," Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
    Jake K. Harbour, "Guys and Dolls," Creede Repertory Theatre
    Alex Ruhlin, "Sex with Strangers," Curious Theatre
    ​David Thomas, "Peter and the Starcatcher," Theatre Aspen
    David Thomas, "Cabaret," Theatre Aspen
    Zach Williamson, "Sweeney Todd," DCPA Theatre Company       

    Outstanding Sound Design Tier 2

    Curt Behm, "Violet," Town Hall Arts Center
    Craig Breitenbach, "Cabaret," Phamaly Theatre Company
    Brian Freeland, "The Explorers Club," Lone Tree Arts Center
    Jonathan Scott-McKean, "Pump Boys and Dinettes," Miners Alley Playhouse
    Grant Putney, "The Outgoing Tide," Bas Bleu Theatre Company
    Dave Shirley, "Voddville," Avenue Theater
    Wayne Kennedy, "Peter and the Starcatcher," BDT Stage

    CTG Community Impact Award
    The Denver Actors Fund

    (Additional Special Awards including Lifetime Achievement will be announced in July.) 

    2015-16 Henry Awards: Ticket information
    6 p.m. Monday, July 18
    PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, MAP IT
    Tickets: $23 for CTG members, $30 non-members or $50 VIP. Tickets are available at  parkerarts.org, or by calling 303-805-6800. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $35.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • 'President of Theatre' on enduring popularity of 'The Sound of Music'

    by John Moore | Jun 19, 2016
    The Sound of Music. Ben Davis. Kerstin Anderson. Photo by Matthew Murphy

    Ben Davis and Kerstin Anderson from the national touring production of 'The Sound of Music' opening in Denver on June 21. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

    Ted Chapin’s official title is President of the R&H music publishing company. But Broadway producer Ken Davenport once suggested simply calling him “President of Theater," for greater accuracy.

    Chapin was born into a powerful New York family whose patriarch was the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Rudolph Giuliani, and whose matriarch was daughter of the founder of Steinway pianos.

    Sound of Music Ted Chapin quoteChapin was just 31 when he was handpicked by the daughter of Richard Rodgers to oversee the library of Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, which only begins with the songwriting duo many consider the best of all-time. R&H wrote nine musicals for Broadway, one movie and one TV show over 17 years. But the R&H library (now owned by Imagem Publishing Group) now licenses about 2,500 productions by composers ranging from Irving Berlin to Andrew Lloyd Webber to Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    The jewel in the R&H crown is, of course, The Sound of Music, which comes to Denver in a new touring production starting Tuesday (June 21). The franchise born in 1959 continues to enjoy extraordinary popularity. Chapin was one of the key figures behind NBC’s bold move to bring musicals back to live television after 50 years, starting with Carrie Underwood starring in The Sound of Music in 2013. The broadcast drew 44 million viewers. “Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations,” Chapin said.

    Chapin estimates The Sound of Music averages about 700 productions a year worldwide. And 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.

    As President of Theatre, er, R&H, Chapin has personally overseen more than 20 Broadway and West End revivals of R&H classics. He’s the past chairman of the American Theatre Wing and author of the book Everything Was Possible – a bird’s-eye view of the birth of Stephen Sondheim’s seminal musical Follies from Chapin’s perspective as a 22-year-old production assistant.

    He says the version of The Sound of Music coming to Denver this week is more emotionally layered, much as the first Broadway revival of South Pacific was in 2008. The idea to revisit The Sound of Music came from the Hairspray team of director Jack O’Brien and producer Margo Lion, who saw the first authorized production of The Sound of Music in Russia a few years ago. O’Brien described it as “a fairly abstract Euro-trash production” that made very little literal sense. “But as I watched how an untried young soprano related to the children, and when she faced her remarkably young and vigorous Captain von Trapp,” O’Brien said, “I found unexpected tears of joy and happiness running down my face. What on earth was I to do with this nearly embarrassing reaction?” 

    When O’Brien later saw what he called a “deeply intelligent and carefully crafted” new script by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, “it felt as if some lost vault was opening up,” he said. And so, the revival was on.

    We talked to Chapin about a variety of topics, starting with his job title. What exactly does it mean to be President of R&H? Davenport equivocates the job to someone standing outside Fort Knox and deciding who goes in and what goes out. Chapin takes his own stab at the same question below: 

    Ted Chapin: Believe it or not, I have never had a job description. Only because my job came to be a year after Richard Rodgers died. The only reason there is even an office is because Rodgers and Hammerstein, uniquely among their peers, held onto all of their rights. They didn't have Samuel French or Music Theatre International license their shows. Over the years, as they started making movie versions of their shows, it even got to the point where R&H ended up owning the movies themselves. That was unheard of. To adopt this mentality of keeping all their eggs in one basket showed an extraordinary confidence. They didn't build theatres. Irving Berlin built a theatre. For R&H, it was all about the material they created, and wanting it performed in the best way possible. When I was approached about coming to work here, the two families didn't quite know what to do next. I found out in subsequent years they had talked to a couple of fancier people about coming to run it, but I think the fancy people had fancy ideas about what the job would be. But Mary Rodgers (Richard’s daughter) knew me, she knew my parents and she knew my work. It was Mary who suggested the best move might be to go with the young person to help them figure out what the hell the job should be. I thought the job should be keeping these properties in the family, and keeping these songs out there in circulation in the best way possible. That meant figuring out how to self-manage copyrights in a new era, and as things change. So that basically became the job. And that has been the fun of it, frankly.

    John Moore: So were their contemporaries being exploited in terms of royalties at the time?

    Ted Chapin: It starts with royalties, but was more about managing their own fate.

    John Moore: The R&H name has come to mean so much more than just R&H because of the expansion of your catalog to include names like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    Ted Chapin: I certainly hope for that. Early on, I kept saying, 'People know of Tiffany's as a place that sells really high-class things and puts them in turquoise boxes.  Many have no idea that Louis Comfort Tiffany actually made stained glass. It’s the overall impression that it trades in high-quality goods that I wanted Rodgers & Hammerstein to emulate.

    John Moore: So if you’re the Tiffany’s of music publishing, How picky are you in terms of who you will allow in?

    Ted Chapin: Rather than being 'picky,' I would say we try to be selective. We look for properties we think will be good for both of us. Early on, we had some things that we could not sell in any way. Richard Adler, may he rest in peace, wrote The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees. He also wrote a bunch of concert works, and he very much wanted us to publish them. I went to school with one of his sons, so I knew him, and I finally had to tell him: ‘The people who call us for pops concerts only want what they know. We can't seem to get them interested in anything else. So I don't think we're the right fit for these.' But I've always tried to find things like In the Heights. And having faith that Lin-Manuel Miranda was devoted to the theatre, it stood to reason that he might write more shows that are interesting. That was a good call.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    John Moore: In the Heights was revolutionary in its way, but we don't necessarily think if R&H as revolutionary. Why was that the right property for you?

    Ted Chapin: To be honest, the first time I met Lin-Manuel was because he is a huge fan of my Follies book (Everything Was Possible). That was a nice way for me to meet him. There was a mutual respect. But at the end of the day, it comes down to people. Yes, some people like Adam Guettel (Richard Rodgers’ grandson) came with the family. But Andrew Lloyd Webber is a huge fan of Rodgers' music, and he will speak about that at the drop of a hat. They needed somebody to take care of their shows here. So we made an arrangement with him to represent all of his shows in this territory. That was very good arrangement.

    John Moore: So we have The Sound of Music coming to Denver, and I'm wondering: We as a nation, especially now, seem to have the attention span of a gnat. But somehow or another, The Sound of Music has managed to live on in the collective consciousness of subsequent generations of Americans. How did you do that?

    Ted Chapin: Well, No. 1: I think it's really good, and in the end, good wins the day. It’s a really good story. The songs are really good. People are captivated by it. The interesting challenge with The Sound of Music was it was written as a star vehicle for Mary Martin on Broadway, and it did just fine. She won a Tony Award away from Ethel Merman (Gypsy). Then it was made into a movie and suddenly some very, very smart decisions were made in the film adaptation of this stage show. There are three songs in the stage show that were completely reconceived for the movie - and they work. That's very rare. Usually when people play around with stage productions, something falls on its face, and it doesn't work. But the film people who made that movie were really, really smart. So now these two very different versions of The Sound of Music now exist in a parallel universe, and they are equally good.

    John Moore: What’s new about the touring production coming to Denver?

    Ted Chapin: First of all, it has a major director: Jack O'Brien, who saw the original Broadway production with Mary Martin, and he still remembers it vividly. Well, Jack also saw a more recent production in Moscow with Margo Lion a, producer of Hairspray. Jack realized what's in this story that people overlook: It’s a love story between a girl who has no experience whatsoever in love, and a man whose wife has died and has shut love out completely. They are total opposites, but they have that in common. The way Jack has directed this, audiences are like, 'Whoa. Wow. OK. I hadn't realized that.’

    John Moore: How are the songs different?

    Ted Chapin: Movie fans think of Do-Re-Mi as that lovely song where they romp all around the Alps and ride on bicycles by the side of the lake. But in the stage show, these kids are unhappy. They don't like having new governesses, and they are going to test this one. So the song Do-Re-Mi starts with these kids ready to destroy Maria, just like they have destroyed them all. But instead, in te stage show, this is the moment when the kids bond with Maria. So you need to start with the kids as little monsters, and slowly, by the end of the song, they are actually getting along. That’s when you start to think this could actually work out. I am telling you, Jack has been so smart about he decisions he made for this production.

    John Moore: So I want to get your take on this story: It’s more than 10 years ago. I am the theatre critic at The Denver Post, and I review a production of The Sound of Music at a local dinner theatre. I mention that, for whatever reason, they skip over the wedding scene entirely. And I mentioned that, for potential audiences who might be expecting one. So a day after the review is published, I am told, this theatre had receives a letter from R&H attorneys essentially saying: “Put the wedding back in, or you lose your rights. And within 24 hours, they rehearse the scene and get new more costumes and the wedding scene is back in. Tell me from the R&H point of view about the need to stay true to the story as written – and licensed?

    A Sound of Music Ted Chapin quote 2Ted Chapin: Well, first: I honor you for having said what you did in the review. I don't like doing that. But if people don't behave right, that’s something you have to do. There are theatres around the world that feel whatever script you get from a licensing house is just a blueprint for you to go off and create whatever you want. I always say to these companies from the very beginning, 'Please - no surprises.' If that theatre had called me, that would at least have started a dialogue. We got a request just last week from a production of The King & I that said they do not want a child to play the Buddha in  The Small House of Uncle Thomas ballet because the choreographer feels it's disrespectful to have a child pretending to be Buddha. Their position was so clearly stated and passionately expressed that it was a very easy thing for me to say, 'By all means. Don't have a child play the Buddha.' In the big picture, that is not going to take anything away from anything. I would so much rather be in that situation than be surprised. I grew up in the theatre. I respect what goes on there. But it's our reputation on the line there.

    (Pictured above right: Kerstin Anderson as 'Maria Rainer' in 'The Sound of Music.' Photo by Matthew Murphy.)

    John Moore: I want to ask you about R&Hs commitment to high-school theatre, which is obviously a huge part of your operation.

    Ted Chapin: Yes. I am a firm believer that the earlier you can ‘get’ people, the better. We have embraced the ‘Broadway Junior’ program that MTI started. There was a fear when we started doing student versions that if people can do these shows in grade schools, they won't be interested in doing the full production later on. But exactly the opposite has happened. It has proven to be really interesting. People want to know what was cut - and then they want to do the uncensored version as soon as they can.

    John Moore: So for people who hear The Sound of Music is coming town and say, 'I love that show, but I don't need to see it again’ … why do they need to see it again?

    Ted Chapin: Because it is the best-directed production of The Sound of Music you are ever going to see. When this tour started in Los Angeles, one critic pointed out that when Maria sang the lyric, 'I come to the hills when my heart is lonely' ... in the very first song, that critic wrote: 'She looked troubled.' And for the first time I thought, 'Oh, wait a minute. There is reason this young postulant is alone on the top of a hill. In the stage version, she doesn't twirl. Because while the twirl is all about a helicopter effect. And while that is a brilliant way to begin the movie, it’s not a brilliant way to open the stage production. Because that’s not the kind of emotion she's in. Every decision Jack makes is simply to make clear what's going on in the story. So people who know and love it are in for a bit of surprise, because there are things to be discovered that are kind of wonderful. It’s like revisiting an old friend whose clothes are different. 

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Our The Sound of Music Photo Gallery:

    The Sound of Music
    Photos by Matthew Murphy. To see more, click the forward arrow in the image above.

    The Sound of Music:
    Ticket information

    June 21-26
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    ASL interpreted, Audio Described and Open Captioned performance: 2 p.m., June 25

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Sound of Music

    The Real Von Trapps and the sound of freedom

  • Broadway's 'Hamilton' is heading to Denver

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 17, 2016

    By Heidi Bosk
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    The national tour of the Broadway musical Hamilton will play the Buell Theatre as part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ 2017/18 Broadway subscription series, it was announced today by producer Jeffrey Seller and the DCPA.
    On Sunday, Hamilton won 11 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, after having set the all-time record with 16 nominations.

    Hamilton. Daveed Diggs. The best way to guarantee tickets to Hamilton is to purchase a 2016-17 Broadway subscription. Broadway subscribers who renew their 2016/17 Broadway subscription packages for the 2017/18 Broadway season will guarantee their tickets for the DCPA's premiere engagement of Hamilton.

    Hamilton will be on the 2017/18 Broadway subscription package. Information regarding engagement dates and how to purchase groups and single tickets will be announced at a later time.
    DCPA's 2016/17 Broadway subscription package features the pre-Broadway debut of Frozen, The Phantom of the Opera, Roundabout Theatre Company's Cabaret, An Act of God, Finding Neverland, Fun Home, An American in Paris and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Subscriptions for the 2016/17 Broadway season start as low as eight payments of $51.25 and are available at DenverCenter.org.  Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for the Broadway touring productions in Denver.

    (Pictured above right: Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette the Broadway musical 'Hamilton.')
    With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

    Subscription information for 2016/17 Broadway season

    Hamilton is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.  
    Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowa, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda in 'Hamilton.'
    Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda from the Tony Award-winning Broadway cast of 'Hamilton.'

    's creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights.
    Hamilton features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell (DCPA Theatre Company's The Unsinkable Molly Brown), lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Hamilton is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.
    The Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide. The Hamilton recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.
    Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the DCPA's News Center.
    For more information on Hamilton, visit:

    Hamilton’s 2016 Tony Awards:
    Best Musical: Hamilton
    Best Book of a Musical: Lin-Manuel Miranda
    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater:
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Leslie Odom Jr.
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Daveed Diggs
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Renee Elise Goldsberry
    Best Costume Design of a Musical: Paul Tazewell
    Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Howell Binkley
    Best Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail    
    Best Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler
    Best Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire

    Related DCPA NewsCenter coverage:
    Tony Awards offer powerful response to Orlando massacre
    The HamilTony Awards: What Denver’s voter has to say 
    Colorado's ties to the 2016 Tony Award nominations
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Why Lin-Manuel Miranda's father is obsessed with The Unsinkable Molly Brown

    Hamilton. Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Gold, Cephas Jones.
    Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones.

    The Broadway company of Hamilton.
    The Broadway company of 'Hamilton.'

  • Video: Bobby G Awards' Outstanding Musical nominee performances

    by John Moore | Jun 15, 2016

    The 2016 Bobby G Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school theatre, were held May 26 at the Buell Theatre. Each of the five nominated Outstanding Musicals performed songs or medleys before the crowd of 1,700. Here are excerpts from each of those performances. The featured productions were:  

    • Cherry Creek High School's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    • Denver School of the Arts' Spring Awakening
    • Mountain View High School's Anything Goes
    • Arvada West High School's Les Misérables
    • Fairview High School's Guys and Dolls
    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Bonus video: Mountain View High School 's
    Anything Goes:

    Anything Goes,
    by Mountain View High School of Loveland, was named Outstanding Musical at the 2016 Bobby G Awards. Here is the school's full performance at the Buell Theatre.   

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'

    Bobby G Awards. Arvada West High School's Les Misérables Arvada West High School's 'Les Misérables.' Photo by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter. 
  • The Real Von Trapps and the sound of freedom

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 14, 2016

    By Teri Downard

    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    For 1,200 years Nonnberg, the First Abbey of Benedictine Nuns nestled on an Austrian hillside, offered a spiritual shelter from the dark forces of the world. It was here, just prior to World War II, that a high-spirited young novice named Maria sought a life of sacrifice and prayer.

    As is told in one of the most popular musicals in American history, Maria was hurtled from a life of solitude into the tumultuous life on the world stage. Most sitting in the audience know the story of this nun-turned-governess-turned-singer-turned-wife-and-mother.

    Sound of Music Ben Davis Kerstin Anderson Matthew Murphy But what happened to Maria after leaving her beloved Austria?

    The family headed for America with only the clothes on their backs and a few treasured belongings. They had no money and spoke no English as they began a new life in New York doing the only thing they knew: singing for their supper.

    Touring this country from ocean to ocean countless times in a big blue bus, the family learned a new language, new culture and learned to love their adopted country. When they arrived to perform a concert near Stowe, Vermont, they were stunned by the beauty of the place.

    Though plagued by money problems, they were catching on to the American notion of “time payments,” and decided to buy a dilapidated house on a mountain-top overlooking a valley, instead of buying new clothes for the large family.
    “We can build a house and barns, but we can never build a view like this,” Georg exclaimed. (Pictured above right: Ben Davis as Captain Georg von Trapp and Kerstin Anderson as Maria Rainer in 'The Sound of Music.')

    The von Trapp family’s story is one of faith, courage and love. When they ran out of money, they prayed and new opportunities for performing arose. When part of their rickety house fell down, they prayed and friends appeared to help them build a new one. When a nearby Army Corps of Engineers facility was closed, they prayed for guidance about a bit of wartime red tape that prevented land purchases by aliens. After threatening Maria with jail, Vermont state officials suddenly relented and the von Trapps turned it into a hugely successful summer music camp.

    When their fellow Austrians were desperate for food and clothing, they prayed to be shown a way to help. They created the Austrian Relief Fund, which grew to include relief drives for several European countries.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Money and tons of food and clothing were collected. They mailed bundles of goods from post offices along their route. When they stood before a judge and took an oath of allegiance to the United States of America, they prayed in gratitude that they were now citizens of the country whose freedom they so deeply cherished.

    The von Trapps touched millions of lives with their music and through their generosity. “…Only one thing is necessary to be happy and to make others happy,” Maria said, “and that one thing is not money, nor connections, nor health — it is love.”

    The Abbey of Nonnberg cast a long shadow. Its young novice lived a life of service. after all.

    This story was adapted from an article by Teri Downard, former Deputy Director of the DCPA’s Media Relations and Publications Department.

    Our The Sound of Music Photo Gallery:

    The Sound of Music
    Photos by Matthew Murphy. To see more, click the forward arrow in the image above.

    The Sound of Music:
    Ticket information

    June 21-26
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    ASL interpreted, Audio Described and Open Captioned performance: 2 p.m., June 25

    The Sound of Music. Photo by Matthew MurphyKerstin Anderson as 'Maria Rainer' and the von Trapp children in 'The Sound of Music.' From left: Svea Johnson, Audrey Bennett, Quinn Erickson, Mackenzie Currie, Maria Knasel, Erich Schuett and Paige Silvester. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
  • Introducing DCPA Theatre Company's 2016-17 season artwork

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 13, 2016
    Kyle Malone Season Artwork 2016-17

    DCPA Art Director Kyle Malone has been with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts for 16 years, and he has had a profound influence on how audiences have experienced every DCPA Theatre Company production since 2013. Malone owns the prestigious - and high-stakes - assignment of creating the art campaign that serves as theatregoers’ first exposure to the look, feel and content of every Theatre Company production. Here, Malone reveals his artwork for 2016-17 season, and explains a little about the process.


    By Kyle Malone
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    The goal in creating the singular images you see before and throughout any DCPA Theatre Company theatre season is to bring raw, emotional characters to vivid life that will linger in the eye and mind of the beholder.

    These images are a vitally important first step in the creative process because, months in advance, they serve as our audiences’ first associations with the actual, eventual theatrical experience. So these images must serve as an effective, fair and visceral visual introduction to each of the plays. That’s a lot to ask of a single image.

    Kyle MaloneFor the second straight season, we have chosen to render each of these images by hand using charcoal and ink and combined with modern, colorful support elements. It’s a look that is unique to the Theatre Company, continuing a familiar visual identity we hope is equal in in professionalism and quality to the work that goes into the incredible shows on our stages.

    Much as a play best tells a story when all of its ingredients work together, the DCPA Design Team uses our own set of ingredients in our work. Of course, we cannot tell any entire story in a single image, so what we try to do is we boil each story down to its essence - hopefully by capturing one simple, moving moment.

    A look back at Kyle Malone's 2015-16 season artwork

    In terms of style, these images must engage and connect with people, using consistent unifying elements. We start with the hero of each piece and then focus on the emotion each of these characters evoke. We then depicted each one using rough charcoal and ink on illustration board – a choice we made to echo the hand-made work of the artists who work directly on the actual stage productions. The illustration is then rounded out with colorful and modern support elements to push the narrative of the story further. The final piece of the puzzle is designing a title treatment that uses lettering to both complement the overall story and add strength to the tone of the illustration.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Overall, each one is designed to be simple and bold and play well with surrounding messaging, and in many different sizes. Our team is constantly evaluating the images as they are used in everything from TV spots to mobile advertisements to posters, billboards and more.

    Today, these images are ready to be released to the wild.

    It is an honor to be a part of such a creative team in a creative organization. A big thank you to everyone who helped with this campaign, it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of these talented individuals: Rob Silk, Carolyn Michaels, Adam Obendorf, Kim Conner, Brenda Elliott, Nathan Brunetti, Adam Lundeen, Brianne Firestone, Kent Thompson, Emily Kent and David Lenk.

    A look at the progression of The Secret Garden:


    Editor's Note: The DCPA NewsCenter offers a regular guest column from a variety of local and national voices covering a wide range of theatre topics. To submit a proposed guest column, email your name and topic to jmoore@dcpa.org.

    About our Guest Columnist

    DCPA Art Director Kyle Malone is an Arvada native who graduated from Arvada West High School and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University, majoring in drawing, painting, sculpting and graphics. His email is kmalone@dcpa.org.

    Selected previous Guest Columns:
    Students Aleksandra Kay and Alice Zelenko on The Secret Garden in NYC
    Student Nik Velimirovic on A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
    Douglas Langworthy: On translating Shakespeare for Oregon Shakes
    David Nehls: Live theatre returns to Elitch Gardens after 24 years
    Gillian McNally: Colorado's oldest theatre celebrates Artistic Director Tom McNally
    Margie Lamb on the Henry Awards: Something doesn't add up
    Bryan VanDriel on Lloyd Norton: A name that will live on in Greeley
    Jessica Jackson on Creede Repertory Theatre's 50th anniversary season
    Susan Lyles on 10 years of staging plays for women in Denver

    A look at the progression of Frankenstein:

    Kyle Malone Progession Frankenstein
  • Tony Awards offer powerful response to Orlando massacre

    by John Moore | Jun 12, 2016
    Lin-Manuel Miranda's sonnet to Orlando.

    The 2016 Tony Awards were not overshadowed by the worst mass shooting in U.S. history earlier in the day in Orlando, Fla. They were instead underscored by a powerful message of inclusion and human resilience. Fitting, then, that the winner of the 2016 Best New Play is called The Humans.

    As expected, Hamilton the Musical was coronated as one of the most celebrated new musicals in Broadway history, winning 11 Tony Awards. That's one fewer than the record of 12 won by The Producers in 2001 - largely only because Hamilton had multiple nominees in several categories (16 in all).

    But of all the moving acceptance speeches, it was creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, quickly becoming the conscience of the new America, reciting a "thank you sonnet" he wrote in the wake of the massacre that left 50 people dead in an Orlando nightclub. He delivered it after winning for best book of a musical:

    My wife’s the reason anything gets done
    She nudges me towards promise by degrees
    She is a perfect symphony of one
    Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
    We chase the melodies that seem to find us
    Until they’re finished songs and start to play
    When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
    That nothing here is promised, not one day.
    This show is proof that history remembers
    We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
    We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
    And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
    I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
    Now fill the world with music, love and pride.

    Added Tony Awards host James Corden: "Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity. All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that."

    Diane Paulus quote Tony AwardsDiane Paulus, acclaimed director of Best New Musical nominee Waitress, called the Tony Awards "a deeply moving and emotional evening" because of what happened in Orlando. "It made us all think about what our purpose is, and how precious time and life are," she said. But the response of the New York theatre community on display at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday, she said, made plain what makes theatre special among art forms. 

    "It made me appreciate what the theatre can be as a community: A place of tolerance and kindness that is embracing of diversity and freedom of expression," Paulus said in an exclusive interview for the DCPA NewsCenter. "Our role as artists is to do whatever we can to give people courage and resilience at times like this, through music and song and dance or drama."

    Our interview with DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg

    Hamilton, the improbable hip-hop musical about America’s first Treasury Secretary, picked up Broadway’s highest honor, for best new musical. The show is sold out through January 2017. That almost everyone in the cast is non-white punctuated these as the most diverse Tony Awards in history.

    "Think of tonight as the Oscars, with diversity,” Corden joked in his opening monologue. By night's end, 2016 made history as the first Tony Awards where all four awards for acting performances in musicals went to black actors. (Pictured below right: Leslie Odom Jr., Cynthia Erivo, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry. Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions.)

    Additionally, Waitress became the first Broadway musical with an all-female creative team. And the powerful political drama Eclipsed was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring women.

    Tony Awards. Cynthia Erivo. Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images. "This was landmark season for women in so many ways," said Paulus, who launched the national touring production of Pippin in Denver in 2014, and also helmed Finding Neverland, opening here on Dec. 20. "But I have said this time and time again - every artist is in their position on Waitress because they were the best person for the job.

    (Pictured: Actress Cynthia Erivo accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical in 'The Color Purple.' Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Tony Awards.)

    "This was not about a casting agenda. It's just a reflection that women are at the top of their field in composing, in writing, in choreography. This is the 21st century. We all have benefited from generations of women behind us who actually were told they couldn't be directors or writers. I hope we can provide that example for the next generation of artists wherever they are across America. To say, 'If you work with integrity and you tell important stories, this is not a closed door.' We have a long way to go for women, especially in leadership roles in the musical theatre. So yes, this is a  landmark year - but let's hope it's not a one-off, and that this continues."

    Paulus noted that Eclipsed, Blackbird, Waitress, The Color Purple and Spring Awakening all have one very powerful commonality: "These are all shows about women who are encountering some sort of abuse or violence," she said. "And it's not because that's all we care about as women. It's because 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. experiences some sort of intimate partner domestic abuse. This is a crisis in our time." 

    A practical example of change: CBS did not pull the plug on the Tony Awards telecast at exactly three hours, as it did last year. (The historic win for the female composing team of Fun Home came after the live cutoff.)

    Perhaps both the Hamilton hype and the Orlando massacre played a part, but the telecast posted its highest overnight rating in 15 years, growing 33 percent from last year. The CBS telecast drew 8.7 million viewers, largest since 2001.

    The Humans, by Stephen Karam, won for best new play, best featured actress (Jayne Houdyshell) and featured actor (Reed Birney), who played a married couple struggling to love and cherish a family under stress. The cast features frequent Denver Center actor Lauren Klein, who recently starred with her husband, Mike Hartman, in the DCPA Theatre Company's Death of a Salesman.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The Tony Awards included Denver Center founder Donald R. Seawell in its memoriam segment, alongside names such as Roger Rees, David Bowie and Patty Duke. Seawell was first to bring the Royal Shakespeare Company to America, and he produced more than 65 Broadway plays, including the RSC's The Hollow Crown.

    In the aftermath of Orlando, the night ended with a poignant parting message from Producer Jeffrey Seller, accepting the Best Musical for Hamilton: "How lucky we are to be alive right now." It is a song from the show, and its meaning was all the more resonant given the events of the day.

    Donald Seawell Tony Awards

    News and notes: 

    • Keri Russell, who grew up in Highlands Ranch, introduced the live performance by the cast of Waitress, which is based on the movie she starred in from 2007.
    • Josh Groban shouted out arts education when introducing the Fiddler on the Roof performance. "Thank you very much, arts education," said Groban, who will make his Broadway debut this fall in The Great Comet
    • Best Director Ivo Von Hove said he first came to the U.S. specifically to see David Bowie perform in The Elephant ManHere's our story on how that production began in Denver.
    • Celebrity presenters included Carole King, Barbara Streisand, Carole King Cate Blanchett and Jake Gyllenhaal.
    • One of Hamilton's wins went to Costume Designer Paul Tazewell, who also designed the DCPA Theatre Company's new look at The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 2014.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    News services contributed to this report.

    2016 Tony Award winners:

    Best Musical: “Hamilton”

    Best Play: “The Humans”

    Best Book of a Musical: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”

    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: “Hamilton”

    Best Revival of a Play: “Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge”

    Best Revival of a Musical: “The Color Purple”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Frank Langella, “The Father”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Cynthia Erivo, “The Color Purple”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Reed Birney, “The Humans”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Jayne Houdyshell, “The Humans”

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”

    Best Scenic Design of a Play: David Zinn, “The Humans”

    Best Scenic Design of a Musical: David Rockwell, “She Loves Me”

    Best Costume Design of a Play: Clint Ramos, “Eclipsed”

    Best Costume Design of a Musical: Paul Tazewell, “Hamilton” 

    Best Lighting Design of a Play: Natasha Katz, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

    Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Howell Binkley, “Hamilton”

    Best Direction of a Play: Ivo Van Hove, “Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge”

    Best Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”

    Best Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”

    Best Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”

    Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre: Sheldon Harnick, Marshall W. Mason

    Special Tony Award: National Endowment for the Arts, Miles Wilkin

    Regional Theatre Tony Award: Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, N.J.

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: Brian Stokes Mitchell

    Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre: Seth Gelblum, Joan Lader, Sally Ann Parson

  • The HamilTony Awards: What Denver’s voter has to say

    by John Moore | Jun 09, 2016

    Colorado Tony Awards Connections Kyle Malone 
    Graphic above by DCPA Art Director Kyle Malone.

    Click for an expandable version of the graphic

    DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg has been a Tony Awards voter since 2006. And while it would be professional bad form for him to express a preference for one musical over any another, he is among the few, the bold, and the brave who are going out on a limb and calling this year’s awards “The HamilTonys.”

    “I would say Ross Perot has a better chance of winning the Democratic presidential nomination than Hamilton has of losing the Best Musical Tony Award,” Ekeberg said, adding with a wink: “But you never know until all the votes are counted.”

    Hamilton Hamilton (pictured right) is the rare piece of live theater to cross over into the mainstream popular culture. But it is perhaps the first to do so before anyone outside of Broadway has even seen it. Interest in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop-infused musical about the founding fathers is approaching what Variety calls “stratospheric levels.”

    Hamilton is nominated for 16 Tony Awards, more than any other show in Broadway history. It can’t break The Producers’ all-time record with 12 wins on Sunday night (7 p.m., CBS), but it’s a mathematical impossibility only because the show has so many multiple nominees in the same individual acting categories. Still, Hamilton is nominated in every category of theatremaking — acting, writing, directing, dancing, music and design.

    John EkebergHamilton is sold-out on Broadway through January 2017. It is regularly propped and promoted on daytime and late-night television. But if you really want to know how deep Hamilton Fever runs, consider that officials at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo have named a new camel born there last month “Alexander Camelton.”

    We are having a pop-culture moment, said Ekeberg (pictured right).

    “I think where Hamilton really succeeded was the gestalt of it all,” said Ekeberg. “When a piece of theatre works, there is something about it that is larger than the sum of its individual parts. Hamilton succeeds at all of the things that make theatrical storytelling great.”

    Here is our complete list of 2016 Tony Awards nominees

    Ekeberg said the musical is resonating with audiences on multiple levels. “Some of the issues the story touches on regarding diversity and immigration and our country’s values at its beginning are revealing meaningful truths about where we are as a country today,” he said.  

    But if Hamilton is going to run the table on Sunday night, is there any reason to even watch on Sunday night? “Absolutely,” Ekeberg was quick to say back. Since CBS began broadcasting the awards in 1978, the annual telecast has become an essential opportunity to introduce to heartland American audiences the musicals that will be visiting their cities in the coming years.

    “It is incredibly important that as many TV viewers tune into the Tony Awards as possible,” said Ekeberg. And with interest in Hamilton skyrocketing, Ekeberg believes the often ratings-challenged broadcast could get a boost.

    Hamilton is a fantastic show, no question, and I expect it to do very well in terms of awards,” Ekeberg said. “But it was a great season on Broadway all around, and a lot of shows will be featured on that broadcast. I am excited that whatever attention Hamilton brings to the broadcast means more people will see other shows like Shuffle Along and Waitress as well.

    “The Tony Awards are a celebration of all things Broadway, and if Hamilton means more people will tune into the celebration because of it, then all the better. I like to believe the old saying that a rising tide floats all boats.”

    What strikes Ekeberg most about the Broadway theatre season just passed was its unprecedented diversity. Of the 40 acting nominations, 14 went to black, Hispanic and Asian-American actors. Contrast that with the controversy the Academy Awards faced in February over the lack of nominations for nonwhite performers.

    “From Hamilton to Shuffle Along to The Color Purple to On Your Feet, it’s been an amazing season for diversity on Broadway,” said Ekeberg. But the open-door policy goes far beyond skin color. This season brought Deaf West’s acclaimed production of Spring Awakening, which included not only hearing-impaired actors, but the first non-able-bodied actress to appear on Broadway in a wheelchair (Ali Stoker).

    Tony Awards Trivia TONY AWARDS 3

    Additionally, Waitress became the first Broadway musical with an all-female creative team. And the powerful political drama Eclipsed was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring women.

    “It’s been a pretty amazing year,” Ekeberg said.

    We talked to Ekeberg further about the Tony Awards, who votes for them, and what else to look for on Sunday’s broadcast, which will be hosted by Broadway actor, film star and now, late-night TV host James Corden.

    James Corden Tony Awards John Moore: So, who are the Tony Awards voters, anyway?

    John Ekeberg: There are approximately 846 eligible voters, the vast majority of whom are New York theatre professionals. Tony voters include full members of The Broadway League as well as the board of directors and designated members of the advisory committee of the American Theatre Wing, which is comprised of theatre professionals, general managers and those of us from out-of-town who oversee touring Broadway programming in those communities.

    John Moore: Why is it important that the touring community has a voice in determining the winners?

    John Ekeberg: Broadway is first and foremost a New York-centric business. But I actually think that as the years go on, the lifespan of any piece of commercial theatre is only expanded by its increased exposure on the road.

    John Moore: How much do the Tony Awards directly affect what shows we eventually see in Denver?

    John Ekeberg: I take the results very seriously. If the profession-at-large has determined a show to be the best musical of any given season, there would be no reason I would prevent the Denver community from seeing that show. I feel like part of our role here is to keep our local community at the forefront of the pulse of Broadway theatre, and certainly winning the Tony Award for best musical qualifies a show as being a part of that heartbeat.

    Tuck Everlasting Cynthia Settje. Sketches by Gregg Barnes
    Cynthia Settje's Boulder shop Redthreaded was called upon to build some costumes for the Tony Award-nominated 'Tuck Everlasting.' Sketch by Gregg Barnes.

    John Moore: Still, it must takes some courage to book underdog or controversial Best Musical winners such as Fun Home and Spring Awakening.

    John Ekeberg: I don’t know that it takes courage. When I heard the name “Fun Home” announced as last year’s Best Musical, my immediate reaction was, “When is it getting to Denver?” I never gave it a second thought. I just can’t imagine getting a call from John Q. Public asking me, ‘Why didn’t you book the Tony Award-winner for Best Musical?’ - and not having a good answer for that.

    John Moore: But your predecessor Randy Weeks said it took some real soul-searching for him to eventually book Spring Awakening.

    John Ekeberg: Things have changed.  I go back to how freaked out people were about Avenue Q. I feel like our Denver audiences, time and time again, have proven to us that challenging material is valuable to their lives, and they want it to be seen onstage here in Denver. I think we’re in a really exciting time where we have a lot of shows that are telling important stories from interesting points of view.

     Tony Awards Trivia

    Tony Awards telecast information

    • The Tony Awards will air on a one-hour delay at 7 p.m. MDT on CBS-4.
    • Host: James Corden
    • Watch the pre-show, red-carpet special live online at tonyawards.com
  • Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at the 2016 Bobby G Awards

    by John Moore | Jun 08, 2016

    Acceptance speeches and interview comments before and after the 2016 Bobby G Awards. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Before newly graduated Ponderosa High School senior Charlotte Movizzo discovered the theatre, she said, “I was the quietest person you will ever meet. I was very shy.”

    How shy?

    “I was afraid to order at Qdoba,” she said. “It was terrifying.”

    Jimmy Miller Bobby G Awards But when Movizzo found the theatre, she found a second home. “I felt I could break out of my shell,” she said.

    Movizzo left any remaining fragments of her broken shell on the Buell Theatre stage last month when she was named Outstanding Actress at the 2016 Bobby G Awards, which honor achievements in Colorado high-school theatre. As the newly named Outstanding Actress and Actor, Movizzo and 15-year-old Durango High School sophomore Curtis Salinger earned a trip next week to New York City, where they will be immersed for 10 days of theatre training with Broadway professionals before performing in the Minskoff Theatre at the national Jimmy Awards.

    That’s how fast your life can change because of the Bobby G Awards, which were begun by late DCPA President Randy Weeks four years ago and named in honor of his late mentor, Denver theatre producer Robert Garner.

    When she heard her name called, Movizzo said, there were no words. “I almost started crying,” she said.

    Winning was nice, but the best part of her Bobby G Awards experience, she said, was working together with her nine fellow nominees for a week on a specially created medley they performed at the ceremony. “Working with all of the nominees has been amazing because they are all so talented,” she said. They became so close and supportive, she said, they formed a private Facebook group.

    But the Bobby G Awards are not all about churning out the next generation of Broadway performers. 2014 Outstanding Actor Conner Kingsley matriculated to Tulane University, where he had the cred to star as Jack in the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods as just a freshman. But his heart soon led him toward a Management Environmental Studies degree and, hopefully, next into law school. Kingsley said performing in high-school school theatre and the Bobby G Awards experience prepped him well for that transition.

    “That has really helped me to talk openly in front of people, and taught me how to share my ideas and opinions easily,” he said.

    In the lobby before the Bobby G Awards, it was clear this unique annual gathering is all about celebrating both theatre and camaraderie.

    Bobby G Awards Luccio Dellepiane “For my kids, high-school theatre is their life for four years, and the school musical becomes the epicenter of their entire year,” said Cherry Creek High School Drama Teacher Jimmy Miller, whose How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was nominated for eight Bobby G Awards. “But what my kids really enjoy about these awards is being around other high-school kids and sharing the energy, and sharing the love.”

    Another example of how much can change in a year was made plain when Cherry Creek student Luccio Dellepiane (pictured above) stepped onto the Buell Theatre stage as J. Pierpont Finch alongside his How to Succeed castmates to perform a medley from the show.

    Last year, Dellepiane was singled out as the Bobby G Awards’ Rising Star, an award that honors outstanding work by an underclassman for his work as The Herald in Creek’s Cinderella. This year, Dellepiane starred in the leading role of How to Succeed. Star risen.

    “That was really crazy,” said Dellepiane, who like many others, was surrounded by proud family and friends in the Buell lobby before the awards. “That was the greatest honor I have ever received.”

    Our 2016 Bobby G Awards photo gallery:

    2016 Bobby G Awards

    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    One of the fringe benefits of winning the Rising Star Award is a year of free classes offered by the DCPA’s Education Department, and Dellepiane took full advantage by signing up for four summer classes ranging from improv comedy to audition tips.

    “I know I grew as a performer because of it,” he said. “It gave me confidence to go further.”

    The Bobby G Awards’ Outstanding Musical Award went to Mountain View High School’s tap-dance extravaganza, Anything Goes. Mountain View is a medium-sized school of 1,200 located in Loveland, about 45 miles north of Denver. 

    “It’s humbling,” leading actor Owen Whitham said of the honor. “We come from a smaller town and we pour our heart and soul into our work. Being recognized for that is something we never even thought of.” 

    The cast’s performance of the title song drew thunderous response from the Buell crowd of about 1,700.

    “Shockingly, only five of us had ever tapped before,” said cast member Kira Minter, who said the students went through a two-week tap-dancing boot camp before rehearsals even started. Their efforts paid off at the Bobby G Awards.

    “I think this program is amazing,” Minter said. “It’s one of those experiences that changes your life. Performing on a real, professional stage is a great opportunity, especially for kids who are new to theatre. It’s a chance for them to say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is what I love to do.’ ”

    Denver School of the Arts was nominated for seven Bobby G Awards for its daring production of Spring Awakening, one of the first in the nation by any high school troupe. DSA is one of only two schools in the nation that have been invited to perform at the upcoming International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Neb. Actor Keely Kritz said performing Spring Awakening at the upcoming conference “is the fulfillment of a big dream.”

    Spring Awakening is a modern retelling of young 1880s German teens growing up in the complete absence of real information about sexuality or the human body.

    Bobby G Awards Mountain View High School
    Mountain View High School's cast of 'Anything Goes.' Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    “It was freeing to be able to do this show,” said cast member Beau Wilcox. “It’s great to be able to say, ‘This is our school, and we are going to take on a tough subject, and we are going to do a good job with it.”

    Added castmate Jimmy Bruenger: “We like to do shows that are impactful and share a human experience - and what a perfect show to that,” he said. “This is a show about growing up, and we’ve all done that in the past seven years.”

    Still, for many, the enduring moment of the 2016 Bobby G Awards was watching as Curtis Salinger of Durango High School was named Outstanding Actor one year after his brother, Evatt, won the same honor. And it was Evatt who had the honor of handing the trophy to his younger brother, who turns just 16 next week. Curtis called it a Zoolander moment. But he was was most happy for his parents.

    “We have amazing parents, and they have raised us well,” Curtis said. “I know I speak for Evatt when I say we are eternally grateful to them and for the opportunities they have given us.” 

    One of the giddiest attendees this year was 2014 Outstanding Actress Abby Noble, who was happy to be taking her seat in the Buell Theatre audience before the show. “I just ate at McDonalds, because I don’t have to sing,” she said with a smile as wide as her face.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.



    2014 Outstanding Actress Abby Noble: “Theatre definitely helps me in every aspect of my life. Especially when it comes to working with other people at the work place. I am a tour guide at my school, and theatre has really helped with the presentational aspect of the job, abs being able to stand under pressure with a smile on your face and be genuine.”

    Shelly Cox-Robie, director of Boulder High School’s Beauty and the Beast and a 250-year performer at BDT Stage in Boulder: “I am so happy for these kids. We have to fight for funding and fight for any recognition for these kids, who work countless hours for months to make these shows.”

    Ronni Gallup, nominated for the third time at Cherry Creek High School and choreographer of Phamaly Theatre Company’s upcoming Evita: “It is so important that we give these kids a taste of what the real business is. I’m hard on them. I push them and I challenge them, year after year. And I think they are the better for it" 

    2015 Outstanding Actress Emma Buchanan: "Being back at the Bobby G Awards makes me nostalgic being back here at the Buell Theatre. You can feel the excitement of the event and how important it is for so many kids in the state."

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
  • Off-Center's 'Sweet & Lucky' extended through Aug. 7

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 08, 2016

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Off-Center announced today that Sweet & Lucky has been extended through Aug. 7  to accommodate audience demand.

    Sweet and Lucky Colby Foss Sweet & Lucky, a commissioned work by Brooklyn-based Third Rail Projects, is the DCPA’s first foray into large-scale immersive theatre. The production has sold out all 48 of its originally scheduled performances. Tickets for the six-week extension are now available at SweetAndLuckyDenver.com.

     Off-Center is the DCPA's the newest and most unconventional programming arm, focusing on upending theatrical expectations and traditions. 

    Buy your Sweet & Lucky tickets here

    Sweet & Lucky is a “brave, lovely, original adventure," according to Juliet Wittman of Westword, and it constitutes the largest physical undertaking in the DCPA's nearly 40-year history. 

    (Pictured right: Colby Foss of 'Sweet and Lucky.' Photo by Adams Viisual Communications.)

    The two-hour mobile adventure takes place in a sprawling 16,000-square-foot warehouse (owned by Westfield Company) on Brighton Boulevard. Attendees step into a mysterious antique store and plunge into a labyrinth of dreamlike encounters.

    Audience members follow performers through intricately designed environments, into intimate engagements, and witness a series of seductive and haunting flashbacks. It's a 360-degree experience that uses all five senses to evoke the power and fragility of memories. Audiences also enjoy specialty cocktails before and after the show crafted by award-winning mixologist Sean Kenyon at a pop-up version of Kenyon’s Williams and Graham speakeasy.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Please note that each performance is limited to 72 audience members.

    Sweet & Lucky’s present ensemble of actors includes Denver-based performers Diana Dresser, Colby Foss, Ondine Geary, Meridith C. Grundei, Kevin Lowry, Leigh Miller, Patrick Mueller, Tara Rynders, Mackenzie Sherburne, Luke Sorge, Justin Walvoord, Edith Weiss, Ryan Wuestewald and Amanda Berg Wilson; and Lia Bonfilio (of Third Rail Projects).

    Sweet & Lucky: Ticket information
    Sweet & Lucky plays through Aug. 7 at 4120 E. Brighton Boulevard, with newly added performances. Only 72 audience members per performance. Wear comfortable shoes. Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Note: Sweet & Lucky has its own web site. You should check it out here. 

    Sweet & Lucky production photos:

    Sweet & Lucky
    To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by Adams Visual Communications.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Sweet & Lucky:
    Photos: Opening night coverage
    5 things we learned about Sweet & Lucky
    Zach Morris is home to seize the cultural moment
    Casting announced; tickets onsale
    DCPA to create new immersive theatre piece with Third Rail Projects
    Kickstarter campaign allows audience to dive deeper

    More photos: The making of Sweet & Lucky: 

    Making of 'Sweet & Lucky'
    To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

  • Video, story: Stirring the passions of student writers ... and future engineers

    by John Moore | Jun 07, 2016

    In the video above, we interview the three 2016 student playwriting finalists and look at performance excerpts as their plays were read by professional actors at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit in February. Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The DCPA's third annual year-long Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition will culminate Friday, June 17, with two free, fully staged performances of student playwright Kendra Knapp’s Sonder in the Denver Center's Conservatory Theatre.

    Last fall, DCPA Education staff conducted 145 classroom workshops for 3,100 Colorado students. That resulted in 212 one-act play submissions from young writers all over the state - up from 158 the year before. A team of professional adjudicators determined 10 semifinalists. Of those, three were selected to have their plays workshopped by the DCPA Education staff and read by professional actors at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit in February. They were:

    Knapp, a recent graduate of Valor Christian High School, was a top-10 finalist last year. This year, her newest play was singled out for full production. Sonder follows a community of young people who are seeking real connection, but from the safety and distance of the internet.

    Our complete Student Playwriting photo gallery:

    2016 Student Playwriting Competition
    Photos from rehearsal through performances of the three finalist readings at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. To see more, click the 'forward' arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

    Knapp said it was “super exciting” to get into the top 10 last year, and decided it was worth doing again. “When I got in the top three, I figured there’s really no worst-case scenario for me," she said.

    DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous said the purpose of the teen writing initiative is to advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting.

    Teen playwriting quote“This program is all about inspiring the passion of playwriting in the next generation of writers,” she said. But playwriting promotes a variety of life skills, no matter what profession they one day choose. Knapp, for example, is headed to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where she will study aerospace engineering. “But I will probably still be writing, too,” Knapp said.

    Submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and educational professionals. The three finalists each receive a cash scholarship of $250. In addition, each teacher of the three finalists receives a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms.

    Knapp’s play was then further selected for a full production this summer. The staging will be directed by DCPA Education Head of Acting Tim McCracken and performed by actors from the DCPA's summer education classes.

    At a time when much of the national theatre dialogue is focused on the lack of fair female representation among American playwrights, it was telling that all three of the student finalists are young women.

    I think that‘s great, especially because it was picked blind," said Wood, a rising senior at Denver Christian School. "We know we were not being picked just because we are women - we were picked because we have talent, and we have abilities, and it’s great that the DCPA is helping us realize this."

    Added Moore: "I really appreciate the DCPA for not feeling the need to fill a quota, and that we’re being appreciated for our talent, no matter what age or gender or background we come from."

    Another commonality the three finalists share is faith. Two of the writers attend faith-based schools - Valor Christian and Denver Christian - and the third writer (Moore) wrote her play about a young woman who goes on a meaningful search to understand how God’s fallen angel came to be known as the Devil.
    Student Playwrights Sonder

    From left: Student playwriting finalists Kendra Knapp, Jessica Wood and Gabrielle Moore. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The finalists found it refreshing that the adjudicators were clearly open to stories with a religious theme, which is not always the case in the theatre.

    “I think there are certain stigmas about both the theatre and the church,” said Wood. “On the surface, they seem opposed to each other, but I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. I think it’s really cool that you can be a member of the church and still be a writer in the theatre, which isn’t something a whole lot of people think you can do.”

    Moore was worried that making the Devil a central character in her play might be taken the wrong way. "Offending people was not the goal at all,” she said. “I wanted to tell a side of the story we typically don’t hear in church. I’ve heard pastors tell us that we need to avoid the Devil - but I’ve never really understood why."

    Reserve your free seat to see Sonder

    Knapp’s play has no religious overtones but she says she’s used to facing prejudice as a woman, a Hispanic, a person of faith and a theatre kid. “I’m used to people meeting me and then having this taste in their mouth where they go, “You’re from a Christian school? And you're into theatre?” I’m used to that attitude. But then I come here to the Denver Center and they just say, “OK, let’s get to work.” And I’m like, “Wait, you’re not going to ask me about my political views? Where’s the interrogation?”

    Each finalist was mentored during the Colorado New Play Summit in February by a commissioned playwright with the Denver Center Theatre Company: Rogelio Martinez (Knapp), Anne García-Romero (Moore) and Lauren Yee (Wood), all of whom are developing new plays for the DCPA’s right of first refusal.

    “Rogelio had some ideas and insights for the play that hadn’t been presented to me by any other voice,” said Knapp. "It’s just a really good feeling to get feedback from someone you know is established who says to you genuinely, 'This is good.' ”

    Student Playwrights Sonder
    The cast and creative teams from the three student playwriting readings at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The three finalists and their plays are featured in the video report at the top of this page. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation with DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore:

    John Moore: What did you think when you found out you were in the top three?

    Gabrielle Moore: My mom told me I had to look at this email because it was really important. And I was like, “Mom you’re probably misinterpreting it. They’re probably just saying, ‘Thank you for your submission’ - not that I actually won. When I read it, I was genuinely amazed.

    Jessica Wood: When I found out I was in the top three, I was really excited, because I put quite a lot of work into it. To see my work realized and accepted meant a whole lot. It was really great.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Kendra Knapp: I showed the email to my dad and he was like, “Wow, that’s super exciting!” And then I had this sudden moment of dread where I was like, “Oh gosh, I’m going to have to actually talk to people. No! I have to put on a dress! I can’t just sit in my pajamas all day!"

    John Moore: How did it help your writing to work with a director from the DCPA Education team?

    Jessica Wood: Shortly after I was selected, Mr. (Steven Cole) Hughes sent me some notes that said he liked my play, but there definitely were places where we can improve it. So I made some changes before I even went into rehearsal. Then I met my wonderful director (Allison Watrous), all of my actors, and they’re all great. We sat down and read the whole play through, and I said, “OK, I can definitely see some structural weaknesses.” So I changed my play - and then the next day, I changed it again. I think I had a rewrite every single day. And by the time we were done, I got to understand the whole feeling of the play. I got to learn how to best impact the ears of the audience, what sounds pleasing and what doesn’t, and really what makes for a good script.

    John Moore: What was it like to see a professional reading of your work?

    Gabrielle Moore: Starting out with an idea a year ago and getting to watch it develop into being on the stage was incredible. Even though there were some rewrites, my director Patrick (Elkins-Zeglarski) ensured me that I know what’s best for this play, that this is my authentic voice, and I could put in whatever I want, to an extent. It was nice to know that this is still my play, even though the DCPA has been nice enough to take care of it for me.

    John Moore: What was it like to hear audience responses for the first time?

    Jessica Wood: When the the lights went down for my play, I just felt this moment of sudden, sick dread because I was convinced that everyone would hate it. It’s really terrifying when you have a live audience because you don’t know how they’re going to react. You don’t know if they’re going to connect. You don’t know if they are going to be bored out of their minds. And if that happens, you’re to blame for that. But they were great. They were kind, they were polite, they laughed, and hopefully they cried a little bit.

    John Moore: How is this whole experience emboldening you?

    Gabrielle Moore: I learned a lot about myself through the writing process, especially through my character, Teresa. Because I’ve had trouble understanding everything I need to know about being a Catholic. And writing this play really helped because I did a lot of research on Mother Teresa. She said a lot of times when she prayed, she wasn’t sure if God was always there. But that didn’t stop her from doing good things and being a good person. I think she’s such an amazing woman to do that. I just want to keep being a good person and being a good writer and impact other people to do good through plays like this.

    Jessica Wood: I definitely think there’s a bit of a look that you get from adults when you tell them you write. They say, “Do you, really?” And then here comes this opportunity at the Denver Center where they say, “Yes, you are a writer. Now why don’t you give us some of your writing and let us help you make it better?”

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Sonder: Performance information
    1:30 and 7 p.m., Friday, June 17
    Conservatory Theatre in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education 1101 13th St.
    This performance is free, but an RSVP is requested by clicking here 

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of the Student Playwriting Competition:
    2016 finalists named for Regional High School Playwriting Competition
    2016 Summit: An infusion of invisible color and hidden voices
    Denver Center launches statewide high-school playwriting initiative
    Direct link to our Flickr photo gallery

    Our complete countdown of 2016 semifinalists:
    No. 1: Jafei Pollitt, Denver School of the Arts
    No. 2: Jessica Wood, Denver Christian High School
    No. 3: Kristine Guo, Peak to Peak Charter School
    No. 4: Gabrielle Moore, D'Evelyn High School
    No. 5: Ashley Wright and Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School
    No. 6: Kalina Gallardo, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    No. 7: Kiera Eriksen-McAuliffe, Denver School of the Arts
    No. 8: Stephanie Kiel and Mady McGraw, Chatfield Senior High School
    No. 9: Kendra R. Knapp, Valor Christian High School
    No. 10: Jacob Kendrick, Peak to Peak Charter School


  • 'Phantom of the Opera' tickets go on-sale

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 06, 2016

    By Heidi Bosk

    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    Tickets for Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera go on sale today, June 6, at 10 a.m. for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' engagement playing The Buell Theatre Aug. 25-Sept. 11.  With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of Phantom is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Tickets start at $20.


    Please be advised that the DCPA is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for the Denver engagement of The Phantom of the Opera.

    “It’s wonderful to have a new production of Phantom touring America now that the show has celebrated 28 years on Broadway," said Lloyd Webber. "Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the U.K.”

    Connor co-directed the new production of Les Misérables currently running on Broadway and around the world, as well as the award-winning new London production of Miss Saigon coming to Broadway in 2017 and national tour in 2018, and the stage version of the movie School of Rock now playing at Broadway’s Winter Garden.

    Added Mackintosh: "With Phantom still the reigning champion as the longest-running production on Broadway after 28 phenomenal years, with no end in sight, I’m delighted that this spectacular new production of Phantom has been as well-received in the U.S. as the brilliant original and has already been seen by over 2 million people across North America since it opened in November 2013. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Björnson’s amazing costumes, the new Phantom is thrilling audiences and critics alike all over again – the music of the night is soaring to dazzling new heights.”

    Phantom of the Opera

    The Company performs "Masquerade." Original tour cast photo by Alastair Muir.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera
    Aug. 25-Sept. 11, Buell Theatre

    • Presented by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group, and NETworks Presentations
    • Directed by Laurence Connor
    • Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
    • Lyrics by Charles Hart
    • Additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
    • Book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber
    • Orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber
    • Choreography by Scott Ambler
    • Set design by Paul Brown
    • Original costume design by Maria Björnson
    • Lighting design by Paule Constable
    • Sound design by Mick Potter
    • Musical supervision by John Rigby
    • The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh

    Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it.  He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Mackintosh’s brilliant original production of Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera continues performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and in its recording-breaking run at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and many other cities around the world.

    Photo gallery:

    The Phantom of the Opera

    'The Phantom of the Opera' photos by Matthew Murphy and  Alastair Muir. To see more, click the forward arrow above.

    Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter

  • Phamaly will send wheelchairs flying in historic 'Peter Pan'

    by John Moore | Jun 05, 2016
    Phamalys 2016 season announcementPhotos from Phamaly's annual gala on June 4, where it was announced that 'Peter Pan' will anchor the 2016-17 season at the DCPA's Stage Theatre. All photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above.

    Phamaly Theatre Company promises to send wheelchairs flying in the summer of 2017 when it presents Peter Pan in the Denver Center's expansive Stage Theatre, making it the largest undertaking in Phamaly's 28-year history.

    Peter Pan John Cameron Mitchell Phamaly Phamaly will be following in the hallowed fairy dust of John Cameron Mitchell, internationally ignored song stylist and creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, who performed the titular role in Peter Pan in the same Stage Theatre in 1989 as a member of the Denver Center Theatre Company (pictured at right).  

    Phamaly produces professional-scale plays and musicals year-round, cast entirely of performers with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. For years, Phamaly has presented its annual summer musical at the Denver Center's Space Theatre, but because of year-long renovations that are presently underway, Phamaly will offer Evita next month at the University of Denver's Byron Theatre (July 16-Aug. 7).

    "Peter Pan is a wonderful story about aging, the fairness of life and the value of obstacle," Artistic Director Bryce Alexander (pictured below right) said when announcing Phamaly's 2016-17 season at its annual gala on Saturday night.

    Phamaly Bryce AlexanderThe lineup is at once a complete embrace of both classic stories and presentational innovation. Phamaly will present Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol at the King Center on the Auraria campus, directed by Paul Dwyer. That will be followed by George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion at the Aurora Fox, directed by Carolyn Howarth, who recently helmed Colorado Shakespeare Festival's award-winning production of Henry V. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Next will be a staged reading of a new adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream in collaboration with New York's disability-based Apothetae Theatre at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

    "While still in Shakespeare's language, Phamaly and Apothetae will work together to further develop a script called Spirits of Another Sort that highlights the themes of war, chaos and otherness - as well as the magic that exists in love, and in variation of body," said Alexander, whose goal is to eventually fully produce the new play both in Denver and New York.

    Phamaly Evita Hannah Ballmer Rob Costigan
    Rob Costigan and Hannah Balmer demonstrate how the tango will look with the added dimension of a wheelchair when 'Evita' opens next month at the University of Denver. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The touring children's production will be Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, opening in October at the Lakewood Cultural Center before touring Colorado and Wyoming through May. Alexander said the story of a boy who feels like an outsider, learning to accept differences and overcoming obstacles, makes Dahl's classic the perfect vehicle for Phamaly's educational outreach.

    "With this new season, we are daring the community to reimagine these classic stories through a new lens," Alexander said.

    But all eyes will be on the sky when Phamaly takes on Peter Pan in the Stage Theatre, which has has a capacity of 778. That's more than 200 greater than the Space Theatre. And while Phamaly traditionally performs "in the round," the Stage has a thrust stage with an audience that wraps around in a semi-circle. DU's Byron Theatre, which is hosting Evita next month, seats about 350.

    Click here for more info on Phamaly Theatre Company

    Alexander also took a moment from his announcement to commend the company's ongoing relationship with the Denver Center, particularly its Education Division.

    "Phamaly already has a renowned partnership with Denver Center Education, where we collaborate to provide free professional-arts training specifically for adults with disabilities. But as we look to change the standards of accessibility, I am thrilled to announce that this fall, Phamaly will begin adding classes specifically for children with disabilities. Phamaly is raising the bar for education."

    Alexander's first year as Artistic Director included an on-site visit from National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, and a move to bring both trained audio describers on staff and equipment in-house, making Phamaly one of only a handful of theatre companies in the country that can accommodate those audience requests on demand.

    "It's easy to focus on the past - to look at where we've come from, at what we have accomplished and who we have touched," Alexander said. "But I want us to look forward."

    The gala was hosted by KUSA anchor Kyle Dyer and former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Phamaly Theatre Company' 2016-17 season
    Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach (touring)
    Opening Oct. 21-22, 2016, at the Lakewood Cultural Center
    Directed by Bryce Alexander

    Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol
    Dec. 1-18, 2016
    At the King Center on the Auraria campus
    Directed by Paul Dwyer

    By George Bernard Shaw
    Feb. 23-March 12, 2017
    At the Aurora Fox
    Directed by Carolyn Howarth
    Staged reading of Spirits of Another Sort
    in collaboration with New York's Apothetae Theatre
    May 6-7, 2017
    At the Lone Tree Arts Center

    Peter Pan
    July 13-Aug. 6, 2017
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    Directed by Bryce Alexander

    Click here for more info on Phamaly Theatre Company

  • Video, photos: Town Hall, Alamo present 'Legally Blonde'

    by John Moore | Jun 02, 2016

    Video: Highlights from the live performance and Q&A before and after the Denver Actors Fund screening of 'Legally Blonde' at the Alamo Drafthouse Denver. 

    The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and the Denver Actors Fund partner on a monthly film series focusing on films inspired by musicals that are currently being performed by a Colorado theatre company.

    On May 23, the Alamo screened Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon, preceded by live entertainment from the Town Hall Arts Center's current production of Legally Blonde, the Musical. The host was cast member Chelley Canales. Film director Robert Luketic and screenwriters Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah appeared in person for a Q&A and autographs.  

    Choose your seat for the Footloose screening June 20

    Among the topics discussed after the film was how Littleton played into the creation of the writing team of Smith and McCullah. Here's an expanded quote from Smith on that subject:

    “Karen was writing screenplays while living here in Littleton, and I was living in L.A. and reading screenplays. She was being an awesome writer who sent her scripts hither and yon into Hollywood, and I read some. And so I called her on the phone and I said, ‘I would love to meet you. Will you come to L.A.? Let’s have drinks.’ And then we one drink that led to probably 25 drinks. And that night, we started writing a script together on cocktail napkins. And then we began a long-distance writing relationship in which she was here in Littleton and I was in L.A., and we wrote 10 Things I Hate About You.”

    Read our fun interview with Robert Luketic

    Next up in the film series will be Footloose, with entertainment from BDT Stage, on Monday, June 25. Click here for tickets.

    The Denver Actors Fund provides financial assistance to members of the Denver theater community in situational medical need.

    Our Legally Blonde photo gallery:

    DAF Presents ... Legally Blonde

    Photos from the Denver Actors Fund benefit screening of 'Legally Blonde.' To see more, click the forward button on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

    Next: Denver Actors Fund Presents ... Footloose
    A benefit screening for the Denver Actors Fund
    Monday, June 20
    At the Alamo Drafthouse, 7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 303-730-2470

    • 6pm Doors
    • 6:30p.m. Live entertainment from BDT Stage
    • 7pm film


    Note: The Town Hall Arts Center is presenting Legally Blonde, the Musical onstage through June 19 at 2450 Main St., Littleton. The director is Nick Sugar. Call  303-794-2787, or go to townhallartscenter.org

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The cast of Town Hall Arts Center's stage production of 'Legally Blonde, the Musical' meets film director Robert Luketic and screenwriters Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah after the benefit screening for the Denver Actors Fund.
  • Matthew Lopez among Perry-Mansfield featured playwrights

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 02, 2016
    Matthew Lopez. Photo by John Moore. Matthew Lopez, shown at the recent Colorado New Play Summit, is a featured writer in Steamboat Springs. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Every summer for nearly two decades, playwrights have retreated to the glorious Colorado mountains near Steamboat Springs to develop new plays in collaboration with some of the nation's leading theatre companies.
    is a performing-arts school that attracts students from around the world and faculty renowned for their work in theatre, music and modern and contemporary dance,

    Perry-Mansfield's 19th Annual New Works Festival on June 10-11 will develop five new plays in partnership with the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Lark, Primary Stages and South Coast Repertory.

    Among the featured writers are DCPA Theatre Company Playwright in Residence Matthew Lopez, who will be developing his latest work, Zoey’s Perfect Wedding. It is directed by Mike Donahue, with whom he collaborated on the DCPA world premiere The Legend of Georgia McBride.

    Andrew LeynseAnother featured playwright is Mat Smart, whose The Yes Ready Within is being developed by Primary Stages of New York City. Smart's Midwinter was a featured reading at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit.

    “For almost 20 years, Perry-Mansfield has been a haven of new-play development deep in the Rocky Mountains,” said Perry-Mansfield and Primary Stages Artistic Director Andrew Leynse (pictured right). “This year, more than 40 theatre artists from five leading institutions will join us in Steamboat Springs to collaborate and create something new. We are honored to welcome this diverse mix of voices and to be an important step in the life of these plays."

    The public is encouraged to join the artists and be among the first to experience these premiere plays before they go on to be produced across the country.

    Perry-Mansfield's 19th Annual New Works Festival

    I Now Pronounce
    By Tasha Gordon-Solmon
    Presented by Actors Theatre of Louisville
    Directed by Meredith McDonough
    Comedies end in marriage. Tragedies end in death. This play begins with both. A disaster at a wedding leads those involved to question their own life choices over the course of an increasingly strange night.

    By Aditi Kapil
    Presented by South Coast Repertory
    Directed by Jessica Kubzansky
    Dramaturgy by Kimberly Colburn
    Leela is different. A teenager from India, she sketches life’s important moments in her journal, and she’s about to go on an adventure through Orange County. When a family wedding gets boring, her rebellious cousin decides to make a run for it with her boyfriend—taking Leela along. As they careen through the night, Leela challenges their view of her—and each other. A touching story about a unique young woman’s search for her place in the world.

    The Quiet Ones
    By Mary Elizabeth Hamilton
    Presented by The Lark
    Directed by John Clinton Eisner
    How do you function in a world that is evolving without you? Katherine’s old-school methods as a Kindergarten teacher have come under new scrutiny. She struggles to handle a disturbing event between two of her students, her only son is getting married and she can’t decide on a pair of shoes, and she is still working to recover from the break up of her family 17 years ago after her husband transitioned genders. As Katherine attempts to navigate a new culture using all the old rules, the fragility of her world-view becomes painfully clear. The Quiet Ones explores what is lost or gained as we evolve as people and as a society.

    The Yes Ready Within
    By Mat Smart
    Presented by Primary Stages
    Directed Henry Wishcamper
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota – 1971. On the night Apollo 15 lands on the moon, a draft dodger returns home to Eden Prairie from Canada. He risks arrest to deliver a message to a girl from his high school class. A play that asks: what does it mean to be brave?

    Zoey’s Perfect Wedding
    By Matthew Lopez
    Presented by the DCPA Theatre Company
    Directed by Mike Donahue
    Dramaturgy by Douglas Langworthy
    It's November 2008. Obama has just been elected and Zoey has just gotten married. One of these things is about to end in disaster. ZPW is a new comedy about hope, expectations and the inevitability of growing up.


    Reading Schedule

    Friday, June 10, 4 p.m.: The Chief
    The Yes Ready Within by Mat Smart

    Friday, June 10, 8 p.m.: The Chief
    I Now Pronounce by Tasha Gordon-Solmon

    Saturday, June 11, 1 p.m.: Julie Harris Theater
    The Quiet Ones by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton

    Saturday, June 11, 4 p.m.: Julie Harris Theater
    Orange by Aditi Kapil

    Saturday, June 11, 8 p.m.: Julie Harris Theater
    Zoey’s Perfect Wedding by Matthew Lopez

    Ticket information
    Single tickets for each reading are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Festival passes start at $60. BUY HERE. For advance ticket reservations and other information, call 970-879-7125 and ask for Toni.

    About Perry-Mansfield
    The Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, now in its 19th year, brings performing arts professionals together in the Rocky Mountains to continue Perry-Mansfield's founding principle of nurturing new talent with new work. Presented under Executive Producer Jim Steinberg with sponsorship from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Artistic Director, Andrew Leynse, (Primary Stages, NYC) and Grady Soapes, Associate Producer.

    The New Works program was founded in 1997 to provide a collaborative festival for voices in the arts. Students have the opportunity to interact and observe a professional new play development process and our guest artists get to craft their pieces in a relaxed environment with a very supportive staff and audience.

    Past festival works include Appoggiatura by James Still (DCPA Theatre Company and LAUNCH PAD); The Whistleblower by Itamar Moses (Pacific Playwrights Festival); The Few by Samuel D. Hunter (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Bronx Bombers by Eric Simonson (Broadway, Circle in the Square Theatre and Primary Stages); The Receptionist by Adam Bock (Manhattan Theatre Club); Lydia by Octavio Solis (DCPA Theatre Company, Yale Rep); The Blue Flower by Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer (Prospect Theatre at the West End Theatre); Plainsong by Eric Schmiedl (DCPA Theatre Company); The Morini Strad by Willy Holtzman (Primary Stages, City Theatre); Maple and Vine by Jordan Harrison (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Playwrights Horizons); Eat Your Heart Out by Courtney Baron (Actors Theatre of Louisville); What's That Smell by David Pittu (Atlantic Theatre); and The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown with books and lyrics by Kait Kerrigan and music by Brian Lowdermilk (Goodspeed).

  • How Disney turned a Beast into a Beaut

    by NewsCenter Staff | Jun 02, 2016
    NETworks presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast

    Photos by Matthew Murphy. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. 

    Even on your very best day, chances are you’ve never danced with your dinnerware. Oh, you may have talked things out over a good cup of tea from time to time, but rarely with the teapot itself. You even may have warbled in your wardrobe, but with it? Ah, but perhaps you’ve never visited an enchanted castle.

    Fear not. Here’s your chance, as NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast rolls into town for a return run in Denver. As usual, it’s the love of a good woman that turns a beast into his best. Then again, this timeless tale of redemption brings out the best in everyone.

    Based on the traditional fairytale first published in France in the mid-18th century, Beauty and the Beast has been translated into hundreds of versions worldwide. When Walt Disney Pictures released the animated feature film in 1991, it was hailed as an instant classic with critics praising its “songs worthy of a Broadway musical.”

    With two Academy Awards (Best Song and Best Original Score), Disney set out to turn that praise into reality. The transformation of evil into good is hardly the only transformation in this show. To the tune of $13 million dollars, give or take a few, the Disney folk transformed their very successful film musical into an equally successful stage musical. Linda Woolverton adapted her screenplay for the stage complete with new scenes and seven new songs. The show opened at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994, ultimately playing 5,461 performances on Broadway in 13 years.

    With 580 costume pieces, 81 wigs and spectacular staging effects, people become household utensils such as teapots and wardrobes and candelabra and feather dusters and clocks right before your eyes.

    Since its Broadway debut 22 years ago, more than 35 million people in 21 countries have enjoyed the eyebrow-raising effects and sleight-of-hand that are worthy of David Copperfield. Keep your eyes open for some of the sensational elements — 67 LED lights on the magic mirror, the 450-pound “star drop” curtain, the 1,700-pound West Wing set piece and the 1 ton — ONE TON — plate rail featured in “Be Our Guest.” Plus, pint-sized audience members will want to look closely at the tavern set backdrop, where, much like at its famous parks, a “Mickey” is carefully hidden in plain sight.


    This article is compiled from the materials provided by the production company and an article written by Teri Downard, former Deputy Director of the DCPA’s Media Relations and Publications Department.

    NETworks presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast
    June 7-12
    Buell Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Beauty and the Beast 800
    Brooke Quintana as Belle and Sam Hartley as the Beast in NETworks presents"Disney's Beauty and the Beast." Photo by Matthew Murphy.
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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