• Photos: Opening Night of 'One Night in Miami'

    by John Moore | Mar 28, 2015

    Kemp PowersHere's a look in photos at Friday's opening night of the DCPA Theatre Company's One Night in Miami. All photos by John Moore, who was allowed to trail actor Nik Walker (who plays Sam Cooke) backstage before the show. Also: photos from the cast party after the show, including a visit from playwright Kemp Powers (pictured at right).

    The play imagines what happened just after Cassius Clay’s historic win over heavyweight champ Sonny Liston in 1964 when Clay gathered to celebrate with activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football player Jim Brown.

    Clockwise from top left: Colby Lewis as Cassius Clay, Jason Delane as Malcolm X,  Morocco Omari as Jim Brown and Nik Walker as Sam Cooke. Photos by John Moore.


    One Night in Miami
    : Ticket information
    Performances run through April 19
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Our previous coverage of One Night in Miami:
    Video: Bringing four icons to the stage in One Night in Miami
    Video, photos: Your first look at One Night in Miami
    Watch a montage of scenes from the play

    Fourth-graders have tough questions for One Night in Miami cast
    Photos: One Night in Miami is getting ready to rumble
    Video: An inside look at the making of One Night in Miami
    Video: DCPA cast gives shout-out to Baltimore Center Stage
    Full casting announced
    Video: Interview with One Night in Miami Director Carl Cofield
    New Denver Center season includes One Night in Miami
    Go to the official show page

    One Night in Miami cast videos:
    Meet Morocco Omari
    Meet Nik Walker
    Meet Jason Delane
    Meet William Oliver Watkins

    From left: Nik Walker, William Oliver Watkins, Morocco Omari, York Walker, Carl Cofield, Colbty Lewis and Jason Delane on opening night of 'One Night in Miami. Photo by John Moore.

    From left: Nik Walker, William Oliver Watkins, Morocco Omari, York Walker, Carl Cofield, Colby Lewis and Jason Delane on opening night of 'One Night in Miami.' Photos by John Moore.

  • Japantastick No. 6: Tears of joy as personal stories are turned into theatre

    by John Moore | Mar 28, 2015
    Note: This is Day 6 of our daily report from Japan, where members of Denver's handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company are participating in a 10-day goodwill trip that will culminate with a performance of "The Fantasticks":



    The cast of Phamaly Theatre Company's "The Fantasticks" does a runthrough of the show with theatre students from a local university "live dubbing" the show so that when the performance takes place, the Japanese audience will understand the words.


    Phamaly Theatre Company’s first week in Japan culminated with unique performances by local Japanese actors they guided through a series of creative workshops.

    At the start of the week, members of Denver’s acclaimed handicapped theatre company coaxed the local Japanese, most with disabilities themselves, into sharing their true, personal stories. Together, they turned those stories into performance pieces.

    Phamaly actor Robert Michael Sanders called it an unforgettable day of memorable stories set to music and dance.

    Stewart Caswell in Osaka. “I saw people who were really shy come out of their shell and perform in front of an audience for the first time,” added Stewart Caswell, who will play Mortimer in Phamaly’s upcoming performance of The Fantasticks in Osaka.

    “I saw a Hitomi, a woman who has been confined to a wheelchair all her life, burst into tears because she was able to sing a song on stage."

    Caswell should know how meaningful the moment was to that Japanese woman. Caswell has cerebral palsy from a brain injury at birth. He uses what he calls "a tricked-out mobility scooter" himself, but that hasn’t stopped him from acting since age 9.

    “A lot of people ask me why I am an actor,” he said. “I love being able to leap into the skin of another person. But more than that, I love that at the beginning of a project, what begins as a room full of people who don’t know each other transforms into a giant family you call really good friends."

    That’s what’s been happening all week in Osaka.

    "It was a very personal day for everyone," said Daniel Traylor, who plays Matt. “There was a sense of accomplishment throughout the room. Things came together flawlessly. Theatre magic is a beautiful thing. “

    Added Jenna Bainbridge, who plays Luisa: “The performances were so moving that I cannot even put it in words.”

    Added Sanders, who plays Bellomy in The Fantasticks: “There were tears and hugs and the overwhelming sound of barriers breaking down. There were lessons learned and memories made across continents, time, abilities and languages. Yet somehow we all landed together and found our light.”

    Curtain call for the workshop performances in Japan.

    Curtain call for the workshop performances in Japan.


    Preparing for the Fantasticks performance

    After the workshop performances, Phamaly actors conducted a table read of The Fantasticks incorporating theatre students from a local Japanese college who have been assigned to play their “counterpart roles” in the upcoming performance.

    The Japanese thespians will shadow their American partners and repeat all of their words in Japanese. The process is called “live dubbing.”

    “They were a joy to work with,” Bainbridge said. “After rehearsal they joined us for dinner and a rousing round of Uno before bed. At dinner, they graciously helped us order and taught us some proper etiquette. They could not have been more gracious.”

    The day’s lesson, said Phamaly actor Mark Dissette: Lead with your heart.

    “You can travel halfway around the world and discover that no matter how far you go, you can't outrun your fears,” said Dissette, who plays Hucklebee. “You must turn and face them. Lessons forgotten rap against your heart sometimes gently at other times with a rending fury.”

    CHECK BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR OUR NEXT JAPANTASTICK UPDATE 

    OUR PHAMALY PHOTO GALLERY (TO DATE):



    OUR PREVIOUS JAPANTASTICK PHAMALY JOURNAL ENTRIES:

    No. 1: Phamaly's 'massive moment' in Osaka begins
    No. 2: It's raining yen​
    No. 3: Boundaries created by war can be broken
    No. 4: Overcoming barriers and finding commonality 
    ​No. 5: Making music with total strangers
     

    OUR RECENT NEWSCENTER COVERAGE OF PHAMALY:

    Phamaly to take The Fantasticks to Japan
    Phamaly picks Bryce Alexander as new artistic director

    Video: Phamaly says thanks to artistic director Steve Wilson
    DCPA Access-Ability Video featuring Phamaly actors

  • Video: Bringing four icons to the stage in 'Miami'

    by John Moore | Mar 27, 2015


    The actors from the DCPA Theatre Company's One Night in Miami, opening tonight  (March 27), talk about portraying four of the greatest entertainment and cultural icons of the 20th century at varying stages of their fame. Set in 1964, audiences will not necessarily meet the same men pop-culture history would have us remember.

    "What I love about what Kemp Powers has written with this play is he takes these four extraordinarily public figures and he reveals something human about each of them that we might not have known," says actor Jason Delane, who plays activist Malcolm X.

    The play imagines the meeting between Cassius Clay, football player Jim Brown, recording star Sam Cooke and Malcolm X immediately after Clay’s historic win over heavyweight champ Sonny Liston in Miami. At the time, Clay was only 22. Within a year, both Cooke and Malcolm X would be dead. Jim Brown was walking way from the NFL at the height of his fame to start a movie career.

    Each man argues his vision for what it means to be black in 1964. The real-life meeting culminated in an early morning announcement from Clay that shocked the world. The play runs through April 19 in The Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


    One Night in Miami production photos by Jennifer M. Koskinen:




    One Night in Miami: Ticket information
    Performances run through April 19
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Our previous coverage of One Night in Miami:
    Watch a video montage of scenes from the play
    Fourth-graders have tough questions for One Night in Miami cast
    Photos: One Night in Miami is getting ready to rumble
    Video: An inside look at the making of One Night in Miami
    Video: DCPA cast gives shout-out to Baltimore Center Stage
    Full casting announced
    Video: Interview with One Night in Miami Director Carl Cofield
    New Denver Center season includes One Night in Miami
    Go to the official show page

    One Night in Miami cast videos:
    Meet Morocco Omari
    Meet Nik Walker
    Meet Jason Delane
    Meet William Oliver Watkins

    Jason Delane and Colby Lewis in 'One Night in Miami.' Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen. Jason Delane and Colby Lewis in 'One Night in Miami.' Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.
  • Surprise: New York Times critics really like theatre

    by John Moore | Mar 27, 2015
    Theatre lovers, this may be the best info graphic you are ever going to see. Broadway producer Ken Davenport (Kinky Boots), who created the web site DidHeLikeIt.Com as a way of tracking the tone of New York theatre reviews, has come up with some surprising data that defies many stereotypes the theatre community holds dear about critics. 

    In the past 10 years, 71 percent of all theatre reviews written by The New York Times were mixed or positive. Only 29 percent were negative.

    The New York Times does NOT hate plays, as has been the reputation of reviewers Charles Isherwood and Ben Brantley for lo these many years. Both have reviewed plays more positively than musicals.

    The New York Times
     reviews do not make or break a show. Yes, while only 18 percent of negatively reviewed shows recouped their investments, those shows clearly had bigger problems than The New York Times . Because only 29 percent of positively reviewed shows recouped their investments. The leader in the recouping category - at 33 percent - were shows that received mixed reviews.

    The New York Times prefers plays directed by women (50 percent) to plays directed by men (43 percent).

    And yes, while I did once win an award for writing a snarky, backhanded compliment of an essay titled I Hate Mamet, I really don't. But guess what? A full 75 percent of Mamet plays have been negatively reviewed by the Times. On the other hand, the Times loves Stephen Sondhem (75 percent) and is middling on Shakespeare (38 percent). Probably unsurprising, they really love Tom Stoppard (83 percent). 

    Pull up a chair and take it all in. This graphic receives a positive review from me:

    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, where he is the editor of a new media outlet that covers the Colorado theatre community.


    DidHeLikeIt graphic
  • Japantastick No. 5: Making music with total strangers

    by John Moore | Mar 27, 2015
    Note: This is Day 5 of our daily report from Japan, where members of Denver's handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company are participating in a 10-day goodwill trip that will culminate with a performance of "The Fantasticks":


    Video above: Phamaly Theatre Company Musical Director Mary Kay Dailey leads four random Japanese students she met in a park in a song.


    Taking a respite from rehearsals and workshops, Phamaly Theatre Company Music Director Mary Kay Dailey and harpist Barb Lepke-Sims took to the streets and quickly found themselves at a loss for words. Specifically a loss for Japanese words.

    Phamaly in Japan. Mary Kay Dailey. “Barb snapped pictures of the station stops so we could backtrack our way home like leaving breadcrumbs in the forest,” Dailey said. But if there is a universal language, it is music. As Daily arrived at her destination of Osaka Palace, she heard faint singing in the distance.

    “Four young girls in proper school uniforms stood in a circle by the entrance to the park. They had sheet music in their hands and they seemed to be practicing,” said Dailey, who couldn't help but ask to listen.

    “Through an awkward game of charades, I found out that they were in a choir and their high school was right across the street,” Dailey said. “I explained that I am a music teacher.”

    And then they communicated the only way they really could.

    “I pointed to the soprano and alto lines of the four-part vocal score," Dailey said. "They were all sopranos. I hummed a note, and we all sang the tune.

    “My entire day before and after was a communication challenge, but for those brief 30 seconds, we totally understood and communicated in the same language – music. I am truly blessed to be able to share and receive the gift of music, for it has no boundaries.”


    'Frozen' barriers melt away in Disney song: 


    Video above: In case you wanted to know, here is how the monster hit song "Let it Go" from "Frozen" sounds in Japanese. Video by Jenna Bainbridge.

    Back at the Big-I – headquarters for Phamaly’s week of cultural goodwill – actor Jenna Bainbridge discovered if there is one more universal language besides music, it is Disney music. As Bainbridge began to try to find a commonality with her assigned Japanese students, she discovered they all knew – and love – the song “Let it Go” from Disney’s global animated hit film, Frozen. And the teacher became student.

    “They proceeded to teach me how to sing it in Japanese,” she said. “One girl was so helpful, that she wrote everything down phonetically so the Americans could sing it, too. We now know it all in English and Japanese, and are eager to perform it in the workshop."


    Lennon song still making, not imagining, a better world:  

    Video above: Phamaly Theatre Company Artistic Director Bryce Alexander directing, interpreted first into Japanese, then into Japanese Sign Language. The final piece has no words but is still understandable to anyone watching. Video by Jeremy Palmer.

    Jeremy Palmer is not only a Phamaly board member but also an actor, director and writer as well. He has headed the company’s now longstanding venture into creating original comedy performance opportunities for disabled actors through ongoing  programs called Vox Phamilia and dislabled. Palmer, Alexander and actor Robert Michael Sanders took three chosen “storytellers” from among the Japanese workshop participants and helped them shape their personal stories into original staged pieces.

    “The first woman had a piece that was already so beautiful and expressive, we all understood it even though it was completely silent,” said Palmer, who plays El Gallo in The Fantasticks. “Bryce added and expanded her movement and it was done.” Later Bainbridge and Palmer added other choral singers at the end as the woman, named Hirowei (“But I can't swear to that spelling,” he says) signed and danced to John Lennon’s song, "Imagine."

    A young transgendered girl with autism named Syuyo asked for a script to read, so Palmer did what he has always done with new Phamaly actors back home in Denver. He let her talk - through an interpreter. Over lunch, Palmer formed his notes into a narrative monologue. The interpreter then read his words to Syuyo’s mother, who then wrote it out in Chinese characters – and then rewrote it again in Japanese characters Syuyo could  understand. A circuitous and successful journey toward communication.

    At one point, Syuyo told her Phamaly group leaders she wants to help others like her, because she feels like she can't express herself.

    “Bryce and I explained that 26 years ago, that's why Phamaly was founded,” Palmer said. “One can only hope that many years from now, Syuyo might look back on this week as a spark that started something just as significant as Phamaly.”

    More observations from the day from Phamaly members in Japan:

    Lyndsay Palmer (The Mute in “The Fantasticks): “After a shaky start, I ended up working with my fellow cast members to teach my parasol dance originally choreographed by Phamaly's Debbie Stark to a full room of workshop participants. And they locked it up in a snap. It brought tears to my eyes to see us all work together like that, in spite of barriers of disability and language. I'm so proud, and I know we will put on a beautiful show together tomorrow.”

    Daniel Traylor (Matt): “I'm sitting among so much passion right now, it's overwhelming. We're breaking down language barriers and constructing a production in a matter of hours. I feel like I'm witnessing passions blossoming that have otherwise been stifled. Something has been awakened in them, and I hope that when we leave, we won't be taking their only creative outlet away. Some of these performers will want to follow in Phamaly's footsteps. Maybe Big-i will be a part of that.”

    Jenna Bainbridge (Luisa): "We went to a wonderful restaurant where our waiter handed us the translation app on the phone. It said, in very broken English, ‘You has pictures of all?’ I assumed the waiter was asking if we wanted a picture of the whole table, so I handed him my phone - and he ran away. He came back a moment later with a Polaroid camera and asked to take a picture of us all to put on a wall in the back. He was so helpful and eager to talk to us that he kept handing his translation app to us so we could communicate. We wrote on our picture: ‘Phamaly, The Fantasticks, March 2015. Wonderful food, Love Stewart, David, Lyndsay, Jeremy, Jenna.’ What a great time.

    CHECK BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR OUR NEXT JAPANTASTICK UPDATE 

    OUR PHAMALY PHOTO GALLERY (TO DATE):



    OUR PREVIOUS JAPANTASTICK PHAMALY JOURNAL ENTRIES:

    No. 1: Phamaly's 'massive moment' in Osaka begins
    No. 2: It's raining yen​
    No. 3: Boundaries created by war can be broken
    No. 4: Overcoming barriers and finding commonality 

     

    OUR RECENT NEWSCENTER COVERAGE OF PHAMALY:

    Phamaly to take The Fantasticks to Japan
    Phamaly picks Bryce Alexander as new artistic director

    Video: Phamaly says thanks to artistic director Steve Wilson
    DCPA Access-Ability Video featuring Phamaly actors

     

     



    Phamaly in Japan.
  • Video, photos: Your first look at 'One Night in Miami'

    by John Moore | Mar 27, 2015


    Here is your first look in video and photos at Kemp Powers' celebrated play, One Night in Miami, which opens tonight  (March 27) at the DCPA Theatre Company.

    The play imagines what happened just after Cassius Clay’s historic win over heavyweight champ Sonny Liston.

    Declining a glamorous party, Clay celebrates with his friends: Activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football player Jim Brown. Each man argues his vision for what it means to be black in 1964. The evening culminated in an early morning announcement from Clay that shocked the world. Runs through April 19 in The Space Theatre. Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


    One Night in Miami production photos by Jennifer M. Koskinen:



    One Night in Miami cast list (in order of appearance):
    Sam Cooke: Nik Walker
    Jamal: York Walker
    Kareem: William Oliver Watkins
    Malcolm X: Jason Delane
    Cassius Clay: Colby Lewis
    Jim Brown: Morocco Omari
     
    Director: Carl Cofield
    Scenic Design: Lisa Orzolek
    Costume Design: Meghan Anderson Doyle
    Lighting Design: Charles R. MacLeod
    Sound Design: Tyler Nelson
    Dramaturg: Douglas Langworthy
    Voice and Dialect Coach: Kathryn G. Maes Ph.D
    Stage Manager: Rachel Ducat

    One Night in Miami: Ticket information
    Performances run through April 19
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Our previous coverage of One Night in Miami:
    Fourth-graders have tough questions for One Night in Miami cast
    Photos: One Night in Miami is getting ready to rumble
    Video: An inside look at the making of One Night in Miami
    Video: DCPA cast gives shout-out to Baltimore Center Stage
    Full casting announced
    Video: Interview with One Night in Miami Director Carl Cofield
    New Denver Center season includes One Night in Miami
    Go to the official show page

    One Night in Miami cast videos:
    Meet Morocco Omari
    Meet Nik Walker
    Meet Jason Delane
    Meet William Oliver Watkins
  • Four Westword Best of Denver Awards go to DCPA

    by John Moore | Mar 26, 2015
    Westword Best of Denver
    Photos by Jennifer M. Koskinen and Terry Shapiro.


    The DCPA was singled out for four of Westword’s Best of Denver Awards for 2015, it was announced today. The alternative weekly produces an annual special edition with a wide swath of both traditional and quirky award categories. 

    Best Ensemble
    Animal Crackers

    Directed by Bruce Sevy Animal Crackers was a romp of a musical, a trifle, a bright, funny nothing full of bad puns, visual jokes and silly stunts. The cats included Michael Fitzpatrick, Celia Tackaberry, Christine Rowan, Jeremy Benton, Stephanie Rothenberg, M. Scott McLean, Jim Ferris, Jonathan Brody, Jonathan Randell Silver, Jeffrey Roark, Shannan Steele, Brett Ambler and Justin Walvoord. Read more

    Best Light Entertainment
    Garner Galleria Theatre
    The Garner Galleria is the place to sit back with a drink in hand, ease off your shoes under your seat and catch some laughs. Read more

    Best Page-to-Stage Adaptation
    Benediction

    Author Kent Haruf, author of luminous novels about life on Colorado's eastern plains, died last fall, and this year, the Denver Center presented Benediction, dramatized by Eric Schmiedl, the third of Haruf's novels the company has staged. Read more

    Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
    Amelia White,  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

    Having dressed up for a costume party, Sonia, played by Amelia White, transforms from a down-at-the-heels, enraged and self-pitying nobody in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike into a magnificent sequin-clad dowager. Read more
  • Japantastick No. 4: Overcoming barriers and finding commonality

    by John Moore | Mar 26, 2015
    Japan Workshop
    The first day of workshops. Photo by Barb Lepke Sims. 



    Note: This is Day 4 of our daily report from Japan, where members of Denver's handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company are participating in a 10-day goodwill trip that will culminate with a performance of "The Fantasticks":


    Today the members of Phamaly Theatre Company went from tourists to cultural ambassadors. It was the first of four days of workshops led by cast and crew of The Fantasticks for nearly 100 Japanese children and young adults, most of them with disabilities. They have traveled to Osaka from a geographical region that spans 733 square miles.

    “We were a little terrified that the language barriers would make it impossible,” said Jenna Bainbridge, who plays Luisa in The Fantasticks. “We had to interpret all speech through both Japanese-to-English interpreters and sign-language interpreters. Luckily for us, everyone was patient and helpful.”

    Those barriers, said actor Lyndsay Palmer (The Mute in The Fantasticks) are real, and they are many. They include the language, the culture, and a Japanese resistance to opening up and expressing feelings. “These people are very reserved and communicate more as a community than as individuals,” said Palmer.

    But the first day of work, Bainbridge said, was profound.

    The participants were split into groups. Bainbridge and actor David Wright were assigned six Japanese. Two had learning disabilities, and all but one had varying degrees of hearing loss. “One had no disability,” Bainbridge said, “but she wanted to be an actress.”

    These workshops are covering a wide variety of topics from mock auditions to acting workshops. At the end of the four days, the workshop participants will conduct their own original performance for Phamaly company members in which they will share their own personal stories.

    One woman who is completely deaf told the group she was bullied in school for using sign language, and the only way she could deal with it was by escaping into dance. Two other women then said they, too, had the same experience in school. “And then they all took a moment to dance together,” Bainbridge said.

    The bullied woman also said that she had never liked music as a child. “She couldn't understand it because she couldn't hear it, so she never understood how or why it moved people,” Bainbridge said. Then she saw the video for John Lennon's song, “Imagine.”

    “Suddenly she understood and appreciated music,” Bainbridge said. “Later in the day, she signed and danced the entire song for the group. I was moved to tears.”

    JAPAN WORKSHOP 800 1Lyndsay Palmer and castmate Robert Michael Sanders (Bellomy) were assigned a group of seven spanning in age from 12 to 27. They have a range of performing experience from none to college. Some had mild autism; others extreme autism. Some had disabilities; others had none. “Now add in the language barrier, and we had our work cut out for us today,” Sanders said.

    But Sanders and Palmer learned much, too. “We learned about ourselves and how we communicate,” he said. “As American actors, we relish having our own voice. The culture here tends toward one unified voice where no one tries to stand out, and there's always a reserved group dynamic.” 

    Palmer was sad to hear that many Japanese families don't know what to do with their disabled members beyond simply taking care of them. Some, she said, simply shut them away from the world.

    “There aren’t a lot of known facilities or access to help their disabled,” said Palmer, whose goal for the day was to help her students “understand and feel comfortable with themselves and to open up.” She hopes Phamaly’s example will give the Japanese students “a better perception of how disabled people can do anything and can achieve their dreams.”

    Her husband, Jeremy Palmer (El Gallo), was paired with Daniel Traylor (Matt) to help draw six very different people out of their shells.

    “It was an arduous task,” said Palmer, who credited the help of “a rock-star interpreter.” But seeing a pair of young strangers spontaneously break into a duet of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin – and then turn that into an improvised number complete with back-up dancers and a carpet/rolling table, he said, made it all worthwhile.

    “Thanks, ’90s-era Disney movies!” he said.

    Mark Dissette, who plays Hucklebee, found running his workshop to be tough, but not impossible.

    “The wheels on every show come off at least once, and ours came off at the end of today,” he said. “The people in our workshop are insanely focused, which is grand, and they accomplished so much in a short amount of time. But we learned how tough communication can be today.”

    Dissette took a moment to consider how far he and Phamaly have come since the theatre company’s humble beginnings in 1989 out of the controversial “Boettcher School for Crippled Children.” It was the first building in Colorado designed specifically for the education of the physically handicapped, and yes, they really called it that.

    “From Boettcher to Osaka my mind reels thinking about the shows, the stories, the people who are now gone, but whom I carry with me the journey that delivered us here,” Dissette said.

    Bainbridge was moved most by the story of a 9-year-old girl. “Her mother helped her explain that she had been diagnosed as autistic because she had trouble deciphering different sounds, and that her brain was ‘broken,’ ” Bainbridge said.

    “The mother said the girl was ‘broken’ because she was actually a boy and only thought she was a girl. The girl then told us that she wanted to be a singer because she saw a show once and loved the music and decided that would be the way that she would learn to express herself, but has been unable to start singing because of fear.

    By the time the day was over? “She volunteered to sing all by herself,” Bainbridge said.

    Jeremy Palmer later commented: “If I had a bucket list, writing a monologue for a little transgendered Japanese girl with autism to explain about her condition just might've made the Top 5. Check.”

    It was, in Bainbridge’s words, an incredible day. Sanders acknowledged there is  “much more work to do this week for the teams to come together and create a performance together."  But …

    “Challenge accepted.” 

    Pictured above: Music Director Mary Dailey works with a Japanese student.


    OUR PHAMALY PHOTO GALLERY (TO DATE):



    CHECK BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR OUR NEXT JAPANTASTICK UPDATE
     

    OUR PREVIOUS JAPANTASTICK PHAMALY JOURNAL ENTRIES:
    No. 1: Phamaly's 'massive moment' in Osaka begins
    No. 2: It's raining yen​
    No. 3: Boundaries created by war can be broken

    OUR RECENT NEWSCENTER COVERAGE OF PHAMALY:
    Phamaly to take The Fantasticks to Japan
    Phamaly picks Bryce Alexander as new artistic director
    Video: Phamaly says thanks to artistic director Steve Wilson
    DCPA Access-Ability Video featuring Phamaly actors

    The 1,500-seat theatre in Osaka where Phamaly will perform 'The Fantasticks.' Photo by Barb Lepke Sims.
  • Meet the cast video series: Morocco Omari

    by John Moore | Mar 25, 2015

    In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 90: Meet Morocco Omar, who is making his DCPA debut playing film and football star Jim Brown in the Theatre Company's "One Night in Miami."

    Omari is a Marine who, like Brown, is also a former football player (Jerry Rice had nothing on him, he says with a laugh). Omari, who played college ball for Jackson State, found his direction toward acting after returning from war. He talks about how serving and surviving afforded a second lease on life, and he acknowledges the gift by making an international trip abroad every year.

    Omari also talks about performing on Broadway alongside Richard Chamberlain, Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman in David Rabe's Sticks and Bones.

    One Night in Miami
    is a powerful new play that imagines what occurred the night Cassius Clay spent with activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football player Jim Brown after Clay's historic win over heavyweight champ Sonny Liston in 1964. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

    One Night in Miami: Ticket information
    Performances March 20 through April 19, 2015 
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Monday
    Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

    More One Night in Miami cast videos:
    Meet Morocco Omari
    Meet Nik Walker
    Meet Jason Delane
    Meet William Oliver Watkins


    Morocco Omari. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.
    Morocco Omari, as Jim Brown, in rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 'One Night in Miami.'  Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.


    Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

    Leslie Alexander, A Christmas Carol
    Joyce Cohen, Benediction
    Amelia Marie Corrada, Benediction
    Allen Dorsey, A Christmas Carol
    Meet Adrian Egolf, Benediction
    Donna English, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Charlie Franklin, Lord of the Flies

    Patty Goble,The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Sam Gregory, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Matthew Gumley, Lord of the Flies
    Lenne Klingaman, Appoggiatura
    Darrie Lawrence
    , Appoggiatura
    Eddie Lopez, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

    Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Nick Mills Appoggiatura
    Paolo Montalban, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Burke Moses, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Linda Mugleston, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Rob Nagle, Appoggiatura
    James Newcomb, Benediction
    Leslie O'Carroll, A Christmas Carol, Benediction
    Ben and Noah Radcliffe, Lord of the Flies
    James Michael Reilly, A Christmas Carol
    Socorro Santiago, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Lesley Shires, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Gregory Isaac Stone, Lord of the Flies
    Nance Williamson, Benediction

  • Japantastick No. 3: Boundaries created by war can be broken

    by John Moore | Mar 25, 2015
    Phamaly group photo at Japanese theme park.

    Note: This is Day 3 of our daily report from Japan, where members of Denver's handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company are participating in a 10-day goodwill trip that will culminate with a performance of "The Fantasticks":



    Last night, as a group from Denver’s Phamaly Theatre Company sat down for dinner on their second full day in Japan, an older man who spoke very little English approached them.

    “He apologized the best way he could for interrupting our dinner,” said Phamaly Artistic Director Bryce Alexander. “He had a gentle, kind look in his eyes. He managed to introduce himself to us by simply saying: 'I ... 1950s ... Hiroshima.'  

    “He smiled, shook our hands very warmly, and bowed with the deepest respect. He had no other words.” 

    Welcome Phamaly The Americans, representing Denver’s acclaimed theatre company made up entirely of actors with disabilities, had no way to respond. “We were rendered speechless - and not because we know so very little Japanese,” Alexander said. 

    Such are the ordinary, extraordinary encounters the Phamaly contingent is in for during their 10-day goodwill trip to Osaka, which will culminate in their performance of The Fantasticks before 1,500 at the Communication Center for Persons with Disabilities, also known as “Big-i” in Osaka. 

    “It became very clear that being here, in this culture, is so very important for so many reasons,” Alexander said. “That with all of the awful news in the world, there is hope, and love, and forgiveness, and openness between peoples. That boundaries created by war, or poverty or disability, can be broken. That in the end, life should be about living - struggles, triumphs, and all.”

    Added actor Robert Michael Sanders: “Everywhere we go, we are witness to what seems to be a lifestyle of kindness and efficient simplicity.”  

    Actor Daniel Traylor said the overwhelming courtesy is a big part of the culture shock he's experiencing. “People have gone out of their way to be helpful, rather than turning a blind eye,” he said. “One steward in particular never left our side from the instant we got off the plane until we had gathered our bags and left. He never acted as though we were keeping him from something else, and was patient until we said our goodbyes.” 

    Theme of the day: Theme park
    The Phamaly team had a full day to themselves on Tuesday before today’s first official workshop. They spent it at a Japanese movie studio theme park in Kyoto. Some observations: 

    Robert Michael Sanders (Bellomy): “Today we saw some samurai demonstrations as well as films being made. While trying to make conversation with a local woman in a gift shop, I remembered to give her my card that says, “American actor" in Japanese. “As she read, she began jumping up-and-down as if George Clooney had just entered the building. I assured her he hadn't.  But it was quite amazing. The people are busy but never rude. In fact, they are very patient, accommodating and willing to help.” 

    Jenna Bainbridge (Luisa): I've learned children in particular love to talk to Americans. I had quite a few run up to me, yell “hello” at me and run away -- some as young as 4. I can't wait for another adventure tomorrow.”

    Lyndsay Palmer (The Mute): “They were actually filming a ninja movie at the park. We also got to show off our anime drawing skills and have fun in a trick art museum. We ate at a place called Lotteria, which served hamburgers and French fries but Robert Michael Sanders was convinced it was kangaroo meat. You could even smoke in the restaurant, but not during lunch hour. ... We were not there during lunch hour ... Eww!”

    Jeremy Palmer (El Gallo): “We spent the day at a watching ninja and samurai shows. Fingers crossed we replace our sword fight in The Fantasticks with an epic katana blade battle! 

    More on where the conference is happening:
    The Big-i in Osaka. The location of the conference is called “The Big-i," which is the International Communications Center for Persons with Disabilities. The institute was established in 2001 for the commemoration of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992). Among the ideas The Big-i promotes: 

    • Persons with disabilities play the leading role.
    • Promotion of social participation by persons with disabilities through art, cultural activities and international communications.

    “It is a state-of-the-art facility,” said Phamaly harpist Barb Lepke-Sims."We are staying in the Western rooms where they even have heated toilet seats. (Definitely something that should be adopted by the Colorado housing industry.)

    OUR PHAMALY PHOTO GALLERY (TO DATE):



    CHECK BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR OUR NEXT JAPANTASTICK UPDATE
     

    OUR PREVIOUS JAPANTASTICK PHAMALY JOURNAL ENTRIES:
    No. 1: Phamaly's 'massive moment' in Osaka begins
    No. 2: It's raining yen​

    OUR RECENT NEWSCENTER COVERAGE OF PHAMALY:
    Phamaly to take The Fantasticks to Japan
    Phamaly picks Bryce Alexander as new artistic director
    Video: Phamaly says thanks to artistic director Steve Wilson
    DCPA Access-Ability Video featuring Phamaly actors

  • Meet the cast video series: Nik Walker

    by John Moore | Mar 24, 2015


    In this ongoing series, we briefly introduce you to the actors performing in our plays in a fun way. Episode 89: Meet Nik Walker, who is making his DCPA debut playing Sam Cooke in the Theatre Company's One Night in Miami. Nik talks about his appreciation for British actor Idris Elba, Motown Night at Denver's Beauty Bar and performing in the Flaming Lips' world premiere concept musical, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. "That's one of the best things I have ever worked on in my life," Walker said. One Night in Miami is a powerful new play that imagines what occurred the night Cassius Clay spent with activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football player Jim Brown after Clay's historic win over heavyweight champ Sonny Liston in 1964. Video by John Moore and David Lenk. Run time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

    One Night in Miami: Ticket information
    Performances March 20 through April 19, 2015 
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Monday
    Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

    More One Night in Miami cast videos:
    Meet Jason Delane
    Meet William Oliver Watkins


    Nik Walker in rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 'One Night in Miami.' Photo by John Moore.
    Nik Walker in rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 'One Night in Miami.' Photo by John Moore.


    Previous 2014-15 "Meet the Cast" episodes:

    Leslie Alexander, A Christmas Carol
    Joyce Cohen, Benediction
    Amelia Marie Corrada, Benediction
    Allen Dorsey, A Christmas Carol
    Meet Adrian Egolf, Benediction
    Donna English, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Charlie Franklin, Lord of the Flies

    Patty Goble,The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Sam Gregory, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Matthew Gumley, Lord of the Flies
    Lenne Klingaman, Appoggiatura
    Darrie Lawrence
    , Appoggiatura
    Eddie Lopez, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

    Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Nick Mills Appoggiatura
    Paolo Montalban, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Burke Moses, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Linda Mugleston, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    Rob Nagle, Appoggiatura
    James Newcomb, Benediction
    Leslie O'Carroll, A Christmas Carol, Benediction
    Ben and Noah Radcliffe, Lord of the Flies
    James Michael Reilly, A Christmas Carol
    Socorro Santiago, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Lesley Shires, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Gregory Isaac Stone, Lord of the Flies
    Nance Williamson, Benediction

  • 2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools

    by John Moore | Mar 24, 2015


    The Bobby G Awards, a year-long celebration of Colorado high-school theatre administered through the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, has released the list of 30 participating schools for the third annual awards to be presented on Thursday, May 28, at the Buell Theatre.

    After just two years, the DCPA has expanded the Bobby G Awards into a year-round program. And for the first time, Colorado high schools statewide are now eligible for consideration. One of those new high schools is Glenwood Springs.

    Private and public high school musical theatre programs in Colorado were invited to have their shows adjudicated by professional theatre experts. Participating schools receive detailed feedback on their musical production and are considered for the annual awards show, which is modeled after the Tony Awards. Students named outstanding actor and Actress move on to the  National High School Musical Theater Awards  in New York City.

    For more information, click here




    2014/15 Participating Schools

    School Name

    Show

    Bear Creek High School

    Footloose

    Castle View High School

    Legally Blonde

    Chaparral High School

    Puck's Potion

    Cherokee Trail High School

    The Addams Family

    Cherry Creek High School

    Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    CIVA Charter High School

    Seussical the Musical

    Colorado Academy

    Into the Woods

    Denver School of the Arts

    Hairspray

    Discovery Canyon Campus High School

    Bye Bye Birdie

    Durango High School

    Les Misérables

    Erie High School

    Shrek

    Fairview High School

    Anything Goes

    Front Range Christian School

    Shrek

    Gateway High School

    Seussical the Musical

    Glenwood Springs High School

    Legally Blonde

    Grandview High School

    Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Green Mountain High School

    Beauty and the Beast

    Lakewood High School

    Hello, Dolly!

    Legacy High School

    Aida

    Montezuma-Cortez High School

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    Mountain View High School

    Aida

    Mullen High School

    Les Misérables

    Palmer Ridge High School

    Hello, Dolly!

    Pomona High School

    Chicago

    Resurrection Christian School

    Seussical the Musical

    Rock Canyon High School

    Guys and Dolls

    St. Mary's Academy

    Junie B. Jones

    Valor Christian High School

    Beauty and the Beast

    Westminster High School

    Rent

    Wheat Ridge High School

    Oklahoma!



    2014 Bobby G Awards. Photo by Chris Arneson.

    Scene from the 2014 Bobby G Awards. Photo by Chris Arneson. More photos below:



  • Japantastick No. 2: It's raining yen

    by John Moore | Mar 23, 2015


    Note: This is Day 2 of our daily report from Japan, where members of Denver's handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company are participating in a 10-day goodwill trip culminating with a performance of "The Fantasticks":



    The contingent from Denver's Phamaly Theatre Company has arrived in Japan after nearly 24 hours of traveling. Upon arrival in Osaka, the only goals were food and sleep. And the food adventures began almost immediately. In the company's words:

    Phamaly chopsticks photo Barb Lepke-Sims, harpist: "We are on major jet lag. We ate dinner last night at 8 p.m. Japan time, which is around 4 a.m.  Denver time. This nice gentlemen (pictured right), who speaks no English, took it upon himself to teach us how to use chopsticks. We are already meeting wonderful and friendly Japanese people."

    Mark Dissette, Hucklebee: "We have arrived. We are tired, sore and excited, but we aren't complaining. It's wonderful. We had a late dinner where a wonderful Japanese gentleman took the time to show us how to use chopsticks."

    Lyndsay Palmer (Mute):
    "We made it! That was first time I have ever been up for more than 24 hours. We are so hungry, tired and delirious, but at the same time so excited and honored to finally be here. We decided to go eat at the mall that is right across the street from us ... and we got lost within a matter of seconds. However, we did find a place to eat, and how we ordered was from a window filled with wax food." (Pictured below.)

    Phamaly 'pick your food' photo


    Robert Michael Sanders, Bellomy:
    "Things we've learned on our journey to Japan: 1. Jenna Bainbridge gets nauseous during takeoff and landing. 2. Stewart Caswell never did have to urinate on the plane. 3. I started getting a little stabby. Our late-night dinner felt like a 3 a.m. Denny's: We pointed to pictures on the menu and hoped for the best."

    ​Stewart Caswell, Mortimer: "The Big I (a.k.a. The Communication Center for Persons with Disabilities) has welcomed us with open arms. They are so hospitable that I'm working on getting my Japanese citizenship, and I'm moving here permanently."


    PREVIOUS PHAMALY JOURNAL ENTRIES:

     Japantastick No. 1: Phamaly's 'massive moment' in Osaka begins

    PHAMALY PHOTO GALLERY:

    Phamaly company meeting in Japan.

    First Phamaly company meeting in Japan.



    Sister City San Francisco.

    Traveling through San Francisco, the cast discovered the "City by the Bay" is also the sister city of Phamaly's destination: Osaka, Japan.
  • Photos: Best of 2015 'Saturday Night Alive'

    by John Moore | Mar 23, 2015

    Saturday Night Alive. Photo by Emily Lozow. The 2015 "Saturday Night Alive" gala raised a record $914,000 for the DCPA's Education programs on March 7. Last year, the Education Division engaged more than 68,000 students of all ages. The gallery above includes some of the best photos taken during the night, including the benefit concert headlined by Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector at The Stage Theatre. Photos by Steve Peterson, John Moore and Emily Lozow. (Photo above by Emily Lozow.)

    To see EVEN MORE photos we took at the gala, click here. (Seriously: There are, like,  four times more photos at this link here.)  All photos are downloadable for free in a variety of file sizes.

    Our previous coverage of the 2015 Saturday Night Alive:


    Watch our video podcast with Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector (push play)
    Broadway stars to headline 2015 Saturday Night Alive

    The complete 'Saturday Night Stars' video series:
    Meet Roger Hutson
    Meet Susan Stiff
    Meet Claudia Miller
    Meet Fred Churbuck
    Meet Hassan Salem

    Denver Post Editor Greg Moore and wife Nina Henderson Moore at Saturday Night Alive. Photo by Steve Peterson
    Denver Post Editor Greg Moore and wife Nina Henderson Moore at Saturday Night Alive. Photo by Steve Peterson

  • 'The 12': Three days that rocked the world

    by John Moore | Mar 23, 2015

    In the video above, Robert Schenkkan introduces 'The 12' to DCPA subscribers. Below right: Neil Berg and Robert Schenkkan. Photo by John Moore.



    Robert Schenkkan quote


    They are perhaps the three most impactful days in the history of man, and remarkably little is known about them: the 72 hours between Jesus’ crucifixion and what Christians believe was his resurrection. It was the birth of what is now the world’s largest religion, with about 2.1 billion followers worldwide.

    The DCPA Theatre Company’s new rock musical The 12 imagines what those three days must have been like for his closest followers in the immediate, dangerous aftermath of the death of Jesus.

    Neil Berg and Robert Schenkkan. Photo by John Moore. “It’s useful to remember how young these people were,” Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Robert Schenkkan said of the disciples. “These are very blue-collar, gritty, uneducated men. Yet their passion and their ultimate commitment to this individual — and the ideas that he embodied — are so fierce that they all will ultimately give their lives for him. That’s a very powerful idea, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

    But The 12, opening in preview performances on Friday (March 27), is not a narrative play. Set against the backdrop of composer and co-lyricist Neil Berg’s classic rock ’n’ roll score, it is a big, loud, crank-it-up-to-10 musical.

    “The culmination of this event in history was, of course, a world-changing revolution of the most potent kind,” said Berg. “Rock ’n’ roll is the anthem of revolution, so that entirely supports this kind of passionate musical expression in our show.”

    What The 12 is not, both men said, is a treatise on religion. It is not a polemic. It does not take a stand on the certainty of the resurrection — although, Berg teases, “Everyone will have their own very clear idea of what happens at the end.”

    The 12  is instead an imagined, human story, Berg said, based on a real historical event. It is set to original music inspired by Berg’s love of classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who. In addition to being a trained writer of musical theatre, Berg has a long history as a touring musician with groups like the still-active Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan. He has opened for Bruce Springsteen and The Doors, and has played at Red Rocks and McNichols Sports Arena.

    Neil Berg quoteThe score he has produced for The 12, he said, is a perfect match for the angst, the tension and the drive of Schenkkan’s story. “It is going to be authentic rock ’n’ roll, I can tell you that,” Berg said.

    The 12 has been described as picking up where Jesus Christ Superstar leaves off, and chronologically speaking, Berg said, that is accurate. However, he says his original musical score “is really an open love letter to classic rock ’n’ roll.”

    The 12 will now join a genre of popular Biblical rock musicals of widely different tones, including Superstar, Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (coming to The Buell Theatre April 22-26) and Children of Eden.

    “I think The 12 is a different, great addition to that group,” Berg said. “Because the characters are all trapped in one room this story is intense from the beginning. You’re in it. And the music reflects that.”

    Christina Sajous, Tony Vincent and Colin Hanlon. Photo by John Moore.  Schenkkan, who also wrote the 2014 Tony-winning best play All the Way (which will be staged by the DCPA Theatre Company early next year), loves Superstar and Godspell, but those musicals are far more stylized than The 12, he said. “This is a more natural and thoughtful approach to the material,” he said. “Our approach is much less sensational. And, I think, more powerful because of it.” (Pictured: Christina Sajous, Tony Vincent and Colin Hanlon. Photo by John Moore.) 

    It was Schenkkan’s decision not to use Jesus’ name in The 12, and he did it for two reasons.

    "First, like so many details in the Jesus story, we can’t be sure about this but it is unlikely in Jewish society at that time that his followers would have addressed him using his name as that would have been considered disrespectful. More likely he would have been called an honorific like, 'teacher' or 'Rabbi.'  Second, it was done to remove a possible barrier between the story and its potential audience.

    “The phrase ‘Jesus the Lord’ is so loaded in terms of what it will later come to mean. By taking the name out of the equation, it puts the focus back on the immediacy of this very human story.

    “The tendency of the audience will be to look at this event with the weight of 2,000 years of bitterly contested doctrine, and everything that comes with that. We are trying to strip all of that away and say, ‘Wait a minute: What if you were one of these fishermen on the sea of Galilee, and this guy you might have heard something about comes up to you and says, ‘Follow me.’ And for reasons that are not clear even to you in that moment, you do, because there is something about him that compels you. What does that mean? It is kind of unfathomable.”

    To Berg, the central question is this: “When the head of this revolutionary group is suddenly killed, what makes these followers continue on?”

    Robert Schenkkan quote

    Still, Schenkkan understands why potential audiences may feel some trepidation about what is, for now, a theatrical unknown.

    “Oftentimes, unfortunately, when writers have dealt with issues of faith, it’s hard not to feel that there is some condescension there. Some smugness. Some superiority,” Schenkkan said. “That’s unacceptable, quite honestly. I think it’s prejudice.

     “We have tried very seriously to get at this fundamental question of belief and commitment to something which cannot ultimately be proved in rational, scientific terms. And to me, that is a very exciting, dramatic proposition: How does one get there? We have all experienced a dark night of the soul. A time where everything we have believed in whether it is a religious expression or an idea or a cause has failed us. And we have to find a way to go forward. To recover our faith and our belief. That’s at the heart of what we are trying to do here.

    "And it’s why I believe that all of our audience — including members of all various faith-based communities — will find this a story that is not only accessible and respectful, but also very compelling.”



    This video offers a sample of a song from 'The 12' called 'Do You Remember?' written by Neil Berg and Robert Schenkkan.

    The 12: Ticket information
    March 27-April 26
    Stage Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or buy online
    Toll-free: 800-641-1222 | TTY: 303-893-9582
    Groups of 10 or more: 303-446-4829
    ASL interpreted, audio described and open-captioned performance: 1:30 p.m. April 26


    Our previous coverage of The 12:
    Video: Robert Schenkkan introduces The 12
    The 12 opens rehearsals with a mandate to 'dig deep'
    Full casting announced for The 12
    Final offering of Theatre Company season: Rock musical The 12
  • Japantastick No. 1: Phamaly's 'massive moment' in Osaka begins

    by John Moore | Mar 22, 2015

    Stewart Caswell, David Wright and Jeremy Palmer. Photo by Michael Ensminger

    From left: Stewart Caswell, David Wright and Jeremy Palmer in Phamaly Theatre Company's 'The Fantasticks.' Photo by Michael Ensminger  



    It is, in the words of actor Daniel Traylor, “a massive moment in Phamaly's history.”

    Denver’s acclaimed professional handicapped theatre company is traveling today to Osaka, Japan, to perform the classic musical The Fantasticks. It will be the first-ever international performance in the company’s 26-year history.

    “I am at once exhilarated and anxious,” said newly appointed Phamaly Artistic Director Bryce Russell Alexander. The 10-day cultural exchange trip will include Phamaly actors leading community workshops and will culminate with a performance of The Fantasticks in front of more than 1,500 – the largest one-time Phamaly audience ever ... by perhaps three times.

    Fantasticks Quote“How will they react - not only to our very open disabilities - but also to the production?” Alexander said. "Only time will tell.”

    Phamaly has produced professional plays and musicals since 1989, cast entirely with performers who have physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. The company has been invited to Japan by the Communication Center for Persons with Disabilities, also known as “Big i” in Osaka. The nickname stands for the first letter of the words independence, information, intercommunication and international. The name was chosen in hopes of advancing global exchange and the independence of people with disabilities.

    “This whole thing hasn't settled for me quite yet, and I don't think it will till we land in Japan,” said Traylor, who plays Matt in The Fantasticks. “We're going out there embracing what makes each other's awareness of disabilities different and successful. I'm excited to see the butterfly that comes from this.”

    Original company member Mark Dissette, who plays Hucklebee, says he has "wondered, cried, screamed and begged for Phamaly to have more recognition beyond Denver. Now, that time has come.”

    Harpist Barb Lepke-Sims is new to Phamaly with this production, which was recently presented at both the Aurora Fox and Arvada Center. “I am excited to become part of the Phamaly family and make new friends in Japan,” she said. “I also want to thank the Japanese harpists who made it possible for us to rent a harp in Japan so that Phamaly could be able to use the full orchestration for the play.”

    Lepke-Sims first played harp for The Fantasticks as a high-schooler in New Jersey, and she has been playing the show regularly in the 35 years since. “As a 17-year-old, I would never have dreamed this play would one day take me to Japan,” she said. “It’s exciting to see how one thing leads to another and how one's life unfolds.”

    Alexander and his cast of eight actors will lead four days of mock auditions and acting workshops for nearly 100 participants traveling from all over Osaka Prefecture, a geographical region of Japan that spans 733 square miles. At the end of the four days, the community participants will hold their own performance of original writing, in which they will share their own stories.

    “The opportunity to share our stories, understand their experiences and combine our performance styles will result in a deeper and unified understanding of disability theory and advocacy across our cultures,” Alexander said. “We will bring that knowledge back to the United States where we can broaden our impact, refine our messaging and deepen our artistic process.”

    The Fantasticks, written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, is the world’s longest-playing musical. It has been running off-Broadway for more than 52 years in New York. It is the poignant tale of two young lovers, their meddling fathers and the wall that divides them.

    The DCPA NewsCenter will follow Phamaly’s trip by producing a daily blog with words and photos from the cast and crew in Japan.

    Daniel Traylor, who plays Matt, sang at the DCPA's recent 'Saturday Night Alive' fundraiser. Photo by Steve Peterson.As the team prepared to make the flight today, we asked them to tell us what they are most excited or nervous about. Here are some of their responses:

    • "Who do you have to write to get international time sped up? This cultural exchange of ideas and friendship can't happen fast enough." —Stewart Caswell, Mortimer
    • “How do I fit everything I need for 10 days into a manageable suitcase? If only there were some art of folding I could study, but where in the world would THAT be a thing?” Jeremy Palmer, El Gallo
    • “I am anxious and so very excited for Sunday to get here, even though I'm not packed at all for our 10-day trip yet.” Lyndsay Palmer (Mute)
    • “I am so excited. I have no idea what to expect, but I know it will be a great adventure. I mean, look who I am going with. This will be the trip of a lifetime for this old (older) man.” David Wright (Henry the old Actor)
    • “I am nervous about the plane trip and that we get there safely. But once we arrive, I will be 100 percent open to anything that happens.” Harpist Barb Lepke-Sims.
    • “I (feel I) must meet a challenge that is both exciting and terrifying in a place that I have only read about." Mark Dissette, Huckabee.
    Phamaly’s primary production each year is a Broadway musical staged at the Space Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. This summer, it will present Cabaret from July 16-Aug. 9.


    Pictured above right: Daniel Traylor, who plays Matt, sang "Being Alive" from "Company" at the DCPA's recent "Saturday Night Alive" fundraiser. Photo by Steve Peterson.

    CHECK BACK HERE TOMORROW FOR OUR NEXT JAPANTASTICK UPDATE 

    CAST LIST:
    El Gallo: Jeremy Palmer
    Luisa: Jenna Bainbridge
    Matt: Daniel Traylor
    Hucklebee: Mark Dissette
    Bellomy: Robert Michael Sanders
    Henry: David Wright
    Mortimer: Stewart Caswell
    Mute: Lyndsay Palmer

    OUR RECENT NEWSCENTER COVERAGE OF PHAMALY:
    Phamaly to take 'The Fantasticks' to Japan
    Phamaly picks Bryce Alexander as new artistic director
    Video: Phamaly says thanks to artistic director Steve Wilson
    DCPA Access-Ability Video featuring Phamaly actors
  • Fourth-graders have tough questions for 'One Night in Miami' cast

    by John Moore | Mar 20, 2015
    Photos from Hallett Fundamental Academy by John Moore for the DCPA.


    Director Carl Cofield is an old pro at answering questions about the play One Night in Miami. He is in Denver to direct the acclaimed play by Kemp Powers for his second time. The play imagines what happened when Cassius Clay won the heavyweight boxing championship in 1964 and immediately withdrew to a hotel room with Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcolm X.

    But Cofield has never faced questions like the ones he and his actors took from the fourth- and fifth-graders last week at Hallett Fundamental Academy, a Denver magnet school with a 95 percent African-American enrollment. Questions like:
    • Were African-Americans immigrants?
    • If we really did have a "separate but equal" society, do you things would still be "separate?"
    • If Malcolm X were still alive, what would he say about things today?
    • If you were an abolitionist, how would you end slavery? Is violence or nonviolence the solution?
    • Since people didn't like Muhammad Ali, did he want to beat everybody up - or did he prefer to talk it out?

    One student had not a question but a prescient comment about the rule of law that mandated racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern U.S. states from Reconstruction through 1965. “It was because of Jim Crow laws in those times that they couldn’t have the kind of schools white people had,” he offered.

    Out of the mouths of babes.

    Cofield was joined on the hot seat by actors Colby Lewis, who plays Cassius Clay in the DCPA’s staging of One Night in Miami that had its first preview performance on Friday; Morocco Omari, who plays football and movie star Jim Brown; and York Walker and William Oliver Watkins, who play bodyguards for Malcolm X from the Nation of Islam.

    “Wow, these are the best questions,” Cofield told the students.

    Carlotta Walls. Photo by John Moore. In the back of the Hallett library, smiling from ear to ear, stood Denver’s Carlotta Walls (pictured right). She is a member of the Little Rock Nine, the group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. They attended only after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation.

    Walls especially loved when a boy timidly but straightforwardly asked the most loaded of questions: The one on "separate but equal."

    Specifically: “Would we have integrated schools?”

    Walls liked it because, in the past 60 years of talking about the Little Rock Nine, no adult has ever asked her that question. "That's why I prefer talking to student groups," she said with a laugh. But she was happy to tackle it.

    “If separate really were equal, I still feel we would have integrated schools because we have the right to have integrated schools,” she said. “However, you will notice that in any environment, groups of people congregate together. So if you were Asian and you said, ‘I want to be right here with all the other Asians,’ or, ‘I want to be in this group with all Chicanos,’ then that is your right.

    “But at the same time, we also have a right to go across the line and be a part of a diverse, inclusive society. To me, that's what this country is all about. “

    Watkins, taking his shot at the question, told the room packed with 10-year-olds his belief that the very concept of "separate but equal" is flawed. 

    Hallett Quote“It is impossible,” Watkins said. “If you have not gotten to the point where you can accept another person who is different from you, then I think society will implode on itself. Today, it is white and black. But then say we separate. OK, so now over here, we are all white. But now we separate again, say, people who are over 6-feet tall, and people who are under 6-feet tall. OK, now we separate people who have blue eyes and green eyes.

    "If you have it in your soul that in order for you to survive, you have to be separate from people who are not like you, then I think that's a cancer. And I think it will continue to eat at you and you will never be happy. So, no: I do not believe 'separate but equal' will work under any circumstance.”

    And that was just for starters. Here’s how they took on the other questions:

    Were African-Americans immigrants? 

    Lewis tried to explain the difference between those who have come to America searching for a better life, and those who were brought here against their will.  Omari was more direct.

    “No,” he said unflinchingly. "During the slave trade, 120 million Africans were brought over to this country on slave ships. Sixty million died. Why? Because when the Native American weren’t able to toil the land, they brought Africans over to do it. The slaves were bought and sold. They were treated like animals. Bred like animals. And if you didn't follow the rules, bad things happened. You could get sold and taken away from your mother and father. You could get hung. They were not immigrants.”


    If you were an abolitionist, how would you end slavery? Is violence or nonviolence the solution?


    There isn’t a right or wrong answer to that, Watkins said. “There were people fighting to end slavery with their words and their fists and guns for hundreds of years. The Civil War finally did it – although a lot of people will tell you the war had more to do with economics than with what was morally correct. But my belief is that every single thing that happened was what it took to end slavery. There needed to be people who were willing to stand nonviolently, but there comes a time when you don't have any more cheeks to turn. So there was no one answer."

    Hallett Principal Charmaine Keeton greets cast members. Photo by John Moore.  Denver. Photo by John Moore. Since people didn't like Muhammad Ali, did he want to beat everybody up - or did he prefer to talk it out?

    “I believe he did a little bit of both,” Lewis said. “He internalized all of the bad things that people were saying about him, and he internalized all of the bad things that were happening around him - like the Jim Crow laws that wouldn't let him eat at the front of the restaurant. He took in all the writers who said he would never be a world champion. But he was a talker, too. He was notorious for spitting all of those words back into the faces of the people who doubted him. He took the things that made him angry, and he used it to give himself confidence to believe, ‘I can make it. I will succeed.’ He used his power in the media. So whenever reporters were there, he would talk junk to them and say things like, 'I'm going to beat so-and-so in the fifth round - watch me.' And he would do it, because of the belief he had in himself. He used all that that anger and injustice and that fueled his fights in the ring. So he did fight back, but in a very smart and specific way. So he battled back on two fronts."

    Omari said Ali used his simmering rage to his economic advantage as well.

    “He used to tell people, ‘If you want see me get beat up, then you gotta come and pay your way in,’ ” Omari said. “He made people so angry that they would have to come see the fight. That made the purse bigger - and that meant he made more money. He called it, ‘Sour the people ... sweeten the purse.’ ”

    Hallett Fundamental Academy. Photo by John Moore.

    Students from Hallett Fundamental Academy in Denver. Photo by John Moore.


    If Malcolm X were still alive, what would he say about things today?

    “If Malcolm X were looking at current conditions, I would guess he would say we need to empower ourselves, instead of looking for outside support from the government,” Cofield said. 

    "I think Malcolm would say, 'We need to save our own money. We need to open our own Amazon.com, or whatever. If we have our own businesses, we don’t have to tell someone to go to school and then go look for a job. We can tell someone, "Go to school, and when you are ready, I will have a job waiting for you." ' ”

    Omari called that strategy “reinvesting in yourself.”

    “That means not going out and spending your money on the new Jordans,” he told the kids. "That means making your money work for you instead of you working for your money.

    "Think about Oprah Winfrey.  She has economic freedom. She is able to go anywhere she wants to go in this world because she has the money.” 

    Cofield and his actors told the students about One Night in Miami, but cautioned that the play itself is not appropriate for a younger audience to watch because of the language and subject matter. But he encouraged the students to read, to learn and to achieve.

    Watkins left them with a word about Malcolm X.

    “He had zero fear, and he believed in what he believed with all of his heart. I believe those two things together make you a superhero,” Watkins said. “When you have no fear, you can accomplish anything. That was his power. And I think all of us have the potential to have that power.”

    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.

    Students from Hallett Fundamental Academy in Denver. Photo by John Moore.

    The cast of 'One Night in Miami' poses with students from Hallett Fundamental Academy in Denver. Photo by John Moore.


    'One Night in Miami
    ': Ticket information
    Performances run through April 19
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Our previous coverage of One Night in Miami:
    Video: An inside look at the making of One Night in Miami
    Video: DCPA cast gives shout-out to Baltimore Center Stage
    Full casting announced
    Video: Interview with One Night in Miami Director Carl Cofield
    New Denver Center season includes One Night in Miami
    Go to the official show page

    Meet the cast video series (to date):

    Meet Jason Delane (Malcolm X)
    Meet William Oliver Watkins (Kareem)

    Cast members with Carlotta Walls at Hallett Fundamental Academy in Denver. Photo by John Moore.
    Cast members with Carlotta Walls at Hallett Fundamental Academy in Denver. Photo by John Moore.
  • Video: An inside look at the making of 'One Night in Miami' steel railings

    by John Moore | Mar 20, 2015


    At the DCPA NewsCenter, we love taking you backstage to see how our talented designers and scene shop technicians make some of the magic you might otherwise take for granted if you didn't know any better. For 'One Night in Miami,' Scenic Technicians Ross Wick and Mike VanAartsen were charged with building handmade steel railings for the authentic 1964 hotel set. All 139 pieces were individually bent, welded and cooled. You'll see how they did it, as well as time-lapse and rehearsal footage. The Scenic Designer for the play is Lisa Orzolek.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE OF OUR BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEOS

    One Night in Miami is a powerful new play that imagines what occurred the night Cassius Clay spent with activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football player Jim Brown after Clay's historic win over heavyweight champ Sonny Liston in 1964. Video by David Lenk, John Moore and Ross Wick. Run time: 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

    'One Night in Miami': Ticket information
    Performances run through April 19
    Space Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site here

    Our previous coverage of One Night in Miami:
    Video: DCPA's 'One Night in Miami' cast gives Shout-Out to Baltimore Center Stage
    Full casting announced
    Video: Interview with 'One Night in Miami' Director Carl Cofield
    New Denver Center season includes 'One Night in Miami'
    Go to the official show page

    Meet the cast video series (to date):

    Meet Jason Delane (Malcolm X)
    Meet William Oliver Watkins (Kareem)

    Mike VanAartsen and Ross Wick. Photo by John Moore.DCPA Theatre Company Scenic Technicians Mike VanAartsen and Ross Wick on the set of 'One Night in Miami.' Photo by John Moore.

  • Watch 'After the Darklights,' Episode 3, featuring The Knew

    by John Moore | Mar 20, 2015


    After the Darklights is an online post-apocalyptic zombie web series written and produced by members of the local theatre and film communities. The series, available for free on YouTube,  is written and directed by Denver's Michael Morgan. The producer is DCPA Teaching Artist Brian Landis Folkins.

    The primary cast includes Emily Paton Davies (Lorelai), Leah Watson (Caitlin), Josh Hartwell (Daniel) and Brian Landis Folkins (Ben). Also featured in Episode 3 are Melissa Elliott, Brian Colonna and Meredith Young. Special effects by Todd Debreceni. Director of Photography Hawk Vaccaro.

    The show is self-described as such:

    "The world as we knew it ended the night the darklights came. A small few of us, the Survivors, missed them. The majority watched and fell where they stood. The remaining were changed by the lights. They became something else. Savage. Feral. Evil. The Survivors woke to a world where the air hurts to breathe, where sunlight can kill, and the Feral hide in the shadows, waiting for nightfall, where they hunt us relentlessly. We are the last of who we once were, and we’re fighting every minute against a world that wants us dead. Life has become a perpetual Nightmare. After the Darklights..."

    Every episode's closing credits features exit music by a local band. Episode 3 spotlights The Knew's song "Salvazar," which also was sampled in an episode of Breaking Bad. The band, which formed in 2005, was a perpetual top-10 finisher in The Denver Post's former annual survey of the area's best underground bands. Here is how the band introduced themselves to Post readers in their own words in 2009:

    The Knew
    Members: Jacob Hansen (guitar, vocals), Tyler Breuer (guitar), Tim Rynders (bass), Patrick Bowden (drums)
    The Knew
    Website
    : theknew.com

    Local connection:
    Tyler grew up in Lakewood and went to college up at CU. Jacob is from Nebraska — his family moved here when he was in high school — and also went to school at CU. Patrick is from Michigan, moved here in 1998 and went to CU. The three of us became friends over a span of a few years up in Boulder and moved to Denver once we all graduated. Tim moved here from Reno, Nev., in 2007 where he ended up working with Jacob. We then became The Knew, and really enjoy being in Denver.

    Genre:
    Rock

    When did you know your band was for real?
    Once Tim joined the band. Jacob, Tyler and I had been playing for a couple of years at that point, the whole time without a bass guitar. We never found a good "fit" personality-wise until Tim came around, and then everything just fell into place. We could finally start playing some real, full rock songs and haven't changed a thing since.

    Favorite local bands:
    American Relay (R.I.P. 2009), Black Lamb, Slim Cessna's Auto Club

    What are your practices like? Sweaty in the summer, freezing in the winter. We rehearse old stuff for about an hour, chat, drink Tecate and then work on new material until we are too tired to play any more.


    PHOTOS FROM THE FILMING OF EPISODE 2:

    All photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

    VIEW PREVIOUS EPISODES:
    Episode 1
    Episode 2
    Episode 3

    OUR PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF 'AFTER THE DARKLIGHTS'

    Photos from the filming of Episode 2
    Video, photo coverage: The web-series launch party


    'After the Darklights.' Photo by John Moore.'After the Darklights.' Photo by John Moore.
  • Theresa Rebeck is not getting angry: She's getting even

    by John Moore | Mar 19, 2015
    Theresa Rebeck quote
    Photo by John Moore from the Playwrights' Slam at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit.


    Theresa Rebeck wishes the topic of gender disparity in the American theatre would go away. But for that to happen, gender disparity would have to go away. And it seems to Rebeck and other prominent American playwrights not to be going anywhere.

    “There seems to be something intractable about it,” Rebeck said last month while attending the DCPA’s Colorado New Play Summit in Denver.

    theresa-rebeckRebeck has been talking about gender disparity for years. She was talking about it in 2007, when she came to Denver for the world premiere of her play Our House. The problem is: She’s pretty much been talking to herself.

    “I would love for the discussion to happen, but it’s still not happening,” she said. “And then – nothing happens.”

    And when nothing happens, the only recourse is to take matters into your own hands.

    So Rebeck, whose play The Nest has been selected for its world premiere as part of the DCPA Theatre Company’s 2015-16 season, started The Lilly Awards with Marsha Norman and Julia Jordan in 2010 as a way to honor the work of women in the American theatre. Why?

    “Because we are being completely shut out of the (other) theatre awards,” Rebeck said.

    All this month in New York, the Lilly Awards are presenting an inaugural reading series spotlighting new works by female playwrights. And the festival opened March 9 with a play familiar to Denver audiences: The Comparables, by Laura Schellhardt. Inspired in part by Jean Genet's The Maids and all things David Mamet, The Comparables takes a biting look at competition among women in the workplace. It was a featured reading at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit. It’s now having its world premiere at the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

    American Theatre correspondent Nicole Serratore, reporting last week from the festival opening in New York, thought it deliciously apropos that the play – and the reading series – opened with the Madeleine Albright quote, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” 


    Video: A quick look at 'The Comparables,' when it was presented as a featured reading at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit.

    How real is the problem of gender disparity? According to American Theatre:

    • 68 percent of the Broadway audience and 51 percent of the American population are female.
    • The 2014 Pulitzer Prize and all finalist nods went to women. But there was not even one play written by a woman presented on Broadway during the 2013-14 season.
    • Only about 24 percent of all plays produced across the country this season were written by a woman, living or dead.
    • Of those 24 percent, only two female playwrights (Amy Herzog for 4000 Miles and Nina Raine for Tribes) landed on the annual list of the 10 most-produced plays of the year.

    (Note: 4,000 Miles, starring Benjamin Bonenfant and Billie McBride, who both just appeared in the DCPA’s Benediction, opens March 26 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Tribes will be presented by the DCPA Theatre Company opening Oct. 9.)

    The numbers, Rebeck said, are unacceptable. And they are a national epidemic. But she takes heart that the DCPA has been an exception to the rule.


    Theresa Rebeck quote

    Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson is commissioning women playwrights, Rebeck said. He’s hiring women directors. He’s presenting two world premiere plays next season written by women. Retiring DCPA Chairman Daniel L. Ritchie has added the DCPA's Women's Voices Fund to his will.

    The Women's Voices Fund is one of the nation’s largest theatre endowments, having recently exceeded $1 million in donations in just its 10th year. The Fund enables the DCPA Theatre Company to commission, workshop and produce new plays by women. More than that, it empowers the DCPA to rally fundraising efforts by celebrating women. (Click here for a complete list of all the artists who have benefited to date.)

    "Kent Thompson absolutely walks the walk," Rebeck said. "And to me, the thing that is electrifying about Kent is that he went out in front of everybody 10 years ago and said, 'We are not doing enough plays by women. Women are more than half our audience and more than half the human race.' And for some reason, the rest of the American theatre is still catching up with Kent’s vision on this. Before anyone else was doing anything for women writers, Denver had the Women’s Voices Fund."

    The Women’s Voices Fund has enabled the DCPA to produce 24 plays by women (including nine world premieres), commission 14 female playwrights and hire 18 female directors since 2006.  And perhaps ironically, the big three leading the charge are men – Thompson, Associate Artistic Director Bruce K. Sevy and Literary Manager Doug Langworthy. Rebeck doesn’t care what gender they are. She cares about what they are doing for female playwrights.

    “Kent doesn’t talk about it much at all. He just does it,” Rebeck said, “and it has made an enormous difference.”

    Rebeck stopped talking about this issue for a time, because it only led to frustration.

    Jessica Love and Kevin Berntson in 'The Nest' at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by John Moore. “One of the things I discovered is that people are terrified of women being negative or angry,” Rebeck said. “And I would think, ‘Jesus, we have been shut out of the storytelling of the American culture on such a profound level for so long – in theatre, in film, and in TV – why wouldn’t we be angry?'

    “I am sort of curious that in the face of something that is clearly a spooky injustice, no one wants to engage in real emotions around why it is happening. What is it? In New York, I think there is a comfort level about people working with people they have worked with before, or who look like them.”

    At the reading series in New York, there has been talk of women playwrights being overlooked “less because of overt discrimination than more insidious forms of prejudice,” Serratore wrote for American Theatre. The Tall Girls playwright Meg Miroshnik implied more of an unconscious bias in the way theatre producers choose plays and playwrights. “There are not shadowy cabals sitting down to program seasons consisting entirely of plays written and directed by white men,” Miroshnik told the magazine.

    But Rebeck can’t shake the feeling that something more sinister might be at play.

    “I actually deeply believe it has something to do with issues of power, and the power structure in the American theatre,” she said. “I don’t think anyone can say, ‘I don’t want to produce women writers because they don’t sell tickets.’ That’s not in the discussion, and it wouldn’t be true if it were. So is it a terror over the loss of power? 

    “I don’t feel like audiences care what gender a playwright is. I don’t know anyone who goes to see a play because it was written by a man or a woman. I think audiences are happy with plays that engage them. Most of the time, audiences don’t even know who wrote the play  – they just know if they liked the play.”

    So apparently, Rebeck is talking about gender again. 

    “I really don’t mind talking about,” she said, “but I don’t talk about it very much anymore because I am kind of bored with how unimaginative the discussion remains.

    “But I will say that Kent and Bruce and Doug like to stand in the face of all that and say, ‘We’re taking action.’ And that is a really great thing. I wish more people knew about what is happening in Denver. I hope that this gets out.”


    Video: A quick look at 'The Nest,' when it was presented as a featured reading at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit. it will get a full production on the 2015-16 Theatre Company season, with an opening set for Jan 26, 2016.

    OUR COMPLETE SUMMIT SPOTLIGHT VIDEO SERIES:
    Part 1: The Nest, by Theresa Rebeck
    Part 2: The There There, by Jason Gray Platt
    Part 3: Holy Laughter, by Catherine Trieschmann
    Part 4: Fade, by Tanya Saracho

    MORE COVERAGE FROM THE 2015 COLORADO NEW PLAY SUMMIT:

    American Theatre: The Colorado New Play Summit Is a Developing Story
    Matthew Lopez's 2015 Summit Soliloquy video
    Primer: Your guide to the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit
    Summit cast lists: Familiar names and new names
    Playwrights named for inaugural Local Playwrights Slam
    2015 Summit to introduce inaugural Local Playwrights Slam
    Colorado New Play Summit expands to two weekends

    Click here to go to our NewsCenter.

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ABOUT THE EDITOR
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.

DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.